The Christian’s Involvement in Government

May 14, 2024

Host: Dr. Gary Dull

Guest: Scott Barger

Note: This transcript is taken from a Stand in the Gap Today program originally aired on 5/14/24. To listen to the podcast, click HERE.

Disclaimer:         While reasonable efforts have been made to provide an accurate transcription, the following is a representation of a mechanical transcription and as such, may not be a word for word transcript. Please listen to the audio version for any questions concerning this dialogue.

Gary Dull:            Ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another edition of the Stand in the Gap Radio program of the American Pastors Network. I’m Gary Dull and thank you so very much for the pleasure of your company as we gather around the radio, across the nation and even around the world for another edition of Stand In the Gap. And before we get too much involved in the program today, I would like to shout out a big hello to the folks who are part of the WFBM Radio Network up there in central Pennsylvania. My wife Nancy and I had the opportunity to be at the Faith Baptist Church up in Beaver Springs last night where Pastor Denny Melanie serves and of course he is also the director of that WFBM Radio network. And I got to meet a number of you folks face to face and what a joy we had there as we were involved with the concert there with the Ag family.

Gary Dull:            And so to all those of you listening on that great network up there in central Pennsylvania up went towards the northeast and the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, it was a delight to be with you and I just enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time with you all last evening. Well, as we study the word of God, we can clearly see that God is a God of precise order. In one Corinthians chapter 14 in verse 33, the word of God says, for God is not the author of confusion but of peace. Now that means that he does not do anything in a scattered way, but has a plan by which he works out all things for his honor and glory. The whole concept of his creation is an illustration that God is a God of order. As a matter of fact, in the studying of the Word of God back in the Book of Genesis, we can see that God created everything in an orderly sequence in a six day span that set the world in motion as we know it today.

Gary Dull:            He created the sun, the moon, and the stars to regulate the time in seasons. And the heavenly bodies still operate with precise predictability as God set them in order. The living human body is a great illustration of God being an orderly God as well. For instance, the heart pumps blood through organs designed to receive it. The brain fires thousands of messages per second to regulate pain, temperature, respiration and thoughts and a million other chemical and physical reactions take place simultaneously within the body. And if one factor is offbeat to the least degree, then the body cannot function properly. The more science discovers about creation, the more is revealed about God’s miraculous order. Now, we could go on and on discussing the illustrations on the orderliness of God, but one area in which we can see God’s orderliness is how he’s established three biblical institutions to bring order and function upon the earth.

Gary Dull:            We’ve talked about those institutions in the past. They include the family as is outlined in Genesis chapter one, civil government as it was introduced in Genesis chapter nine and explained in Romans 13. And then of course the church as we see that it was birthed in Acts chapter two. And when God’s three institutions function according to his divine plan, order is clearly seen. On the other hand, when God’s three institutions do not function according to his divine plan, then confused results. And one of the reasons why we see so much confusion in the world today is because mankind and even Christians at times neglect and even reject God’s institutions. And consequently, chaos and disorder flourishes in the world. From the biblical perspective, each obedient Christian is to be involved with God’s three institutions. Now a thorough study, the word of God will reveal what God’s plans are for those three institutions that if practiced will bring God’s order into fruition.

Gary Dull:            And I would encourage you to conduct such a study on your own. Now, most Christians, I believe will admit that they should be involved in God’s institution of the family. In addition, many Christians see their responsibility to be involved with the church. But in many cases, and it is true with many believers, their involvement with civil government is very limited, if not even refused entirely. Certainly this is not honoring to God. The reality is as God wants believers to be involved with his institutions of the family and the church, he also wants us to be involved with civil government. And certainly we should always do what God wants us to do and be involved with his program. Well, today on the broadcast I want to introduce to you a great friend of mine, his name is Scott Barger. Scott exemplifies how Christians can practically be involved in all three of God’s institutions. And I say that because Scott is a family man, he’s pastored a church, and now he’s on his way to serving in government. And the purpose of having Scott in the program today is to encourage each of you to seek God’s direction as to how he would have you to be involved in all three institutions. Scott Barger, welcome to Stand in the Gap Today.

