Monday, July 8, 2013

Why FBC Farmersville Is Taking a Bus to Stand4Life: Thoughts about Political Engagement for Churches

I've served as a pastor at FBC Farmersville for 14 years. Those 14 years have witnessed some of the greatest political turbulence of my lifetime. Many of those political issues—Obamacare, Same-Sex Marriage, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act—have had direct and significant impact upon my church or my personal exercise of my faith. And yet, in all of those years, I've never involved our congregation in any sort of a political (or even quasi-political) rally.

Until tonight.

Tonight the FBC Farmersville church bus will take a group down to Austin, TX, to the Texas Values Stand4Life Rally at 7:00 PM. I've invited people to go using the church mailing list. I've taken precious time out of the Sunday morning worship service to promote this event. I'm all-in.

I don't see this as any sort of a watershed event by which I've come to "see the light," such that now I'm going to become much more political as a pastor. I'm not changing in any way that I can perceive. It's just that this particular event at this particular moment compels me to become involved in ways that past events have not.

  1. Abortion is different from a lot of other issues. I wouldn't take a bus down to Austin to defend our tax exemption, for example. But abortion is a life-or-death question on which it is required that people stand up in defense of the weak and powerless. I, in my reading of Old and New Testaments, believe that I am commanded to be one of the people who does that. Those commands do not represent a special calling for me; they are binding upon all disciples. We cannot turn a blind eye to this issue while claiming to be following the way of Christ.

  2. This is a chance to do something positive rather than negative. Yes, it is possible that the two "groups" will clash in Austin tonight, but Bart Barber and FBC Farmersville will not be a part of that. Will. Not.

    I'm not going to Austin for the purpose of "defeating" anyone, although victory for this cause will unfortunately mean the defeat of people who are determined to serve on the side of evil. My purpose in going is simply to provide positive support. I know Jodie Laubenburg, for example, and she is one of the sponsors of HB2. She is sponsoring this legislation because she believes that she is called to use her influence as a Representative in the State House to do good. She is trying to stand up and abate the unrelenting slaughter of babies that is being perpetuated all around us.

    Along the way, she's being opposed and vilified and caricatured. The pro-infanticide legions are not failing to stand up against her. Will anyone stand up to support her? To encourage her? To let her know that she's doing the right thing? To give her that shot in the arm that will sustain her in the struggle?

    We will. That's why we're going.

    And we're likewise hoping to support Scott Turner and Craig Estes, who (after redistricting) now represent the people of FBC Farmersville in Austin. They are human beings. Like any of us, they could grow weary in doing good. They need encouragement, and we hope to give it to them.

  3. After what happened in the State Senate chamber last time, this is a question of justice and the rule of law. Mob rule is not a pretty thing. When legislation is passed by due process but shouted down by a few bitter, angry liberals, then chaos has won the day over civility. This special session of the Texas Legislature is not just about abortion—it's about having a functioning and peaceful system of government. It is imperative that this bill pass, just as it already really did, so that no group will be encouraged to throw the sort of juvenile hissy-fit that Wendy Davis and her henchmen threw down in Austin a couple of weeks ago.

And so, in just two hours we will board the bus and depart for Austin. If you're going, too, I'd be delighted to see you there. If not, and if you are a Texan, I hope you'll take a moment in your own way (by telephone, Internet, or even an old-fashioned letter), to speak a good and kindly word to a member of the State Legislature who is laboring in the face of tremendous pressure to defend innocent life in our state.


Joe Blackmon said...

First of all, I commend you for leading your church to do this.

Secondly, all Christians only vote anti-abortion all the time. The reason we have this problem now and that abortion rights are not being restritcted more on the federal level is because some people call themselves Christians but had the gall to vote for Obama.

Finally, there is the old, tired argument by some of those people that they just put some things as a higher priority than abortion--like socialist government handout programs and amnesty for illegal aliens (i.e. immigration reform). They can place those as a higher prioity than abortion if they want to. As for me, I'll place abortion as a higher priority--just like God does.

R. L. Vaughn said...

Enjoyed reading of the decision of you and your church. I am pleased for all the support this received one way or another, and that the state of Texas has now passed a more restrictive abortion laws. I was frustrated by the mob that shouted this down the first time. I can see that they maybe accomplished two things: (1) felt "good" about themselves for throwing a "hissy-fit" instead of acting like adults, and (2) delayed the inevitable and cost the taxpayers of the state of Texas.