On Monday, May 12, 2014, the Pennsylvania Pastors Network helped local Lancaster County pastors host a candidate forum for the two Republicans running for the 36th Senatorial District seat in Pennsylvania – Representative Ryan Aument and Representative Gordon Denlinger. The purpose of this event was to critique these candidates, not merely in light of their position on various political issues, but more so to evaluate how their faith in God impacts their life as well as their role in office. Our nation needs men and women whose faith in God transcends the political correctness of “separation of church and state”; who will be a Voice for Biblical truth regardless of the pressures around them.
After an hour with each candidate, it was clear that the voters options for this seat were not a “lesser of two evils” as is the case for so many of our races today, but as one pastor said, perhaps a “greater of two goods.” It was an honor to meet these men whose testimonies indicated that their lives have been touched and transformed by the love of God. They both confirmed that they are unashamed of the Good News of Jesus Christ and are committed to bringing a Voice for Biblical Truth to Harrisburg. While there were clear and compelling differences, the similarities were greater.
Nevertheless, there was one area of great distinction between these two candidates. One of the easiest ways to assess a candidate’s commitment to Biblical principles is by examining their campaigning tactics. In an effort to win an election and draw a clear contrast between themselves and their opponent, candidates must choose whether or not they will succumb to the temptation to compromise their integrity and run a “negative campaign.” The temptation to exaggerate facts and use misleading information against opponents is a breach of integrity, though it is a common practice in politics. We hope that both candidates will resist this temptation and repent where such tactics have been used.
“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36
We hope and pray that, regardless of the outcome of this election, these two men will continue to be pillars in our state wherever God calls them. Our hope at the Pennsylvania Pastors Network is that this event will serve as a catalyst for other pastors around the state, and nation, to initiate similar events between now and the general election this fall. Scripture is clear –
“When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when a wicked man rules, the people mourn.” Proverbs 29:2
Our nation needs Godly leaders, but Godly leaders start with righteous candidates. If you are a pastor, and would like the Pennsylvania Pastors Network to help you plan a candidate forum in your area, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join with us as we seek to stand with those who will be a Voice for Biblical Truth in our nation.
I encourage you to read this article written by one of the pastors who was present at the event that accurately sums up the sense of the pastors. Our nation needs leaders who will demonstrate genuine faith – in our churches and in our government.