Many in the Christian community strongly feel that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. But isn’t that a failure to understand the first principle that God is sovereign over all of His creation? Don’t go anywhere as we discuss more of this! Welcome to Running Into the Fire, where Terri Hasdorff leads us to stand bravely at the crossroads of faith and politics. On this initial episode, Terri is joined by Dr. Frank Wright, Chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters. The discussion focuses on the launch of Terri’s new book, also called Running Into the Fire. Terri and Frank discuss why the book is relevant to today’s political climate, what Christians should know about politics, and what they can do to make a massive impact during the upcoming election. Tune in and understand why you need to make a prayerful decision to get involved now!
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RUNNING INTO THE FIRE – Why More Christians Need To Be Involved In Politics With Dr. Frank Wright
You’re reading Running Into The Fire where we stand bravely at the crossroads of faith and politics. Join Terri Hasdorff as she discusses the role of Christians in politics. Tune in to listen to politicians, political experts, and faith leaders who reveal how to defeat crippling socialism and tyrannical rule in this country. Discover what it takes to build a better tomorrow with faith, love, and compassion as the foundation. Now your host, Terry.
Welcome to my all-new show, Running Into The Fire. You’re tuning into our first episode. Joining me on the show is my friend and colleague, Dr. Frank Wright. He is the Chairman of the board for the National Religious Broadcasters Association, and he was kind enough to write the forward for my new book titled Running Into The Fire. The book is being published by Charisma House. Frank, it was so fitting to have you here with us. Thank you so much for being with us.
Terri, it’s great to be with you. It’s always exciting to be part of a new birth, and you’ve been in labor with this book for a long time. I think you are ready to deliver this thing and get it out, and it’s an exciting project. It’s an important book. It’s one that people not only will want to read. It’s interesting. It’s an easy and great read.
It’s an important book for people to read and think about the times that we are in, so let’s talk about it a little bit. This book is, in some ways, a summation of your thinking in your twenty-year career in politics. As a result of your own campaign and a lot of things that happened in and around and through that, you were inspired to write this book, but what was it that set your heart aflame and caused you to put all this to pen and paper?
I have been in politics since I was fresh out of high school and I ran for Congress in 2020. I didn’t win, but learned a lot, and then took over the Super PAC that had been set up to benefit my race. I thought that having been in politics most of my life, I knew about everything there was to know about that thing, but I have to say I got schooled myself on several aspects of things regarding some of the ins and outs of political fundraising. I felt like God put it in my heart to write this book because there are a lot of people who maybe don’t understand politics and don’t understand how a lot of these systems work. I felt like this was the time to help decode and demystify a lot of those things, especially people of faith.
There’s a cohort of people. Some of them are in the NRB. Some of them are my friends, people that I respect but who strongly feel that Christians shouldn’t be involved in politics. I feel like that’s a failure to understand first principles. God is sovereign over all of his creation. Everything on earth is part of his creation and he gave authority for Adam and Eve to have dominion over it and to bring all things into captivity for Christ, so to speak, but speak to that question, because there are a lot of Christians. If they wouldn’t say it that way, they think that politics is no arena for a person of faith. Have you ever heard that said before?
I have. When I was doing background research for this book, I asked a friend of mine who had run for Congress in District 1 in Alabama when I ran in District 2. I said, “Why do you believe Christians shy away from being involved in politics?” He said, “They are afraid of it. They think of it as being dirty and corrupt. What they need to be doing is thinking of it more like people who are in law enforcement or who are firefighters, because they are trained to overcome their natural fears, and instead of running away from the burning building, they run right into it.” I thought, “That’s exactly it.”
That’s the problem. We have become so fearful of something that influences so many parts of our individual daily lives that we have lost sight of the fact that we have been called to rule and reign and to seek the welfare of the city that we are in. The mountain of government is one that touches all the other mountains of influence, and that is the most critical one in a lot of ways with what happens in our daily lives. It’s an important time for Christians not to be afraid to get involved in that.