Scott Barger:      Well thank you Gary. Thank you for having me.

Gary Dull:            And as I was putting together this program, I couldn’t help but think of your dad, what a man he was.

Scott Barger:      He was something else. He

Gary Dull:            Was something else and in the secular radio station in our area and gave me the opportunity to have a daily talk show for a number of years and scared me to death.

Scott Barger:      And you never earned a fine from the FCC or anything. Never did

Gary Dull:            Nothing. Tried to run

Scott Barger:      Away from clean track record.

Gary Dull:            At least I tried. But it’s a delight to have you on the program today, Scott, and I’m just wondering if you could share a little bit with our audience about your background as a Christian who’s been involved in God’s institutions in the home and the church, and how has God worked in your life?

Scott Barger:      Well, I was like you said, I was a pastor for a number of years. If I did my math correctly, it’s about 15 altogether and I’ve always been something of an inquisitive person. And so when I was a pastor, I was constantly asking myself and revisiting the question of what does it look like to be a church? And I would encourage our folks not to think of church as something that you go to or something, a building that you build, but it’s an organism that you’re part of. You’re a part of a movement, you’re part of a body, you’re part of something and what does that look like? And each person, if we go to scripture, we see that each person is uniquely equipped to serve different functions. And each one of us, I believe has different strengths that can be used in the body, in the body of Christ, in the church.

Scott Barger:      And that was a question that in fact, I would preach one of my recurring sermons, Gary, was Ephesians four 11 through 16, absolutely spiritual gifts about everybody that we have. The church has been given leaders and the job of the leaders is to figure out how to equip people for the work of ministry. And I thought that that was so important to talk about regularly. That was part of my annual preaching gallery right up there with a resurrection Christmas. It was part of to remind us that ministry isn’t something that we pay a pastor to do. It’s something that we ought to do. And part of the function of the church is to teach each and every one of us, what can we do? How are we part of that? What is my role in my local church? And I think that that is not a, that kind of question is not something that you ask once and have it figured out forever and ever. You constantly, I think should revisit what am I doing in my local body? What’s my role now? Well, for a while I was a pastor, I was a preacher, I was an a equipper of the saints. Now I am not preaching what’s my role now. So that was the process that I went through as a pastor figuring out what’s my role and what are our roles in the body of Christ as one of these institutions instituted by God for our benefit.

Gary Dull:            And that’s an important passage of scripture. Ephesians chapter four, I love that, how it talks about the body fitly joined together by that, which every part contributes to that. So that’s good stuff. Well folks, we’re going to continue our program after this break and when we come back we’re going to be talking about the Christian involvement in government. So you’ll not want to go away, stay tuned. We’ll be back right after these messages. Well, welcome back ladies and gentlemen and delight to have you there by the radio or by whatever device you’re listening to the program. Today we’re talking about how God has established a means of bringing order to civilization through his three institutions, the family, civil government, and the church. And I’m talking with a friend of mine, Scott Barger, who is actively involved in all three of God’s institutions having recently won the primary election to serve as the Pennsylvania State representative here in the 80th district of central Pennsylvania. And we were talking while you were listening to the break and the announcements, the difference between government and politics and government is something that God himself has established. But politics is a little bit different, don’t you think? Scott, can you draw the comparison between the two or the similarities?

Scott Barger:      Government is the vehicle and politics is the way we drive it. I was mentioning to you during the break, Gary, that I was surprised as a candidate the overlaps between the political realm and the church realm, if I could use that word, the way that you and it makes sense when you have a group of people united behind a purpose or an agenda, something that they would like to work on and accomplish together. How you navigate or lead those folks and coordinate those efforts would be very similar. It certainly has been so far. I’m not officially a state representative yet, but I have run a successful campaign and a campaign for office. Well, thank you. Thank you. That a

Gary Dull:            Unique campaign because you primaried a sitting representative.

