Cultural Impact Tour calls for action
    November 30 2015 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

    Mark Harris is concerned about cultural shifts that have forced same-sex marriage on Americans and fostered anti-Christian sentiments. As the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, he is traveling the state to mobilize pastors to take positive steps of action against destructive forces in the culture.
     
    The Cultural Impact Tour (CIT) is a series of events Harris has led in 2015, with plans to continue into 2016. CIT is sponsored by Family Research Council, North Carolina Policy Council, Vision America and other organizations.
     
    Ten pastors across N.C. are leading an organizational strategy to host vision luncheons for pastors. During a November event at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, Harris told the pastors it is not a mistake that “God has placed you in your position as a pastor and Christian leader of the church you serve.”

     
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    Mark Harris

     
    He is concerned because Christian leaders will one day stand before God and give an account of their life and ministry. Addressing the significant cultural changes, he said, “We have allowed it to happen under our watch, and we have nothing else to do but to step up to the plate and let God work in and through all of us to bring our nation back to Him in repentance and brokenness. But it takes leadership to do that.”
     
    The first step is to “take responsibility that this happened on our watch,” he said. Then we must be willing to correct the course of the nation. “It’s now time to take the action.”
     
    In the pattern of patriot pastors who prepared their people for the Revolutionary War, Harris said pastors must take the lead in the battle. Much of the training during that pivotal war took place in the churches, led by pastors. “The churches [are] where they hid the gunpowder in the Revolutionary War,” he added.
     
    CIT calls for pastors and churches to take action. “Today is not about hearing, it’s about doing,” said Harris. “We need men of God that will do what has to be done.”
     
    Another speaker at the event, Rick Scarborough, is the founder and president of Vision America, as well as the former pastor of Pearland Baptist Church in Texas. Vision America’s website, said the organization “informs, encourages and mobilizes pastors and their congregations to be proactive in restoring Judeo-Christian values.”
     
    Scarborough said in June that “the Supreme Court decided to mandate that which God forbids and natural law proves is incorrect.”
     
    He pointed to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor who was executed April 9, 1945, by Hitler’s Socialist Party. “His crime was refusing to say that Hitler was his führer,” Scarborough said. He inserted one of Bonhoeffer’s famous statements, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
     
    “Increasingly, as a nation forsakes God and as a general principle the fear of God evaporates, that culture will digress to lawlessness,” Scarborough said. When the Ten Commandments are taught to be irrelevant, they are irrelevant to students. 
     
    There are two choices for the pro-family movement in America according to Scarborough. “We can pray and hope for the best, or we can pray and act.” He called the pastors to respond to a scripture “we have all preached.” James 2:17 says, “Faith without works is dead.”
     
    Pastors need to act because Judeo-Christian values are the foundation of Western civilization, he declared. “People are recognizing that there is something wrong with the culture. Even those who are not church attenders are seeing a shift in values. Foundations and freedoms are being threatened.” 
     
    Harris said he invited pastors to the luncheon to ask them to do three things.
     
    First, “Determine in your heart to have a Culture Impact Team in your church,” he said. “The team serves to inform, equip, alert and mobilize the membership of the body of Christ.” He explained that just as a church has a personnel committee and finance committee, it needs a Cultural Impact Team.
     
    Second, Harris asked the pastors to choose a leader to attend the training session. Pastors are invited to attend the training but it is not necessary if the lay leader will attend.
     
    “I’m not here today to ask you to do something that’s going to add one more thing to your plate,” Harris told the pastors. It is not the pastor’s responsibility to do the work of the team. “The pastor’s responsibility is to identify a lay leader in the church who will be trained.”
     
    The CIT training is a two-and-a-half hour evening event. “All I am asking you as a pastor to do is to support it and to choose the lay person in your church you feel like would be great to be equipped. They will be reporting to you,” said Harris.
     
    Christians feel like they don’t have the information they need to deal with the pressures they experience.

    “They are being bullied,” he said. “They’re being told they are bigots and that they are wrong.”
     
    Third, he offered a tool that helps a church discover how many people in the congregation are registered to vote and how many voted in the last election. He said it is the greatest tool to help a church be effective in cultural impact. “This is all public information,” he added. “The means are now available for churches to find out how many in our church are registered and how many voted.”
     
    CIT organizers believe pastors can lead better when they have good information, which is available in print, on websites and through equipping sessions. Seven events are listed on the organization’s website through January. Visit watchmenpastors.org/events.
    11/30/2015 2:08:11 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Cultural Impact Tour, Mark Harris




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