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2003 Conversations


Joy Williams: Rooted in Grace (December 29, 2002)

Judy Rachels: Christmas gifts (December 22, 2002)

Ralph Carmichael: New music for a timeless message (December 15, 2002)

Roger and Greg Flessing: Media, ministry and society's ungodly messages (December 8, 2002)

Rick Salvato: Meeting medical and spiritual needs around the world (November 24, 2002)

Asa Hutchinson: Drug Enforcement's top officer (November 17, 2002)

Bill Bright: 'Not I, but Christ' (November 10, 2002)

Ray Berryhill: Living by faith (October 20, 2002)

Owen C. Carr: Reading through the Bible 92 times (October 13, 2002)

Curtis Harlow: Combating campus drinking (September 29, 2002)

Wes Bartel: Making Sunday count (September 22, 2002)

M. Wayne Benson: The Holy Spirit knocks (September 15, 2002)

Dr. Richard Dobbins: Understanding Suffering (September 8, 2002)

K.R. Mele: Halloween evangelism (August 25, 2002)

Roland Blount: God makes a way for blind missionary (August 18, 2002)

Cal Thomas: Finding a mission field (August 11, 2002)

Lisa Ryan: For such a time as this (July 28, 2002)

Dallas Holm: Faith and prayer in life’s toughest times (July 21, 2002)

Paul Drost: Intentional church planting (July 14, 2002)

James M. Inhofe: Serving Christ in the Senate (June 30, 2002)

Karen Kingsbury: The Write stuff (June 23, 2002)

Michael W. Smith: Worship is how you live each day (June 16, 2002)

Wayne Stayskal: On the drawing board (June 9, 2002)

Fory VandenEinde: Anyone can minister (May 26, 2002)

Thomas E. Trask: Pentecost Sunday (May 19, 2002)

Stormie Omartian: Recovering from an abusive childhood (May 12, 2002)

Luis Carrera: Beyond the Shame (April 28, 2002)

Tom Greene: The church of today (April 21, 2002)

Philip Bongiorno: Wisdom for a younger generation (April 14, 2002)

Deborah M. Gill: Christian education and discipleship (March 24, 2002)

Norma Champion: Becoming involved in politics (February 24, 2002)

Steve Pike: A candid discussion about Mormonism (February 10, 2002)

Raymond Berry: More to life than football (January 27, 2002)

Sanctity of Human Life roundtable: Doctors speak out (January 20, 2002)

Chaplain Charles Marvin: Ministering in the military (January 13, 2002)


2001 Conversations

Becoming involved in politics

(February 24, 2002)

Rep. Norma Champion represents District 134 in the Missouri House of Representatives. Champion is professor of broadcasting and communication theory at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. She served as a writer, producer and host of Children’s Hour for KYTV in Springfield from 1957-1986. Champion received her master of arts in communication from Southwest Missouri State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. She is the widow of Richard Champion, former editor in chief of the Pentecostal Evangel. Champion spoke recently with Scott Harrup, associate editor.

EVANGEL: How can believers influence the political world?

CHAMPION: They must understand how the system works at the city council, state and federal levels. Unless believers understand at what point their input will be heard and when they can make a difference, they may feel like the whole process is a maze. They should know when hearings take place and when and how they can approach a legislator with a bill proposal.

Believers should work for candidates they can endorse, and support them financially and spiritually. And they need to consider running for office themselves. Get involved on the local level by working on committees. What citizens’ committees are in your community? Local governments are looking for good people who will take an interest. It’s hard work, but the Christian who is in place and helping where needed can make a difference. It’s important to be consistent, rather than trying to jump in only when there is a moral issue that raises concerns.

EVANGEL: What circumstances led you into politics?

CHAMPION: God was probably preparing me for it all my life. We don’t always realize His preparation. For example, I hosted Children’s Hour and spent 29 years working in the Springfield community with families. That helped prepare me when the opportunity came to run for city council. The mayor asked me to run when the Springfield News-Leader printed the story about the show going off the air. I don’t think anyone would have thought of me had it not been for the attention given to Children’s Hour. My city council experience prepared me to run for state representative. I’m now planning to run for state senate. I had never dreamed of being in the political arena, but the preparation was there. God had a plan, and each piece helped support the next.

EVANGEL: What connection do you see between your faith in Jesus Christ and your service as a state representative?

CHAMPION: My service fully represents my faith in Christ. In His parable about the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25, Jesus distinguished true believers by their willingness to serve other people and show His love to them. Political service is one way of helping people with their everyday problems. Paul the apostle talked about our different talents and how we are to use them. I believe he meant for believers to use those talents out in the world and not just in the church. So, for me, it’s not a matter of trying to reconcile my political service with my service to Christ. My political service is how I serve Christ.

EVANGEL: How would you respond to an unbeliever who claimed that your faith biased your decisions against them?

CHAMPION: The Christian’s responsibility is to show love to others and treat all people fairly and equitably. Government provides certain services for people that they cannot provide for themselves and provides legislation that protects people from each other. I see my job as a legislator to protect everybody’s freedoms. That goes for the unborn child who needs to be protected from having his life taken by somebody else, and that goes for the unbeliever who should be free not to believe. We can’t force others to serve God. God himself gives each of us the freedom to choose to serve Him or not. As a legislator, by actively working to help people deal with their problems, I hope that they will see Christ through me.

EVANGEL: The Bible calls on believers to pray for our leaders. Any thoughts on that subject?

CHAMPION: Pray that God would give our leaders wisdom. Pray that God will give you wisdom to know whom to vote for and how to relate to leaders. Pray for enemies as well as friends; the Scripture does not say to just pray for leaders you agree with. If you pray that God will help a leader you disagree with, then He will help that leader to do a better job. And if you continue to disagree with those in leadership, pray that God will give you the wisdom to help elect spiritual men and women.

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