by Rod D. Martin
May 7, 2016

There is always a debate, particularly when things go other than our way, about whether we should be loyal to the political party of our choice. I am asked about this often.

I’ve been an activist since I was a teenager, at every level of politics, and so I say this as a lifelong Republican and as a “party guy”: my loyalty has never, ever, ever been to the Republican Party.

America has a two party system, which saves us from the depredations of a multi-party system, something that everywhere and always is vastly more corrupt and elite-led. Within that context, I am happy to belong to a party that has never had it’s own terror wing (as many parties, including the Democrats, have). Indeed, I am happy to belong to a party that has taken the right stand at the right time on many, many things.

But my party is like my church: it’s only as good as the sinners who compose it at any given time, not to mention the sinners who lead it.

There are a lot of churches that used to be very faithful and went bad. There are some churches — like my own Southern Baptist Convention — that were once led by heretics and are now led by giants such as Al Mohler and Paige Patterson. The institution was always neutral: just a shell. The life is in the people.

There are a lot of people in the Republican Party. It is not our job to decry them but to persuade them. There are a lot of leaders in the Republican Party. It is absolutely our job to replace the bad ones with good ones, which is a function of persuading all those rank-and-file people, just as it was in the SBC.

And speaking as a Christian, let me just add this: we’d have a lot more and faster success if first, back in our churches, we were more serious about evangelism and discipleship. People who understand that God hates theft and covetousness don’t need to be told to vote against socialism; people who understand God hates murder don’t need to be told He hates abortion.

Or at least, they don’t if their knowledge is more than merely academic, if they actually know and love Him.

When we see this all of a piece, and understand that the political argument is one aspect of the broader discipleship of people we have yet to evangelize, we’ll win. We can win battles in the interim. But that’s when we’ll win the war.

At least until the next generation. Because in this life, it ain’t never over.