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Keeping Christianity Legal

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes
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June 14, 2021 12:18 pm

Keeping Christianity Legal

The Christian Perspective / Chris Hughes

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June 14, 2021 12:18 pm

Chad Connelly, the Republican National Committee’s first-ever National Director of Faith Engagement, joins Chris to talk about being salt and light in the culture, taking back academia for the church, and his organization, Faith Wins, that is working to maximize Christian impact in the governmental and political arena.

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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential, and respected voices on cultural and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate, and author, here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes.

Welcome to The Christian Perspective, where we look in God's Word in order to develop a Christian worldview and modern culture. I'm Chris Hughes, and I'm honored to have a very dear friend on our show today. He is the former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party. He did such a great job in South Carolina that the Republican National Committee tapped Chad to serve as the first ever national director of faith engagement. Now I got to tell you, as we're starting off, that Chad is a huge, and I mean huge, Clemson Tiger fan, and he's a husband and a father to a beautiful family.

He and his wife, Dana, have four children, but with all that he has going on in his life, I can tell you that his greatest love is for Jesus Christ. Chad's the founder and president of an outstanding ministry called Faith Wins. He is truly impacting the culture for Jesus Christ, and I'm so excited to have Chad Conley as our guest today.

Welcome, Chad. Chris, I am honored to be on your show, your first show, and man, I love what you're doing and just proud to partner with you in any way, brother. Well, it's exciting for me to have you here because the work that you do at Faith Wins is really at the heart that I have, too, for our nation of impacting our culture for Jesus. So Chad, you're the president of Faith Wins. Can you tell us a little bit about what Faith Wins is and what you're doing with Faith Wins and how you got there in the first place?

Well, I am happy to, and you know that, and again, just thanks for having me on, Chris. You know, Faith Wins is an organization I started four years ago that's really an extension of what I've been doing for the better part of 20 years of my career, speaking and writing and in politics, but it is dedicated to maximizing the Christian voice in the public arena at the city, the state, and the federal level. Let's face it, a biblical worldview is not out there like we'd like, and it's really our fault, Chris. We've let people who hate our Lord, who hate American traditional values, who hate the idea, really the idea of freedom, we've let them define what we do or don't do in the public arena. It's amazing to me how many people who profess Christ as Lord ignore things like the admonition from Jesus to be salt and light. How can we influence a culture?

How can we be salt and light if we think we're not supposed to be involved in every arena that's out there? And so you want me to kind of go through my background a little bit? Yeah, yeah, please do.

Please do. So I grew up in a little town in South Carolina, went to Clemson, like you said, huge Clemson fan, met the girl of my dreams kind of thing, got married. The Lord worked on me. I got commission as an officer in the US Army. I was a tank platoon officer, loved my M1A1 tank and turning things that were functioning just seconds before into smoking piles of rubble.

That was awesome. But I think the Lord used in that in my life, Chris, was to really appreciate America. In his sovereignty, I'm not sure why he let me be born here, but I've traveled enough internationally to know that it is a true blessing. And I guess I felt more of a conviction when I came out of the Army that, boy, you ought to be appreciative of America and you ought to be making sure that the freedoms that we enjoy, we protect. You know, as my pastor says, number one goal is get to heaven. Number two goal is to take everybody you can with you. And number three, if you're in America, we ought to keep those freedoms legal.

And so that's kind of been my montage in my life is let's keep it legal. So I think I got convicted in the early 90s reading biblical worldview books that I had compartmentalized my faith. I thought, well, you shouldn't be shouldn't worry about your faith in politics. You know, that just doesn't belong there. And that's what the media tells us. That's what the left says. Ooh, keep your keep your religion out of the political arena and out of education. But that's not true, Chris. We can't be neutral on these things. And let's face it, we as Christians have given up the arts, entertainment, Hollywood and academia to people who hate our values.

And we're we're getting our teeth kicked in, not because we're losing the battle, but because we're not even in the arena with them. And so I wrote a book on American Christian history and free enterprise in the early 2000s, my wife shot at that. It did really, really well. I ran for small political office and lost. But God used that to show me I should be involved.