Scott Barger:      That’s right. And here in the 80th district in central Pennsylvania, that’s pretty conservative area. And so Republicans, when they get in office, they tend to stay in office for a long, long time. And in fact, if I understand my history of the 80th district correctly, no incumbent has ever lost a primary challenge in the 80th district.

Gary Dull:            So you made history,

Scott Barger:      But we didn’t realize that before we ran. Something tells me had I realize that we may not have run that it’s really is something that doesn’t happen very often, but there are definite correlations between church life and the way you work within a church to try to accomplish something and a political campaign. So I’ve seen those parallels already and now it’s the next step for me. Fortunately, I don’t have an opponent in the general election, so now I just do the transition work and get ready to serve starting December 1st in the general assembly in Harrisburg.

Gary Dull:            Now, why do you think it’s important for Christians to be involved with government? And again, the difference between government and politics, there is a distinction there. Can you give that distinction again? What did you say

Scott Barger:      In simple layman’s terms? I would say the government is the vehicle and politics is the way that we drive it. How do we make things work? How do we steer the bus us? Which direction are we going and how can we convince the folks on board that this is the right direction? But I think it’s critical for Christians to be involved. Look, if you talk Gary to people in these United States, and if you hear them start to express frustration with government and the way it’s working, whether it’s their state capitol, their local school boards or municipalities or even Washington dc, when you hear them express frustrations with government, those frustrations are when the government isn’t acting in a very Christian way, you’ll hear about dishonesty. Well, that’s not a Christian virtue at all. That’s right. So what I have found is that when people are wastefulness, for example greed, these are not Christian virtues. And so when you hear people complain about government, they’re complaining about a government that is departing from God’s ordained virtues of the way we ought to act the way we ought to treat one another. What is right, what is good, what is true? And so to me, Christians, our role in government is to live out those virtues as government officials because I think a government that is guided by those virtues serves the people much, much better than a government that is not

Gary Dull:            Well yeah, we need to understand that here in the United States of America, we the people really are the government. Yes. And so it’s important that we be involved with government and understand the biblical concept of government. And where the problem lies is when you find that people who are involved with politics sort of destroy the basic principles of what government should be according to the word of God.

Scott Barger:      Yes. And government, I agree, is an institution ordained by God for a purpose. It brings order to society. It protects the innocent, it prosecutes the guilty. It establishes safety and security and prosperity for people in a society. If the government isn’t doing its job well, what I believe are God’s intended purposes, prosperity, peacefulness in a society that stuff is threatened and a government that lies more than it tells the truth. A government that is not about serving the people but serving some other sort of agenda isn’t going to accomplish what God has intended us to do.

Gary Dull:            So Christians should be involved in government so as to bring biblical principles in the sphere of government so that the government functions biblically.

Scott Barger:      Absolutely.

Gary Dull:            Why is it that Christians run away from it then?

Scott Barger:      Well, I think there are certain flavors of Christianity that have decided that involvement in carnal institutions like government is something that’s not for them. I think some of us look at government as being maybe something of the world. It’s a broken world based system. You hear that? And certainly it is broken and certainly it looks way too much like the world system, if I could use that phrase than what it should. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have an obligation more than if we look in our society of broken families. That doesn’t mean we abandoned the idea of family. Right. No, it means

Gary Dull:            That’s a good

Scott Barger:      Point. We work hard to improve the institution of family. How do we do it better? How do we heal broken families? How do we help marriages? I don’t think we should turn our back on government anymore than we should turn our back on family or churches. I’m sure you’re a pastor Gary. You know what it’s like people leave a church and they, wow, those churches, those pastors are all in it and they’ll have complaints, they’ll have gripes and sometimes legitimately, sure, well, what do we do? Do we abandon the church because of broken churches? No, we can’t do that. We can’t abandon the church, we can’t abandon the family. And I would argue you can’t abandon government just because it’s broken and not working as well as it should be. And some would say not working well at all doesn’t mean that we turn our back on it and let it to the wolves, so to speak.

