Reasoning with Pastors - Introduction
From SaveTheWorld - a project of The Partnership Machine, Inc. (Sponsor: Family Music Center)
30 years ago, 1990, when I was a candidate for the Iowa legislature, I had hour-long interviews with the 30 pastors in my district about their theological reasons for not allowing information about any candidate or any government-entangled Biblical issue (called "politics") to be shared in any forum of their church.
My two goals were to thoroughly understand their theological objections which had confused me in years prior, and second, to see if there were any accommodation they would consider of the need I see in Scripture to shine the "light" of what God says about national abominations out in the "darkness" outside the church walls - out in those forums where voters decide whether to pattern our laws after the principles of Heaven or of Hell.
There was to be no accommodation. No pulpit announcements, no bulletin boards, no permission for those handful of members so inclined to meet on church property to organize to take action on issues identified in their pastor's sermons with which government had become entangled.
I tape recorded most of those interviews, for my own study. At that time there was no internet to post them. No access to radio or TV that I had. There were books, and I had started publishing the Prayer & Action Weekly News, and my studies of pastors' answers resulted in my first self-published book, "The Gift of Governments". Subtitle: "An assault on the noninvolvement theologies crippling the Armies of God."
But I didn't name any pastors or churches in the book; although no pastor had told me his conversation was "off the record", and the pastors knew I published the Prayer & Action News, I hadn't specifically told anyone I intended to report our conversations; indeed I had not foreseen any reason to. (I have not posted the book online yet. Here is a 9 page summary.)
In the years since, I have had similarly in-depth conversations with hundreds more pastors, many while spending months or years as members of their churches. Never before now have I published my records of those dialogs. By now I have lost track of most of that information. I thought often of publishing those conversations, but I refrained myself. Although they were never officially confidential, they seemed confidential, and I felt certain that publishing them would irritate the pastors. Besides, what was the point? If I could not persuade a pastor to conform his routines to those the Word of God urges, even after in many cases agreeing with me and in no case seriously refuting me, who else would care? And indeed today I have no idea if anyone will want to read any of this writing which consumes so much of my labor in these final years of my life.
Especially since what I ask of pastors and all Christians has grown: not only that Light be allowed out into government-entangled Darkness, but that others besides the pastor be allowed to
No, from the beginning I didn't even want the pastor
But now, on the eve of Memorial Day, 2020, after another hour of prayer, I sense it is time to begin posting those records which I still have.
Beginning with Pastor Terry Amann, whose response to me has been the most incomprehensible of any pastor I have ever talked with. Perhaps some patient soul somewhere on this planet may find this against their will, and take the time to explain to me what I am missing. I find myself utterly alone in the urgency of my concern and my restlessness to find others ready to meet together in a way that accepts the rest of the blessings God is waiting for His People "who are called by My Name" to accept.
Which raises another question: if no one else will stand with me, doesn't that prove I am wrong? But if I am wrong, won't someone, anyone, show me where I am wrong? That hasn't happened yet. If someone tells me, for example,