I’m an evangelist by training and calling. That surprises a lot of people who’ve only known me through my political activities, but right out of seminary, I started traveling as an itinerate evangelist, doing crusades and eventually conducted over 500 in towns and cities across the US and around the globe, conducting crusades on four continents. I was selected by my peers in evangelism to serve as the President of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists twice. My heart has always beat for souls.
The churches I pastored all won recognition for evangelism. The church where I served for twelve years and established a national profile as a political activist pastor, baptized over 2000 people including one elected official who now serves as a member of the US Congress.
So how, you ask, did I become so involved in speaking out on the great political issues of our time? Easy, I bumped into spiritual opposition in the civil arena while I was busy trying to reach people for Christ. I had a choice…ignore a moral evil or confront the evil in the civil arena of a local high school, governed by elected School Board Members from our community. Within two years the entire direction of that school had changed as we elected four members to serve on the School Board. Additionally, we placed three of our members on the City Council, impacting the direction of the city for the better. Eventually three members served in the Texas House of Representatives and one is now a Congressman serving in DC.
Much has been communicated about the stands that I have taken in the public arena and their outcomes. There have been two major TV documentaries, one National Public Radio series and several books, including my own, Enough is Enough, released in 1996 and rewritten and updated in 2008, covering what happened as a result of my addressing an illicit high school assembly in 1992. That single event changed the trajectory of my life and has resulted in a much broader view of ministry, but the motivation has never changed…revival in our time and winning souls to Christ.
Over the next few entries to this blog, I intend to give you a reasoned and scriptural defense of why the Church must engage in politics and influence public policy. More to come. Next issue: What to Expect When Liberalism Reigns.