November 26th, 2007
07:19 AM ET
13 years ago

Huckabee talks Jesus, not politics

Watch part of Mike Huckabee's sermon at Gateway Baptist Church in Irmo, South Carolina.

FOUNTAIN INN, South Carolina (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee stepped into a familiar role on Sunday morning: that of Baptist minister.

Huckabee, who was a minister before he served two and a half terms as governor as Arkansas, took to the stage for about half an hour at two Baptist churches in South Carolina and told the congregations: "I am here today to talk about Jesus and not to talk about me."

"I always try to remind people that there is a place for politics, but when I come to church, it's to worship," he said at Gateway Baptist Church in Irmo, where he was mistakenly introduced as "Governor Hucklebee."

In Irmo and at First Baptist Church in Fountain Inn, Huckabee weaved jokes and anecdotes from his life in Arkansas into his sermons while also demonstrating a deep familiarity with the New Testament, quoting passages from memory.

"God is still looking for good soldiers, good soldiers for Christ," he told the congregation in Irmo. "Every single person here is a soldier that God needs in his army. He is just waiting on us to say here am I, send me."

Huckabee said he has been confronted by people unsure about his transition from faith to politics.

"If you've been a pastor as I have and then you run for office, there are some people who are incredibly uncomfortable with all of that," he said, but joked that they were "undecided voters."

In his second sermon of the morning, Huckabee urged the audience into avoid arrogance and selfishness.

"Any time we ever look down on somebody for whatever reason, that's the sin," he said. "What we look down on them for is not nearly as sinful a behavior as our act of looking down, somehow thinking that our standard of behavior was superior to theirs and not understanding that neither our nor their standard of behavior matches up to His, because His is the only behavior that ever really hit it right on the mark.

"The only good thing about any of us is the God in us, not the us," Huckabee said.

After the later service ended in Fountain Inn, Huckabee and his wife Janet lingered for an hour shaking hands with dozens of church-goers who had lined up to meet them, many of whom told CNN they were already supporting Huckabee's presidential bid.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby


Filed under: Faith • Mike Huckabee • South Carolina
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Steve, Landing, NJ

    Steve in SC–

    How does one choose to believe in God? Belief isn't a light switch you can flip on and off at will. Could you believe that the sky was orange if you chose to?

    November 26, 2007 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Steve,
    I wish that I could believe that was true but there is so much suffering of the innocent. I cannot fathom that a loving god would allow such a thing.

    I can appreciate your faith and I hope that it brings you comfort. I suppose more than debating the existance of god that when horrible things such as the brutal death of a toddler happen that it might make us all think about the things we have to be thankful for and it certainly makes all of our political bickering seem silly.
    Democrat or Republican, Christian, Aetheist or Agnostic, we are all human beings and we should remember to be a little kinder to one another.

    November 26, 2007 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  3. jw, canadian,ok

    Jesus was a Deomcrat, ya'll know that?

    November 26, 2007 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  4. jw, canadian,ok

    make that DEMOCRAT

    November 26, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  5. Lover of God and Christ and mankind

    Dear Anonymous-There truly is a God and, surprise! there is also a devil. God has given us free will. Adam and Eve CHOSE to disobey God. We are created in the image of God but can choose to disobey Him. God sent his Son, Christ into the world to die for our sins and offer forgiveness to those who believe He is who He says He is. With this comes the power of the Holy Spirit by which the power of sin over us is broken. (Granted, many who profess to be Christians are not living obedient lives as becoming a Christian does not immediately make one perfect. Yet, a true believer will strive to live according to the commands of Christ and not according to mere human thought or what Satan would present as "good and logical". Satan is a deceiver. God is allowing people to choose and that is why there is so much horror in the world. Too many are shoosing the way of Satan. Christ gave his life to save others and break the power of sin. We can choose His way or Satan's. Jesus said, "He who is not for me, is against me." Your choice. Don't follow those who are Christians in name only; follow Christ.

    Henry Miller, I agree with you on some points but I believe there has been MUCH good done by Christians. Also, history, ie: Nero, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Saddam, Bin Laden, to name a very few, reveals athiesm and other religions cause far more injustices and loss of life. I believe we should stand, resist, fight against evil when it moves, or in some cases threatens to move and destroy. I would vote for someone who has courage to do so. God loves you and I do to.

    November 26, 2007 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  6. Nick, Chester SC

    Maybe Huck should give a sermon on Jesus's "turn the other cheek" fromt he famous "Sermon on the Mount". In it he might pause to reconsider leaving all "options on the table" when it comes to Iran. It's very interesting to have a Christian minister preaching the war option.

    November 26, 2007 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Barbara, Crawford TX

    And on the seventh day, God created Michael Huckabee to save and redeem mankind from the evils of intelligence.