Gary Dull:            What about a pastor’s involvement with government? You were a pastor for 15 years and down through the years, I know I’ve been involved and I don’t want to get going down the road of what my involvement is or why I’ve been involved in certain ways, but there are many pastors out there that will say, I don’t want to have anything to do with government. Is that a biblical approach or is that a non-biblical approach?

Scott Barger:      I think that sounds to me. I mean, I’ve been there and pastors will be concerned. What does this mean for my tax exempt status, for example? Although I wonder, Gary, is there a time in the not too distant future where more and more churches aren’t going to care about tax exempt status? They’re going to care about more important things than that, but let’s hope and praise them. Let’s hope. Yeah, but I think a pastor, when I was a pastor, the way I looked at it was this, I didn’t tell people, I didn’t tell people which candidate to pick should be their favorite. That wasn’t, I didn’t be as my job, but I did try to bring the teaching of scripture to bear on political issues. So if a particular issue was driving a campaign, we would have a lot of conversation about is the Bible say anything about this?

Scott Barger:      Does it not? What is right here? What is the Christian thing? If the Bible doesn’t say anything one way or the other, then let’s talk about wisdom. What’s wise for our communities? And I think a coach, a pastor taking a coaching role and how do we engage with this political issue? Some things are black and white, Gary, they’re sin or they’re not sinned, they’re wrong or they’re right. Other things don’t fit in those categories. Maybe when we come to the way different government programs work or how they’re funded, but we can still apply what I think is biblical wisdom to figure out how to address those issues and the best way possible. And I think pastors are important. Bring the teaching of scripture to bear on these issues so that the people of God can look and say, okay, what’s right? And if there’s not a right and wrong here, what’s best? What is best for us to do in this situation

Gary Dull:            And what’s relevant? I think that one of the problems in the church today is that the pulpit lost its relevancy because it doesn’t address some of these issues. And if pastors would be willing to address these issues, I think government itself would be better off in the

Scott Barger:      Long run. Well, yeah, look, in the political realm, there’s a lot of complaining about the reality is that so many people don’t vote. They don’t engage in the process. Well, an informed voter is an engaged voter. And so if we can be informing them of issues, specifically Christian voters, what are the issues that we’re facing and what does the Bible say about this that I think motivates. I just don’t want people to vote. I want people to vote in an informed way for the right candidates while an informed and motivated Christian voter is a powerful vote, cast in the right direction on issues that are critical.

Gary Dull:            And that’s the way for Christians to be involved with government, know what’s out there, know what’s going on, know what candidate stands for what, and then do what they can to support that candidate. Yes. Now you’re running, of course you really have it. You are the next representative from the eighties. Yeah.

Scott Barger:      If God doesn’t take me home and if I don’t end up in prison or something, I will be a state representative for the 80th district.

Gary Dull:            We’ll pray that you stay out of prison. Yes, please. But did you anticipate ever prior to recent years that you would be running for office? No.

Scott Barger:      No, no. It’s something you may be in passing and you think, I wonder if I would ever do that. But no, it wasn’t until recently that we decided that this is the right time to give it a go

Gary Dull:            For such a time as this. Yes

Scott Barger:      Sir.

Gary Dull:            Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’re talking with Scott Barger and he has a lot to say about the church and government and involvement. And when we come back, we’re going to be talking with Scott about some of the issues that we’re facing here in Pennsylvania that could impact the entire nation. Because this is a national broadcast, I’m sure you’ll want to hear what Scott has to say. So don’t go away. Stay tuned. We will be back right after these messages. Well, thank you for taking some time to be with us today and stand in the Gap radio program. And so as a delight to have you there, as we’ve often said, this program would be nothing without you folks who are listeners. And so we are very thankful for the fact that you’re there listening. And as a team of hosts, we do everything that we can to bring to you subjects of discussion that are relevant to you in your Christian life, wherever you may be.

