K. Allan Blume
Biblical Recorder, BR Editor
“If we are to save our great nation, Christians must light the light of evangelization and light the light of cultural engagement.” This was the message of Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, in an Independence Day service at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone. Speaking about the spiritual liberty that comes through Christ, Creech encouraged the congregation to take their faith into the schools, the halls of government, the voting booth, the arts, sports, media and science and make Christ known in these areas until He is rightfully Lord of them all.
“Our nation is in peril today because there is a disconnect between the principles of Christianity and the principles of civil government,” Creech said. His passion as director of the Christian Action League (CAL) is to reconnect these principles and encourage the body of Christ to be active in doing the same.
The slogan of CAL is: “The only lasting cure for evil and injustice is Christian Action.”
The organization was formed as a response to the repeal of prohibition. Originally named “The Allied Church League,” it was birthed in 1937 by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) with the intent of forming a statewide interdenominational organization that would address the state’s alcohol policy. In 1958, the organization’s mission was expanded to address other issues of public policy affecting the religious culture of the state. With the change in the charter, the name was changed to the Christian Action League. In addition to the alcohol issue, today CAL addresses issues such as the definition of marriage, gambling, pornography, and abortion, as well as a host of other critical social issues.
CAL is still funded in part with a gift of $10,000 from the BSC annual budget and from gifts from local churches and individual contributors. Conservative evangelical churches from 17 denominations participate in CAL. It is governed by a board of directors and a board of advisors made up of members from across the state.
In addition to educating Christians on the current issues and motivating them to action, one of the most important aspects of the ministry is Creech’s interaction with the North Carolina General Assembly. When asked to describe his job he said, “My job is to proclaim the gospel to those who make our laws and to bring the Christian worldview to bear on the legislation that they consider.”
As an ordained Southern Baptist minister, Creech pastored churches for 20 years. He sees his current role as a continuation of that ministry. “In many respects, I feel like I’m still pastoring. Some legislators refer to me as their pastor. I am able to sit with them in their offices and talk about the Lord as the opportunity arises.”
He says the call to leadership of the CAL in 1999 came as the result of an increasing burden for the moral meltdown taking place in our country. He became so burdened that he began addressing social issues from the pulpit. “I found people in the pew were craving that sort of information.”
Today, Creech speaks to churches across the state about the two great mandates from Christ: the call to fulfill the Great Commission and the call to be salt and light in our world. “You can’t effectively evangelize without seeking to have a cultural impact and you can’t have a lasting cultural impact unless you are seeking to evangelize.”
In his almost 12 years of working with the General Assembly, Creech has worked to build good relationships with the legislators. They see him as trustworthy and often call on his expertise and the research of the CAL staff. “Research is a premium with lawmakers. If there is legislation that we feel is inconsistent with our Christian values, or if it is consistent with our values and we want to help get that legislation passed, I am poised to testify on that issue.”
This story was used by permission of the Biblical Recorder.