WASHINGTON — Pastor Gary Hamrick of Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia, told hundreds of Christian conservatives gathered in the nation's capitol last weekend that too many Christian leaders are not taking a stand on hot-button issues out of fear of being "too political."
Hamrick leads the large congregation in Loudoun County, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C., where much national media attention has been paid to parental backlash to the public school district in recent years.
He spoke at the Family Research Council's annual Pray Vote Stand Summit last Saturday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. The event gathered hundreds of politically conservative leaders and pastors who heard from many of the 2024 Republican presidential candidates.
The 59-year-old Hamrick took the main stage, where he shared that in today's culture, there are "a lot of mixed messages" about what society deems are correct orthodoxies to believe. Many times, he said, those stances go against biblical truths that Christians are called to stand by.
"We believe in science. 'Follow the science.' Then they don't even acknowledge basic biology of two sexes," Hamrick said. "Then, they'll say things like 'my body, my rights.' And then, they'll force you to take a vaccine or lose your job."
"They'll say things like: 'Children should be able to transition without parental permission.' And then they enforce parental permission when those children need a Tylenol. We are living in a time when the world has lost their ever-loving mind. … They're going to try to convince us that we're the crazy ones," Hamrick added.
"C.S. Lewis once said, 'When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.' Well, we're running in the opposite direction because the world is promoting things that are on the precipice of a cliff."
Hamrick said that many pastors "are sitting back and not addressing any of these issues from the pulpit saying, 'We just don't want to get too political.'"
"Have you heard that, 'We just don't want to get too political' as if it's too political for the Church to address the social evils of the day," he said.
"Was it too political when some Christians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer stood up against Nazi Germany?" he asked. "Bonhoeffer said, 'The Church is the conscience of the state.' The Nazis executed Bonhoeffer in 1945 at the age of 39."
The pastor asked if it was "too political" for William Wilberforce to stand against slavery.
"Wilberforce said, 'Let it not be said that I was silent when they needed me.' He said, 'If it be feelingly alive to the sufferings of my fellow creatures as to be fanatic that I am one of the most incurable fanatics ever permitted to be enlarged,'" Hamrick said.
"It's not political to oppose Nazi Germany. It's biblical. It's not political to oppose slavery. It's biblical. Was it political when Christians like Pastor John Peter Muhlenberg of Woodstock, Virginia, stood up to the tyranny of Great Britain as it had to do with oppressive taxation and the denial of religious freedom? No, it was biblical," Hamrick continued.
"John Peter Muhlenberg, on Jan. 21, 1776, stood up in his pulpit preaching from Ecclesiastes 3, where it talks about, 'there's a time for this and a time for that.' He got to verse 8, where it says: 'There's a time for peace, and there's a time for war.' Pastor Muhlenberg looked at his congregation, and he said, 'Surely this is not a time for peace. This is a time for war.' And he unzipped his black clerical robe to reveal an officer's uniform in the Continental Army. And he marched to the back of his church, and he called his men to fight with him. And 300 men left to fight with him and formed the 8th Virginia Brigade that is still active today. It's not political. It's biblical."
The pastor contends that "true Christians have never been afraid to address the social evil of their day."
"The Church must be and still must be the restraining force against evil in our day. That's 2 Thessalonians 2. Why all the fuss of late about how we shouldn't be as political in our churches?" Hamrick said.
"Friends, listen, I haven't gotten political. Those with opposing views and values have gotten evil, and they have snubbed their nose at God and God's Word. That's what is happening in our culture."
Hamrick, who has been preaching over 30 years, said he has maintained the same biblical stances throughout his pastoral vocation. But in today's culture, biblical stances are often viewed as "too political," he said.
"The sanctity of life from the womb to the tomb, it's in the Bible. The design of marriage between one man and one woman, it's in the Bible. God's design of two biological sexes, it's in the Bible. God's design of multiple races and how all lives matter and all lives are equal before God, it's in the Bible," Hamrick added.
"God's desire for the borders of the nation to be defined and defended, it's in the Bible. God's desire for parents to be the responsible caretakers of their children and not the government, it's in the Bible."
He warned that a "godless generation" has been raised up in today's society, which is opposing biblical values and God's plan for creation.
"They've come into our lane and tried to hijack the narrative on social and moral issues as if a godless generation can tell us what is right and what is wrong," the pastor said. "The more progressive and the more godless our culture becomes, and the more that godless agenda infiltrates culture and the Church to drive things further and further left, the more people like you and I will look extreme, right? The reality is we've just been standing still. We've just been standing still in the same place the whole time," Hamrick said.
Hamrick said that people who label Bible believers "Christian nationalists" have become godless.
"They're going to look at us and say stuff like that. Listen, I am not a political Christian nationalist. I am a practical Christian biblicist who believes that Jesus is the only hope for America," Hamrick said.
"But, that hope will not be realized unless pastors are teaching the truth, Christians are living the truth, and the world is hearing the truth through our lives. That's the only way this is going to happen," he added.
"Martin Luther once said, 'If you preach the Gospel in all aspects, with the exception of the issues which deal specifically with your time, you are not preaching the Gospel at all.'"
Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post.