A Step Down

David Lane, an evangelical Christian leader is calling for pastors to run for political offices. Founder of the American Renewal Project, Lane thinks getting more Christians into politics can “save America.” He goes on to say, “The Constitution says the state is to keep out of the church, it doesn’t say the church is to keep out of the state…It’s part of a spiritual battle. If we are going to survive as a nation, we have to have a spiritual resurrection.”
His words are music to the ears of Mike Huckabee and Pat Robertson, ministers who felt God called them into the political arena, and Lane’s logic is compelling. There has been a rise in the assaults on religious freedom, and getting more involved in the political process might offer some relief.
Irish statesman Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” This echoes the Scriptures’ counsel, “Like a trampled spring or a polluted well is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked,” Proverbs 25:26. When good people fail to act, we become defiled with the rest of society by our inaction. So I firmly believe God calls Christians to get politically involved when we witness the encroachments on religious liberty, the ongoing threats to the unborn, and the attempts to redefine marriage that we have.
Lane continues, “Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican Party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country.” But I would add that politics is not going to save America either.
Billy Graham has commented, “The central issues of our time aren’t economic or political or social, as important as these are, the central issues of our time are moral and spiritual in nature.” America’s problems are primarily spiritual not political. Our problems are heart problems, a heart that no longer believes and trusts God’s wisdom to govern our daily affairs and direct our nation. You cannot politically restore a Judeo-Christian mindset to a culture that rejects God’s wisdom and/or questions His existence.
Pastors have a calling and are already serving at the heart level of the problem. While I agree we need godly men and women involved in the political process, I am not sure it is wise to advise pastors to forsake their calling to run for public office.
Years ago I was privileged to hear Dr. W. A. Criswell address the Florida Baptist Convention. Dr. Criswell was the pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, at the time. I remember him saying that if he was offered the opportunity to be the President of the United States and he resigned his pastorate to do so, he would be taking a step down. I do not think pastors should take a step down.


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