Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is the man at the center of so many complex and vital issues facing America right now. But one constant through it all is his Christian faith.
Pompeo's life so far includes a growing list of accomplishments: Eagle Scout, first in his class at West Point, Harvard Law School graduate, Kansas congressman and the first American to ever hold the top jobs at both the CIA and the State Department. However, his number one on the list remains a faithful decision made back in college: a decision point to follow Jesus Christ.
"I grew up going to church on Sundays, but frankly it wasn't a priority in my life growing up," Pompeo told CBN News. "I went off to West Point, and as a young cadet, during my freshman year, there were two young men who were juniors who were true men of faith. And they held these little Bible study/cookie klatches on Sunday afternoons and they invited all the cadets to see – it was purely voluntary."
"I started showing up– truly remarkable," Pompeo explained. "I started going to church every weekend on my own because I wanted to be there to learn and to grow, and at some point during that first year, I really did come to have an understanding of Jesus that was different than the one that I had before. It fundamentally changed my life."
That life is a busy one as Secretary of State. Many issues facing him include a faith flavor, attempts for peace in the Middle East, religious persecution, and many more. He doesn't hide the faith element as witnessed by some of his comments during his recent joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu in Israel.
"I'm proud to be here again not only as America's top diplomat, but also as a man of faith," he told Netayahu and the assembled media.
This isn't new territory for Pompeo. Back in 2015, as a congressman from Kansas in a church setting, he preached about the cultural battle ahead.
"We will continue to fight these battles, it is a never ending struggle… until that moment that Pastor Fox spoke about, until the rapture," Pompeo said.
During his time on Capitol Hill, the former Sunday School teacher spoke in religious tones about radical Islamic terrorism.
"I will tell you that it is absolutely a minority within the Muslim faith but these folks are serious and they abhor Christians and will continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the only solution for our world," Pompeo warned.
As CIA Director, he attended regular Bible studies and as Secretary of State, he hosted the State Department's first worldwide conference on religious freedom. He also made faith part of his first major speech as the country's top diplomat during a visit to Cairo, Egypt.
"We're all children of Abraham: Christians, Muslims, Jews," Pompeo said. "In my office, I keep a Bible open on my desk to remind me of God and his word, and the truth."
CBN News recent interview with Pompeo in Israel attracted news of what you might describe as, 'biblical proportions.'
CBN's Chris Mitchell asked him, "Could it be that President Trump right now has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace? Pompeo's answer? "As a Christian, I certainly believe that's possible." Also during the interview, he talked about God when it comes to israel. "I am confident that the Lord is at work here," Pompeo told us.
The Secretary of State also receives criticism for injecting his faith into the equation.
"There is nothing wrong with a cabinet official, a government official, when asked to talk about their personal belief system," says retired Rear Admiral John Kirby. "What is wrong is for him to apply, as he appeared to do, those Christian values, those specifically evangelical Christian values to the task of foreign policy."
But for Pompeo, his worldview is informed by his faith. There's no separating the two. It's who he is and it something that really manifests in his life.
"Of course my mission as a Secretary of State, the thing I raised my right hand to do, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and I've done that now a handful of times – first as a soldier, then as a member of Congress, then as the director of the CIA, now as Secretary of State," he explained.
"But in each of those missions, the task that I have is informed by my understanding of my faith, my belief in Jesus Christ as the Savior…I think that makes a real difference, and so I want people to know," Pompeo continued. "It's why I talk about it from to time. I want folks to know the perspective that I am bringing to the challenges in the job that I face, and it also requires me to try to hold myself to the standards that Christians hold themselves out for."
It's not an easy task. From North Korea to Iran and everything in between, he's the key man. But Pompeo, who loves Revolutionary War history, is determined to forge ahead in both the diplomatic and spiritual battlefields ahead.