Pastors in California are encouraging their congregants to vote in Tuesday’s recall election of Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom, and urging them to vote for Larry Elder, a Christian conservative who faith leaders say shares their values.
“We want the Christian community to be very smart on what the issues are and who most represents their biblical world view,” Jack Hibbs, pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, told Newsweek.
Hibbs believes it is important for Christians to honor their responsibility to not only vote, but to vote for people based on their beliefs. He regularly invites candidates to share those beliefs, including Elder.
The contrast between Elder and Newsom — when it comes to values — is stark, with the latter supporting abortion on demand, California being a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, taxes to fight so-called climate change, and draconian pandemic lockdowns including preventing Christians from attending church.
"We could have a man that is a native Californian who came through the ranks to represent our state," Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Pastor Jack Hibbs said of GOP candidate Larry Elder. https://t.co/bcKxR2Tde8
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 13, 2021
Newsweek reported on the evangelical support for Elder:
In the case of Tuesday’s special election, that means pastors not only preaching but also having ballots on hand and making pleas for members of their congregations to get out to vote in support of front-running Republican candidate Larry Elder. Calvary Chapel Chino Hills Pastor Jack Hibbs reminded his congregation of 15,000 to turn in their ballots for collection and emphasized how crucial each and every individual’s vote was. Hibbs estimated that prior to Sunday’s service, his church—which has a large online and social media presence—had collected 20,000 ballots, with some members hand-delivering or even driving up to a legal lock box on church property in which to submit their ballot.
The process has been so secure (complete with video recording and manned by a representative and security guard) that it even passed the litmus test of a CBS Los Angeles news crew, which recently showed up on the church’s campus to investigate, hoping to do a story on the efficacy of its ballot collection. According to Hibbs, they wound up leaving, admitting there was no story there to cover. That’s something Hibbs said he and the church’s leaders are proud of.
Likewise, that was also the case at other large evangelical churches ranging from Orange County to central California and further north, with many coming out to support Elder. Pastors at Calvary Chapel of the Harbour in Huntington Beach; Destiny Christian Church in Rocklin; Calvary Chapel Signal Hill in Signal Hill; Rise Church San Marcos in San Marcos; and Cornerstone Church in Fresno also encouraged voting and served as drop-off locations for ballot collection.
“The Christian responsibility is to be civically active,” Destiny Church Pastor Greg Fairrington said in the Newsweek report. “My sermon is a call to action to be involved in this process and to make their voice heard.”
“We’re doing that, have been doing that – encouraging, collecting ballots and have been very vocal when it comes to voting,” Pastor Joe Pedick of Calvary Chapel of the Harbour said in the report.
Outside of church, Pedick appeared with former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) at an event with Elder in Anaheim.
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Founding and senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Signal Hill, James Kaddis, told Newsweek his church has members certified to handle ballots and to take them directly to the registrar’s office.
“We’re going out of our way to make sure our congregants understand the importance of voting biblical values,” Kaddis said. “A lot of churches have misconstrued the idea we should not be involved in political matters, but Christians have been given this sacred responsibility and that should be guided by biblical presence.”
“To be a good citizen, you need to vote. To be a good Christian, you need to be a good citizen,” Cornerstone Church Senior Pastor Jim Franklin told Newsweek. “We want to make sure every vote counts.”
Pastor Jim FranklinCornerstone Church, Fresno, California #RecallGavinNewsom#WeveGotAStateToSave
“Our church is fully engaged,” Rise Church Pastor Greg Denham said. “We recognize the importance of civic responsibility. It’s one way we can demonstrate our faith in Christ – to be responsible and active in a civic manner.”
“For those that criticize the church’s involvement in politics, Fairrington, whose place of worship has a following of 30,000, said the separation of church and state was never in the Constitution,” Newsweek reported.
“Our Founding Fathers said that the church should be the moral light of government.” Fairrington said. “This is what’s in our founding documents.”
Hibbs said he encouraged Elder to run in the recall election and said the native Californian is the right person to change the course of the state.
“My plea to independents, Democrats and Republicans is to make history,” Hibbs said.
“Today’s fight is going to have a ramification in the years to come just like seeds that were planted years ago already have,” Denham said. “Laws matter, freedom matters and stewarding the opportunity we have to insure freedom, righteousness and shalom matters.”
Franklin said that despite the left spending millions to keep Gavin in office there is something more powerful than money.
“I am a man of faith,” Franklin said. “David did defeat Goliath.”
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