- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 23, 2014

A prominent evangelical Christian leader has launched an effort to recruit 1,000 pastors willing to run for political office, hoping to inject religious issues and candidates into the 2016 election.

David Lane, the founder of the American Renewal Project, said he hopes he can persuade pastors to run for offices as varied as school board and city council to the state legislature and Congress. He’s scheduled an organizing meeting in January in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

“Government is not going to save America. Wall Street is not going to save America. The Republican party is not going to save America. If America is going to be saved it will be done by Christian men and women restoring a Judeo-Christian culture to the country,” Mr. Lane said in an interview with The Washington Times.

Mr. Lane said he was inspired by his own pastor Rob McCoy, who ran for the state assembly in California. Mr. McCoy was narrowly defeated by the Democratic candidate who spent $6 million against him.

“After I watched that happen the reason I emailed pastors asking them to pray for 30 days is that if they do half as good as my pastor did, if 1,000 pastors in 2016 felt like the Lord was calling them to run for office, and they each had 300 volunteers, then that’s 300,000 people on the grass-roots level,” Mr. Lane said.

By engaging pastors and church communities, Mr. Lane hopes ultimately that more Christians will head to the polls.

“We have a Christian responsibility to engage people and get out the vote,” Mr. Lane said adding that the pastors “might decide that the Lord doesn’t want them to run for office, but they may have someone in their church who is very talented and can encourage them to.”

He argued that America was established as a Judeo-Christian nation and that separation of church and state was never meant to keep religion out of politics.

“There’s no truth to that, the Constitution says the state is to keep out of the church, it doesn’t say the church is to keep out of the state,” Mr. Lane said, adding that secularism is another religion that’s being imposed on Americans.

“It’s just a matter of somebody’s values are going to reign supreme,” Mr. Lane said. “It’s just a little minority imposing their values. It’s part of a spiritual battle. If we are going to survive as a nation, we have to have a spiritual resurrection.”

Mr. Lane plans to bring the 1,000 pastors together Jan. 23 at an American Renewal Project conference in Baton Rouge, led by Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Republican.

“There are 65 to 80 million evangelical Christians in America, we are going to bring them into the marketplace and into the public square,” Mr. Lane said. “Christians are going to participate in the public square, that’s what we’re called to do.”

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