    November 26, 2007 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Lover of God and Christ and mankind

    To Steve in Landing, NJ,

    God said "You will seek for me and find me when you seek for me with all of your heart" If you really want to know the truth, keep seeking. Read the book of John in the New Testament until you understand. God knows if you are sincere in your quest, and if you are, He will reveal His truth. Jesus said "If you continue in my teaching, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." It's true.

    November 26, 2007 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Greg, NY, NY

    "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    – Mohandas Gandhi

    November 26, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Just plain scared.

    Lover of God and Christ and mankind –

    Dude, stop it, you're scaring me.

    I love people who have no problem believing that god's son (or god, or who ever you think Jesus actually was) came to Earth, born to a virgin, over 2000 years ago and pass it along like fact; like you were there or something.

    Fact: There a many people who claim to be prophets in our time. You can find them in your local cult or insane asylum. Why would you condemn the word of a living prophet when you accept the story of Jesus that's been rewritten (and re-interpreted) several hundred times over? Do you accept the truth that you’d turn your back on Jesus if you were alive in his time?

    I just don't get it. Just like I don't get athletes who thank god for their victory; what, god didn't like the other guy?

    But hey, don’t listen to me, I’m far too logical, "Hmmm, could it be...Satin?" – DC

    November 26, 2007 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Z, St. Louis, MO

    Huckabee is just another charlatain
    that sells a fairy tale for a living.
    Preachers and politicians both make
    their money the same way, leeching
    off people that produce something for
    society by doing something.It's time
    to tax preachers and churches (this
    means mosques,temples,shirnes etc..)
    and all the land they own. No more
    free tax exempt rides for religious
    salesmen(and women!)..

    November 26, 2007 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  12. Lover of God and Christ and mankind

    Greg in NY,NY,

    I agree in many cases but I know a whole lot of Christians who are truly following Christ, and Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me". It's the righteousness of Christ that really matters in the end.

    November 26, 2007 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  13. Steve in SC

    Anonymous,

    I understand where you are coming from. We treat each other like last week's leftovers. That was never God's intent. He wants us to love each other as He loves us. You have to understand that just as there is a God who is love, there is a devil who is about hate! I truly hope that in your journey for the truth, you find that He loves you. I need to tell you that I really respect where you are coming from! I haven't seem this type of honesty in a long time! May you find peace on your journey!

    November 26, 2007 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. Steve in SC

    Steve in NJ,

    How do you choose anything? You make choices concerning what you wear, you make choices concerning what you eat and where you go. For me, I was raised in the church and one day I heard the Word, and I believed! It became real to me! I made my choice! Just that simple! Why would I choice to believe the sky is orange, although Have you ever seen an Arizona sunset? Plently of orange!

    November 26, 2007 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. MJR, Akron OH

    "Any time we ever look down on somebody for whatever reason, that's the sin. What we look down on them for is not nearly as sinful a behavior as our act of looking down, somehow thinking that our standard of behavior was superior to theirs and not understanding that neither our nor their standard of behavior matches up to His, because His is the only behavior that ever really hit it right on the mark."

    Such a powerful statement. though i do not believe he will be a good candidate, i think he has some great ideas.

    As for the nonsense and BS i keep reading in these comments... shut up. The Pentagon HAS GOOD SOLDIERS. It needs good Leadership. Do NOT bash on the men and women who are serving, unquestioningly mind you, their country. They are doing their job. What they do is not their choice. So take that bull$#!7 mentality and stuff it in some uncomfortable, dark orafice of yours and bleed.

    November 26, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Steve, Landing, NJ

    Steve in SC–

    Choosing your outfit for the day is not the same thing as "choosing" a religion. You can choose your actions, but not your perception of reality. I don't believe in God for the same reason I don't believe in dragons or fairies. It doesn't matter what I *want* to believe–I'd like to believe that the world is a fair and just place and that everyone will be happy in the after-life. But wanting to believe that doesn't *make* me believe it. How can you just say "oh, okay, this is what's real to me now"? If I offered you a million dollars to believe in Bigfoot, could you do that, or could you just pretend to do it?

    November 26, 2007 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Gary Wright, NC

    It is wonderful to have someone with the brass to at least state his beliefs and stick by them. Maybe these people who think this crosses the line between church and state should understand that our constitution was founded on Christian beliefs. Maybe some of these people should visit other countries and see just how great our nation really is. We are the only country where speech is truely a freedom. Go Mike and may God bless you.

    November 26, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  18. Bob, Seattle

    Steve in NJ: Read the Gospels. If your heart is open you will believe. If not, you won't. You will know. You will make your choice. You will have your reward. Life is all about choices. So is death. And where you spend eternity.

    Ana-had-wolves: Have any of your personal beliefs ever affected those decisions that affect others? Maybe a moral base of personal beliefs is a better odds-on place to start than most?

    Brain-Somerset: Not a bad job,being a book salesman for the Living God that teaches 'grace and tolerance' even of you. A good foundation from which to expand as a lover of the Creator who created all people in His image. Study the Creator to understand the people. Understanding the people is a solid base from which to propose to govern them.

