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The Forerunner

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

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:

  1. Training explicitly Christian candidates in issues of civil polity, campaigns, and theology.
  2. Building campaign organizations that are not dependent on the party; that is, a self-sustaining entity at every level of campaign involvement.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Discipleship of existing civil magistrates.
  6. Committees of correspondence and phone/email/fax networks to bring public pressure to bear on various issues.
  7. 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.
  8. Using antithesis both in campaigns and in marketing to help define the battlefield in the community.
  9. After sufficient control is established in one local county party, branching out into the contiguous counties within the same congressional district.
  10. 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.
  11. Start National Reform Association “open houses” in public libraries to educate and recruit new members.

Church Recruitment

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!

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The Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of ChristThe Real Jesus: A Defense of the Historicity and Divinity of Christ (DVD)

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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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - How Should We Then Live? (DVD)

Special Two-Disc Set!

After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.

Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.

$49.95 — ORDER NOW!

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God's Law and SocietyGod's Law and Society (DVD)

Download the Free Study Guide!

God’s Law and Society powerfully presents a comprehensive worldview based upon the ethical system found in the Law of God.

Speakers include: R.J. Rushdoony, George Grant, Howard Phillips, R.C. Sproul Jr., Ken Gentry, Gary DeMar, Jay Grimstead, Steven Schlissel, Andrew Sandlin, Eric Holmberg, and more!

Sixteen Christian leaders and scholars answer some of the most common questions and misconceptions related to this volatile issue:

1. Are we under Law or under Grace?
2. Does the Old Testament Law apply today?
3. Can we legislate morality?
4. What are the biblical foundations of government?
5. Was America founded as a Christian nation?
6. What about the separation of Church and State?
7. Is neutrality a myth?
8. What about non-Christians and the Law of God?
9. Would there be “freedom” in a Christian republic?
10. What would a “Christian America” look like?

Perfect for group instruction as well as personal Bible study.

Ten parts, over four hours of instruction!

Running Time: 240 minutes

Watch over 60 on-line video interviews from God’s Law and Society.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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