Should Pastors Run for Political Office? – Bethany Blankley

In his 1958 book, Stride Toward Freedom, Martin Luther King, Jr. argued that pastors must play a critical role in politics. While pastoring the Montgomery Alabama Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, he wrote,

“The important thing is for every minister to dedicate himself to the Christian ideal of brotherhood, and be sure he is doing something positive to implement it.

“He must never allow the theory that it is better to remain quiet and help the cause to become a rationalization for doing nothing. Many ministers can do much more than they are doing and still hold their congregations.”

Similarly, in January, 2015, David Lane, the founding director of the American Renewal Project organized a movement to encourage 100,000 pastors, their friends, family members, and congregants to consider becoming more involved in their communities, and in particular, to consider running for political office.

One of his primary goals was to equip 1,000 pastors to run for office in 2016– either for city council, school board, county commissioner, mayor, or state legislator. But, pastors, after learning about the process from attending the American Renewal Project’s Issachar Training events, began encouraging their congregants, friends, and family members to run for office.

Lane estimates that “by simple arithmetic, if the Lord called 1,000 pastors to run in 2016 and if they averaged 300 volunteers per campaign, then that would mean 300,000 ground-level Evangelicals working within their local precincts. When my own pastor, Rob McCoy, ran for office, he saw 625 volunteers join in his campaign. A similar grassroots, Evangelical movement—from coast-to-coast—would change America for good.”

“No one I know is under the illusion that politicians are going to save America,” he repeatedly says. But, because “virtue is a key component of freedom,” it is necessary for “spiritual men and women … to bring wisdom and righteousness to every area of society.”

Naysayers may criticize Lane and others for attempting to “create a theocracy.” But it’s important to recognize that a theocracy, and whatever that supposedly means, isn’t even realistic. And, genuine Christians recognize that a “theocracy” is not even remotely close to the purpose of Christianity.

More importantly — it is because of Christians — that America is not a “theocracy.”

(The Puritans tried, but failed quite miserably, evidencing that most Christians cannot agree on what theological interpretation should govern, if it should govern at all.)

What most may not realize and take for granted is that pastors– more than anyone else–are best equipped to meet and suggest solutions for societal problems.

Why? Because they are already on the front lines of every societal problem– from beginning to end of life. Pastors are the ones teaching about healthy marriages, relationships, and family development– officiating marriages and blessing births. They are already supervising the oversight of educational initiatives, Christian schools, homeschool and community activities, acutely aware of children’s needs. They’re pro-life beyond protests– they adopt and are foster parents.

Pastors are already counseling grieving, hurt, and broken people. They speak at funerals and spend time with prisoners– even on death row. They, better than anyone else, know firsthand the needs, struggles, and dreams of their congregants and neighbors– average Americans who struggle and celebrate every stage of life.

Also taken for granted, and not well known, is the reality that pastors and their wives are involved in perhaps the most stressful and discouraging profession of all. The majority lead small churches, struggle financially, receive death threats, and in no way compare to the mega-churches advertised on television. According to nearly 20 years of research compiled by several ministry research organizations, more than 70 percent of pastors– more than doctors, lawyers, or politicians– regularly consider leaving their profession because of stress and burn out. And 35-40 percent of pastors do give up within five years.

This initiative, even pastors who don’t run for office, encourages and reminds Christians of their rich heritage as Americans. Encouraging pastors to become involved in politics neither seeks to “reshape the face of America into a Christian evangelical one,” nor to create “Christian nationalism.”

Instead, the goal is to restore America’s Judeo-Christian heritage, a heritage that never previously existed in any government in history. purposed to define and safeguard individual liberties and freedoms. And– a call for pastors to return to their historical roots. Indeed, the Revolutionary War would not have happened were it not for pastors teaching and encouraging their neighbors.

The British recognized the most powerful force in the colonies was pastors, whom they called the Black Robe Regiment. Famed political philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, also pointed out that Christianity, more than anything else, was instrumental in defining American exceptionalism.

If pastors can encourage people to live in such a way that embraces fathers and intact families, prevents teen pregnancy, alleviates poverty, drug abuse and crime, squashes racism, and condones materialism and greed– wouldn’t that “make America great again?”