My boys came along in 97 and 2000, and they grew up waving signs and knocking doors for Christian candidates. And then my wife tragically passed away in 2006, left me a single daddy with two little boys that their mom committed suicide. And Michelle had a deep depression. Her mom had died. And just one of those real tragedies in life. You don't wish on anyone.

And, you know, we can spend more time on that on a whole different show if you want to one day. But God brought me. Dana met my current wife. We've been married to be 14 years. She was a victim of suicide. Her husband took his own life and she was a single mom with two little girls. So in God's only God's miraculous way, Dana and I met and we're married and that's been 14 years ago.

So our kids are now 24, 21, 20 and 19. And not only are we blessed and highly favored, but we got to watch God work in our lives. You know, we walk by faith, not by sight.

We got to watch God work. It's quite an honor. And after that, I got back involved in politics. I was out there speaking my book.

You know, Christians, get off your tails, get involved, influence the arena, stop escaping the arena, but get involved and tell them what a biblical worldview looks like. And then 2011, I ran for state party chairman, like you mentioned, and I got to be somebody that was in the spotlight. I did every political show on television. You know well that South Carolina is the first in the South primary state.

So in 2012, you get this big bright spotlight. It made Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire first in the nation primary and then it comes to South Carolina. And on one of those shows, Chris, and many of those shows, I was extremely critical of the party ignoring the faith vote. And a guy named Reitz Priebus, that most of your listeners will know now as the first chief of staff for President Trump, saw me on the show and he texted me and he said, Chad, I'm a believer too.

I'd like to talk. You're right. And after the election, I just was so discouraged that President Obama who had so openly attacked the faithful, he had openly attacked religious liberty. He had appointed judges that were truly just hostile to things that you and I think are critical and fundamental to America. And I said, I think it was on Al Sharpton's show on MSNBC that I thought Barack Obama would be the worst train wreck of a disaster to hit religious freedom in American history.

I'm no prophet, but I was right. And so after that I meet with Reitz Priebus and he offers to make me the first ever national director of faith engagement for either party. You know, campaigns do faith outreach sporadically, but Reitz wanted me to do it full time. I actually first turned him down. Then I began in July 2013.

That's probably about the time you and I met, Chris. And from 2013 to 2017, I traveled to 43 states and spoke to 85,000 pastors, really focused not on the political side, but on the spiritual side with a political impact as a result. I traveled all over the place building relationships and telling pastors, here's how you can get involved. Run a nonpartisan voter registration effort. Hand out voter guides to educate your people.

Teach your folks about issues of the day and how they relate to the Bible. I left the RNC. I think I'm the only senior staffer for Priebus that didn't work in the Trump White House.

And that's when I started Faith Twins. I started my own 501c3 to do the very same thing I was doing with the RNC and really had done previously, but I made it my own organization. And let's see, this past year, our little group, you helped. You were instrumental in North Carolina, of course.

But I traveled 15 states between July and December. I did 89 in-person meetings and spoke to 2,965 pastors, just encouraging them, maximize the Christian vote, not because there's an election, but because every time there's an election, Christian voices need to be heard and felt. Boy, Chad, you're so right.

And Christians have got to engage in the public arena. But before we get into that, so I did not realize that you were a tank commander. I think that was God's way of preparing you. You were shelling the enemy then, and now God is using you to shell the enemy. Again, only Satan this time, and you're lobbing God's word at him.

And I'm so thankful you did. But Chad, you mentioned when you were in the military that you just grew to love our country. And today, you know, if you love your country, it's almost like you're committing some kind of sin. And it's not just in the culture.

I mean, this battle, at least I'm seeing this, so I know you've got to see it when I go speak in churches. Even a lot of pastors or people that I respected, people that I thought were strong Christians, they don't want you to talk about America at all or about loving our country. And folks, this is the greatest free nation in the history of the world. It's the longest running free government in the history of the world. And as much as you want to criticize this country, there wouldn't be a free world today without the United States. There would not have been a World War II that was won, defeating the enemy. And there probably would not be a state of Israel today if it wasn't for the United States of America.

