Radio Broadcast 14 August 2005 – Talking Points Series - Is Freedom Christian Program – Participating In Government CW – For the last few years we have seen an increase in Christian interest and participation in the political process. This began to happen after more than a decade where a great many followers of Christ seemed to think doing more than going to the polls on election day was somehow unchristian. Ford – Yes, the waking up of conservative Christianity has been very unsettling, especially to the political left. Theo-phobic politicians like Tom Harkin have remarked about Christian broadcasters calling them “a sort of our home-grown Taliban.” He went on to say “They have a direct line to God. And if you don't tune into their line, you're obviously on Satan's line." He sees the political activism of people who believe the Bible as representing a threat to the liberal, and ungodly agenda. CW - Radio broadcasters most often reflect the dominant opinion. I am glad Harkin and others might suspect us of having a direct line to God. Ford – Well, if you are not on God’s line you are on Satan’s. There is no middle ground with God. A substantial number of Americans, over 70 percent, believe in an “all powerful, all knowing” God who rules the universe. While many of these do not have beliefs about God consistent with the Bible a great many do prefer going to churches whose pulpits are built on the Rock of Ages. CW – During this broadcast we want to talk about how far Christians should go in participating in government. Ford – And I think it is good that we declare right up front that it is biblical that Christians be fully participatory in this American government, which includes not only taking political stands but also running for elected office. One of the reasons I supported Alan Poole and Corey Allen in the last election was that both of these declared their Christian faith to be central to their desire for public service. We need Christians in places of leadership throughout our society. Samuel Adams said: "Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt." We have no hope of influencing people in our society to be moral and upright without the leadership that is moral and upright in all areas, not just religious ones. CW – The last Pope forbade priests from running for elective office. How does that square with what you have just said? Ford – The Roman Catholic religion also declares everybody else to be separate from the true faith and anathema. The truth is Rome has been more and more separated from true Christianity since the fourth century. The history of Rome’s persecutions of Christians, of which the Inquisition was a part, demonstrates this. Last year they had some of their people come out with a declaration that the Inquisition was not really so bad. I suppose if you were not the people who were having breasts torn off, genitals mutilated, and being thrust through with hot irons you might not consider it bad. But true Christianity cannot afford to forget Rome’s history, neither should it give relevance to the pontiff’s opinions. CW – But the issue of having another Catholic on the Supreme Court was raised with this last nomination. In their argument a Catholic Supreme Court Justice might be influenced by the pronouncements of the Pope. Ford – When democratic candidate John F. Kennedy ran for President, conservatives voiced the same concern, but were told by the liberals that we had become too advanced as a nation to respond to such arguments. Now when the conservative nominee is a Catholic the shoe is on the other foot so to speak. What is not readily apparent is that some of the people in Congress who have raised this issue are themselves Catholic. If they are concerned about the Pope’s influence let them first resign from their own offices. CW – But isn’t the issue of whether another Catholic should be on the Supreme Court really tied to the argument being raised that conservative Christians should stay out of politics? Ford - You have a point. There are some people who would deny conservative Christians not only the right to run for elective office but also the right to even vote based on our faith in God, our belief that we should live by the teachings of the Scripture, and a declaration that there is a higher power that rules in the affairs of men. Christians who are acquainted with the true history of America, and most of these are middle aged or older, know that this nation was founded as a Christian nation and that it can only continue to exist as the land of the free and home of the brave if that higher power is acknowledged and honored in the land. There are some people who want to change this land, even people now currently serving on the Supreme Court. Frankly I am more concerned with Supreme Court Justices who cite foreign law in rendering opinions than with the religion of some of the Court’s members. CW – But you want religion to influence government. Ford – I want the Christian religion to influence government. The clause which says Congress shall make no laws regarding an establishment of religion was to keep government from establishing a State religion, it was to keep government out of religion, it was not to keep religion out of government. Thomas Jefferson is quoted out of context to try to promote the separation of church and state we have in effect today. The separation liberals want in America is founded in communism, not the utterances of our founding fathers. John Adams in his Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, made in 1765 eleven years before the Declaration of Independence said: "Let the pulpit resound with the doctrine and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear of the dignity of man's nature, and the noble rank he holds among the works of God... Let it be known that British liberties are not the grants of princes and parliaments." This declaration by one of our founding fathers and the second President of the United States are not the words of a person who thought Christianity had no place in government but rather that of a man who knew that “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain.” Psalm 127:1 CW – I think you are right. Islam did not establish America. Buddhism did not