Activist helping pastors win elections urges Christians to have 'footprint in culture'

A Christian conservative political activist who has worked behind the scenes for decades to mobilize pastors and spiritual leaders to run for office says Christians must get politically involved to prevent the further imposition of secularism in the public square.

“Someone's values ​​will prevail,” David Lane, founder of the American Renewal Project who seeks to “encourage the American Church to embrace its role in the public square,” told The Christian Post in a recent interview.

He dismissed as “stupid” the argument that Christians should not get involved in politics because it is too worldly or because Jesus was not a politician.

“The other side puts their people in, and passes their legislation, and codifies into law their godless values,” he said. “This is what has happened to America over the last century. We're going to have to fight. If we're going to save the country for our children and their children, we're going to have to fight.”

“We did this to ourselves”

Lane founded ARP in 2005 and said what his organization has accomplished since then has been done with about $50 million, fewer than 10 people and minimal press coverage.

“I've never done a press conference,” he said. “Actually, up until about five years ago, you couldn't find me with a flashlight.”

Lane, who is in his upper 60s, said his organization's model “tries to push spiritual leaders into the public square based on Jesus' Kingdom task of Matthew 16:18when He said to Peter: On this rock I will build my 'ecclesia'.”

Suggesting the idea that Christians should withdraw from the political process is not supported by Scripture, Lane noted how the Greek word “ecclesiastical” was a secular term.

Among its definitions included the political union of citizens in ancient Greek city-states.

“Everybody in the room knew what he was talking about,” Lane said of Matthew 16:18. “Somehow over the last century, American Christendom has moved inside the building. We have Christian publishing radio, television, and no footprint in the culture.”

Lane worries that many churches have been misled about the implications of the so-called separation of church and state in the United States.

“That's not the job of the Kingdom of Jesus for you and me. We had to be involved in the roughing up of the public square, and that's what we're aiming for,” he added.

ARP's efforts have proven particularly successful in North Carolina, which Lane noted is one of the six battleground states that will determine the next presidential election, along with Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Republican North Carolina Lt. Governor Mark Robinson spoke at the organization's events, according to The Washington Post. reported. Lane said ARP hosted 13 luncheons with pastors in the state in 2021, and said 50 North Carolinian pastors and spiritual leaders are running for local office in 2022.

“Twenty-five won the primary, and on November 8, 2022, 10 of the 25 won the general election,” he said. He added that three of the 13 newly elected members of the North Carolina House of Representatives that year were priests.

“We have to move to the public square”

Another point of ARP's approach is galvanizing Christians to register to vote.

According to a recent study from Turning Point USA first reported by Breitbart, more than 4.5 million Republican voters in several battleground states are “disengaged” from the political process, which is enough to swing the 2024 presidential election.

Lane said many evangelicals are similarly disengaged, and ARP is doing what they can to change that.

“I think if evangelicals move, we win big,” Lane said of the country's political future, especially in 2024. “It's estimated that 65 to 80 million evangelicals haven't registered to vote, which means they've never voted. Half of those don't vote in a presidential year like 2024, which means you get 25 percent turnout.”

“In an off-year election – next year is 2026 – half of those don't vote, so you get 12% to 15% of Christians voting,” he said. “We did this to ourselves. The culture is nothing but a public manifestation of the religion covering America, which is godless secularism.”

In January, ARP organized the North Carolina Renewal Project voter registration drive, the goal of which was to mobilize 6,000 churches in the state to register all eligible unregistered voters in their pews on three different Sundays, which they dubbed “Citizen Sundays.”

“If righteousness exalts a nation, it logically follows that those who live in rebellion against God, rejecting His final scriptural instructions for meaning, purpose and identity, cannot be trusted with the cultural levers of power and control,” Lane wrote in an email to . priests in North Carolina regarding the initiative.

“Two separate religions are competing for control of the public square in America – Christianity and secularism. The unchanging former and the ever-changing latter cannot coexist; one will ultimately decline as a consequence of the rise of the other,” he added.

Lane, who believes the country's current cultural battles have been raging since the 18th century and accelerated with the rise of cultural Marxism, said the Christians his organization works with have come to realize that “if we're going to save the country, we have . to move into the public square.”

“Because whatever we've done over the last century, where the measure of success is butts in the banks, buildings, multiple campuses and massive budgets – that hasn't done anything,” he added.


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