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Pushing For Pastors To Run For Politics

by | Mon, Mar 4 2024

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A Christian conservative political activist has been trying for decades to mobilise pastors and church leaders to run for public office. David Lane of the American Renewal Project (ARP) says Christians must engage politically to prevent the further imposition of secularism in the public square.

He told The Christian Post it was “silly” to say Christians should shy away from politics because it is too worldly, or because Jesus was not a politician. He explained that just allows the other side to pass what he calls “their godless values,” into law. Mr. Lane believes that is what has happened to America over the last century.

“If we’re going save the country for our kids and their kids, we’re going to have to fight. Somebody’s values are going to reign supreme,” he adds, arguing that Scripture does not support the idea of Christians retreating from the political process.

He founded ARP in 2005 and said that what his organisation has accomplished since then has been done with about A$75 million, fewer than 10 people and minimal press coverage. “I’ve never done a press conference. In fact, up until about five years ago or so, you couldn’t find me with a flashlight,” he revealed.

Mr. Lane, who is in his late 60s, said the model of his organisation is “trying to push spiritual leaders into the public square based upon Jesus’s Kingdom assignment from Matthew 16:18 when He said to Peter: Upon this rock, I will build my ekklesia (church) and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

He noted how the Greek word ekklesia was a secular term. Among its definitions included the political assembly of citizens in ancient Greek city-states. “Everybody in the room knew what He was talking about. Somehow over the last century, American Christendom has moved inside the building. We have Christian publishing, radio, television, and no footprint in the culture.”

Mr. Lane also worries many churches have been deceived regarding the implications of the so-called separation between church and state in the US. “That’s not what Jesus’s Kingdom assignment was for you and me. We were to be involved in the rough-and-tumble of the public square, and that’s what we’re up to,” he explained.

ARP’s efforts have proven especially successful in North Carolina, which Mr. Lane noted is one of the six battleground states that will determine the next presidential election, along with Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan. Fifty North Carolina pastors and spiritual leaders ran for local office in the 2022 mid-term elections. Thirteen of them were elected.

ARP also tries to motivate American Christians to register to vote and then turn out at the polling booths. It’s estimated that 25 million ‘registered’ Evangelicals did not vote in the 2012 presidential election. A recent poll found more than 4.5 million Republican voters in several battleground states are disengaged from the political process. They could swing the result of this year’s presidential election especially when the disengaged could include tens of millions of Evangelical Christians. “I think that if Evangelicals move, we win big,” Mr. Lane predicted.