By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH — “Everything that we love the most in this country is at stake: a free economy, freedom to serve God and to promote the Gospel here and around the world, marriage and the family, the sanctity of human life, an America that reflects God’s principles and is the recipient of his blessings and not the subject of his judgments.”
These strong words of warning from the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, have been a part of the message that he and other conservative leaders have been preaching across the state recently in an effort to remind the faithful “Why the Church Should Vote.”
Encouraging believers to be ready to share both the living Word and the written Word in answer to today’s problems, Creech addressed a crowd of more than 300 Sept. 21 at Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh, and challenged them to stop making excuses for not speaking up and instead to get busy praying, preparing to vote, and supporting good candidates.
Joining Creech to round out the evening of voter education and citizen involvement were North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby and Attorney Joe Knott, a teaching leader in Bible Study Fellowship for 23 years.
Newby, an expert in both the U.S. and N.C. constitutions, took the audience back in time to consider why we in America have freedoms and liberties denied to most of the rest of the world.
“What is it about our heritage, our tradition, our roots that causes us to be the land that loves freedom?” he asked.
Pointing to the Reformation and access to the Bible as interconnected events that promoted the truth of man’s creation in the image of God, Newby then took his listeners to Runnymede and the signing of the Magna Carta to lay the historic groundwork for discussion of the ongoing tension between government power and individual freedoms. Citing George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and quoting our early leaders’ official calls for days of prayer and Thanksgiving as well as examining their overall approach to every aspect of government, he quickly and seamlessly built a case for a nation whose Christian roots run both deep and broad.
“Do you get a sense of the humility of our Founders as we (Americans) saw God’s blessing upon us?” he asked. “Scripture says ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,’ and I get a sense that in these early days we understood that,” Newby said. “Scripture warns us, though, that a nation that forgets God will perish.”
Bringing the crowd forward in history to D-Day, when President Franklin Roosevelt led the nation in prayer, asking for God’s help in a mighty endeavor, “a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization…,” he said we have since, sadly, reached a cultural crossroads where our own Smithsonian Institution has tried to deny the nation’s history by rejecting our “In God We Trust” motto and where a federal judge has ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.
Nonetheless, Newby called for prayer — the humble, repenting kind prescribed in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that God promises will bring forgiveness and healing.
“Our sin is complacency; our sin is a lack of diligence,” he said, adding. “There are no long-term political answers; there are only long-term spiritual answers and those are before the throne of Almighty God.”
Echoing Justice Newby’s description of our nation’s founding, Knott said that from the arrival of the Mayflower the country experienced more than 150 years of tremendous Christian heritage even before the Declaration of Independence was penned.
“Today we are facing a political challenge unlike any we have ever experienced because the twin pillars of one campaign rests on the direct violation of two of God’s Ten Commandments,” Knott said.
He said the idea that the so-called “one percent” has too much and that it needs to be redistributed and spread around among those who wish it belonged to them is covetousness, a violation of the 10th commandment.
“We have a political party fanning the flame of covetousness and legitimizing covetousness,” he said. “That is a declaration of independence from God, which is leading people into sin.”
Further, he said that while one of the very reasons God ordained government is to protect the people from crimes such as theft, we are now witnessing a politician saying he will use the force of government to take from one group of people and to give to others in exchange for their votes.
“We have government marketing itself as the source of the theft for the benefit of gaining votes,” Knott said, citing the Eighth Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal.”
The final speaker of the evening, Rev. Creech told the crowd that this approach is nothing short of socialism.
“The current leadership has been saying that the redistribution of wealth among us will equalize the playing field for everyone. I want to tell you that there is a considerable difference in treating all men equally and trying to make everything equal for all men,” he said. “The latter is socialism, which is nothing less than the thief of freedom, taking away the right of self-determination and replacing it with mediocrity and a stifling sameness.”
He said the socialist trend is also infringing on religious liberties as Christians are increasingly being denied their rights to pray in Jesus’ name and forced to fund practices like abortion against their deeply held convictions.
“In other words, the government is saying, ‘Worship God if you wish – just keep your religion out of the public arena. … Your obedience to God is secondary, because, according to this new approach to governing, it is the state that grants you your rights instead of the state being required to protect your God-given rights,” Dr. Creech lamented.
He said God’s people can make a difference and change the direction of our nation if they are willing to pay the price of personal involvement.
Dr. Creech issued the same challenge to a crowd in Burnsville at the ‘Mayland Citizens for Faith and Family Values’ “Evening of Salt and Light: Christian Citizenship Conference” on Sept. 30. K. Allan Blume, editor of the Biblical Recorder, and Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of N.C. Values Coalition, were featured at the event, which focused on “How to Be a Christian and Survive an Election Season.”
Fitzgerald said Thursday that her organization is working with a grassroots effort to encourage Christians to get registered to vote and to vote their biblical principles. She said although turnout among believers was much too low in 2008, she expects more of the faithful to head to the polls this November, in part because of what happened last May.
“I think Christians in North Carolina saw what could happen when they worked together on an issue that they cared deeply about, and that was the Marriage Amendment,” she said. “Since then, we’ve seen more enthusiasm in the Christian community about making sure that the people elected to serve us in public office are aware of and voting for the issues that Christians care about.”