Only about 20% to 30% of America’s churchgoers practice their constitutional right to vote, according Sean Feucht, the founder of Hold the Line.
The mission of Hold the Line is to engage and educate both the church and young people on policy issues, encouraging them to vote their values and become politically active in their communities.
Feucht joins The Daily Signal Podcast to explain how a missionary and worship leader came to launch a political organization, and why it’s important for people of faith to be engaged citizens. Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript.
Also on today’s show, FarmLink, a grassroots organization founded by college students, has created a link between farmers with surplus goods and crops and food banks in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Virginia Allen: I am joined by Sean Feucht, a missionary, worship leader, speaker, author, and political activist. Sean, thanks so much for being here.
Sean Feucht: Of course. Glad to be here with you guys.
Allen: Sean, you’ve been a missionary and worship leader for a long time. But in the past several years, you’ve really jumped into the political realm and really become a powerful voice for political activism within the church.
When did you really begin to think about policy issues? And when was that something that you decided, “OK, this is a sphere that I want to be engaged in”?
Feucht: I think a lot of it is really our call as believers. I think that for a long time, many of us, especially in the church, we’ve viewed the dualism of the sacred and the secular and viewed those as different things.
I think we haven’t really realized that the call of the Great Commission is actually to go into Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. You could contextualize that today to mean every sphere of society.
So, I’ve always loved and been drawn to the political world. Ever since I was a kid, I watched every single first speech of a president, the State of the Union [address] every year. I was always engaged and always enthralled by these people that are able to create laws and legislation that affects the world.
Then, I think the older that I got, I started to realize how little salt and light or how few believers were engaged in that realm of society. Really, how a lot of people felt like that was kind of a dark world or a dirty world or a place that Christians shouldn’t belong or shouldn’t engage. But yet the more that we see Scripture in the New Testament, we’re actually called to places like that.
So, I’ve had ministries over the years where we’ve rushed into war zones and red-light districts, and we’ve done some really crazy stuff around the world.
For me, the political world has represented another facet of that, the calling to go and change culture and bring the kingdom of God into those spheres of society.
Watching my kids grow up—I have four of them now—and realizing that they are basically going to inherit the world and the political landscape in America that we pass off to them, and being really concerned about how that looks, that was the final line that pushed me to engage more.
Allen: Sean, I want to ask you more about that because we do so often, I think, hear this argument that government is not really a place for Christians and that we should use our talents and our time elsewhere. When you hear that argument, what is your response to that?
Feucht: Well, I just don’t think it’s theologically accurate. You don’t see that modeled in the life of Jesus, where he was very active in talking to, rebuking, engaging with political leaders. You also don’t see that modeled historically throughout the Bible.
A glaring example, all of these leaders, essentially Abraham and Moses—look at David. He was a worshipper. He was a songwriter. He was a psalmist, but he was also a king. He ended up leading an entire nation into the promises of God in that position.
So, I think that there’s a disconnect, I feel like, with most believers, if they don’t feel that Christians should be engaged, because that’s not what we see throughout the Bible, and that’s not what we see throughout history.
Allen: You’ve just announced a nonprofit that you’re starting called Hold the Line. Can you just tell us a little bit about it?
Feucht: Yeah. Coming on the heels of my recent run for U.S. Congress and coming out of that season and just feeling like, “Man, we have so much momentum nationally and internationally,” I just didn’t realize that we were going to get that much attention, whether it be through the media or just through people we were able to touch, deeper issues in people’s hearts throughout our campaign.
Maybe it was the fact that a long-haired worship leader that was a millennial was running for U.S. Congress. You don’t see that every day.
But we wanted to basically take that momentum and the engagement that we encountered and, really, how do we take this to the next level? And how can we steward these relationships and these connections and the open doors that we have right now in the political world?
We just felt like creating an organization that would have three distinct purposes. That’s what we feel like for Hold the Line. One, registering new voters. Two, educating people on the issues. Three, mobilizing for specific causes.
