Just one week before Super Tuesday 10,000 Baptist participants will gather for a three day event which will include former Vice President Al Gore, the former Presidents mentioned earlier, and Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) and Senator Charles Grassley (Iowa). This is a very obvious political ploy to blur the lines of the faith voting block. Organizers of the event have set forth goals to discuss evangelism, fighting poverty, and reforming the criminal justice system and other “social issues.” Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission publicly denounced the meeting’s motives and overtly political agenda.
My greatest concern for theologically conservative Christians is that they do not miss the fact that American will be making major directional choices in 2008 in terms of both politics and faith. The cry for change in the land today is born out of dissatisfaction with the political status quo, yet in some ways the choices that are being presented as change and progressive action are nothing more than “changing the face” of old arguments. In many cases the same old time choices are simply being dressed up in new clothes. We may actually be in danger of going backwards in the name of “progress.”
The evangelical movement was incensed four years ago when the foundational values of the value of life and family were being overtly challenged. We were mobilized by the fear of radical destruction of western society. It is sometimes easier to unify a group on the basis of fear of a visible enemy than it is to create a positive dream. Christians must remember that David’s statement in Ps 11:3 can be directly applied to our culture today. He wrote, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?”(KJV).
Although America has never been a perfect union, we are in danger of losing the very foundations of our greatness. In the name of change and progress we may dangerously swallow the poisonous doctrines of self destruction. Conservatives and evangelical Christians must address the challenges of the economy, terrorism, and the war without allowing religious liberty, the value of human life, and the protection of the biblical concepts of family to be thrown under the bus.
More any other time in recent history, the nation needs evangelicals to fight for the soul of the nation. We must fight for the nation in three ways: 1.) on our knees in prayer 2.) developing ministries that solve real social problems 3.) voting against political machines which violate our biblically-based values. I am praying more than ever before for the political process in America and that “Super Tuesday” will be a day in which freedom, faith, and foundations win instead of personalities, platforms, and pretense. How about you?
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.