The Journal of James Hartline
~ Dated February 18, 2008 ~
The Joy and The Agony of Being
A Christian in 21st Century America
There Is A Price To Pay For Making A Stand
As A Christian Candidate In An Anti-Christian World.
~ On The Campaign Trail In 2008 ~
It was Sunday, February 17, 2008 and I had just finished going to the grocery store to buy some fruit to contribute to a local church picnic in the relaxed San Diego neighborhood of Kensington. I was happy to have a brief respite from the harsh schedule of my campaign for the San Diego City Council. I was also gratefully enjoying the early afternoon walk towards the park where friends from Mid-City Christian Fellowship were gathering for food and fellowship. However, my comfortable walk to the park soon turned into a drastic brush with death. Seconds after I had stepped off of the curb and onto the pedestrian crosswalk leading into the park, I was hit by a black four-door Toyota station wagon.
Time seemed to stand still as I watched the car approaching me at about 15 mph. I just assumed that the driver was going to stop at the red light. Instead, this madman behind the wheel kept coming at me. Already six feet into the pedestrian walkway, there was little room for me to maneuver away from the inevitable impact I was about to have with the murderous grill attached to the front of the Toyota.
My shock soon turned into a strange dancing motion that allowed me to roll along the hood of the car and safely land feet first at the left side of the assaultive vehicle. Once again, I have had my faith in God reconfirmed as I was miraculously spared any injury. The driver got out of his car which was now stalled completely across the pedestrian walkway. With bloodshot eyes and a twisted disposition, the driver had been drinking, something he admitted to me when I accused him of being drunk. Because I was not injured and the drunk driver had returned to the accident scene after fleeing, the police said that they would not be charging him. In fact, the police officers only gave him a sobriety test because I had stated that they were going to let a drunk driver leave without charging him which could potentially endanger other vunerable community members.
One hour after I had first been hit by the drunk driver, I finally left the location of the incident and walked into the park. Having my life threatened has become routine for me in the assignment that God has given me to save our nation. Some things are more easy to endure than others. While I expect the constant threats to come my way from the radical gay activists who are determined to stop my stand for Jesus Christ, there are other kinds of spiritual assaults and pitfalls along this path that are not so easy for me to dismiss.
For me, there is nothing so agonizing as the sight of my city suffering the fires of moral decay -- and only a handful of professing Christians willing to come and help me to put out the destructive flames. As I compete for a seat on the San Diego City Council, I am confronted daily by a Christian Community that seems to have been injected with a sedating toxin so spiritually devastating that I fear they may never awaken from their comatose state.
In 2004, we were on the brink of losing a major component of our constitutional right to free religious expression. The cross that sits atop the Mt. Soledad Veteran's War Memorial was close to being removed and most San Diegans had lost all interest in the legal case. I began to rally Christians to reinject themselves into the battle. I was able to get hundreds of Christians to turn out for hearings at the City Council. Long before the rich politicians got involved in the Mt. Soledad Cross battle so that they could gain political favor with the voters at election time, I was crying out for churchgoers to make their stand for our religious freedom at city hall. You can watch one of my many speeches on religious liberty and the Mt. Soledad Cross legal battle at the San Diego City Council by logging into the following:
San Diego City Council Video Archive --
Go To View Video -- Mar. 08, 2005 --
Click on Break Return and slide time ruler to time of 44:08.
Despite the fact that one million Christians in San Diego are now enjoying the blessing of seeing the Mt. Soledad Cross still standing, only 34 Christian voters have contributed to my campaign for a seat on the San Diego City Council.
After all of these years of fighting for the protection of the kids of my city, and after all of the battles that I have waged to clean up the moral rot in our community, I am virtually treated like a dog by the vast majority of pastors in San Diego. In my campaign for the San Diego City Council only 7 of the 2,000+ pastors in San Diego have endorsed my campaign. These seven courageous pastors are good and faithful men. They are more concerned with pleasing God than what others may think. Out of the 2,000+ pastors in San Diego, only one pastor has contributed financially to my campaign.
Two years ago when the holy city of Jerusalem was about to be infested with some of the most perverted sexual events in history, I was the first voice to cry out against this ungodly injustice. I wrote the first Christian news story about the World Gay Pride event and the plan by gay activists to come to the holy sites in Jerusalem where they would pollute them with evil and vile perversions. Because of my initial reporting on this disgraceful event, a worldwide protest began to stop the World Gay Pride event in Jerusalem. Christians and Jews throughout the world were eventually able to celebrate the stopping of the World Gay Pride event.
Two years later, as I campaign for the San Diego City Council, only 34 Christians out of the millions who have been blessed by my work to stop the World Gay Pride event in Jerusalem have even contributed to my campaign for the city council.
Last year, I was the first Christian writer to report on the horrible event at Petco Park where thousands of young San Diego children were going to be exposed to the gay organization which had hired dangerous pedophiles in 2005 as part of the San Diego Gay Pride festival. Thousands of San Diego parents were able to protect their kids because of my reporting and my Christian activism against the Petco Park assault on the youth of our city. One year later, only 34 Christians and one pastor have said thank you by contributing financially to my campaign for the San Diego City Council.
