In the December Evangelical Leaders Survey, evangelical leaders were asked to rate the performance of Congress in 2013 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest approval rating. Evangelical leaders gave Congress the average rating of 3. Rankings ranged from 1 to 8.
“Evangelical leaders, like the rest of the country, are frustrated with Congress,” said Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). “There are many broken systems and important issues that evangelicals care about and have advocated for. Many feel like their concerns are falling on deaf ears.”
As of publication time, the public’s approval rating of Congress was at 12 percent with a disapproval rating at 85 percent, according to Gallup.
Brian Eckhardt, General Superintendent of The Evangelical Church, said, “I think Congress as a whole is so focused on their own agendas and keeping their jobs that they have lost sight of what is good for the country.”
H Miller, Executive Director of Anglican Mission in the Americas, continued, “It appears as though few ask what the right thing is for the good of the country. We seem to have lost the idea of the ‘common good.'”
Evangelical leaders also attributed Congress’ lack of success to the vitriolic nature of dialogue between members. “You can’t accomplish anything if you cannot sustain a conversation about how to address issues that seem important or forward-looking,” said Ken Hunn, Executive Director of The Brethren Church. “We therefore lob grenades at each other and lurch from crisis to crisis, hoping to find a way forward somewhere in the midst of the conflict.”
Anderson said, “We pray for this Congress. We pray that they will work together to find solutions to the many issues our nation faces. We pray for courageous leadership. We may not have faith in Congress, but we have faith in God.”
The Evangelical Leaders Survey is a monthly poll of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Evangelicals. They include the CEOs of denominations and representatives of a broad array of evangelical organizations including missions, universities, publishers and churches.
Congress and the Public, Gallup, http://www.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx