First Priority

Keep Your Hand on the Plow

Our nation’s moral war isn’t over, especially for Christian leaders

Service is costly. God never intended the world to be run by godless counsel and perverted ethics, but that is the alternative when we are silent.

The struggle over the marriage amendment last November in California is living proof. A 4 percent margin stood between defining marriage between one man and one woman and the deception purported by liberal activists.

Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Pastors are a moral compass meant to influence congregations and society at large. I’m grateful for the pastors who helped mobilize hundreds of ministers in this close election.

I know many more leaders who could’ve taken a stand but for fear of losing or upsetting their more liberal members chose to remain silent. That nonsense must stop. Every three minutes, a believer is martyred somewhere in the world while standing for their beliefs. Our cry of “political correctness” is a weak excuse.

The war isn’t over. There are tremendous lessons for us to learn from this narrow victory, for it is only one of many to come:

1. We must do spiritual warfare. Lou Engle, president of TheCall, proclaimed a 40-day fast leading up to the elections with specific prayer for Proposition 8 to pass. The opponents were ahead by 10 points in the polls when the fast began. After 10 days of fasting, that lead was lost. Just before the election, the polls showed a dead heat. When TheCall San Diego took place, 20,000 Christians fasted and prayed. We knew in the heavenly realm the war was won though the election was three days away.

2. It takes money to transform society. Proposition 8 supporters raised $37 million (versus $40 million for those who opposed). I’m convinced that without these funds we would have lost the battle. The money to buy commercial airtime was crucial to combat the opposition’s media blitz. This proposition was the most costly measure of the election. Yet you can’t put a price tag on truth and righteousness.

3. We must “keep our hand on the plow.” Without the pastors’ and leaders’ involvement, we would have likely lost. It’s taxing and costly to lead. Yet King David, when offered land for God’s use for free, replied, “I will not give to God that which costs me nothing” (see 2 Sam. 24:24). Are you willing to stand, however you must, to bring God’s honor to our land?

4. We need long-term strategy and reformation structure. To shift our culture and re-establish family values for generations to come, we need strategists and leaders to unite under God’s wisdom to bring about moral reformation, not just temporary transformation. Reformation is the structure that upholds change. We need donors to give, attorneys to fight, leaders to contend until we firmly establish God’s justice. It will take time, and it will take all of us.

5. We need to receive all like-minded groups. More than just evangelical Christians are needed to win the values war. I’m grateful for every group—Mormon, Roman Catholic, Hispanic, etc.—that came out to vote and donated millions to the cause. If we work in massive unity, we can bring transformation into reformation for our nation, and “nothing we plan to do will be impossible for us” (see Gen. 11:6).

The battles can and must be won—for our children and their children. Plow on, leaders!

Ché Ahn is senior pastor of Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, Calif. He leads an apostolic network in 36 nations around the world and has written numerous books, including Close Encounters of the Divine Kind. For more information, visit


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