Over the last five years, I have led the charge to shut down nine pornographic businesses in the city of San Diego. Included in the list of these terrible businesses that are now shut down is a gay bathhouse location where thousands of men over a period of 22 years were exposed to AIDS and illegal drug use. Today, many lives are being spared because this death house is now closed. Today, only 34 Christians have said thank you by contributing to my campaign for the San Diego City Council.
I recently asked God about the role of my particular city council campaign in our city. The Lord responded by letting me know that my campaign is a test for the Christians of San Diego. You see, pastor after pastor preaches in the pulpit about the corruption and immorality in our culture. These same pastors now have a chance to do something about the things they have been preaching about. If they do not support my campaign for the city council, than all of their complaining is just empty rhetoric.
My campaign is a test for me and it is a test for the Christian Community of San Diego. For me, it comes down to my obedience to God. God instructed me to run this race. Whether anybody supports me or not, I still have an obligation to God to follow Him and to remain obedient to His call for my life. For the Christians in San Diego, my campaign is an opportunity for them to prove whether their years of complaining about the corruption and immorality on the San Diego City Council has been an honest concern of theirs or just the bitter verbage of lukewarm Christians who are all talk and no action.
I would imagine that if I was rich and influential in our culture, the 2,000+ San Diego pastors would be lining up to support me. After all, when wealthy politicians like Leslie Devaney ran for the San Diego City Attorney in 2004, pastors in San Diego gave her their pulpits and their time to help her campaign. I recently found out that one of the most influential pastors in San Diego brought mayoral candidate Steve Francis before a conference of hundreds of Christian leaders to introduce him. Francis is one of the most rabid supporters of homosexuality in the Republican Party. He is also one of the richest.
While millionaire Steve Francis has been campaigning to become San Diego's next mayor, and at the same time, destroying the Republican Party's opposition to homosexuality, he is being helped by pastors in his campaign. These same pastors have never helped me with anything in my years of faithful service to God, yet they can help a pro-homosexual millionaire in his bid to become mayor of our city.
Perhaps if I supported homosexuality and had millions of dollars, this same pastor who is helping Steve Francis would help me in my campaign for the city council. Sadly, this pastor has never once offered me any help or assistance with my ministry, much less my campaign. Instead, I now see this pastor more in the light of this story told by Jesus:
Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed and who lived
each day in luxury. At his door lay a diseased beggar named Lazarus. As Lazarus lay
there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his
open sores. Finally, the beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with
Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and his soul went to the place of
the dead. There, in torment, he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham. "The
rich man shouted, `Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip
the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in these
flames.' "But Abraham said to him, `Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being
comforted, and you are in anguish." Luke 16:19-25
My campaign volunteers and I may not have the wealth of this pastor and pro-homosexual candidates like Steve Francis and gay Republican activist Carl DeMaio, but we know we have our dignity and we are obedient to our God. We may live in one of the poorer neighborhoods in San Diego rather than the wealthy suburban safezones of pro-abortion mayoral candidate Steve Francis and homosexual activist Carl DeMaio, but we will not compromise our obedience to God or His word.
When I caused a media uproar in late 2007 by reporting on the treacherous plan of the San Diego City Council where the council was planning to issue a legal brief in support of gay marriage, all of the so-called family organizations like Concerned Women For America were down at city hall in front of the cameras clamoring for televsion time to promote their organzations and their opposition to gay marriage. Yet, during my campaign for the city council, not one of these women have helped me with my campaign. Not one has contributed to my campaign or endorsed me.
Our city is burning - burning down. Our morals are disintegrating and sexual anarchy is exploding in our city. I am fighting the good fight. Yet, less than two dozen San Diegans have even contributed to my campaign. While homosexual activists have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to my opponents, I am left with a few good people supporting me and the rest of the churches completely turning their backs on me during this grave battle.
God has spoken to me about my campaign. The Lord has said to me that my campaign is a test of where the churches in San Diego are. While Christians do alot of talking about the problems in our culture they show little action. They show even less interest when it comes to supporting Christians who run for office. While I have been going to the city council for years to stand up for God's people, only one pastor in San Diego has contributed financially to my campaign.
If Christians are not willing to suppport a faithful Christian candidate in their own community than all of their complaining about gay marriage, abortion and bad politicians is just a bunch of hot air.
I am not the first servant of the Lord to articulate the apathy of a lukewarm group of believers. And I won't be the last either. The Bible talks quite a bit about those who are negligent with the things of God. 2 Chronicles 29:11 states:
"My sons, be not now negligent: for the LORD hath chosen you to stand before him,
to serve him, and that ye should minister unto him, and burn incense."
The word negligent means to deceive. When we promised the Lord to serve Him, to honor Him and to help our fellow Christians as we gave our lives to Christ, that was a vow we made to God. When we become negligent in our vows to God, we are deceiving the Lord. When we say that we need to get rid of the bad politicians, but then we won't even support our Christian candidates, we are deceiving ourselves if we think that God is going to be pleased with our actions.
If we don't turn this nation around by electing Godly leaders we are going to be the generation responsible for destroying the great land that God gave His servants 400 years ago. Let us remember that the Bible clearly states that revival and the healing of the land is solely the responsibility of Christian believers. Let us remember the plan of action that God gave us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 and let us be diligent to act upon it:
"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and
seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will
forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
This has been an exclusive story from the Journal of James Hartline.
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