CHRISTIANITY TODAY presents a referendum that should help Christians clarify their stand on many issues.

Remember 1976, the “year of the evangelical”? That was the year evangelicals exulted in born-again Jimmy Carter’s election to the presidency, the year they put up their feet and said, “Well, it’s about time the world took notice of us.” They basked in all the exposure they were getting.

Now it is 1980, another election year. All three presidential candidates claim some sort of born-again status. Evangelicals generally have higher visibility in the news media, though commentators still scratch their heads at their “fundamentalist” zeal, and some continue to stereotype the evangelical as one who is unconcerned about social and political issues.

Evangelicals certainly are not all cut from the same cookie cutter. They are committed to the final infallible authority of the Bible. They profess absolute allegiance to the lordship of Jesus Christ. They believe in righteousness and justice. Many of them believe that the U.S. has traveled far down the primrose path to moral and social decadence. They trumpet a clarion call to repentance and renewed dedication to the good. But they don’t agree on what path will take us most readily there.

1980 could well be called the year of the right-wing religious lobby. Best known are Moral Majority, headed by Jerry Falwell, and Christian Voice, headed by Robert Grant, with their millions of followers. Their mission? To clean up America by getting moral values back into government, schools, and families—a lofty goal, one that evangelicals heartily espouse.

We support the vigorous stand these lobbies fake for what is right and their deep commitment to social and political change. As Christians, they ...

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