Paul Chappell’s Post-Election, Eight-fold Call to Baptist Pastors

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Paul ChappellThe following article was written by Paul Chappell, Pastor of the Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, California. Pastor Chappell is a well-respected, leading voice among unaffiliated Baptists. We felt his challenge to Baptist Pastors was equally needed by all Pastors, so we obtained his permission to re-print his article here. You can learn more about Pastor Chappell at paulchappell.com.


As the results of the recent election became clear, I became concerned, not because of party or political issues, but for spiritual reasons. Those who elected our nation’s leaders reflect the hearts of our nation’s citizens. When a political party jeers at the name of God, rejects God’s plan for marriage, and endorses the killing of preborn children—and America elects those who hold these positions—we are in a difficult situation.

As one of the 58 million Americans who did not vote for President Obama, I will still pray for him and respect his office. I will not spend my days in depression or anger. My hope and strength is in Jesus Christ. A hostile political climate is nothing new for Christians.

As we approach the Christmas season, I am reminded of a far more dire political time in which John the Baptist began preaching. By Roman authority Herod Antipas governed Judea and Samaria with pettiness and self-interest. The ruling Jewish leaders treated John the Baptist with contempt. Yet he was faithful to his calling to “prepare the way of the Lord.”

Our responsibility today is similar to that of John the Baptist’s responsibility. We too are preparing for the coming of our Lord. “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

What are some steps every Baptist pastor can take to help make a difference and prepare the way of the Lord?

Earnestly Seek Revival

America has been blessed of God with multiple revivals that began in a single church or area that spread nationally. In the time following the American Revolution, this country was in spiritual decline. For instance, Thomas Paine’s book Age of Reason sought to debunk biblical Christianity, and it gained great popularity in American colleges. In 1794, a group of Baptist pastors drafted a “circular letter” to churches of every denomination asking their members to dedicate days in prayer for revival in America. By the end of 1795, the Second Great Awakening had begun and continued for fifty years. God’s people drew close to the Saviour, and whole towns were converted to Christ.

Our prayer for today is the same. “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?” (Psalm 85:6). Revival is a moving of God where repentance is made toward God and toward one another.

While I have personal and ministerial convictions, I have no interest in participating in online dialog with anonymous commentators about my “feelings regarding another Christian.” Yet the same people who live in this caustic and hurtful world will complain about a changing America. Homosexual activists have more unity than “Bible believers.”

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I saw God grant favor in fundamental churches, both in leading many to Christ and influencing our nation. But that influence was lost through pride, unnecessary divisions, jealousy, moral failures, and ministry philosophies that had little emphasis on discipleship and sound preaching.

For the last twenty years, the “Seeker churches” have led the way in American church culture. In the words of Steve Farrar, many of these churches are more about “setting a mood.” (Steve Farrar. King Me: What Every Son Wants and Needs from His Father. Moody Publishers, Chicago. 2005. pp. 125–126). They are unwilling to violate their seeker philosophy to confront our erring nation. The results are reflected in their voting patterns.

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