Rep. Louie Gohmert, a regular at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference, was welcomed enthusiastically by the few hundred activists in attendance on Saturday morning. In his informal speech, peppered with stories and jokes, Gohmert touched on familiar Religious Right themes: that Christians are being persecuted in America, and that much of the fault for the nation’s problems rests with the Church. God has given America a second chance, he said, but the country’s Christians could blow it by not being faithful enough.
Gohmert recounted a familiar version of American history often heard at Religious Right events: the first Great Awakening of religious furor led to the American Revolution, and the second led to the abolition of slavery. There was no Great Awakening in the 20th Century, he said, but the country was blessed by the “awesome Christian” Martin Luther King, Jr., who “God called to try to make sure that people started treating others the way that the Constitution required.”
Gohmert talked about his experience as a judge, and the different roles that Christians play in their personal life, when they’re to love their neighbors and forgive others, versus when they’re acting in a government role and have an obligation to punish wrongdoing.
Part of Christians’ role regarding government, he said, is to vote and help good candidates:
If you don’t have a good candidate, then pray about it. Maybe you’re supposed to run. But the reason we’ve gotten into trouble is people have not been faithful, and we haven’t had that Great Awakening, and it’s left us in deep trouble.
But you know who the only group in America now that’s politically correct to malign and persecute? You know it’s Christians, and not far behind that is God-fearing, God-loving Jewish folks.
It’s backwards, it’s upside down, it’s 180 degrees away from the way we were supposed to have started, you know?
Even though Jesus warned that Christians would be persecuted for his sake, said Gohmert, “I didn’t suffer growing up in America.”
I mean this is the one place in time and space where God gave Christians a chance to just flourish without being persecuted, and all of that has changed because of the unfaithfulness of Christians in America.
Gohmert cited 2 Chronicles 7:14, one of the most often quoted Bible verse at Religious Right events, which says, paraphrasing, that if God’s people will humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, then God will forgive them and heal their land. That doesn’t say everyone has to seek God, he said, it just requires Christians to turn to God and then the country will be blessed “like no country has ever been blessed.”
Gohmert told a story about an episode he said has been eating at him for decades. When he was an exchange student in the Soviet Union, having been warned by the program’s sponsors not to talk about God, he was asked by a Ukrainian student whether he believed in God. When he said yes, with everyone on the bus staring at him, the student asked what he believed about God. And he said that rather than testifying to his faith in Jesus Christ, he simply muttered that he believed in God.
He told Road to Majority attendees that God gave him a second chance the week before the conference, when he had been invited to speak at the Ukrainian National Prayer Breakfast along with the country’s president, prime minister and religious leaders, and he gave them his full Christian testimony.
And then he said God was giving American Christians a second chance, too:
God gave me a second chance. He is giving us a second chance in this country, but I’m telling you, if we blow it, if we don’t step up and be faithful and point the way, then for eternity, we will be the generation that blew the greatest gift any group of Christians were ever given in the history of the world.
We can do this! All things are possible through God–all things. God will bless us, he will stop the persecution the way he has for 200 years, and all we have to do is follow what He said.