There wouldn't be people that are hungry across the world that are being fed. Now, we have our faults and there are a lot of problems, but I will never be ashamed to be an American. Chad, why do you think this is and what can we do to make Christians realize we don't have to be ashamed to love a country that was founded on biblical principles?

You know, we shouldn't be. And really, this is rooted, I think, Chris, in the academic system. K-12 and colleges probably began in universities where there were just true Marxist communists who hated the idea of freedom, but yet they're enjoying it here.

You know, isn't it funny? The people who hate our country just won't leave. They don't hate it enough to leave, but they want to destroy it and undermine it. I think it's rooted in education. I think this has been a plan from the left, from Satan himself, to undermine the idea of freedom.

I was with our mutual buddy, Bob McEwen, and he quoted a number. I'm going to get the source on this, but 85 cents of every missionary dollar spent in the world comes from this little nation, America, that's what, four or five percent of the world's population. It's not hard to see why we're a target. But when you see people, and I think in the university system, the teachers unions, the leftist push for all things that are anti-American and anti-biblical, you get an idea of why this has happened. And they just lie to people. It's what I wrote about in my book, Freedom Tide, is we have been lied to.

True history has been suppressed, been glossed over. The left can't, they really can't compete in the arena, Chris. They're not able to have a discussion. I know you've probably done like me and debated a lot of people who are on the left and just, not just liberals, not Democrats, leftists, who really hate our nation. And as soon as you begin to have a discussion of ideas, you know, because we ought to have a civil discourse and discussion about what really works and what doesn't work, they begin screaming.

You know, they start calling you names. Every ism in the world comes out, you're this and you're that. And instead of debating the issue, you know, the reason I'm a conservative, I told my kids not long ago, is conservative principles, biblical principles work in the real world. Communist principles, liberal principles do not work. And I think that's what the difference is, is they've been taught lies.

Yeah. You know, we have really forfeited the world of academia. I have, you know, I know your son, CJ, just graduated from college and I have two kids in college right now. And it has just shocked me, the garbage that, you know, we're paying a huge amount of money for them to get an education, but the liberal indoctrination, it's more important to many of the professors in big schools today to indoctrinate children than to teach them the subjects that they're supposed to be learning. And the Christian, the church has forfeited the world of academia. And I've just been praying that God would bring about a passion in young people's hearts who are going to school now that will want to be, you know, school teachers and especially college and university professors.

And it's not going to happen overnight. We need to have a long term, you know, 50 to 100 year plan where we take on the responsibility of telling our kids it's a good thing to be a teacher or to be a professor. We encourage them to go in that field and then make sure that they get a strong biblical and God centered education and enter the world of academia so we can start saving the future generations of America because the things these kids are being taught today is just unreal.

It really is. And we know biblically, scripturally, we fight not against flesh and blood. It comes out as this evil that really wants to dislodge things like the nuclear family, the intact family against God fearing traditional values, common sense, morality.

Was it Isaiah 5.20, woe unto them that call evil good and good evil and put dark for light and light for dark and sweet for bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. That's what's happening. My other son Bennett at Clemson in his American literature class. Of course the lady was, you know, homosexual and she taught them the gender unicorn. This is American lit. Now, I didn't do well in American literature, but I know Twain and down the line, you know, a lot of great authors that wrote a lot of great stuff and she's having them try to pick their gender out of the gender unicorn and incorporated into what they're right. That's insane.

Now, of course I've written Clemson. We've gotten a parent's group that pushes back and that's what I think we have to do. My kids took more engineering and sciences. So most of them have only had one or two classes where there was somebody that just pushed this nonsense. But I have a lot of friends who have, and of course all these sort of abstract studies curriculum that kids graduate with and they get out and they find out it's not marketable.

Nobody wants to hire them. It's because you're exactly right. These professors that a lot of them are tenured, they don't have to compete in the real world. They're teaching gobbledygook to the kids and some of these kids are just swallowing it. So my Sunday school class Sunday, Chris, you as parents and grandparents have to work harder to teach your kids biblical worldview, especially if you discover they've got teachers at whatever level pushing on them nonsense, that's really lies. And if you're not there to confront it and if you're not there to teach them the truth, they're going to get confused by it and they're going to be drawn down an awful path.

