Challenges pastors to support Christian values by becoming active
Pastor Rafael Cruz spoke to a Restoring Christian Values Brunch in Thornton Colorado, Friday morning saying that the church has been silent too long in the face of attacks on Christian values and challenging pastors to become involved in the political arena. Cruz, the father of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, also delivered his message to the Church for all Nations in Colorado Springs Saturday.
Cruz opposed the Castro revolution in Cuba and suffered persecution, imprisonment and torture. He immigrated to Texas over 55 years ago not speaking a word of English and with $100 sewn into his clothes. He is now pastor and Director of Purifying Fire Ministries near Dallas, Texas.
Speaking of his Cuban background, Cruz said “When people call me a Cuban-American, I object. I am an American who was born in Cuba.”
Saying that he was going to step on toes, Cruz chided Christian pastors for being silent in the face of attacks on Christianity, beginning with the outlawing of public school prayer in 1963. The Johnson Amendment of 1954, he said, was largely responsible for the belief among pastors that they dare not speak out.
The amendment, however, only prohibits tax-exempt organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Pastor Cruz emphasized that pastors can and should speak out on issues of values. The “social gospel” is wrong and leads to political correctness. Pastors should concentrate instead on the gospel itself; that is, that salvation is a gift from God.
In recent years the Alliance Defending Freedom has attempted to challenge the Johnson Amendment through the Pulpit Freedom Initiative, which urges church pastors to violate the statute in protest. The ADF contends that the amendment violates First Amendment rights.
Pastor Cruz also mentioned the recent city council resolution in San Antonio restricting Christians from speaking out against homosexuality or risk losing any association with the city, either in employment, volunteering or contracting.
While churches and pastors may have not spoken out against the resolution, San Antonio Tea Party groups are organizing recall efforts against Mayor Julian Castro and District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal.
Cruz referenced Ezekiel 3:17 in saying that pastors have a duty to warn the people of danger—and not just believers:
17 Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
“Are we warning the people?” he asked. “It is time to be about our Father’s business.”
He also gave Biblical advice on how to elect politicians. From Exodus 18:21, he told the audience what the criteria are:
21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens
Many politicians covet power, he noted. Those are to be avoided.
The right qualifications for public office are mirrored in Acts 6:3:
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
The left understands that Christians, who are still the vast majority in this country, want righteous men and women in public office so they attack their opponents based on our values. When they can’t prove anything, they make things up. It should be very clear who the righteous ones really are: the harder and earlier in the campaign cycle they attack someone, the more of a threat that person must be.
Pastor Cruz’ message was supported by other speakers including Bishop John Brannon of Living Word Ministries International who noted that 29 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were seminary graduates. “Let us not be politically correct,” he said, “Let us be Biblically correct.”
After listening to Pastor Cruz, is it easy to see where Sen. Ted Cruz got his courage and moral strength from. It's good to grow up with your father.