Voter Values #4
This will be our final message in a series of four articles about voter values. I thought it would be good for a laugh and for you to know the history of your pastor, as it relates to politics, elections, and the importance of being an informed voter. In 1991 I begin serving as Senior Pastor of the Northfield Assembly of God church and at the same time there was a massive get out the vote and voter involvement movement amongst the pro-life organizations across America. Pro-life Minnesota was gathering weeks before the caucuses, which are held prior to the election, where we learned how to become delegates for our BPOU which stands for Basic Political Organization Unit. We learned about grassroots politics; how to put together a political bio for each person running for a delegate position. I decided this would be a great way to meet the community and connect with other like-minded people, especially as it relates to issues such as traditional family values, traditional marriage, the sacredness of human life and much more.
So I attended the caucus for the Republican Party, mind you, we were encouraged to attend both parties BPOU’s. Having been in the military and having parents who were very conservative and traditionally voted Republican, I figured I was a Republican, so I attended the Republican caucus. During the gathering we each shared our views on issues and spoke about which items where the most pressing. The group immediately voted for me as the precinct BPOU chairman and then as a delegate of our Senate District of Rice County. Later on I went to the Rice County Republican convention were we gathered to vote for different items such as: platform issues, county treasure, county secretary and many other elected positions. The elected County Republican delegates would serve not only at the state convention but also within the Rice County party officials. During a previous election cycle the chairman of the Rice County Republican party was beaten by a more moderate county chairman and he created a lot of dissension within the ranks because of his moderate views. So he chose to not run again and no one was willing to take the position for the county chairman. I thought this was such a sad statement for a local political party; we needed a leader. I leaned over and told the other pastor, sitting next to me, put my name in for chairman. You had to be nominated from the floor by someone other than yourself. If I remember correctly the moment I was nominated the chairman of the convention took a voice vote rather than a ballot since there was no other challengers and I was elected unanimously and began my four-year term as chairman. Let me remind you I was just beginning my first Senior Pastor duties in the town of Northfield. Ultimately I left the chairman position upon the advisement of our church board since our congregation was filled with individuals from both major parties and independents. We all felt, including myself, my political position would create a level of confusion and we did not want anyone to feel uncomfortable worshiping at our local fellowship. I am no longer a Republican (I am not with any one specific party) yet when you hear me preach about specific issues, I am going to vote for the individual whose values most line up with Biblical values.