Politics is mostly a downstream activity.
As Wall Street executive, David Bahnsen suggested, “Politics is a field in which the consequences of culture play out; it is not the field in which the culture itself is formed.” Political leaders who are true agents of cultural change have become increasingly rare.
In a country whose government is by the people, those who shape public opinion are working upstream to political outcomes. Abraham Lincoln stated this well when he said, “In this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions.”
I’d like to report that churches play a big role in shaping public opinion and, gratefully, many do. Yet churches have been significantly marginalized from the roles they filled in the early days of our country. Some of this is due to deeply misguided distortions of the First Amendment as a vehicle for separation of church and state.
Yet we acknowledge with sadness that many churches have lost credibility because of the misconduct of their leaders. Distrust of pastors and priests (and politicians) is at an all-time high.
But we must not allow this to deter those committed to serving with honor — whether pastors or politicians. We live in difficult times when men and women of strength, character and leadership are badly needed. I pray that we can still inspire young people to pursue these roles of leadership and influence.
I especially hope that the most influential people will not lose heart — moms and dads. If we desire to turn this nation around with lasting effect, it must happen in our homes. With Father’s Day coming, let us pray for the dads around us. If you’re a father, be a Dad of lasting influence by faithful, daily commitment to your greatest calling.