Taking Back City Hall: Christians Urged to Speak Up at City Council Meetings on ‘Duty to Obey God’

city councilPASADENA, Maryland — A Christian political columnist and TV/radio commentator has launched a national effort to ‘to make public officials aware of the fact that their first duty is to obey God and to administer His word.’

John Lofton works with the Institute on the Constitution, based in Pasadena, Maryland, and recently unveiled the “God and Government Project” out of his desire to make a difference in a nation that is uneducated in the Biblical origins of law and government.

The Concept

“The God and Government Project is about being a witness,” he told Christian News Network. “Government is from God, and [the concept] is to tell our leaders, therefore, what is required of them as holders of government offices. And what is required of them is that they obey God–that they apply the law of God.”

Lofton is currently recruiting participants for the project, who will simply attend their city council or county commission meetings and read a prepared two-minute statement that advises the council of their duty before God.

“The original, true American view of civil government is the view that is expressed in the Bible, the book of Romans, chapter 13, which tells us that all legitimate authority is from God. And the powers that be, such as this council, are ordained by God,” one of the statements reads in part. “In fact, this passage of Scripture says that each one of you council members is a ‘minister’ of God–the word ‘minister’ is actually used in the text. Thus, your job is ministerial, to administer, to apply, God’s law.”

“Most of these governing bodies at the county or local level have a two-minute period at the beginning before the general or official meeting, where you can say most anything,” he explained. “What I urge [participants] is, ‘You’re there to witness.'”

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Lofton recently took a group of students from the Institute on the Constitution to their local county council meetings to read these statements themselves during the public comment period.

“We had a twelve-week course on God and government. Six of it was in a lecture hall at our office, and for the other six, we took the students to the county council [meetings],” he explained. “At each meeting, three of our students one right after the other read two-minute statements. And at the next council meeting, three more read two-minute statements.”

Lofton said that although the majority of council members were professing to be followers of Christ according to their bios, none displayed any emotion to the comments.

“We couldn’t detect a whole lot of reaction other than they were just not pleased with it,” he said. “And most of the people on that council claim to be Christians; they go to some kind of church on the weekend.”

A Nation That Has Forgotten God


However, Lofton also noted that he finds that most government leaders profess to be Christians, yet have no clue as to their purpose in office, or are unaware that God expects anything of them at all.

“One of the most frustrating things is that the overwhelming majority of people who hold elected office in this country, at all levels of government–state, local, national–claim to be some kind of Christian,” he noted. “They’re in a building for at least an hour on Sunday all across this country and they know nothing about what their job is.”

“Over the years, I’ve interviewed scores of candidates and incumbents, and I have a few basic questions for office-holders and office-seekers, and that is, ‘What is the purpose of government and what is the origin of law?” Lofton explained. “The typical response I’ve received over the years is, ‘Well, it’s to serve the people.’ So, right away, I say the answer is off to a flying stop. It is not to serve the people. It is to first serve God. Godly government is good government.”

However, the former magazine editor also remarked that not only are politicians oblivious to their duties before God, but the majority of church-goers and pastors reject Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. He said that many often disagree that God has anything to do with politics.

“There’s only one alternative, and that is Godless government,” he asserted. “Christ says it a couple of different ways in Scripture, ‘You’re either for me or against me. There is no third way.'”

Lofton reflected back to when John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court, was questioned by California Senator Diane Feinstein during his 2005 confirmation process about his beliefs regarding the separation of church and state.


“[M]y faith and my religious beliefs do not play a role in judging,” Roberts announced. “When it comes to judging, I look to the law books and always have. I don’t look to the Bible or any other religious source.”

Lofton said that the he thought Roberts’ reply was extremely disconcerting.

“God’s word is the ultimate law book,” he exclaimed. “What do you mean you look at law books and not the Bible?”

However, Lofton advised that he was not only grieved by Roberts’ response, but also by the lack of outrage from Christians.

“It caused no stir at all,” he lamented. “In modern-day America, one could get up there [for questioning]–not merely a Supreme Court justice, but the chief justice–and very unceremoniously take God’s word and throw it in the trash after spitting on it, and there wasn’t a ripple.”

Lofton also recounted a conversation he had earlier this year with Democratic candidate Karen Young, who is running for mayor of Frederick, Maryland.

“When I asked her about God and government, she got very angry. She wanted me to turn off the tape recorder and wondered why I was asking. She was running for the mayor of Frederick; what does God have to do with that?” he recalled her asking. “And she said this, ‘I will tell you that I have canvassed the city about five times in the last couple of years and nobody has asked me that question, and I have knocked on thousands of doors.'”

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Lofton said that while Young’s response did not surprise him, it grieved him that no one cared about God–not even one person.

“To think that in the United States of America, you could knock on thousands of doors answered by thousands of people–the overwhelming majority of whom in tracking with national demographic polls had to be calling themselves Christians going to a building once a week for an hour–that not one person in their own way could raise ‘the God question’ is like an epitaph for this country,” he said. “That is sad.”