Not to mention that Romans 13 spells out God’s view of government, and it teaches us that governments are ordained by God. Throughout Scripture, we see people called to serve in government. We need to be prime ministers like Joseph or to be special cupbearers to the King that Nehemiah was. It wasn’t someone who brought the King’s cup to taste it and make sure it had no poison in it.
He’s in charge of the King’s entire household. There is example after example of people who made a dramatic difference. Not to mention Esther and her role, we speak of her without mentioning her name sometimes when we say, “For such a time as this, we need to do this or to do that.” It’s a book that speaks to our age as well.
This is not a book saying, “You’ve all got this wrong in your fear about politics and you should get involved.” This book is being released at a time when if people don’t get involved, there’s more at risk now than anything in our lifetime, maybe in the last 100 years of our nation’s livelihood. Speak about why you think this book is so important for the times in which we lived.
We have never been closer to the brink of socialism. It is frightening. When I was in high school, I was asked to go on an exchange program to the Soviet Union. I got to see firsthand what communism and socialism looked like. The oppression, the hopelessness of the people, the utter despair because they knew that there was nothing they could do to make a difference, to get involved a lot of times personally.
The fear that you saw in people there was so disturbing to me that when I flew back to John F. Kennedy Airport after three long weeks in a communist country, I got down on my hands and knees and kissed the ground. I was so grateful to be an American. That’s been the catalyst for what has encouraged me to be involved in politics since I was in college. I see how we take so for granted the freedoms that we have and the ability that we have to make a difference. We have one of the greatest countries, if not the greatest country in the world, because of that fact, and we have to fight to keep it.
We take for granted the freedoms that we have and the ability that we have to make a difference. And we have one of the greatest countries, if not the greatest country in the world, because of that fact. We have to fight to keep it.
The Declaration of Independence has three core principles that it spells out, and it was considered by the founders or birth certificates. When Lincoln at Gettysburg said, “Four score and seven years ago,” he wasn’t talking about 1789 and the signing of the adoption of the Constitution. He was talking about 1776 and the Declaration of Independence. It spells out that all men are created equal, that rights come from God, not from government, and that the only just governments are those that rule with the consent of the governed. Where do we stand in that regard?
We are in jeopardy of losing a lot of those things because socialism at its core is about replacing government and freedom with tyranny, and we can’t let that happen here. We have got to push right now to keep God first and to make sure that we protect and preserve the things that the Constitution lays out for us and to make sure that the rights that we have that do come from God are never taken from us.
You mentioned earlier that people perhaps are afraid of politics or afraid of getting in the rough and tumble. It’s not for sissies. We shouldn’t mislead anybody. A Hollywood actress from another era said that getting old is not for sissies. Politics is not for sissies either. In faith, we don’t do things with our own strength. We do them with the strength of the Lord. Any call that God makes on our lives, He empowers us to be able to fulfill that call. He doesn’t call us to do things we can’t do. You mentioned earlier that fear is one of the factors. What are some other misconceptions that people have about the nature of politics?
They feel like it’s hopeless and that they can’t make a difference, and I’m here to tell you that’s not true. They also feel a lot of times like they will be the only ones, and the great news is there are wonderful and amazing people like you who want to make a difference and who are trying to do it for the right reasons. They need more support.
Politics at its core is a numbers game, and many times, we don’t even play. If we are not involved, that void is going to be filled by somebody, and many times, it’s not the somebody that we want. If we want to see the right people elected, we not only have to vote for them and pray for them, but we have got to get behind them. You’ve got to vote with your time, your wallet, and your influence. They have got to have support, and that’s what’s been lacking.
Many times, Christians don’t even vote, let alone get involved to get in the weeds of backing a candidate. That’s one of the reasons why I wrote this book. It is to tell people, “Here’s how you can do that best. Here are the ways that you can truly be the most effective in making a difference, and this is why it’s so important.”
You’ve mentioned to me and to others that you’ve tried to write this book to bring a different perspective to bear on the whole question of political engagement. What do you mean by that?