Boy, Chad, you're so right about that. And it's not just, you know, you mentioned the unicorn curriculum. That's not just in colleges. It's an elementary school.

People would be shocked. Parents do not engage. I'm going to preach for here for a minute, but parents are not engaged in what's going on in their children's education. And you might not be able to control what's going on a college campus or university campus, but you can pick where they go. But on a local level, you can get involved in your school system. My kids went to high school in North Carolina. Most parents never even look at the books or what the kids are studying, but they're required to take a, it's like a health sciences course.

It's required in the state of North Carolina for every high school student to take that at some point. And there's about a two week period, Chad, during that curriculum where they go teach in depth sex stuff. And, and, you know, I won't get too graphic on the show, but you know, homosexuality and, and I mean, they don't just talk about it.

They get into depth into the sexual acts of it. And by state law, parents are allowed to opt their children out during that two week time period. So, you know, when, when my kids were in school during the four years that the two of them were guests, five total between the two of them, when they were in high school, I was the only parent in our County who opted out and would not let their kids take that curriculum. You know, it's my job as a parent, you know, if I want my kids to learn about sex from a biblical worldview, it's my job to teach them that I don't want somebody teaching something, you know, acts that, you know, I've been married Vicki and I just celebrated 35 years of marriage. You know, I've never done a lot of the things they were teaching in that class.

I mean, it's just ridiculous. And I don't know this necessarily because other parents don't agree with me on my position. They're just not involved enough to know. And that's why you're involved, you know, so if parents want to know, so Christians out there, you want to know how you can stop this nonsense, you know, like Chad was talking about the books his kids had to read. You know, there's, there are great literary works out there, but some of these teachers today considered an indoctrination program and they choose this crazy radical stuff that you would never, I mean, my daughter was made to read three books I know of in high school, all three of them focused on pastors committing adultery. Well, what kind of message is that sending to a child? You know that, Hey, why would I want to go to church?

All they want to do is have sex or do things they shouldn't do anyway, but there's a way where Christians can get involved and stop that nonsense. And it's on a local level of people to me that, you know, there are a lot of important positions out there, but I think one of the most important elective positions is the local county school board or board of education. And Chad, I'm going to lead you into this for a minute, but I'm going to kind of tee it up for you, but people I'm telling you, if you want your kids to not be indoctrinated, run for the school board, get involved in candidates who are running for the school board, attend school board meetings, good night. Your kids spend more time at school than they ever spend with you. And I wonder how many of our listeners have ever even attended a local school board meeting. In fact, nobody hardly ever goes.

And that's why if you bother to show up, they're scared to death because they want to know what's going on. They got to get reelected. Most people don't even vote.

You know, they want to vote for president because that's a flashy position, but the ballot drop-off goes way down before we get to school board. I'm sorry, Chad, I'm monopolizing your time, but there's just such a passion with me. And I know it is with you too. If Christians would get involved, we could turn this country around. So Chad, why is it important for Christians to register and why is it important for them to vote? Well, look, you know, I'm not blocking my time.

You're singing my song and you're telling exactly the truth. And you know, I believe the key is pastors. If pastors tell people how they ought to be discerning these crazy times and people will be motivated. That is why my organization focus on pastors. I'm not against activists. I'm not against having big crowds, but as you know, the meetings I've gone to, a lot of ministries focus on the activists and faith wins. We've been focused on the pastors. I want to get to the influencers, the associate pastors, the youth pastors.

I want to tell them the truth about America. You know, and this is a typical thing about the school board stuff that you're mentioning. I was in California about a year and a half ago before the whole Wuhan thing hit. And I was speaking at a, at a capital connection deal out in Sacramento. There were about 80 pastors there, Chris, and the pastor who's probably a buddy of yours too, Mike Rogers had hosted and another pastor that's a buddy of mine had had me out there. And this lady, conservative Christian state Senator, one of the few who are on the Republican side, she brought in this colorful page that was passed to the school board level and it made to the general assembly. And here's what she said to those pastors. Thank you for coming this year to the state house.

You weren't here last year when this piece of paper got passed into state law. She said, now I appreciate your pastor being too modest to hand it out, but it is, and look, I only saw it from a distance at that point. It was, it was colorful and appealing.