Lofton said that the situation shows how our nation has forgotten God, and pointed to Psalm 9:17, which states, “The wicked shall be turned into Hell and all the nations that forget God.”

He noted that many Christians are obtaining their philosophies from the world instead of the Bible–contending that God and government don’t mix, and voting for unGodly candidates with the excuse that they must vote for “the lesser of two evils.”

“Where do these ideas come from?” Lofton asked. “Well, we know where they don’t come from. … Sometimes I ask, ‘Where’s that in the Bible?’ and they look at me like, ‘What?'”

“There’s a Scripture that says that one of the things we’re to be about as Christians is to bring into captivity every thought to [the obedience] of Christ,” he continued. “If you do not read the Bible over and over; if you do not marinate yourself in the word of God, your mind will prowl all over the place, and you will be vociferously advocating thoughts and ideas that when I ask you, ‘Where’d you get that?’ you won’t know.”

‘God Calls Nobody to Do Nothing’

But Lofton said that for those Christians who are willing to take a stand for God’s law and educate their leaders on their duties as “ministers of God for good,” their efforts will be blessed by the Lord–even if they don’t see it in the physical realm.

“One guy who claimed to be a Christian told me, ‘It would be a waste of time,'” he recounted. “Well, Scripture says that God’s word never returns to him void. When you stand up before a governing body and you read your statement–which in some cases we literally quote Scripture–it’s never without effect.”

“I told this man, ‘O ye of little faith,'” Lofton stated. “Maybe it has an effect; maybe it has no effect that you can see with your eyes, but that’s not your purpose. Our purpose as Christians is to plant and to water, [but] it’s not to force some kind of increase. That’s God’s job.”

He advised that Christians must not be moved by the acceptance or rejection of the hearers, for the prophets of God were regularly rejected throughout Scripture.

“Maybe all five or ten councilmen will fall on the floor and start praising Jesus, … or maybe they’ll just sit there like totem poles–which is what my city council did–bored to tears and simply enduring my statement,” Lofton noted. “But so what? Jeremiah, more than 50 years probably, he had no converts. Talk about no church growth. How about that?”

Lofton, the co-host of the The American View radio broadcast, where he regularly speaks on the subject, asserted that there is only one thing that is a waste of time for Christians: to do nothing.

“God calls nobody to do nothing,” he said. “There’s no such command in Scripture.”

“You cannot simultaneously gripe about the bad things that are going on, and then when you have an opportunity to witness [do nothing],” Lofton exhorted. “Will you tell elected officials what God requires of them? Maybe part of the reason they’re Biblically illiterate on this topic is because you stayed home.”

To learn more, and to contact John Lofton, please visit The God and Government Project on Facebook.

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  • John Lofton

    Mr. Goberman says, “There is no room or need for religion in the govt.” Amen! Agreed! But, our Project is NOT about “religion.” Our Project is about GOD. And God is NOT a “religion.” He is God, the Creator of government. He is the One government must obey. As our Declaration of Independence makes clear: Our rights come from God and it is the role of government to secure and protect God-given rights.

    John Lofton, Recovering Republican
    Dir., The God And Government Project
    Active Facebook Wall
    [email protected]

    • Andrew Chase

      God is not a religion? Well then, I guess the churches don’t need that tax exempt status.

      • CL

        I’m honestly confused. Of course God isn’t a religion. That wouldn’t make sense from any person’s view point. And what does that have to do with Tax Exempt status?

  • Eric Goberman

    //But, our Project is NOT about “religion.” Our Project is about GOD. And God is NOT a “religion.”//

    Then I would question the title of the article since it excludes the other 3000 gods we know of.

    “…Christians Urged to Speak Up …” Why isn’t the article asking Jews, Muslims, Sikhs, and others to speak up ?

  • Todd F

    The last time religion was in charge, it was called “The Dark Ages.”

  • Eric goberman

    Eric goberman
    September 27, 2013 – 6:04 am
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Are you sure you want to go that way ? The countries today that are godless are the least corrupt perhaps because not only are the govts neutral but the people are a majority of atheists. Our govt is legally neutral but oir elected officials are a majority of religious, christian, specifically. If you think our govt is corrupt you shouldn’t be looking at the govt but the people, the 500+ elcted officials) who act in the role of their govt positions. If there is corruption it is by their actions.
    Our congress, the house, is ranked the least effective congress ever in our history. They are a majority of republicans waving the the same christian flag you are and have done severe damage in the last 5 years doing things your way,
    I’s not the govt, it’s not the religion, it’s the misapplied zeal of those who have no understanding of our laws. They have been trying harder for the last few years to enact laws resolutions that are unconstitutional while ignoring the basis of their religion – charity, fairness, helping the weak and the poor.
    They are christians like you who wave the flag while ignoring the principles..

