MURPHY—Pastors in America have been drifting away from political involvement for a very long time, according to Rep. John McCaherty, R-Murphy and pastor of First Baptist Church, Murphy. McCaherty was just elected to represent the 90th District in the Missouri House of Representatives.
“We got afraid of separation of church and state,” he said. “It got thrown around so much that that was taboo that we all kind of sat back and let other people run the nation while we tried to influence the church and the family. The problem is, if we’re not involved in politics then who will be? It will be those people that stand for things that are against the common values that we hold.”
McCaherty holds to a worldview where salt means preventing corruption or decay and light means leading people to Christ. When it comes to things like jobs, community, and homes, he aims to be “preserving the Word of God and the traditions of the church and of our history. I think it includes preserving our nation and our freedom. I think Christ calls us to be salt and light of all things that are valuable and good, and life itself. I think it goes beyond just going to church.”
He admits that his status as a Missouri Baptist pastor who has just been sworn in as a legislator is unusual.
“We just had Freshman Orientation, and we’d go to lunch or something and it was amazing to look around the room and see the people that would gather together and pray over their meal or openly talk about Christ in the Capitol,” he said. “We’ve elected a lot of people who appear to be solid Christian people. I think it speaks volumes for our state that we, as a Midwestern state, are still a conservative Christian state. We’ve let go of the reins a little bit, but I think we’re starting to really look at people’s character and their integrity and starting to elect those people not just based upon their ‘R’ or ‘D’ behind their name but based upon their values.”
He likes the verse in Esther that alludes to a leader being placed in a position of influence for such as time as this.
“God could very well have a plan that we don’t even know about yet that He could use these legislators to do some amazing things and get us back on a right track,” he said.
ALLEN PALMERI/associate editor