Friday, October 17, 2014
Religion • GUEST DAVID LANE on Pastors Running For Political Office
This is a hotly debated topic that deserves attention since it is now discussed so widely. Especially as Obama (the most anti-God, anti-Christian, anti-church, anti-Morality president in the history of America), seeks to keep all vestige of Christianity out of view. He seeks to prohibit the name of Jesus from being spoken in public, even by military chaplains conducting chapel services or funerals. Now the big question: Should Pastors run for political office? GUEST DAVID LANE of American Renewal Project, brings us the needed perspective on an important issue, an issue that quickly made America great after its founding, with the very thing that made America great now under vicious attack. This column is published with full permission of the writer.
American Renewal Project News
Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is approach to any people. Proverbs 14:34
“Politics is not something to avoid, abolish, or destroy. It is a condition like the atmosphere we breathe. It is something to live with, to influence if we wish, and to control if we can. We must master its ways or we shall be mastered by those who do.” Raymond Moley, author of President Franklin Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address
Thirteen thousand Evangelical pastors have participated in the American Renewal Project’s pastors events since 2005. We have apparently begun, Providentially, a movement to oppose the false god of Secularism established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1963. Lone dissenter Justice Potter Stewart prophesied, “It [the decision to remove the Bible and prayer from public schools] led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.”
Secularism glorifies sensuality, self-indulgence and promiscuity, saturating and drenching the culture with explicit sex, graphic violence and obscene language. It’s fair to characterize the revolution of the last half-century as the repudiation of Christianity and America’s Christian Founders.
Take a peek at Secularism’s offspring: fatherless homes, teen pregnancy, school shootings, epidemic of drugs and crime. Secularism threatens America’s freedom, on the grounds that virtue and righteousness are required for sustainable freedom. Thankfully, “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”*
The Founders worldview was based upon moral absolutes, founded in biblical truth. God is no man’s debtor, He declares, “I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.”** Christianity’s “co-existence” with Secularism is neither desirable nor possible, is there any wonder that we have frittered away a Christian culture?
2015—10TH ANNIVERSARY! of the American Renewal Project—is exactly the right time for pastors to begin running for city council, county commissioner, school board, and congress. This writer intends to ask the 13,000 Evangelical pastors, who have participated in the pastors and pews events since 2005, to begin praying to discern if God is calling them to run for political office in 2016. Three to four hundred pastors winning political races in 2016 would ignite a spiritual movement in America not seen since America’s Founding.
Does a pastor running for office strike you as bizarre? It was not so in Early America. Take John Leland, honored yearly by the Southern Baptist Convention’s John Leland Religious Liberty Award.“Leland also marshaled Baptist opposition to slavery in Virginia. After returning to New England in 1791, he became the outstanding proponent of religious freedom as preacher, lecturer, and publicist and served two terms in the Massachusetts legislature…” ***
With the retreat of Evangelical pastors from the public square, it is no accident that America’s city halls and statehouses are spiritually empty. You can take this to the bank—in God’s economy—“Righteousness exalts a nation”.**** The risk to America is that God not only keeps His promises, but that He also fulfills His threats! “She did not consider her destiny; therefore her collapse was awesome…” Lamentations 1:9
The battle America faces is reminiscent of the conservatism of other revolutions. “In the sixteenth century, Lutheran pastors and princes sought to restore the authority of the Bible and go back beyond papal and imperial power to early Christianity. The sixteenth-century English Reformation, by contrast, was at first primarily a political movement whose object was the replacement of the papal authority in England by that of the monarch.” *****
The challenge in America is restoring the Bible in the nation as the fixed point by which to judge and order society. Secularism has successfully expunged theology from the public square, forcing Christian morality and debate behind the four walls of the church. “Christian capitulation to secular politics—more the rule than the exception in the modern church—is nothing less than apostasy, a denial of the gospel that announces Jesus as Lord.”******
Wall Street is not going to save America; politicians are not going to save America; if America is to be saved it must begin with a broken and contrite spirit for what we Believers have allowed to happen to America. The spiritual war will not likely be won by the raw recruit, but the battle-scarred veterans of the pulpits, rallying to the front ranks of the onslaught of Secularism.
Will a Gideon or Rahab the Harlot please stand?
American Renewal Project
* William Shakespeare
** 1 Samuel 2:30
*** Nathan O. Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity
**** Proverbs 14:34
***** Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution II
****** Peter J. Leithart, 1 & 2 Kings Commentary