JM: Lainie, I have been a senior pastor for the past 30 years, the last 15 here at Praise Family Worship Center.
LS: On January 20, not only were you were invited to be a featured speaker at one of Florida’s Guns Across America rallies in support of our Second Amendment, but your help was also solicited in securing other speakers, including my fellow PolitiChick from Florida, Elizabeth Vale. Other PolitiChicks also took part in their communities across the nation.
JM: Yes, first off I owe a deep debt of gratitude to Ann-Marie Murrell. When this was unfolding, many state leaders in our evening conference calls were panicking at a lack of speakers. One quick message to Ann-Marie and we had not only Elizabeth, but PolitiChick Sonya Sasser spoke in South Carolina and PolitiChick Ginny Merman spoke in Maryland. From what the leaders of each of those rallies said, they hit it out of the park. I had the privilege of hearing Elizabeth who also did great.
LS: I’ve included with this interview a video of your dynamic and patriotic speech from that day for our readers to enjoy. Over the past several years, a number of well-known and respected pastors have stated, Christian clergy should stay out of politics. I won’t mentioned their names because it’s not my purpose to single out individuals, many of whom I respect, and I don’t want to appear that I’m attacking them. However, some fellow Christians believe they make a good point. What is your view of the clergy staying out of politics at the pulpit?
JM: Lainie, I mean no disrespect to any which hold a different view than I, but it is my personal belief that nothing could be further from the truth. We as pastors are called to take heed to the flock over which God has made us shepherds, and the political arena isn’t exempt from that. The Old Testament prophet Elijah, along with many more, always spoke out against national injustice. He opposed King Ahab to the point that Ahab wanted him killed.
Jeremiah likewise spoke out against national injustice, as did John the Baptist in the New Testament.
When nations are being led by those who teach in opposition to Gods word, those leaders need to be confronted, and those topics addressed; things such as abortion, homosexuality, infidelity, slothful living, lying and on and on.
So yes, I am very much up on those issues and very outspoken in those areas.
LS: When the people appoint our Congress and the Presidency, we refer to them as servants, not masters. We the people are the master. We the people appoint those, to whom we give a temporary license to rule over the affairs of America, but they are not dictators; they are servants. When the time comes that they forget their place, it is our duty as Caesar to remove them from office. Please tell our readers the importance of being politically involved.
Many years ago someone said to me that Christians should not be involved in politics and for a time I almost bought into that. Then the light went on, hey wait, if all the laws are being made by those who oppose the views of God and the Christian faith what hope have we. I am big on American history and one can see quickly that many of those who signed the original documents were pastors, or seminary school graduated. John Jay, our first chief justice had this to say. “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers”
You and your wife, Dee, have successfully raised six Christian kids with 1 still at home and 5 in college. One of your daughters is in law school and one of your sons served with the United States Navy. Considering the secularized society that we have become, what would you advise Christian parents today about raising their children to be informed and responsible citizens and helping their kids to grow in their Christian faith?
JM: Be proactive. If they are in the public school, look at their books and curriculum. Be involved. Question those things that conflict with your faith. We personally home-schooled all of our kids, and I know all can’t but for those who can, your children are your most priceless possessions, well worth the effort. Keep them in church. So many parents, when the kids hit teen years, say, Well I don’t force them to go. That’s a mistake. If what you have is real, then surely the need to learn about the Lord doesn’t stop at a particular age.
LS: Some people say that Jesus was very even-tempered and full of love and that He would never want His followers to ever get involved in politics. Is there a biblical source to back this opinion?
JM: Jesus was humble and even-tempered, merciful and forgiving, but He was also just, and not afraid to call someone out. He cleared the temple out of the money changers with cords fashioned into a whip. In Matthew 11:12 Jesus says, From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. Forceful me— that doesn’t sound too pacified. He also told his followers that the gates of hell could not prevail against them. Those are strong words, not the words of a weak flower person.