If a better alternative to the status quo exists for individuals, families, and societies, why not be open to it, even embrace it?

Bethany Blankley is the Senior Editor for Constitution.com. Her syndicated show, “America’s Betrayal,” can be heard on Conservative Review Radio, WAAR Radio, and other talk radio stations. Her columns have been published by The Washington Times, Newsday, Western Journalism, Townhall, The Christian Post, Charisma News, and others. She was a former communications strategist to four Senators, one Congressman, one New York governor, and several nonprofits. She holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in Theology and Political Science. Follow her: @bethanyblankley & http://www.bethanyblankley.com.

Pastor Adeboye reacts to alleged N6billion paid to pastors by PDP

Pastor E.A Adeboye has reacted to the allegations made by Rivers state governor Rotimi Amaechi yesterday, claiming that some pastors were paid about N6 billion by the PDP to discredit the APC and its presidential candidate, Buhari. Above is a message he shared on Facebook a few hours ago…

Georgia’s New ‘Guns Everywhere’ Law Allows Guns in Church with Pastor’s Okay

To wear your six-shooter to church in Georgia, now all you need is the preacher’s okay. The state’s unique “guns everywhere” law also applies to bars and bartenders.
 
You can wear your sidearm in church as long as you have a license to carry — and permission of the pastor.
 
“The law allows religious leaders to ‘opt in’ to permit guns on their worship premises,” reports Claire E. Healey at Townhall.  “Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed the bill into law in April.“
 
“Calling it ‘a great day to reaffirm our liberties,’ Deal said the law allows residents to protect their families,” reported CNN, “and expands the list of places where they can legally carry firearms while allowing certain property owners, namely churches and bars, to make judgments on whether they want worshippers and patrons carrying guns.”
 
Governor Deal says the legislation protects citizens. “License holders have passed background checks and are in good standing with the law,” he said at a public picnic. “This law gives added protections to those who have played by the rules– and who can protect themselves and others from those who don’t play by the rules.”
 
However, Georgia Episcopalians aren’t writing guns into their liturgy.
 
“Robert Wright, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta,” reports Josh Sanburn at Time magazine, “sent an open letter last week to the 56,000 members that make up the dozens of Episcopal churches throughout north Georgia with a simple message: ‘Don’t bring guns into the house of God.’”
 
“Jesus did not preach a gospel of self-protection, a gospel of live by the sword, die by the sword,” Wright says. “Quite the opposite.” Wright says that while he understands the need for Second Amendment protections for those wanting firearms for self-defense or for sport he sees the very idea of guns in church as blasphemous.
 
“Weapons in a place of sanctuary seem to me to be inconsistent with a God of love,” he says. “The prince of peace isn’t spelled P-I-E-C-E. It’s P-E-A-C-E.”
 
In Columbus, Ga., “Faith Worship Center International pastor Norman Hardman is one of the church leaders that opted to ban the weapons,” reports Brownie Marie at Christianity Today. 
 
“I think that if we let people go loosely, we’ll have a vigilante spirit,” he told TV station WTVM. “I’m glad that at this point, we can put up a sign that says, ‘You can’t bring this in here.’‘
 
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta issued guidelines last week for its parishes, which encompass 69 counties throughout Georgia. “The last thing we need is more firearms in public places, especially in those places frequented by the children and the vulnerable,” advised Archbishop Wilton Gregory.
 
On the other hand, the Georgia Baptist Convention supports the bill. The convention, made up of 3,600 congregations throughout the state.
 
“We think it’s important that churches be able to make their own decisions,” said Mike Griffin, a pastor and lobbyist for the convention.
 
“But Episcopal Bishop Wright says he believes most people of faith in Georgia don’t want guns on church property,” reported Time. “And it’s not just Christians. He says he’s heard from Muslim and Jewish leaders as well who oppose it, citing about 200 other religious leaders who have publicly spoken out against the bill.
 
“I don’t know how you reconcile Jesus who says, ‘Love they neighbor, love thy enemy,’ and at the same time being armed to the teeth,” Wright said.

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