On Saturday, Charisma Magazine published a long and truly strange piece by Harry Jackson on the need for another Great Awakening in America. In it, Jackson called on church leaders “to push back on the political forces that have worked hard to minimize Christian influence in the nation … from the removal of prayer in public schools to the redefinition of marriage and legalization of abortion, secularizing forces have sought to divorce Christian morality from American government.”
Jackson began by falsely claiming that the tax code regulations which prohibit churches from engaging in partisan political activity was put in place because “political power brokers were so threatened by the unity of the African-American church in the 1950s during the Civil Rights Movement.” That is, as we pointed out the last time that Jackson said it, patently false.
Jackson then used the fight over marriage equality in Maryland as an example of what can happen when the church stands up and gets involved:
After months of meeting with various pastors, we were grateful to see God open eyes and hearts to see how vital it was to prevent this bill from passing. With this growing coalition of Christians across political lines, we began speaking to legislators. We let them know their constituents would not stand for the dismantling of traditional marriage. Slowly and often painfully, we were able to convince enough of them to change their votes. The Maryland bill went down in defeat to the shock of many.
But, Jackson warned, the fight is not over because there are politicans and activists who are still seeking to pass this “legislative abomination” … bizarrely ignoring the fact that this legislation was passed and signed into law last month.
But things got really strange when Jackson set out the key steps that Christians need to take in order to save his nation, such as running for office and supporting Religious Right organizations like the Family Research Council, when he called for the formation of a “fifth column” that will “undermine the resistance from within”:
While there are no specific Bible verses that speak to issues like federal funding for embryonic stem cell research or a local proposal to reroute a sewer line through a particular field, well-informed Christians can effectively reason through such issues if they understand what the Bible teaches about human dignity, private property and the role of civil government in a free society. What the church in America needs is a fifth column of believers. The term “fifth column” originated during the Spanish Civil War.
Emilio Mola used the term during his 1936 radio address as he announced there were four columns advancing on the city of Madrid. But they would be joined by a fifth column of supporters inside the city who would undermine the resistance from within. We need to work inside all spheres of our culture to act in fifth-column style, changing our culture from within.
It is pretty telling – and remarkable – that Jackson would call for conservative Christians to form a “fifth column” in American considering that the term generally refers to clandestine forces that seek to sabotage and weaken a society from within for the benefit of those who seek to overthrown it.