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. T. Tim, Lodi, WI

    "God is still looking for good soldiers..." Sounds like a Jihadi advertisement.

    November 26, 2007 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Bob, Seattle

    Steve,Landing: The answer to your question may be the book by Josh McDowell: "Evidence that demands a Verdict". It has sold 10 million copies. Quite a lot for a heavy, cerebral topic. But yours is a cerebral question. Only the very cerebral can read this book. It gives rise to brain cramp in it's complex, thorough treatment 'proving the existence Jesus and that He is who He said He is'. McDowell set out to disprove the idea of God. His purpose was to put to rest the argument of Jesus. He set out to prove Christians were totally inaccurate in their beliefs. His research is exhaustive and complete. Just look at the bibliography of referenced material. Anybody using 'intelligence' as their perspective on whether or not to 'believe' in Jesus should read this book thoroughly and then decide. It is truly the definitive 'work' for the cerebral (as opposed to pure faith driven primarily from the heart). Josh McDowell converted from non-believer to believer during the extensive and long research of the topic. Purely based on 'facts'. Heavy reliance on 'written history' and archeology. Heavy to 'laws' of logic. Try it. You will come away and educated man. Then decide.

    November 26, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. thefishermen

    God is not looking for soilders, he's looking for fisher's of men. No baiting necessary..

    November 26, 2007 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Steve, Landing, NJ

    Bob, Seattle–

    I'll read Evidence if you read the response to it:

    I've read neither yet, but I have read apologetics in the past, and the responses to them, and thus far I know which strikes me as being based on more solid scholarship...

    November 26, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. Maryann - Orlando, FL

    Oh, Bob! I thought you were describing the extremely "cerebral" book by Christopher Hitchens entitled:
    'god Is Not Great'.

    If you want to bend you brain around reason, you will want to check it out. You will come away an educated man!

    November 26, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Lover of God and Christ and mankind

    Maryann and T.Tim, It's a different kind of soldier, different kind of battle, different armor, different weapons. Look into Ephesians 6:10-18(new Testament) Our battle is spiritual, not against flesh and blood. We have the armor of God and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Our enemy is Satan and we have the right to defend those whom he is trying to destroy, hence our involvement in war. Would you stand by and watch someone being murdered or try to defend them? Satan is powerful, and deceptive. He came to steal, kill and destroy and is quite skilled at it. Scary but true. You can read about the outcome of this battle in Revelation but you will need the Holy Spirit to understand it. The jihadist is out to force people into their way or kill them. The Christian should be offering the truth; as I said before, you cannot force someone to believe. God is all-knowing and all-powerful but remember He allows us to choose what we will do or not do, therefore, like it or not, we must choose what we will do with Jesus and who we will serve, Satan or God?

    November 26, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Cable King Pittsburgh PA

    Huckabee is a ho.

    November 26, 2007 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Lover of God and Christ and mankind

    CNN, Did I get too biblical for you?

    November 26, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Lover of God and Christ and mankind

    Thank you for posting my comment to Maryann and Tim.


    November 26, 2007 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  10. josh


    November 26, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. JT, Denver

    umm steve NJ....

    just thought you would like to know 4+3 = mode 5. things are not always what they seem!

    November 26, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. Ba Gua, Chico, CA

    What God needs is Goddess. A little balance never hurts, like the Tao.

    November 26, 2007 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. Derek, Honolulu HI

    Yeah – soldiers for Jesus! Jesus needs more soldiers! Everyone grab a gun and go kill some Ay-rabs for Jesus and for Hucklebee!

    November 26, 2007 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Steve Blaine Washington

    People use the word Christian very loosely. Are the people who call themselves Christians, Christians in the sense that the early Christians were Christians. If so, they would know what baptism by fire means, the meaning of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, what the new name means, what baptism of the dead means and many other phrases associated with the early Christians.
    There is only one God, one Jehovah and one Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. People just associate them different because God gave everyone free agency to do so..

    November 26, 2007 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. jms, Tn

    I trust a bible toting politician about as much as I do a bible toting
    used car salesman.

    November 26, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. Tony Bluesky Hamlton ON

    Christianity Top Down??!!
    I don't think so!!
    It's your choice to accept or reject John 3:16!!!
    But the day WILL come when you will realize it's too late to change your mind after leaving the issue for "a more convenient time".
    I pray you'll seriously reconsider. This is way more than a vote every 4 years, man!!!! It's called eternity.

    November 26, 2007 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |

    Remember that Republican debate when GWB answered the question about which political philosopher influenced him the most? He said Jesus.

    A person's religion – as long as it doesn't interfere with my life or other people's lives – is his/her personal business. But it would take a LOT more than someone's belief in Jesus to convince me to vote for him.

    November 26, 2007 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  18. John, CA

    Every time these characters talk about their faith and family values they end up getting dragged out of airport bathrooms !!..Enough already

    November 26, 2007 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  19. CHURCH,LA.


    November 26, 2007 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  20. Peter, Btown, Wa

    I would rather have a president with faith then without, i believe that faith creates integrity, and in this political climate integrity is something our country needs. Huckabee has it so does Obama.

    November 27, 2007 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  21. DP, Fullerton, CA

    You all the liberals who always scorn God and His followers, just do whatever you want to do if it makes you feel better. Because there will be your time when you really need God one day. Just laugh as much as you can.

    Don't you know that all the wise men including those Dems presidents, they do believe in God and respect Him. The more you know God, the more wise will you be.

    This country must be led by a President who has fears to God.

    November 27, 2007 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  22. DOSOMERESEARCH, Ferndale, MI

    Newsflash, "Z from St. Louis," this country was founded on Christianity. If you ever had a high school history class you would know that. Do you have the same opinion of men like James Madison and Thomas Jefferson? Good luck educating yourself – I'll pray for you.

    November 27, 2007 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. Ray sarasota

    It's not about politics. And to prove it former Governor "Hucklebee" will tell us how many trips he made to South Carolina churches to preach before he became a Presidential candidate.

    November 28, 2007 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  24. Steve, Landing, NJ

    DOSOMERESEARCH, heed your own screenname. Madison's one thing, but Jefferson wasn't anything remotely recognizable as a Christian. He, like most of the founding fathers, was a Deist who believed in a vague, remote, "Creator", but had little regard for organized religion, or the divinity of Christ.

    "Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law"

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

    November 28, 2007 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  25. NY, NY

    Atheists are the most pathetic people on the planet

    Every chance they get to spew out their religion it is always filled with hate

    So just to get this straight–they dont want someone who believes in all the good and loving teachings of Christ. They want a President who leaves his DNA splattered all over the Oval Office and a young girls dress?

    examine yourself

    December 21, 2007 02:19 am at 2:19 am |
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