During the spring I have the opportunity to guest direct classes at state capitols in a few different states for TeenPact, a ministry that trains students in government and the political process from a biblical perspective. When students hear from elected officials, I insist that the first question the students ask during the Q&A time is, “Do you fear God?”
Years ago, our kids had a little rubber doll that they would squeeze and its eyes, ears and tongue would pop out of its head. It always elicited a giggle. That question has the same effect. Speakers typically step back, arch their eyebrows and blurt out either a “Yes” or “No,” and then they try to explain or qualify their answer. At the New Mexico class a very liberal state representative without hesitation nearly shouted, “No!” Later in a Facebook post, he complimented the students for having someone from the opposite side of the political spectrum speak and then said he had been asked that question. Someone asked in his comment section, “Did you pause before you responded?” The Rep. said, “Yes.” In reality, he did not. Like that little doll, that question squeezed out what was in his heart. The question did give him pause, but only later as he reflected.
Fear of the Lord is the main requirement for one to be an elected official, a magistrate, according to Exodus 18:21. When Moses was overwhelmed with the responsibility of sitting in judgment on all the disputes among the people, his father-in-law, Jethro, advised Moses to choose men to hear and judge less serious cases. Jethro said, “Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens.” Yet, that stipulation has long since been disregarded by most in office today.
In the Colorado State Capitol some of the TeenPact staff were pulled aside by a capitol staffer who pointed out portraits of former Governors John Love and Richard Lamm. He told the staff that Colorado was the first state to legalize abortion in a bill pushed by then state Rep. Lamm, a Democrat, and signed by Governor John Love, a Republican. He then sadly whispered, “Since then over 65 million little LAMBS have been slaughtered in the name of LOVE.” Isaiah condemned such men as Lamm and Love, “Woe to those who decree iniquitous decrees, and the writers who keep writing oppression, to turn aside the needy from justice and to rob the poor of my people of their right, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” (Is. 10:1-2)
In the Colorado Supreme Court Chamber students heard Justice Richard Gabriel answer, “Yes,” to “Do you fear God?” However, this personable, smiling justice voted not to hear the appeal of Baker Jack Phillips. Jack was found in violation of Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws because he refused to participate in an event that was a violation of his conscience; Jack declined to enter into a contract to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. I told the students they had just looked into the face of evil—a kindly, grandfatherly, well-spoken, respected, honored Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court. Like Gov. Love and Gov. Lamm, Justice Gabriel is sounding the trumpet for the destruction of life and liberty. Proverbs 17:15 condemns such men, “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.” (Visit our “Simple Tools For Brain Surgery” YouTube channel to see a clip of Justice Gabriel’s response to a question on a business owner’s liberty to exercise his religious beliefs.)
Like the Psalmist we can lament, “…if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3) However, we can, also, work to rebuild those foundations, and that is exactly what The Abbey Program seeks to do. In all of the courses, but particularly the Political Science class, the fear of the Lord is emphasized not only as the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 9:10), but also as the basis for good government. We are seeking to rebuild that foundation for the next generation. Join with us in doing so.
- Bill Jack