establish America. Hinduism and Confuscianism did not establish America. It was Christians and the God of Christianity that made America. Ford – One of the questions not addressed when we talk about why liberals want to disenfranchise Christians is what is their real motivation in doing so, what are they so afraid of? CW – What do you believe that is? Ford – Christianity stands as the restricting force upon the establishment of their power and the taking over of the freedoms we enjoy. It not only keeps them from that agenda and hinders the establishment of a New World Order, it restricts them from being able to freely practice their ungodly behaviors and lusts, as well as impose their perversions upon others. It is not just the likes of the sodomite Barney Franks who has something to fear from Christians taking back America, and restoring sanity and morality to our institutions and laws. A great many of those in Congress and in the judiciaries across the nation have cause for concern should Christians become a majority. So many who come to Congress in order to promote their ungodly agendas and self serving purposes would find themselves in trouble should practicing Christians get in control. These people who, whether elected or appointed to public service claim they should not be criticized because they are patriotic Americans too. I have but to remind you of what George Washington said in his Farewell Address in 1796 to put the lie to that. He said: "Of all the dispositions and habits which least to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indespensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness." In other words if you are against religion or morality you have no right to call yourself a patriot. CW – Okay, so now give us some biblical evidence that Christians should participate in government. Ford – First of all let’s take a couple of New Testament biblical/historical evidences. We can take look first at all at the example of Paul who, unlike most Jews in the Middle East was a Roman citizen. He used the fact he was fully a citizen of Rome to insist on his rights under that citizenship. This gave him opportunity to use his rights to preach the Gospel to people in authority who might have only heard about the Gospel, not heard the Gospel. Our second New Testament example is the performance of the Sanhedrin. Who used their position and the rights granted them by Rome to do what they could to preserve the Jewish people. Granted the Sanhedrin’s leaders used this privilege wrongly and poorly, but they did work within the situation they found themselves. Then we can go to the Old Testament, and look at examples of participation within governments also not within the State of Israel. Daniel and the three Hebrew children who were placed into the fiery furnace all became officials in Babylon. Nehemiah who was responsible for the rebuilding of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem was a trusted official within the Medo Persian empire. As the kings cup bearer he literally had the king’s life in his hands. Joseph became second only to pharaoh in Egypt. Esther and Mordecai served king Ahasuerus, and I could go on with others. The biblical/historical record was that followers of the true God served within governments with God’s blessing upon their service. Then we come to the direct written word of God. It is recorded that Jesus said “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,” and people have used that to say we should pay taxes. But when you have a participatory democracy rendering those things also includes participating in the democracy. In 1 Peter 2: 13-16 we read: Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men As free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. People read this passage and see only submission. They are willing to take the low road and submit even to that which is ungodly rather than realize that by text and example Scripture also teaches that when the ordinances of men contradict the Word of God, we ought rather to serve God than men. In a participatory government we not only have the right to be the people who write the ordinances and enforce them we have the duty to do so, to be the governors if you will. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ said “occupy till I come.” That means you take the ground and hold it. CW – That is a very interesting view and one I think many of our listeners have never heard before. Ford – Our pulpits have been silent about a great many issues to which they should speak while liberal pulpits are noisy about that which they know not. CW – Okay, give me an example of a place conservative pulpits have been silent and liberal pulpits noisy. Ford – I can give you an example in the same area. During my lifetime mainline and fundamental Christians in the united States have been staunch supporters of Israel. They realized God meant it when He said of the Jews “those that bless you I will bless and those that curse you I will curse.” When the President came up with the Roadmap for Peace, conservative Christians were silent in condemning it. Anyone who knows anything of Israel’s dealings with the Palestinian people know that never has any proposition of concession ever succeeded. Forcing the Jews to give up territory won in war is shortsighted purely from the standpoint of logic. Arab perfidy or faithlessness to every promise they have ever made is proof of this. From a biblical standpoint it is forcing the Jews to also give up land that has been promised them by God. The silence of our pulpits and God’s people has allowed much suffering and sorrow to be inflicted in recent days. Will God hold us accountable for this? I fear so. CW – The giving up of the territory has also put Israel’s security in jeopardy. Now give me the liberal side of your example. Ford – The pratings of liberal pulpits always blame Israel for everything. Most of them try to claim Replacement Theology in some form or other to justify their beliefs. They want to replace Israel as the inheritors of the promises of God to them. They are going so far as to promote divestment from investment in Israel. The program will hurt American businesses as well as the Jewish people. Divestment was