'For Believers, It Means Everything': Faith Groups on a Mission to Get Christians to Vote in GA Runoff
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Voter registration has ended for Georgia's run-off election and early in-person voting starts Dec. 14. Then it will be up to voters to decide who will fill two seats in the US Senate and determine the balance of power for the next two years.
Right now, Republicans hold 50 US Senate seats, and Democrats and their allies hold 48 seats.
Millions of dollars are being spent by both sides to get out the vote for Georgia's Jan. 5th election. But perspectives on the race differ even within the body of Christ.
Ralph Reed heads the conservative Atlanta-based Faith and Freedom Coalition. "It's very important because unless something changes we're staring down the barrel of a Joe Biden presidency," Reed said. "I think for believers it means everything."
"I think we have to make sure that our voting is rooted in the values of the gospel," said Georgia faith organizer Rev. Billy Honor.
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No matter who you ask, the consensus is the run-off is pivotal, especially for Christians. Reed says Bible-believing Christians are called by God for such a time as this. "And He has placed us in the United States right now and in this hour to be faithful witnesses to His glory and His goodness," Reed said.
"I think we need to pray for His will to be done, and we need to put feet to our prayers by making sure we're engaged," he told CBN News.
Reed says he wants to use the massive voting strength of evangelicals to tip the scales in favor of Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue because of what's at stake if the other side wins, including Israel's sovereignty.
"Massive tax increases, gutting the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which protects our First Amendment right to freedom of religion," Reed listed. "Raphael Warnock is pro-abortion. He says abortion on demand is entirely consistent with his view as a Christian minister. I don't know how you could support an agenda that extreme."
"I'll always fight for their right to be wrong," Honor said.
Honor has been pushing voters, particularly those in historically marginalized communities, to engage by mail since 2018 when Democrat Stacey Abrams narrowly lost her bid for governor to Republican Brian Kemp.
"I'm a gospel-centered, civic-minded type of person. I've always said that but mine is actually rooted in the gospel," Honor said. "And that is the gospel of Luke where He says that I've come to open of the prisons for those who are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year to those who've really been oppressed, downtrodden – differently-abled folks who have been marginalized by the system. Jesus says I've come to say to all of them 'this is your time'."
Honor agrees Christians are called to action but differs on what that means.
"Who's wanting to open up hospitals in rural communities and who's wanting to close them?" Honor said. "Who's wanting to expand access to healthcare and who's wanting to reduce it? Who's wanting to expand access to unemployment insurance during this time of pandemic and who wants to foreclose on it? These are the type of questions I think Christians should be looking at asking themselves."
He says all people of faith, even all Christians, won't vote the same way – a point Reed acknowledges as well. Both are working hard to make sure believers get to the polls.
"You got one more vote, the job isn't done yet," Honor said.
"And I pray for us to continue to be found faithful," Reed said.
Reed said the upcoming run-off election is not one of persuasion but of turnout. In other words, whichever side gets more of its base to the polls will likely win with Christians making up a crucial part of the voting block.
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