Happy summer, and thank you for reading Family North Carolina magazine! We do not take it for granted that you have many other ways to spend your time, especially during the summer months, and we appreciate the fact that you have chosen to invest it here. Our desire is that you find this issue of the magazine to be both educational and inspirational.
In early May, prior to my return to the North Carolina Family Policy Council to assume the role of president, I had an opportunity to meet with the Council’s staff to plan this edition of Family North Carolina. My heart’s desire was to produce a volume of the magazine that would take us “back to the basics,” and revisit the fundamentals of why we do what we do at the Council to protect and promote life, marriage, family and freedom. Thanks to the hard work of our excellent staff, and the great insights of our contributing authors, this edition accomplishes that goal. Our editor, Brittany Farrell, summarizes the contents well on the preceding “At Issue” page.
Many of us who are involved in the pro-life and pro-family movement are here because we have sensed a calling to get involved. I remember, as clear as if it were yesterday, sitting in a high school auditorium in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1994 listening to David Barton of WallBuilders speak to a men’s conference at the church I was attending at the time. David shared the history of our nation’s Founding Fathers, and how they looked to the Bible and Scriptural principles to serve as the underpinning for the republic they were creating. The rich Biblical heritage of our country, and the deep faith of many of the Founders, was entirely new to me, and after David’s talk, I felt both angry and exhilarated at the same time.
I felt angry because I had never heard most of what David presented—at school or at church—and, honestly, I felt betrayed. I felt exhilarated because several months before the men’s conference, God had begun to work in my life to stir something deep within me. I had never really been interested in public policy, but I sensed that He was calling me to get involved. I didn’t know what it meant or what I was supposed to do, but I did know that His Spirit was moving in my heart, and that was unmistakable. Ultimately, God used David’s presentation to bring it all together.
You see, understanding the faith of the Founders and their commitment to applying God’s truth and Biblical principles to the establishment of this experiment in government, to the writing of the Constitution, and to our laws, provided an entirely new context through which I was able to view the calling God had placed on my heart. Unlike what I had been led to believe, which was the so-called “separation of church and state,” I had been given an entirely new vision. The scales had been removed, and I realized it was not only perfectly natural, but a necessity, that I be involved—not because I had anything of great value to offer, but because God was the One doing the calling. I simply wanted to be faithful to His call above all else.
One thing I have observed since that men’s conference nearly 20 years ago is that when our government, our laws, and our behaviors are consistent with God’s principles, good things happen, and peace and prosperity exist in the land. If we choose to act in ways that are contrary to God’s plan and purpose, strife and unrest are the result.
This is my story, and God is both the author and the protagonist. I have simply been given the privilege and honor of being a part of what He is doing. Your story may be similar, or it may be very different. Whatever the case, God is calling each of us to speak His truth in love to our culture. We pray that what you find in these pages will encourage and equip you to do just that.
John Rustin is president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council.