    Henry Miller: Thinking about your questioning of serving two masters. The people or GOD. Please read the above paragraph.. Also, the Apostle Paul established that 'faith alone' brings salvation. This from the new testament. The new covenant between God and his people. The bible is truth. If you have studied it as you say, then you know that Chistianity is about a 'personal' relationship with our Father – Jesus Christ. Period. All else in a Christian flows from that relationship. Yes indeed their are 'false Christians' – as Jesus warns.

    C.MacClean & Jackson: You folks ought to read the 1st Amendment and understand it before you speak out about the separation of church and state. Your lack of education in this regard is apparent.

    Finally, I invite all Christians to pray for: Seka, H.Miller, CableKing, Brian, Z, Ms Johnson, Andrew, Newt G., Linda, Mark, E, Dismayed, Jack, AJ, Jim, Andrew, Steve, Andy, Freetobeme, Brandon, Jackson, and Anonymous. Oh, and Barbara. To our great blessing, all in the U.S. live in the land of the free. Free to have choices. God is God. Jesus is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Trinity is truth. Whether you believe it or not. There is an eternity. You get to live where you choose in enternity. Heaven or Hell. Your choice. Pretty simple stuff. Really. God is in control. HE knows the end result. Guess what? God wins. In the end. All else is just choreography. The only thing the people have to decide is which dance line they are going to be in. All the people will suffer the rewards of their decisions. Just as in life. Also, in death and eternity.

    November 26, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. Steve in SC

    Steve in NJ,

    My faith is real to me! You cannot understand why because you have made up your mind not to! You just have to understand that not everything is explainable, hence BELIEF! Ask someone to explain evolution and chances are great that they cannot. The lack of explaination does not hinder their belief in it! PS my faith is wrongly defined as religion. It is a relationship! We can debate all day long and get nowhere because I am go to good with where I am and am not about to change for $1M or any other amount! I am not sure how else to say it!

    November 26, 2007 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. therealist

    One chooses to believe in God by faith, child like faith.

    All you have to do is look around. Your other option is to believe that this just all happened. The gods of probability were on your side.. Except, the more species we find, the greater that mathematical impossibility of this actually happening becomes. No proof here either..

    Think about. Could there be a God? This is the question that takes faith. The other questions are easier. What kind of God would you be, hands-on or hands-off? Would you want your creations to have a choice at being with you, without your interference?? At what level??? Now its getting real…

    November 26, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Steve, Landing, NJ

    Steve, Bob, and everyone else–

    I'm not debating the existence of God. I don't believe, you do, whatever. I'm asking how *belief* can be a *choice*. The things I believe, I believe because they seem likely and fit with my personal experience. I can't just *choose* to believe in God any more than I could *choose* to believe that 2+2=5, or U2 is as good as everyone thinks, or that Zeus sits atop Olympus hurling thunderbolts at those who displease him. These are all things that just do not make sense to me, choice doesn't come into the equation. How can you tell people to *choose* what makes sense to them? This is a fundamental question that no one has answered.

    November 26, 2007 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  22. joseph, ausitn,tx

    Bob, Seattle

    carefull Bob asking people to pray for these people might make them seem as you are force feeding them your beliefs. Only a secular progressive finds praying offensive, and uneducated
    belief system. You probably ruined their day, knowing that people (i am one of them) will be praying for them. As for Huckabee, so long as he isnt going to make christianity a must for americans, whats the big deal, all you educated, tolerant people, try not to lump all Christians together. Just as there are bad secular progressives, so is the same with christians, but I at least know not all secular progressives are bad, why dont you try to do the same, or am I forcing my beliefs on you.

    November 26, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Surrealist, Fort Myers, FL

    Please...somebody just please beam me up! Somebody forgot to take their meds!!!

    The Realist said: One chooses to believe in God by faith, child like faith.

    All you have to do is look around. Your other option is to believe that this just all happened. The gods of probability were on your side.. Except, the more species we find, the greater that mathematical impossibility of this actually happening becomes. No proof here either..

    Think about. Could there be a God? This is the question that takes faith. The other questions are easier. What kind of God would you be, hands-on or hands-off? Would you want your creations to have a choice at being with you, without your interference?? At what level??? Now its getting real…

    Posted By therealist : November 26, 2007 2:27

    BLAH, BLAH...WHERE IN THE HECK DOES THE CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS COME IN TO PLAY ON THIS POLITICAL BLOG.

    November 26, 2007 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. s

    Stev in NJ,

    You are trying way too hard. Faith (belief) is a matter of the heart, not the head!

    November 26, 2007 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Maryann - Orlando, FL

    Why does god need soldiers? It is preached that he is all-knowing and all-powerful. So why does he supposedly need humans to fight some unknown war for him.

    I just don't get it. The flying spaghetti monster doesn't need any soldiers!

    November 26, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
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