Gary Dull:            Many times we use the expression, the biblical worldview, which simply means to view all things through the eyes of the scripture and then to order our lives according to biblical truth. And that’s why today we’re trying to do that in our discussion with Mr. Scott Barger, who just recently won the primary election for the 80th district here in central Pennsylvania. And of course by now he has a lot to say about government. He’s well educated, well versed on it as a former pastor and now being into politics to use that word in the government. And we would encourage you to be praying for him. But before we go any further with Scott, I want to bring in our executive producer, Mr. Tim Schneider, to share with you some encouraging things about our ministry about Stand In the Gap today. Tim, take it away, sir.

Speaker 3:           Thank you very much, Gary. Good afternoon to everybody. Want to let you know that we’re on social media. If you’re not aware, we are on social media, please consider liking us on Facebook and following us on X, formerly known as Twitter by searching for American Pastors Network and Stand in the Gap Radio. Also, we are on bit shoot if you do bit, shoot, look us up over there on Bit. Shoot also on our social media platforms. We also have two great websites, American pastors and stand in the gap Please consider checking them out also for just content that we post. And also if you’re on American Pastors, consider signing up for a newsletter. We promise we won’t inundate your inbox with spam, but we’ll send you information about the ministry and things going on that you might find useful one such thing as we weekly send out a recap email of the previous week’s programs, a transcript and some clips, podcast q and as of a previous program.

Speaker 3:           So you can check that out. And all the other resources we send out on that recap email, usually about once a week and other emails that we send out. So please sign up for our e-newsletter at american pastors Also, please consider praying for this ministry. We covered your prayers. Nothing can happen without prayer, and we ask that you please pray for us. And also if the Lord has blessed you by this ministry and you would consider wanting to give something financially, no amount too big, no amount too small is too much. Just whatever the Lord would want you to give, just consider giving financially so we can continue to do what we need to do here. So there’s lots always going on here, Gary, but I’m going to go ahead and send it on back to you for the rest of the program.

Gary Dull:            Thank you, sir. With what you’ve just said, you’ve almost compelled me to take up an offering.

Speaker 3:           You probably would know what to do there, so I’ll go ahead and let you be responsible for that.

Gary Dull:            Thank you, Tim. I appreciate it. But we’re talking to Scott Barger today, and of course he has just won the primary election for the 80th district here in Pennsylvania. And we’ll go on to the general election. But you don’t have anybody to run against in the fall, do you?

Scott Barger:      No, no. Unless there is a write-in campaign, I’m pretty secure. But we’re not going to sit idly by. No, we’re looking at other races in the area right now. Republicans in the state of Pennsylvania have a one seat majority in the house of or one seat minority in the House of Representatives. And so that means that unless we get that majority back, we get to play defense for the next two years. And so I would rather push a conservative agenda through the House of Representatives. So to do that, we’re going to try to win another seat back.

Gary Dull:            And one of the things we talk about on this program a lot is when you look at the platform of the Democrat versus the Republican, the Republican platform is very biblically based, and that’s the conservative platform.

Scott Barger:      The parties of today are a pretty black and white choice in my mind, in platform, in platform. Now there’s always going to be that occasional bad apple. Oh,

Gary Dull:            There’s

Scott Barger:      Bad apples everywhere,

Gary Dull:            Bad apples everywhere.

Scott Barger:      But in terms of platform, I think in my humble estimation, the Republican platform is biblical and reflects Christian virtues like we were talking earlier.

Gary Dull:            Yeah, and I’ve said, and I got in trouble saying this before and I probably will get in trouble saying it again today, but that’s all right. I don’t believe that you can be a good solid bist that is knowing the Lord Jesus Christ as personal savior and trying to live according to biblical worldview and support the Democrat platform. I don’t think a good Christian can support the Democrat platform.

Scott Barger:      Well, it seems that things that the extremes concern me, Gary, the extremes concern because this is not on both sides. On both sides for sure. But this is not, my grandfather was a Democrat. This is not the Democrat party of 50 years ago. No, it isn’t. That was about social safety net programs or labor unions. This is something quite different and I think it is not good for families, but that’s my opinion.

