We really need a church historian – Darryl Hart where are you in our time of need? – to do a history of Protestantism in Iowa. We need explanations. The latest explanation we need is what makes Iowa fertile not only for corn and soybeans but also for active pastors running for civil office. Up in northwest Iowa, Pastor Josh Davenport of Victory Baptist Church is running for State Representative. Closer to home, yea, even in my own voting district, Pastor Jeff Mullen of Point of Grace Church wants to be a State Senator.
I don’t know anything about Pastor Davenport or his church, but I have a little familiarity with Point of Grace. It’s a big evangelical church with all the big evangelical bells & whistles that encourages us to “experience the Bible” and tells us “We believe intentional relationships are key to sustained life change. That’s why we do our best to get every person connected into a small group.” You get the picture.
As for Pastor Mullen, he is behind a website called Iowa Pastors , which includes in its mission:
- Empower Christians to impact our nation by connecting their faith values to electoral choices, evidenced by the power of the ballot.
- Open doors of access to government by educating and connecting the faith community to dedicated believers serving in government.
- Mobilize governmental prayer
Pastor Mullen is one of a number of candidates who would push out RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) in favor of what they consider to be True Conservatism. But True Conservatism isn’t Willam F. Buckley conservatism. Neither is it theonomy or Reformed Kuyperianism. So what is it? If you can imagine Billy Sunday dropping Prohibition, wearing tan chinos with a polo shirt, and promoting worldview with a smile that looks like it could turn into a snarl, you’d be on the right track.
As I said, Pastor Mullen is going to be on my ballot. I could actually vote for him, but that would be a mean thing to do to his church, which really should have a full-time pastor. Right, they probably have a bunch of pastors, but still, it seems like a pastor of 2,000 should be attending to his congregation more than he would be able to when the legislature is in session. But presumably his congregation doesn’t mind, and if he wins, they will have taken a step toward conquering the world, or so they think. But if that’s where they’re coming from, they might want to give a little thought to whether they are conquering the world or the world is conquering their church.