We have got to shift the mindset that culture is so driven by so many things, and so that’s what influences politics. I’m here to say, “I believe it’s the reverse.” Politics is what influences culture, and that’s why we have to make sure that we are engaged in that arena in every way possible. We have the government that we put the time and energy into building. It’s like anything else in life. If you ignore it, it’s probably not going to turn out well.
You might be understating things in the environment that we are in, but I certainly do agree with that. What is the picture the mainstream media tries to portray about politics in general and about people who come from a faith perspective and a conservative perspective? Their ideas get equal treatment and immediate.
They do. A lot of times the good news is not being reported. There are things that are exciting and God is on the move. There are a lot of things that can give you a lot of hope if you know about them, but many times those things aren’t being reported on. We tend to get discouraged by watching the mainstream media and then people either tune it out and think, “I can’t watch this anymore,” or they give up hope.
It’s important to not let that happen. You’ve got to dig in for yourself. One of the things that I find very encouraging by doing research for this book is this. The United States has a little over 3,000 counties and we can find things so overwhelming, but when you start looking at it on a county-by-county level, that’s not so bad. I can’t maybe make a difference to change the whole world. I may not be able to change the whole country, but I sure can make a difference in my county.
If you start getting involved on a county level, there are so many decisions that are made that touch everybody’s lives in that county on a daily basis. That happens with the school board, the county commission, and all these different actors and players that many people don’t even know who they are or what they do. That’s where you can start to begin with.
The Founders and the Protestant Reformers even believe that government that’s closest to the people is the safest form of government because elected officials have to run into people at the supermarket and at the movie theater. Instead, these days, our elected officials are almost invisible in their home districts except before favorable crowds and so on.
It’s an excellent point that reminds me a little bit about Jesus’ command on the Mount of Olives before He ascended. He said, “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.” We all have our own Jerusalem, the immediate vicinity of where we live, we have our Judea and Samaria, the region around that, the state in which we live, but we have our uttermost parts of the earth. We are called to have an influence in all of those things, but our most powerful influence starts with local government.
People feeling like they can make a difference and seeing that firsthand is what does help you have hope and help you realize it’s not this big overwhelming, scary thing. A lot of times, you have to remember that people in politics are just people, too. The more you get to know them and you get to understand what the rules and the players are all about, you can figure out how you personally want to fit into that and make a difference.
Politicians are just people too. The more you get to know them and understand what the rules and the players are all about, you can figure out how you can personally fit into that and make a difference.
This is a tough question to ask because it requires you to reduce things, but is there one thing that sticks out as the most important thing that you’ve learned in many years in politics?
I see firsthand that we many times don’t put the right formula together. When I ran for Congress, what I realized was that a lot of people may feel called, but if they are not trained properly, they are not going to be as successful as they could be. Even if you are called and trained, you have to be properly supported. It’s all three legs of the stool that have to come together, and that’s something that we have been lacking.
Many times, someone may feel called to go climb Mount Everest or do something like that, but you don’t run right out the next day and do it. You have to be trained. It’s the same thing with politics. You can do more harm than good if you don’t know what you are doing because many times things are very complicated.
Issues that come up and many of the things that happen in the political arena are quite complex. With proper training and then with the right support from the Body of Christ as a whole, we can make a huge difference. It can seem overwhelming if you try to do it as one individual person, but we are the body and the body as a whole can be incredibly effective, we are not leveraging it enough.
You wrote this book because you want more Christians to consider running for elected office to recognize that that’s a legitimate calling before God. All of God’s calls require preparation. I like your focus on that. Too many people feel like, “God has called me to do this or do that.” They go out and don’t spend the time preparing.
They forget that David was anointed by Samuel to be the next King over Israel. Right after that anointing, he went back out to tend his sheep. David was still undergoing the preparation of God, which prepared him to be the greatest King of Israel. You want people to run for office and they can’t make up their minds to do that with this fall election of 2022. You think this next election is important, don’t you?