Gary Dull:            Well, I think it’s a pretty good opinion. I think that I would

Scott Barger:      Kind of figured you might,

Gary Dull:            And we can say that that’s our opinion. And even though our opinion is right, we’ll stick to that. Right. Scott Pennsylvania has been referred to as the keystone state. And from the beginning of America, Pennsylvania has truly been keystone in many things that relates to our entire country. Without a doubt. Pennsylvania is in the keystone position even right now. And I’m just wondering from your perspective, and you’re getting and more involved with government here in Pennsylvania, you’re learning more about what’s going on in government in Pennsylvania and across the nation. What are the significant issues that we face in Pennsylvania right now that will have an impact across America in the years to come that you believe that you need to focus on in order to what I would say present a more Christian and conservative agenda and philosophy as it relates to our inter nation?

Scott Barger:      Well, I think that there is statewide in the state of Pennsylvania, in every state, we’re in the same boat in the world post Roe v Wade. Each state has to determine how they’re going to legislate regulate abortion within that state. And so all 50 states are wrestling with that now, and Pennsylvania is no exception. So I think that that’s a pressing issue where I think Pennsylvania is going to have an impact on the rest of the country has to do with how well Republicans motivate people to get out to vote. I’ve read a number of newspapers recently where were described as a very pivotal swing state. We could really go one way or the other. Right now, for those of you who don’t live in the great state of Pennsylvania, you may not know that we’ve recently legalized a mail-in balloting system that is pretty low bar for entry.

Scott Barger:      You fill out the form, you get a ballot, you fill out the ballot and send it in. There’s some concerns to is that system as it stands vulnerable to abuse. But right now, that system of voting a mail-in balloting, we’re not talking about absentee ballots. We’re talking about anybody for any reason can request a mail-in ballot has noticeably and measurably benefited the Democrats. If Republicans don’t get better at that, we are not going to turn in a presidential. We’re not going to turn in votes for a Republican president. So what we’re trying to do is I would personally like to see that lobby changed. I think it’s unconstitutional.

Gary Dull:            It needs to be changed. I’m glad you went down that road, Scott, because I was in a discussion not too long ago with a person who is a state rep on radio about this mail-in ballot. I don’t think it’s constitutional.

Scott Barger:      Yeah, the Pennsylvania state Constitution prohibits this kind of ballot in my opinion, but this is what we’re stuck with now, and there needs to be a fight to get this done, reversed, revoked, whatever word you want to use. But until then, this is the rules of engagement for voting in the state of Pennsylvania.

Gary Dull:            But doesn’t that open the door for even more corruption within voting?

Scott Barger:      It does. It does in my opinion. Well, okay. And by

Gary Dull:            The way, that’s all across the country. I mean, that’s not just Pennsylvania. We’re dealing with people in 50 states right now.

Scott Barger:      There are all manner of concerns, and I’m sure you’ve heard them, Gary, that people do not have faith in the system of voting. And some of them have what I would describe as pretty wild ideas of what’s going on that I don’t know are true. I hope they’re not true. But one thing I do know is true. When voter confidence is low, it’s bad for people. We need people to be out voting. And so we need to address anything that causes people to lack confidence in our system of voting. I think we need to address it. And so that, I think that issue will affect the rest of the country. Republicans right now, we are kind of fighting the battle on two fronts. One, can we get a majority back to undo mail-in balloting, but two in the meantime, we have to play by the rules that exist in the state of Pennsylvania, which means how can we get more people out voting even if it’s by mail-in balloting. So I know there’s several initiatives statewide that are pushing that direction, trying to turn in more votes. I don’t like it. I don’t like that system, but that’s the system we have. But

Gary Dull:            You said something there that’s key all across this nation and that is how can we get more people out to vote? I mean, even in the presidential election, if you get up to what, 50%, you’ve probably really done

Scott Barger:      Something. Listen, there is a malaise, call it a spiritual malaise where people look at the political process and by the political process, I mean the system of electing candidates to office where people think, what does my vote matter? What does my vote

Gary Dull:            Matter? Oh yeah,

Scott Barger:      You hear that. But listen, right now in the state of Pennsylvania, there is sitting house of Representatives, his last name is Cabbel, I think I’m pronouncing it correctly. Who’s being challenged by a challenger. Last name is Walsh. Walsh versus Cabbel. Walsh is the challenger just like I was right now he’s up by three votes. Three, three with 15, I think the last I checked, 14 or 15 provisional ballots left to go over with the lawyers. It could come down to a one vote winner. So don’t tell me that your one vote doesn’t matter, folks, because it really, really could.

