There's an alarming dichotomy in the United States today. Many seem to believe that Christians' faith shouldn't influence their politics, and as a result, many pulpits are silent when it comes to political issues that the Bible clearly talks about.
That's why Ryan Howard is starting a movement to help Christians engage political issues but in a godly way. And in fact, Howard is running for the Iowa State House to show exactly how it can be done.
Howard is the founder of Your Faith at Work, a ministry that equips believers to live out their faith in the workplace. He blogs and podcasts about Your Faith at Work at his website, yourfaithatwork.org. It was his experience with Your Faith at Work that caused Howard to realize that just as Christians need to bring Jesus into the marketplace, so they also need to bring Him into the political arena.
"[Faith and politics] are always seen as separate things in America, and that's not really a biblical concept for Christians, especially in America," he tells me on my podcast. "... I've been engaged with local issues a lot and helping nonprofits and getting funding to the right places and really helping people out in this area. And I see, as I look in the Bible, people of God influencing governments, from within government and from outside government, advising governments—all kinds of examples from the Old Testament all the way through to the New Testament. They are speaking truth to power."
Howard says God even designed government, so why should Christians shy away from it? If you look at how God set up the nation of Israel, you see His handiwork in setting authorities and officials in place, including judges. And in Romans 13:1, Paul says that "there is no authority except from God."
On top of the divine intervention in politics in general, Howard points to the fact that our nation was actually founded in faith. Many of the laws in the Constitution and principles laid out in the Declaration of Independence come from the Bible. One of the first things our Founding Fathers did was ensure the freedom of religion.
"That's really under attack today," Howard says of our religious rights. "So that raised a red flag—we need to speak up; we need to get out there. As I started to do more of that and write more about it and try and influence people from the pulpit and pastors to be leading their churches to speak up."
What does look like on a practical level? For Howard as he runs for the House of Representatives in Iowa, that means removing some of the barriers Iowa faces, such as workforce shortages, high taxes, the child care crisis and abortion. His goal is to protect the right to life, the right to religious expression and the right to freedom of speech. All those things are under attack today as never before.
I'm so encouraged to hear this is going on in Iowa. I pray God continues to raise up more men and women of great faith who are willing to stand for what's right and make a real difference in their states—and in their country.
Don't miss my full interview with Howard as we discuss his fascinating ministry and efforts for God in the workforce and politics.
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