We feel like those are things that we can accomplish. We feel like those are things that we’re called to, and we feel … that voices need to be raised up right now across America to stand for righteousness and to stand for, really, the call of God that I believe is inherent in our nation right now.
Allen: Yeah, yeah. Like you mentioned, one of the key issues that Hold the Line is really focused on is engaging the church, getting them to register to vote, and to vote their values. What do you think would happen in America if those two things happened—if believers registered to vote and if they voted their values?
Feucht: What was shocking to us is on the campaign, we realized that—man, let’s just take California, for example, which is the largest amount of electoral votes in the Electoral College for the presidential election. I think a fifth of all Americans live in California. So it holds a massive sway politically.
But the church, what we found out, is that the church really is just not voting. The percentages land anywhere around 20% to 30% of the church is actually registered and engaged to vote.
So, you have a lot of people that whine about the issues that we have. Take an issue, for example, like the homeless that’s kind of overrun the streets and a lot of our cities.
The church will whine about it, they’ll get frustrated at the government, and “Why can’t you fix this?” But yet they won’t actually go to the polls and vote for people that have solutions to fix the issue. …
Our desire is, we want Christians to, yes, [vote their] values and all that kind of stuff, but just be a good American, for crying out loud. Just register to vote. Fulfill your civic duty as a citizen of this nation like so many other people do.
There seems to be a disconnect between wanting to see change and actually showing up at the polls to vote to bring that change, and we want to bridge that gap.
Allen: Yeah. And as you mentioned, you live in California, definitely one of the most far-left liberal states in our nation, but you’ve managed to stay pretty optimistic about America’s future and getting young people and getting the church motivated.
How have you kept up that optimism in an area that is not very friendly toward conservative values?
Feucht: I think you have to look at first, am I called here? We feel, yes. Then I like to look at the history. What has God done here? What are the movements that have happened throughout California?
I draw a lot of hope on things that have happened in the church and throughout history in this state, the Golden State, how you see so many amazing awakenings and revivals have taken place throughout the history of California.
You look at Azusa Street [Revival] that changed the landscape of the church. You look at the “Jesus people” movement, and that happened as a countercultural movement to the Summer of Love and in San Francisco. You look at what’s happening up in the north part of the state, where we live, which is amazing.
I think you got to really look at that. You got to say, “OK, God, what is your plan for this? We believe that you’re not finished yet. We believe that your promises are irrevocable,” and you have to stand on that.
But I’ll tell you, it is very difficult, because the atmosphere is intense out here. It’s very aggressive. That’s why it was interesting that we really felt called to run here, because it’s not an easy place to run. Middle of America would have been a lot easier for the values that I hold. Yet, I feel like … we were taking a stand for something significant.
Allen: You mentioned you’re a millennial. I’m a millennial as well. We do see within our generation that a lot of young people are disenfranchised with policy and politics. They don’t really have a strong interest in it.
How do you all at Hold the Line really want to begin, just on a practical level, actually engaging young people?
Feucht: I think a lot of it starts with education. A lot of it starts with us breaking down some of the bills, breaking down some of the agenda, reframing the narrative from what the media has tried to perpetuate, and really helping people think for themselves.
I think, at the end of the day, we’re in a unique season right now with this pandemic.
One of the fortunate things about it, there’s a lot of unfortunate things, but one of the fortunate things is, it’s actually revealing, I believe, a lot of people’s true colors. Where do they stand on specific issues … whether it be governmental control or freedom of the people? You can see a lot of things are being laid bare in this season that we’re in.
I think that we have to enlighten the minds of people to begin to think for themselves and begin to look through the issues. That really is our heart.
How can we take this political thing that a lot of people do not want to engage with because they think it’s either overwhelming or they can never find the truth? And we want to build a reliable, consistent brand that people can trust to help bring forth the reality of what’s really happening in the political world.
Allen: Along those lines, you have mentioned that you’re interested in launching a media component of Hold the Line. Do you have any updates on that or more information that you want to share regarding that?