Gary Dull:            Well it does, and that’s why everybody needs to register and get out there and vote. Your vote always counts. Don’t stay home, get out there and make a difference. Particularly that’s I think your responsibility of every Christian. Well, when we return after this break, we’re going to ask Scott to share what he believes to be the effective Christian’s involvement in government and maybe give some specific examples how to be involved. So once again, you’ll want to stay tuned and we will be back right after these messages. Well, thank you ladies and gentlemen for staying with us and throughout the program today we’ve been talking about Christians being involved with government and it’s important that we do that. And so we’re going to continue that in this last section in talking with Scott Barger, who is just about ready to really get his feet wet in government after serving as a pastor and as a father for many, many years, there’s an old hymn, and I just lost the name of it, something like The Fight is On. I think that’s the old hymn. The fight is on. What you think you’ve had fights up to this point. You just wait, brother.

Scott Barger:      Well, I tell you, Gary, when we decided to run for office, one of the first things my wife and I decided to do was we kind of came up with our own golden rule, and that is be the candidate that you would vote for.

Gary Dull:            Good idea.

Scott Barger:      And then from there we went because we were asking ourselves, what Christian virtues do we apply to a campaign? Another one was always tell the truth or at the very least, don’t lie.

Gary Dull:            That’s

Scott Barger:      A good point. I like that. And a version of that is don’t tell people what they want to hear. Boy, is there a poll when you are out there trying to convince people to vote for you. Sure. And you know that there’s a series of things that they would like to hear you say, but those things may not be what you believe. And there’s a pull to tell them what they want to hear.

Gary Dull:            And in time that’s going to come out too. If you tell them what they want to hear, obviously down the road somewhere, they’re going to find out what you really believe and that’s what you’ve got to tell them. Well, we’ve been talking about Christians getting involved with government and I want to talk a little bit about the effect of Christians being involved in government in this last segment. So from a fatherly perspective, a pastor’s perspective, and now one involved with government or you will be getting more and more involved with government. Scott, what do you see is the effect of Christians being involved with government and how can they get involved? I mean, we were talking earlier in the program about the difference between government and politics. A Christian can be involved with government without being involved in politics in reality. Correct?

Scott Barger:      Correct. So

Gary Dull:            How effective is it for Christians to be involved with government and how can they get involved in wherever they are?

Scott Barger:      One of the confounding things about the political system in America is that the offices that probably have the least impact on our day-to-day lives are the ones that get all the attention. So you’re talking about your senators, US senators and your president, president. I’m not saying it’s not important. I’m saying that the president doesn’t have as much impact on your day-to-Day life as your local offices. That’s right. And I really mean school board

Scott Barger:      Borough and town councils. But depending on what your state and how your state is formed, your city councils, town councils, school boards, state government, the more local the government, the more impact it has on your life and you can have more effect on that government at the local level. And I think a Christian who is informed out talking to neighbors, helping a campaign at a local level can really have a lot of, we’ve just seen that recently, Gary, in local school boards, there was a parent driven kind of pushback to what they considered to be a progressive agenda in our schools and school boards all throughout the area became very decidedly conservative in reaction to that. These are parents who with very little or no money, went out, knocked on a lot of doors, put out some signs in their yards and convinced enough people to vote for them so they could be on school board. You have a big impact at local level, and I think that’s where Christians should, can and should begin is that these local offices and races were local

Gary Dull:            Offices. I’ve said that all along that that is the most effective place that you can serve in the local school board. I mean it makes all the difference in the world. And you’re right, the president is way up there, the school boards down here, but when you’re involved with the school board, you have local impact. And who was it? He used to say that all politics is local. And the point of that is, is that’s where it’s effective

Scott Barger:      In Pennsylvania, I assume in most if not all other states, the local school board determines how expensive it is to buy a house by way of

Gary Dull:            School tax. Exactly right.

