A few weeks ago we noted that Jim Garlow had been tapped to head Newt Gingrich’s organization, Renewing American Leadership, where he will focus on getting pastors involved in cultural and social issues:
Much of what Garlow will be focusing on includes re-educating pastors about their moral and ethical responsibility to speak out on cultural issues impacting their flocks and their families. He said too many pastors have strayed from the historical context of when the pulpit was the main communicating point for social issues.
“I think most people realize the Bible has a lot to say about coming to Christ and growing in Christ,” the Wesleyan pastor, who has authored 11 books, said. “And then, in a process of time many people realize it has a lot to say about marriage and family, and lots to say about relationships. Most people would say the Bible has a lot to say about the nature of the church and how it is supposed to function, but what seems to be lacking so much is an awareness that the Bible actually speaks to the issue of national formation and how a nation is to function.”
He said clergy and other Christian leaders have become intimidated by secularist threats and with the notion that speaking out from the pulpit may offend their flock.
“What is so frustrating is there was a time when the pulpits thundered with the truth of the issues of civil governance and we’ve been largely emasculated. We’ve lost any sense of boldness of voice,” Garlow said.
But rest assured, even though he has teamed up with the likes of Gingrich to run an organization “dedicated to educating, organizing, training and mobilizing people of faith to renew American self-government and America’s role in the world,” this is going to be a strictly non-partisan effort:
Garlow describes his political passion more as a hobby that is completely separate from role he will play for ReAl.
“It’s a very distinct thing,” he said. “It comes from quite a different angle. It comes from a biblical (perspective), and my historical and theology training.”
In his pursuit of Judeo-Christian values, Garlow stressed his campaign will not be partisan.
“I did not sign up to be part of a party, Republican or Democrat or independent or tea party,” he said. “I did not sign up to identify with any candidate, including even Newt Gingrich. Although personally I hope he runs.
“I signed up for one reason, and that is because it causes the pulpit to be used for what it is supposed to be, and that is the bully pulpit; not bullying and tearing people down; but bullying in terms of influence and range, to speak to certain issues in the culture.”
Whether it’s dealing with the culture, politics, religious freedoms or the inherent issues that stem from being a church pastor, Garlow said his vision is to direct everything to the cross.
“I don’t have an interest in being over identified with a party,” he said. “I have a great interest in being identified with biblical issues. That was something I weighed very extensively. I was real clear and up front with (Gingrich). I said, ‘You need to know, though, I’m a patriot, and I’m American, I’m a proud American, I have no interest in elevating the country at the price of or failure to be able to exalt Christ.”