If mobilized, Pentecostals and charismatics can make a big difference.
Edmund Burke’s statement in the 1700s that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” is more true today than when Burke penned those words. Though Christians throughout history have stood for righteousness, the church is largely passive when it comes to involvement in the broader community.
Nowhere is this more true than among so-called Spirit-filled Christians. In fact, most early Pentecostals were pacifists during World War I. Many are politically passive today as well.
Thankfully change is on the horizon. Men such as Bishop Keith Butler of Detroit, who faces a tough primary battle for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on August 8, are getting involved in the political scene.
I am certain Butler will be not just a good politician but also a champion for all we consider right. So I’m strongly supporting him by endorsing his candidacy, traveling to Michigan to help him get votes and phoning Christian leaders to raise money for his campaign.
Most leaders have said they’ve never given to a political campaign. But many have contributed to Butler’s because they see how important it is to get “one of our own” elected to help turn the tide of ungodliness in our country.
Even though Spirit-filled evangelical Christians are a minority in this country, we are a big enough group that we can make a difference in the result of elections—if we will only get involved.
Political leaders are beginning to recognize our power. That’s why Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is considering running for president, approached us for the interview that appears in this issue. Brownback, who testifies to having strong Christian beliefs, recognizes that, if mobilized, the 20 million Pentecostals and charismatics in this country can make a big difference.
But the fact is many of us don’t exert our influence by speaking up, getting involved politically and going out to vote. A 2006 survey found that 89 percent of evangelical Christians have registered to vote, but history proves that a much smaller percentage actually show up at the polls during elections.
In a democracy, the laws are made by the majority. If we let the “other side” constitute the majority, how can we complain when they pass laws that we believe are wrong?
Clearly, much of the battle is spiritual and must be fought in the spiritual realm. I admire men such as Lou Engle and others who are praying and waging war in the heavens for change in our country. We are beginning to see small shifts.
To me, the facts that Butler is running for Senate, Brownback is reaching out to the charismatic community for support and Ken Canfield, who founded the National Center for Fathering, is stepping up to run for governor of Kansas are all hopeful signs—as is Katherine Harris’ running for U.S. Senate in Florida.
It’s not too late for the Pentecostal-charismatic community to get behind these and other righteous candidates. I urge you to:
A few votes can make a difference. In 2000, only 537 votes in Florida determined the result of the presidential election.
I believe we must get the millions of passive Christian voters involved to shift the momentum in this country, both through prayer and intercession and by massive voter registration and participation in the political process. What do you think? Go to our Web site to express your opinion or write a letter to the editor.
Stephen Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. To read an extended version of this column, log on at www.charismamag.com/strang.