Scott Barger:      They will determine the kind of curriculum that will be available, but in libraries and classes in the school, and those school boards are often 7, 9, 11 people. So you could be one of a small group of people that decides what kind of curriculum will be taught, what kind of taxes will be levied, what is done with that money, where are we spending the money that we are taxing our citizens that live in a school district, what are we doing with that money? That is a big impact in families in our communities.

Gary Dull:            So when Christians get involved with government, they can represent Christ and biblical perspectives there. That is something that we should do in every level of life. And I know this may be somewhat redundant, but what happens when Christians don’t get involved with government? I mean, what’s the effect of that? I had an uncle who used to say, I will never vote. And I would say, well, why don’t you vote? He said, well then I have the right to complain about whoever gets put in there. I don’t know that he ever followed through with that. But when Christians are involved with government, then you get that opportunity to present biblical values. So it could be a redundant question, but what happens when Christians run away from government,

Scott Barger:      Scott? Well, I think we’re seeing what happens. I think that a Christian disassociating themselves with the political process for the last maybe my lifetime. I was born in 1973, so maybe over the course of that. Yeah, I’m just getting started, Gary just getting started.

Gary Dull:            I still have more hair than do though,

Scott Barger:      But I think that that’s what we’re seeing. And here’s the thing. When we were running decided to run this campaign, one of the conversations we had with a man who became our political strategist was that the important thing is to ask the question, what does it look like to be a Christian in the political realm? Specifically, how do you love the person that you’re talking to about voting that per me knock on the door? How do you love them? How do you love the person if you’re elected, sitting next to you in the House of Representatives, if they’re a Republican or a Democrat? How do we do that? How do we express care and concern for the people that we’re serving with? I think if more elected representatives, elected officials at every level of government ask those kinds of questions, more Christians got involved and say, what is it?

Scott Barger:      It’s hard to convince someone to change their mind if what you do is insult them. I think to show that you have care and concern for their carers and concerns is a much more profitable starting place to walk down the road of convincing someone to rethink maybe their political opinion. You’re never going to convince somebody by clobbering them over the head with something. I think that’s what we have kind of fallen into in our American political system. We insult each other. We have a very us versus them mentality. And you’re not going to convince someone, we’ve got a lot of work to do in the state of Pennsylvania. We’re not going to get it done unless I can convince some folks on the other side to work with me. Well, I’m not going to convince them by just insulting them or lying to them or manipulating them. I have to be a truthful broker and honest broker who demonstrates a care and concern for their wellbeing. Why is this thing important to you? Help me understand your point of view. And then from there we can talk about is there a place for us to compromise or can change your mind? Can I get you to revisit this idea, a respect? Because remember whether the Republican or Democrat, Gary still created in God’s image. That’s right. Still an image bearer of their creator.

Gary Dull:            And that’s very important to take into consideration. What are you going to have to do to achieve that goal in your particular,

Scott Barger:      You start out, you start out at the very bottom, right? So I’m the new guy going in and I have no standing place yet. So I think what you do is you go in with, I intend to approach it the same way I approach the campaign. And that is find the good people, surround yourself with the good people, the Christian people, the smart people, the conservative people, and then be humble enough to listen to them. Don’t act like you know everything because you don’t. And that’s the place to start, I believe.

Gary Dull:            Be ready and willing to learn.

Scott Barger:      Yes sir.

Gary Dull:            Well, Scott Barker, thank you very much for being with us on the program today. And folks, I want to thank you so very much for your company as well. Pray for Scott as he goes into the Pennsylvania state legislature and State House there and does what he can to bring biblical values to bear on government. Well, we’re finished for today. The Lord willing, we’ll be back with you in about 23 hours from now. And unto then, on behalf of the entire Stand in the Gap radio program staff, I’m Gary Dull saying keep looking up. Stand in the gap for truth. And remember that the best is yet to come.