By Jeff Ziegler
Published May 1, 2001
How to Build a Christian Political Farm Team
The great dynasties of Major League Baseball have always maintained supremacy of the ball diamond through the development of supportive minor league teams, more commonly referred to as the farm system. When properly supported, the farm team-minor league organization cultivates young talent that can be employed for the “big leagues” when the need arises or a position has opened up. This is an inherently “bottom-up” approach which, in the long term, provides a particular franchise with stability and success.
In the political world, success is measured in the terms of victories, from which the projection of power determines policy. Even if one desires to decentralize and restrict political power, such policies must at some point be enacted from a position of authority. In order to achieve that influence, one must field candidates, win races, and control political parties at the local level. Unfortunately, most politically active Christians think in terms which cripple any long term development of local “talent.” Such talent could be called upon to cogently represent the claims of Christ in the “big leagues” of civil discourse and policy making.
In America, politically active Christians are eerily uniform in their reactive response to negative and sinful national trends. They are very good at the point of protest, and can marshal grass roots outrage on the national stage. Yet, even when victorious at blunting an onerous policy, such obsessions with all things national brings a woeful neglect to the gateways of political influence at the local level. This negligence ensures that explicitly Christian candidates are not developed. Therefore, the saints are nearly always left outside the political process, first at the local level, and then in the larger arenas. Local political farm systems support the development of national candidates. Yet, as most Christians hold to a “top-down” approach that deleteriously ignores such foundations, the saints are marginalized as protestors with little, if any, bite. Indeed, if I had a dime for every sincere saint who said something akin to, “I don’t care about this local stuff…look at what Clinton is doing to the nation,” I would be a very wealthy man.
When you add the varied conspiracy theories to the milieu, the saints are at a huge disadvantage. “Success” is deemed impossible in that even if some measured advance is noted, “the conspiracy,” either real or imagined, will succeed in thwarting any meaningful advance. Hence, local politics is seen as naive and without hope for promotion.
A Dominion Attitude
A dominion attitude rejects defeatist notions, and embraces long term biblical strategies which ensure a “little by little” conversion, or defeat, of entrenched political adversaries. Some of these strategies include:
- Training explicitly Christian candidates in issues of civil polity, campaigns, and theology.
- Building campaign organizations that are not dependent on the party; that is, a self-sustaining entity at every level of campaign involvement.
- Training precinct committeemen for party service. Concentration is on trained Christians who look to control the executive committee and various other committees (finance, public relations, candidate recruitment, etc.) with an eventual Christian party chairman.
- Running races at local and state levels; for instance, zoning boards, city council, county offices, health boards, school boards, state representative, etc.
Involvement in vital peripheral organizations, such as the Chamber of Commerce.
- Discipleship of existing civil magistrates.
- Committees of correspondence and phone/email/fax networks to bring public pressure to bear on various issues.
- Cultivation of personal relationships with newspaper reporters. Lunch and dinner go a long way in helping to control your own press and keeping your name in the public eye for free.
- Using antithesis both in campaigns and in marketing to help define the battlefield in the community.
- After sufficient control is established in one local county party, branching out into the contiguous counties within the same congressional district.
- Encouraging Christian independents to run for non declarative races (city council) so as to raise up an alternative group of candidates that can assert pressures from outside the main parties.
- Start National Reform Association “open houses” in public libraries to educate and recruit new members.
The average Reformed church has a membership of approximately 190 people. If each church represented on the National Reform Association mailing list were able to activate 10% of their parishioners toward service in the civic realm, a great political force would arise.
The old adage “a picture is worth a thousand words” may not be universally true. However, it does help to serve the purpose of this article. Illustrated here is a cross-section of men from Shiloh Christian Church in Leroy Township, Ohio. Their involvement spans five contiguous counties and is expanding. They represent approximately 10% of the total membership. May this short treatise, with an introduction of the “Shiloh farm team” along with the positions that are held, give practical inspiration for what can be done at the local level to enforce “The Crown Rights of Christ.”
Your comments are welcome!
“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
$14.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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Who is the Real Jesus?
Ever since the dawn of modern rationalism, skeptics have sought to use textual criticism, archeology and historical reconstructions to uncover the “historical Jesus” — a wise teacher who said many wonderful things, but fulfilled no prophecies, performed no miracles and certainly did not rise from the dead in triumph over sin.
Over the past 100 years, however, startling discoveries in biblical archeology and scholarship have all but vanquished the faulty assumptions of these doubting modernists. Regrettably, these discoveries have often been ignored by the skeptics as well as by the popular media. As a result, the liberal view still holds sway in universities and impacts the culture and even much of the church.
The Real Jesus explodes the myths of these critics and the movies, books and television programs that have popularized their views. Presented in ten parts — perfect for individual, family and classroom study — viewers will be challenged to go deeper in their knowledge of Christ in order to be able to defend their faith and present the truth to a skeptical modern world – that the Jesus of the Gospels is the Jesus of history — “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). He is the real Jesus.
Speakers include: George Grant, Ted Baehr, Stephen Mansfield, Raymond Ortlund, Phil Kayser, David Lutzweiler, Jay Grimstead, J.P. Holding, and Eric Holmberg.
Ten parts, over two hours of instruction!
Running Time: 130 minutes
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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