LS: We do know that Jesus said to render to Caesar what is Caesars, and since in America we are Caesar, which is to say, we appoint those who govern, would we be going against Romans 13 if we strongly resist those who we have appointed if they rule contrary to our Constitution which they took an oath to uphold?
JM: No Lainie, that is a common misconception. Yes at all possible times we should be the model of citizenry, but as was the case with Peter and John, when what government is asking of us goes in violation against God’s Word, we must respond, Whom shall I obey God or man, and swiftly respond as they did—serve God.
Our constitution, I believe was given to our founders by God. Its shear success speaks of the divine influence on it. And when those who would choose to violate it come to power we must speak out.
LS: I noticed that you are a modern-day Black Robe Regiment pastor. Can you give us a little background about the Revolutionary era Black Robe Regiment and how does your group play a role today?
JM: When the Revolution was unfolding, the British made a concerted effort to arrest and imprison the clergy of that day. It seems they continually pounded away at the evils of the Crown, and even encouraged civil disobedience. Many themselves left the pulpit and joined with fellow patriots in the battle against the King. It has been said that there is nothing in the Constitution that was not first discussed from the pulpits of early American churches. Today, many of us are looking to resurrect that courage. Jim Barlow of Skyline Church in San Diego is a great leader of men in that area, and we, together along with 1,600 other pastors, took part in Pulpit Freedom Sunday this past October in an effort to rid the nation of the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment of 1954.
LS: Our taxes are being used to pay for things Christians don’t condone such as abortion. As a Believer in Christ, how do I and other Christians stand before God and explain to Him that we helped pay for the killing of innocent babies?
JM: That is a difficult one Lainie, we do all we can to elect those who will overturn past immoral laws, we pray, and when we can we put our two cents out there for our legislators to hear.
LS: We know that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, but now America has gone from a Christian worldview to a secular worldview and our courts have gone from interpreting the law to legislating from the bench. Our Constitution is being shredded before our very eyes. What role can pastors play in reversing this path?
JM: Right now I am teaching a study called Pillars you can Google that on line. It explains how while we protected what was going on in the church we turned over to the secularists all of the educational system, the political, the media, television, movies, children’s games, even financial issues. It’s time to take them back. Only by restoring God to His rightful place in America will that happen
LS: It appears that America is headed for some very difficult days ahead. There are many Christians who are fearful of the future. As a pastor, what are you saying to your congregation about preparing for those days?
JM: Not really anything profound, know the word, stay close to the Lord, be a light, win the lost. My feelings are there are difficult days ahead for Christians, and if so we need to be as close to Christ as we can. It was He who said to the one who endures till the end will I grant to sit in my throne.
LS: This country went to war over a tax on tea, but the King of England did not apply a punitive tax if the colonists didn’t buy the tea. For the first time in our history, under our existing President and our Supreme Court, Americans are being forced by penalty of imprisonment to buy a product or have levied against them a huge punitive tax. According to the new healthcare law, if the citizen does not comply with buying the product or pay the tax, the IRS can seize our property or imprison us. Oh, that we could go back to the good old days of King George III ! As we discussed above, Jesus’ stated that we should render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. As a pastor what are your thoughts about this?
JM: My answer—look to our constitution—see what the federal government was empowered to do. When they are wrong appeal it, fight it, and speak out. A rough paraphrase of Ben Franklin is to those that would give up any of their liberties for a little bit of safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
LS: Amen—Thank you, Pastor Jack, for sharing your biblical and historical insights.
Jack Martin is the Lead/Senior Pastor at Praise Family Worship Center in Hudson, Florida, a member Florida state ESF-8 mental health emergency response team, Hernando County C.E.R.T. team, the Chaplain for Spring Hill, Florida Fire Rescue and serves on the Board of Directors of Faith Tampa Bay, a Christian outreach. Pastor Jack can be contacted at [email protected].