How ERLC Functions
Your ERLC should study the issues, educate your local congregation and motivate them to action in response to the needs.Listed below are a few practical ideas for how your ERLC should function:
Prayer should precede any action of the ERLC committee.
- Regular Update Meetings.
- Regular ERLC meetings, where current societal issues are discussed, help facilitate the environment that sharpens each member’s Christian conviction.Meeting quarterly as a congregation facilitates communication on key issues. It is recommended that each congregation hold an ERLC focus service. One suggestion is to have one Wednesday of every quarter “ERLC Wednesday.” Oklahoma Baptists can provide regular updates to guide the meeting.
- Monitor Current Events.
The gathering of information and data (including brochures, newspaper clippings, editorials, magazine articles, etc.) allows the ERLC to begin a file by which current events can be monitored.
Legislative issues at all levels of government, including local, state and national, are of great significance. Observation of all forms of media and culture can serve as an assessment of society’s trends. Attend a few sessions of the legislature at the State Capitol.
Contact the Oklahoma Baptists ERLC office to set up a tour of the State Capitol and sit in on a legislative session.
- Inform and Call Into Action.
The establishment of a church-wide communication plan is critical to your ERLC’s success. The ability of the church to respond quickly to issues, legislative votes and trends is paramount.
A contact tree, which functions much like a prayer tree, can provide organization for calling your church to action. A church may already have an established prayer system that would work well.
Networking with other active ERLCs and the state office to exchange ideas and resources (hold an associational ERLC meeting for an issue that is in your area) provides support and allows a committee to gain fresh ideas.
The Oklahoma Baptists Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee invites you to become a key contact for ERLC issue alerts and to start an ERLC committee in your church. Please consider subscribing to our email list we will notify you regarding critical, moral and ethical issues as the arise.
How a Christian votes is not determined by public opinion polls, partisan politics or promises of financial gain. The issue for a Christian is; what does the Bible say and what would Jesus have me do?
PRAY and VOTE.
While seeking to be examples of Godliness (Matthew 5:13-16), we are not to be naive people who are deceived by empty philosophies (Colossians 2:8). We are to strive to be positive influences in a loving way (Matthew 22:37-40).
Matthew 5:13-16 (NASB)”You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
Colossians 2:8 (NASB)See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
Matthew 22:37-40 (NASB)And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.