  • Mary Waterton


    Read the above commentaries. Every last naysayer is an ATHEIST. Why do you suppose they spend so much time at Christian websites trying to convince Christians that “separation of church and state” means that Christians should stay out of politics? Because they understand that should you prodigal sons ever wake up from your drunken stupor, decide to repent and decide to return to the ways of the Lord, that their Satanic agenda is in trouble.

    Look at the state of the country, look at yourselves … going bankrupt, being robbed by Washington, compelled to do evil under penalty of law. Is that what you want? If so, then continue listening to atheists instead of the Lord. You will have no one to blame but yourselves when you are homeless and hungry following the next economic crisis … and in your hearts you know its coming. God will not bless a nation in rebellion.

    • Eric Goberman

      John Lofton and you are both wrong. // Every last naysayer is an ATHEIST//

      We are not naysayers – we are people who understand the documents and happen to like separation of church and state and recognize it as the law. You assume we are all atheists- You’re wrong. I have a religion and whether it is the same as yours or not really doesn’t matter. I don’t want my religion governing you life nor do I want my religious laws to be civil laws. Imagine the government enforcing Lent, praying 5 times to the East to Mecca – requiring no mixing of meat and milk or polyester clothing.

      //means that Christians should stay out of politics? //

      You are misled and not educated. It does not mean to “keep christians out of politics” and more than it means keep jews, muslims, or atheists out of government. It means that the laws/rules/tenets of religion are fine for the adherents of that religion but should not be the law and imposed on those not of that religion.

      /decide to repent and decide to return to the ways of the Lord, that their Satanic agenda is in trouble./
      What absolute nonsense. Atheists no more believe in the devil than you believe in Zeus. You bolster my case that you are clueless.

      //Look at the state of the country, look at yourselves … going bankrupt, being robbed by Washington,//

      Washington (the govt) is a majority of christians – The republicans think as you do and they are ruining this country – Let me know how the shutdown goes when those ‘good christian politicians’ don’t pass the debt increase.

      /compelled to evil/ Really ? What law REQUIRES you to do what you would consider evil.
      No law that says you have to have a divorce
      No law that says you have to beat you children or stone non virgins
      No law that says you must marry someone of the same sex
      No law that says you must have an abortion

      What are you talking about ? Any clue ?

      //no one to blame but yourselves when you are homeless and hungry following the next economic crisis//

      I’ll be blaming the religious right republicans – they are doing the damage. And I won’t be homeless or broke. Instead of praying, I planned my financial wellness to keep from being bothered by them.

      You could look up AU.ORG they are a mostly christian organization that also fights for separation of church and state.

      You should take a serious look at yourself – perhaps you need to be reminded that you could lose your freedom of religion and be forced to worship differently. Isn’t that what they do in Iran and other countries ? They are religious government – just not your religion, so they burn churches to make sure.

      • John Arbus

        Eric, you are wrong and John is right. That is the end of debate.

        You need God’s blessing and His forgiveness for your sins. You need to surrender to Him today. You need to stop fighting God and come to the end of yourself.

  • Jim

    Where is the law is the separation of church and state? …NO WHERE! it is from a letter of Jefferson and what he meant was the gov’t should stay out of churches and not the other way around!… http://shop.wallbuilders.com/separation-of-church-state-what-the-founders-meant-book …The founding documents of this country and their principles were based on the Bible….and therefore we (our laws) were set up as a Christian nation. This doesn’t mean others can’t/shouldn’t live here, but they choose to under Christian laws. Even the Supreme Court declared it in 1892… http://shop.wallbuilders.com/is-america-a-christian-nation-cd ….the last time religion (Christianity) was in charge a prosperous and free people enjoyed his blessings to become the greatest nation in the history of the world! It was called America…and just b/c someone claims to be Christian doesn’t mean they follow Christ or know the Bible…or for that matter the Law of the Land, the Constitution, which again was based on Biblical laws/principles. http://www.amazon.com/Christianity-Constitution-Faith-Founding-Fathers/dp/0801034442/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380559936&sr=1-1&keywords=christianity+and+the+constitution+the+faith+of+our+founding+fathers ….the problem is people want to play God rather than obey him…. http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

    • Eric Goberman

      It’s there – right there next to “Freedom of Religion” If you can find those words then you’ve found separation of church and state.

      When you reference Wallbuilders and david barton then I recognize that you have no understanding of US History.. Barton has been called a liar by all those who actually do know history- Search for “Throckmorton Barton” or NPR and Barton or New York Times and Barton. He is a preacher with a mailorder diploma and no history credentials at all.

      Separation of church and state is in the first amendment. It’s simple:
      PEOPLE are free to have religion or not
      The GOVERNMENT cannot establish a religion nor favor any religion (or no religion) – creating, effectively, a WALL of separation between the freedom of people and the control of government