shortsighted when it was used against South Africa as a tool for inflicting economic warfare. It ruined the South African chromium business, gave the people an old communist terrorist as their leader and has caused us to have plastic grills and bumpers instead of good chrome plated ones on our cars ever since. But you can trust liberals to never learn the lessons of history and when they go contrary to their purposes they will attempt to rewrite the story to make themselves look good. CW – That is interesting give me another. Ford – How about an example of government encouragement of liberal Christianity and persecution of conservative Christianity? CW – Okay, that sounds good. Ford – When liberal candidates go to liberal churches and speak that is okay. It as a common practice for liberal candidates to make the rounds at liberal and political activist churches. But when conservative churches have conservative candidates, or speakers who have a conservative but politically sensitive message, they are often threatened or investigated by the IRS. The government through the IRS has sought to instill a spirit of fear into conservative churches. And, as you have experienced in your own ministry, they have succeeded in making people who should be standing for what is right to retreat from truth. CW – Yes, I have experienced the fruit of compromise in a church that has forgotten how to stand for what is right. Ford – Recently a man named Peter Toon wrote an article called “The Stimulus of Silence.” He argued that Christians have forgotten the value of silence in the sanctuary, meaning they have forgotten how to be still and let God work in them. He did not address the “stimulus of silence” in the pulpits and Christian lives. When we are silent about the things going on that is wrong, we give the world, the flesh, and the devil a stimulus of silence that encourages evil to go forward. This dishonors the cause of Christ. Even early Christians who were already under persecution for their faith, were not so gutless as so many of our church leaders are today. And the early Christians truly had their lives hanging in the balance. CW – The Word of God says that we should cry loud and spare not. What you are saying is that Christian leaders have a duty to preach and teach more than just the plan of salvation. Ford – Doing what is right in regard to our participation in government is not a replacement for the preaching and teaching of the Gospel of salvation. It is part of the living out of the Christian journey toward our home in eternity. This is one part of what it means to live the Christian life, that we should stand for what is just and preserves our liberty to serve God in a wicked and fallen world that loves us not. CW – Yes! We are citizens of heaven journeying toward a land that we have never seen before. It is our Promised Land, just like the Jews were promised a land to be theirs forever. Ford – Right we have dual citizenship. We are citizens of America, and citizens of heaven. This should not scare people whose hearts are set on that which is right and good. There are a lot of people who have dual citizenship in countries of this world. For instance, military people whose children are born in Turkey, have dual citizenship in that country and the United States. When I was living in Turkey my wife became pregnant. We arranged to leave a couple of months early so the baby would not be born with dual citizenship. I had known of one family who had a child born in Turkey, and when the father was assigned back there about seventeen years later, the Turkish government tried to draft the son into the military for the two years of obligatory service all citizens must serve. We left early to avoid such an entanglement. Having dual citizenship in heaven and America should not be seen as a problem for any person because there is no law against the fruits of the Spirit that should be manifested in Christian lives. The service of the believer to God and the service to the Nation will never be in conflict as long as the nation is right, and if it is not right it is our responsibility to cry loud, expose the problem, and bring the country back into the right path it should go. As Titus Brandsma, who died in 1942 at the Dachau concentration camp, Poland, said: "Those who want to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come into conflict with it." – We should never hesitate from doing our duty because it is unwelcomed by the worldly or uncomfortable for ourselves. CW – Well thank you Dr. Ford. You have certainly made it plain that Christians in the United States should be politically active. concluding remarks… IN CONCLUSION I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE YOU THE TOP TEN THINGS I THINK WOULD HAPPEN SHOULD CHRISTIANITY AGAIN TAKE ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: 1.THE ACLU WOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO ANY MORE INTERFERE WITH CHRISTIAN LIBERTY. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS CONTROVERSY WOULD GO AWAY. 2. DISCIPLINE WOULD BE RESTORED TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE TAUGHT. 3. MEMBERS OF CONGRESS WHO ARE INVOLVED IN UNETHICAL OR IMMORAL BEHAVIOR WOULD NOT BE SEATED. 4. JUDGES WOULD BE APPOINTED WHO BELIEVE IN STRICT INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION AND WHO WOULD NOT ATTEMPT TO LEGISLATE FROM THE BENCH. 5. BABIES WOULD NOT BE MURDERED WHILE STILL IN THE WOMB. 6. ISRAEL WOULD HAVE AMERICAN SUPPORT AND THE PRESDENT’S ROADMAP FOR PEACE PLAN WOULD BE ABANDONED. 7. THE U.S. BORDERS WOULD BE SECURED AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STOPPED. 8. AMERICAN RESOURCES WOULD BE TAPPED AND GAS PRICES WOULD DROP RADICALLY, (IF WE WERE BEING CHARGED A FAIR PRICE FOR GAS IT WOULD BE ABOUT THIRTY TO THIRTY-FIVE CENTS PER GALLON) 9. THE U.N. WOULD BE EJECTED FROM NEW YORK. THE BUILDING WOULD BE DEMOLISHED AND THE LAND USED FOR SOMETHING USEFUL. 10. OUR T.V. AND RADIO COMMUNICATIONS WOULD SEE THE PORNOGRAPHY THAT IS CURRENTLY POLLUTING IT REMOVED. I BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN FIND JUSTIFICATION IN THE TEACHINGS OF SCRIPTURE FOR EACH OF THE THINGS IN MY LIST.
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113