Feucht: Yeah, we’re really, really excited about that aspect. I think it’s going to be really fun. We have some unique ideas on approaching, and I don’t know if it’s demystifying or making the political world human and making it engaging.
We want to be able to have people get into the minds of some of these congressmen, some of these senators, some of these lawmakers, and really maybe peek behind the veil. I think [that] would be an awesome way to approach it.
That’s going to be coming this summer. We’re super-excited about it. I don’t think there’s anything out there that I can quite envision like what we want to capture. So stay tuned, everybody, because it’ll be really fun.
Allen: Yeah, so excited to see where that goes.
Sean, I definitely encourage our listeners to, if they’re not familiar with you and who you are and what you’ve done, to look into your journey a little bit.
I love the fact that you have done so many diverse things with your life. You’ve traveled to some of the most dangerous places in the world to tell people about Jesus. I think many people might think that type of work, of traveling and serving the poor and the broken, seems a lot more fulfilling than just trying to get Americans to vote.
But why is the work of Hold the Line so critically important to you?
Feucht: Because I think that the more that you go around the world and the more that you go into these nations and the more that you engage in unreached people groups and different things, the more that you realize that America has a massive effect on the lives of people around the world, on the way that economies function, on the way that laws are made.
America is essentially who the world looks to still as a model of freedom, as a model of a nation that is founded on Judeo-Christian biblical values. So, I think that the more that I travel, the more that I realize the importance of maintaining and building upon the foundation in our nation that the forefathers pioneered.
Even the name Hold the Line represents holding to the values and the principles, and fighting for families and fighting for faith and freedom, and really ensuring that the America that I grew up in, which was an incredible place, still is an incredible place, full of opportunity … . It’s just the greatest country in the history of the world.
My desire as I travel is that it can continue to be that as a beacon of light to the world. You see the connection, the correlation, of maintaining a strong nation at home and how that affects the rest of the world. So, for me, they kind of go hand in hand.
Allen: I love that. So good. Now, you’ve always made it a really high priority to include your family in the work that you’re doing, whether that’s leading worship in the Middle East or now your work in the policy and political realm. Why is that such a value to you?
Feucht: On the ministry front, I feel like too many kids have grown up being sacrificed on the altar of ministry, and I think me and my wife have always felt like our kids were supposed to be a part of the journey. That they were supposed to be engaged on the adventure. That they had a front-row seat watching us pursue the callings of God on our life and that as they watch that and as they engage in that, that it would be something that they feel a part of, so that they don’t grow up in reaction, and they don’t grow up feeling like these things that we’re doing are stealing their time or their attention, but they feel like that they were involved with it.
It was fun because during the whole Congress journey, my kids had T-shirts on, and they were out there with us going door to door, and they were at the rallies, and it was a time that they’ll never forget.
They actually grew to have an immense heart for America and for the future of the nation. It wouldn’t surprise me if someday one of them engages politically or runs for office, because I think now that desire has been sown into their [lives]. Of course, they don’t have to.
I just think that it’s interesting how when we engage them, not only did they have a lot to offer—I feel like kids have so much to offer, they have such an incredible perspective to teach us about the world—but I feel like it’s such a benefit to them as well, that they can feel like they were a part of the things that we’re called to do.
Allen: So good. Sean, for those listening who are thinking, “I want to get involved with Hold the Line, I want to get my church on board,” how can they do that?
Feucht: Right now we would love for you guys to join us, and you can jump on. Our social media, I think, is a great place for us to connect. You can search “Hold the Line.” You can also go on Facebook, and the same thing, connect with us there. Follow us there.
We’re starting to roll out the updates of what we’re doing, what it’s going to look like. We have a newsletter. You can obviously sign up for that.
You can go to my website, which is seanfeucht.com. … You can actually find out more about me, my family, but also this movement that we’re launching is on there as well. We would love to stay connected with you guys.
Allen: Awesome. So good. Thank you so much for your time, Sean. We really appreciate it.
Feucht: Of course, a pleasure to be with you.