There are many believers who would view the decision of a pastor to enter into politics as a move away from that which is Christian to that which is secular.
And while such a view may be correct, former pastor and governor Mike Huckabee makes it clear that it’s not just “evil” people who go into “evil” places.
“Being a light in the midst of darkness – where everyone happens to be – I believe, is what God calls each of us to be,” he said during a Q&A at the 2010 convention of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) this past week.
Since ending his bid for the White House in 2008, Huckabee has become an increasingly popular political commentator. He currently hosts a weekend show ("Huckabee") on the nation’s most watched cable news network, Fox News, and a radio program ("The Huckabee Report") that has become the fastest growing radio program of the past decade.
Though the platforms at Fox and ABC Radio are quite different from the pulpits he once preached from, Huckabee says they've been a "great blessing" for him and that he feels he has gained a “mission opportunity.”
“Wherever you see something that is rotting and decaying, wherever you see something is spoiling and going bad, that’s where salt’s got to be,” he said in explaining Jesus’ teachings on Christian engagement in the world.
“If Christians are the salt, where should we be? In a box? In a sack? In a warehouse somewhere? No. The salt has to be on that which is spoiling. So let’s pick out the realms of our culture that we think are rotting, and spoiling, and decaying,” Huckabee continued.
Examples of such realms, as Huckabee noted, include the media, the movie industry, music, fashion, advertising, and finance.
“[W]e’re really in trouble in Wall Street, not because of a money problem but because of a moral problem,” he said to make his point. “It was sheer ... raw greed that brought Wall Street down. It wasn’t financial mismanagement.”
So when Christians say, “I’m not going to get involved in those things,” Huckabee says they have not only abdicated responsibility but have “absolutely given confirmation to the utter destruction of everything we’re afraid to touch.”
“Christians should be involved. They have to be, whether it’s education, finance," he told the dozen or so media representatives affiliated with the NRB. "Name the part of the world, particularly wherever something is spoiling or getting rotten, and that’s where Christians should go most.”
To illustrate this, Huckabee noted how a flashlight is not needed in a well-lit room.
“Taking our light to a well-lit room – in other words, saying ‘I’m a really great Christian in church’ – what difference does that make? But taking the light to where there’s total, utter darkness, that’s where it matters. So that’s why we have to be involved,” he concluded.
In addition to the question regarding the role of Christians in politics, Huckabee was also asked questions about U.S.-Israel relations, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and the current changes in the political arena.
Following the Q&A, Huckabee spoke at a closed-door dinner banquet attended by some of the nation’s leading conservatives, including Dr. Richard Land and Tony Perkins, among others.
Huckabee is an ordained Southern Baptist minister.