INDIANAPOLIS (BP)–The president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission told convention messengers June 15 that Christians need to be involved in the nation’s electoral process.
During the SBC entity’s report to the annual convention on the first of their two-day meeting in Indianapolis, Richard Land also announced the ERLC was partnering with Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council to present three satellite-borne simulcast programs for churches featuring notable evangelical leaders that will be addressing issues relevant to this year’s election.
The ERLC serves Southern Baptist families and others by looking to Scripture in addressing moral, ethical and public policy issues. Land, a nationally known radio host, is heard on nearly 600 radio stations across the U.S. through his For Faith & Family broadcast ministry.
He is also host of Richard Land Live!, a three-hour, caller-driven, Saturday afternoon talk show that airs each Saturday. The Salem Radio Network nationally syndicates the program.
“It is a disgrace that 33 percent of the members of an average Southern Baptist church are not even registered to vote,” Land said in his report. “It is every Christian’s responsibility to be registered to vote, to be an informed voter, and to vote their values, beliefs and convictions.”
Explaining that the ERLC is placing a significant emphasis on helping Americans understand the importance of taking their faith into their polling places this November through its iVoteValues.com initiative, Land said, “It is absolutely essential that Christians be involved in the public policy process.
“Jesus commanded us to be the salt of the earth and light of the world, but in order to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we have to go out into society,” he continued.
A key element of being a good citizen is remembering that God ordained civil government, Land said. “We are to be obedient for conscience’s sake in a participatory republic like the United States. That means we get involved in the public policy process.
“It is not enough to say that we look forward to a day when decisions are made in our homes, in our states, in our churches, and in our nation’s capitol that are totally in accordance with biblical principles. We have not only to work for that, to pray for that, and to seek God’s blessings for that, we have to help people, confront people and equip people and give them an opportunity to do it,” Land said.
He said the culture faces issues of titanic importance that demand that Christians respond.
“This is a life-changing election cycle in the history of the United States. We have converging visions and they are contrasting visions for America’s future. We need to make our voice known about which direction we want God to lead our country” Land said.
“Now is the time we must make our voice heard in the body politic in the United States,” he said. “How we vote today will make a difference tomorrow and for years to come.”
The SBC entity will be partnering with Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council to present three live satellite broadcasts for churches, Land announced. The programs will deal with issues that threaten to lead the United States into chaos, he continued.
The first broadcast will be July 11 and will originate from Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn. Bellevue pastor Adrian Rogers, Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, and Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship will join Land on the program that will focus on the biblical mandate for the family, he said. The simulcast, “Battle for Marriage — Imminent Vote,” will be available for every church to air in their churches live, Land said.
“Make no mistake about it,” Land insisted. Voters will decide this November whether the United States is going to reaffirm the family as God has defined it in the Book of Genesis with marriage as one man and one woman, or whether any combination of partners will comprise a so-called marriage, he explained.
“Same-sex marriage will become the law of the land; it will be forced upon us unless the people of the United States stand up and say no,” Land shouted. “And the way you spell no is a federal marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
Another satellite broadcast will be aired from the campus of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., Aug. 29. The program will focus on reconnecting God and government, Land said, noting “the separation of church and state was never intended to be the disconnection of God and His principles from government and public policy.”
Land said the final simulcast event will be aired Oct. 24 and will focus on the fact that every vote counts. He said more information on the satellite programs is available online at www.ivotevalues.com or by phone at 800-475-9127.
Along with Land, Colson and Dobson, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; SBTS President Al Mohler; Wellington Boone, founder and bishop of The Father’s House in Atlanta; Janet Parshall, host of the Janet Parshall’s America radio program; and Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, are scheduled to appear in the series. There is a charge to be part of the simulcast event.
“Voting is an act of stewardship,” he said. “Millions of Americans have put their life on the line in defense of our freedom,” he said. When Americans fail to exercise the liberty that has been purchased with a price, “We disregard and dishonor their memory and their sacrifice. We have to use that freedom or ultimately, we will lose our freedom,” he said.
“We must stand united.”