ATLANTA — Joining a cadre of compelling and forceful speakers, Mike Griffin, Georgia Baptist Mission Board Public Affairs representative under the Gold Dome, addressed the crowd gathered at Liberty Plaza for the “We Stand With God Pro-Family Rally” on April 21st.
Griffin’s message got a spirited response from his audience inasmuch as his proclamation sounded like a blend of William Jennings Bryan’s oratory and Billy Sunday’s sermonizing.
“The Importance of Being Engaged in Government” was the topic of Griffin’s address. He started by quoting the cartoon character Pogo, who said, “We have met the enemy and his is us!” The GBMB public policy advocate added, “We are loosing our best government by default.”
Griffin quoted political strategist Chad Connelly, who said, “When evangelicals get engaged to turn out the vote, they win.”
Then Griffin added, “However, the problem is when they win, they quit. We must not only get engaged, but we must stay engaged.
“One might ask, ‘Why should we be engaged in the moral issues and the political issues of our country?’ The answer is plain and simple: We are the government. The first three words of the U.S. Constitution are: ‘We the people.’ The first three words of God’s constitution are: ‘If my people.’ So, ‘if my people’ will become ‘we the people’ we can become salt and light for our government.
“The point is when we are engaged we win and when we don’t engage we don’t win.”
3 areas of engagement
Griffin then listed three things citizens can do to be engaged in the political process. First, he mentioned prayer and alluded to I Timothy 2:1-2, where the Apostle Paul urges believers to intercede for those who are in authority over the citizens of a nation.
Griffin explained, “I often ask people in our churches if they know their U.S. senators and representatives and state senators and representatives. Many of them have no idea who represents them in the state and national government. How can you pray for those in authority when you don’t know who thy are?”
Secondly, Griffin suggested citizens could participate. Quoting James 2:17, the GBMB representative said, “Faith without works is dead. We need to get our people to register to vote, then go to the polls and vote, run for office, and stay in contact with those who are elected to urge them to vote wisely.
The third thing Griffin urged his hearers to do pertained to perseverance. Using Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego as examples of steadfast faith, he said, “We must render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but we must render to God the things that are God’s. However, we must remember that God always trumps Caesar.”
A young pastor’s last testament
Griffin then ended his remarks by sharing the testimony of a young African pastor from Zimbabwe who was martyred for his Christian faith. Found among his papers after his death were the following words:
“I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I’m a disciple of His and I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
“My past is redeemed. My present makes sense. My future is secure. I’m done and finished with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, mundane talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals.
“I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, or first, or tops, or recognized, or praised, or rewarded. I live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by Holy Spirit power.
“My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is heaven. My road may be narrow, my way rough, my companions few, but my guide is reliable and my mission is clear.
“I will not be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed.
“I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice or hesitate in the presence of the adversary. I will not negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
“I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, and preached up for the cause of Christ.
“I am a disciple of Jesus. I must give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes. And when He does come for His own, He’ll have no problems recognizing me. My colors will be clear!”
Griffin’s message was timely and inspiring.