It made you want to look at it. Right. And she said, I'm glad you don't want to pass this out and be embarrassed by this, but this is being taught to your fifth graders by state law, Chris, and I don't want to get too descriptive. It's a vegetables that are appropriate for confused sex.

How about that? That, that is what the page is and it's taught to fifth graders in California. Now we all know, you know, we think of them as, Oh my gosh, they're so confusing California. There are so many godly people there, but to your point, they're letting that nonsense rubbish get passed in the law because they're not present. Part of what we're doing with faith wins is we're talking to pastors about talk to your congregations. Yes. Do a nonpartisan voter registration.

Yes. Handout voter guides. But Hey, pastor, why don't you mention them?

Do any of you feel called to get involved in the local PTA, the local school board, the County council, those folks have a lot of power and by and large, they are leftist through a don't understand American history. B don't know God much. Let's have a relationship with Jesus and C are as ordered in their beliefs as you and I in taken down America. They think that Jesus is non-inclusive. You know, I tell my Sunday school class, he's the most inclusive glock down world history. We're all completely equal at the foot of the cross. Every one of us is completely helpless and unable to access eternal life except through Jesus Christ. That is complete 1 million percent equality were equal in him. And so they call that a exclusive, you know, narrow minded, whatever focus that is total inclusivity.

Everybody, all, all races, all nations, all tongues, all people were completely unable to get there without him. And so the people who are against America truly hate our Lord and they hate our nation because this is the land of freedom. This is the place that everybody looks to for all the complaints and whining. Chris, there's an awful long line of people wanting to get in. And when you elect people who don't have an appreciation for the Lord, for the nation's history, then they're apt to put in place laws that, you know, run completely contrary to what we know has been successful and made us, as you mentioned, the longest standing constitutional Republican in the history of the world. Yeah. Well, Chad, we're about to run out of time, but real quick, can you just tell us, you know, can churches legally have a voter registration drive? I know a lot of Christians think there there's no need to vote, but is it important to vote and why real quickly?

Absolutely. And on my website,, Chris, I actually do videos covering people's objections. You can show it to your pastor, you can show it to the deacons. I teach them exactly how to do a voter registration drive. We have videos where pastors are telling how they did it.

I have a legal document that Matt Staver from Liberty Council and other Christian attorneys put together. It's called What Churches Can and Cannot Do in Politics. See, I don't believe that our issues are biblical issues of life, marriage, Israel, and religious liberty. I don't believe they're political at all.

They're spiritual issues. Yes, they've been politicized, but that doesn't remove our responsibility to teach our people how to think on those issues. And so it is imperative that every church, when some pastor tells you, we can't do voter registration, it's political. Please tell me how that's political.

Please tell me how you're going to be salt and light. If you're not making sure your people are voting biblical values, pastor, please tell me. In this land of wokeism, in this time of they want to be all things to all people, everything they're doing is political. And some of them won't do voter registration because they're scared of it being political.

It's hypocrisy at the highest level. And I would tell people who are listening to your show, if you're sitting right now in a church underneath and learning from a pastor who is moved in this wokeism, who is standing on those things that are anti-biblical, you need to seriously pray about moving churches and being in a biblically based Bible preaching, God-fearing church that teaches the Word of God, not some newfound nonsense that's just a new age of movement to undermine the Lord. So yes, it's imperative they do those things. That's great advice to end the show. And Chad, I'm going to have to have you back again. Thank you so much for being here today. I sure appreciate it. You know I'd be honored, brother, and I love you and God bless you, man. Thank you.

Folks, if you want to learn more about what you can do to get engaged, go to and also go to Amazon and get Chad's great book, Freedom Tide, Now You Can Make a Difference. I want to thank you for joining me today. I'm Chris Hughes and this is The Christian Perspective. Thank you for listening. Subscribe and like our podcast and please share it with your friends on social media. Now let's go make a change for the culture for Jesus.

Thank you for listening. The Christian Perspective with Chris Hughes. Learn more about impacting the culture for Jesus. Visit This is the Truth Network.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-04 18:38:02 / 2023-11-04 18:49:19 / 11

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