One of the most, if not the most critical election we have ever had in our lifetimes. As I said earlier, we are on the brink of socialism and we have got to lean in. We have got to push back against this agenda that could take our freedoms away, including our religious freedoms. For a lot of pastors who don’t want to get involved in that arena, you may not have the freedom to preach from your pulpit the way that you want to if we don’t get involved now and protect the freedoms that we have in this country.
The clock is too short for anybody to consider running now, but it’s not too short for them to get involved in some local election or even a national election. What three things can people do in the next 60 days to help with the outcome of this upcoming election that are so important?
First and foremost, pray. Second, you’ve got to get out and vote. A lot of people have even said to me, “I don’t know if I should vote because I’m worried that there might be election integrity issues. What’s the point?” I’m here to say that that is not the mindset that you should have. You’ve got to exercise your right to vote and get involved with supporting the candidates that you’ve done your homework on.
If you know that somebody is a good solid candidate, find out what they need help with, whether it’s financial help. If you can’t write the check yourself, you can help other people, and find other people that would be willing to give. Collectively, we can crowdsource a lot of things, and a lot of times campaigns come down to needing money.
Helping with your wallet is, first and foremost, with a lot of folks, but even more than that, it’s your influence. Even going in on social media or calling into radio shows where you know that candidate is speaking and making sure that you encourage others to support them and telling people why you are personally supporting them. Those things can make a huge difference to a candidate, especially when they are in a tight race.
You’ve written this book to encourage people to run, but now’s the time to read the book. Now’s the time to get a better grip on what’s at stake and become involved in the next election. If we go back to these three cornerstone principles from the declaration, the way the governed expressed their consent is in the ballot box. If you don’t, you are giving way to socialism. It looks more like fascism these days, but it certainly has socialistic roots, all the progressives. How can folks get a copy of your book, be encouraged, and hopefully be motivated to do more?
You can go to my website GodOverGovernment.com or you can go to Amazon, Books-A-Million, or Barnes & Noble, any of those, carry it. If you want to go to GodOverGovernment.com, there’s a button there that you can click to buy it right away.
Give us some hope here and put some chips on the table, too. What do you think’s going to happen in this election? Are the Republicans going to take back the house? That won’t mean, by the way, they will be a conservative majority in the house. If there’s a Republican majority, that’s not co-equivalent with the conservative majority, is it?
I’m hearing from some of my pollster friends that I trust in DC that we are not guaranteed to take back the Senate. The house looks solid right now, but for any election, anything can happen. You never know sometimes the last minute, what might come up, and so we can’t take anything for granted. Right now, we have got to make sure that we turn out as much as we possibly can. If you are someone who has the ability to influence others, which I believe everyone can do, you need to be doing it as much as you possibly can. Most importantly, vote but beyond that, encourage others to get involved as well.
Terri, congratulations on the book. It’s an important book. I’m glad you’ve written it and I hope it gets a wide audience. I hope it’s a stepping stone for some people to get off the dime and make a prayerful decision about what 2024 might look like in their life, or in some cases, as you’ve referred to with local government, there might be opportunities even between now and then. Thanks so much for inviting me to be on the show with you.
Thank you so much. You’ve been an amazing inspiration to me in so many ways, and I’m so grateful for you as a friend, colleague, and mentor. Thanks for being with us.
Thank you for tuning in to this episode, where we fight for truth and integrity in politics. Join us as we take a stand by subscribing to the show at GodOverGovernment.com. Don’t forget to leave a positive rating and share it with your friends.
- National Religious Broadcasters Association
- Running Into The Fire
- Charisma House
About Dr. Frank Wright
With more than 25 years of experience working on Capitol Hill, Dr. Frank Wright serves as Chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters, the world’s largest association of Christian media communicators. His prior leadership service includes President & Chief Executive Officer of D. James Kennedy Ministries, President & Chief Operating Officer of the Salem Media Group, President & Chief Executive Officer of the National Religious Broadcasters, and founding Executive Director of the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship.