Mack fundraiser mixing religion and politics raises troubling questions

Mack fundraiser mixing religion and politics raises troubling questions

Conroe, August 21 – Montgomery County’s Wayne Mack has made a name for himself by invoking the name of the Lord to advance Mack’s political career. His October 12, 2017, fundraiser, campaign kickoff, and “prayer breakfast” raises troubling theological and political questions.

The event

Mack is Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace. His court is one of the most inefficient JP courts in the community, as the data reveals.

Data compilation of Montgomery County Justice Courts, Fiscal Year 2016 (October 1, 2015, through September 30, 2016). Sources: Texas Office of Court Administration, Montgomery County government.

Mack’s collection percentage rate for fees and fines is an abominable 78%, while his departmental budget rivals that of Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Edie Connelly, who collects fees and fines at a 97% rate and whose gross collections are almost three times those of Mack’s.

Since Mack does a poor job running his court, instead he has focused his image-making on his religious beliefs. Mack has received substantial attention for his program to begin his courtroom day with a prayer. Mack speaks publicly about his efforts to pray in his courtroom regularly.

Mack has used a “prayer breakfast” or “prayer event” as a political fundraiser now four years in a row. He has scheduled his “4th Annual Prayer Breakfast Re-Election Kick Off Event” for October 12, 2017, at 7 a.m. Mack is not a minister. He is, however, a fundraiser and uses prayer as a means to collect money.

Mack’s event is quite different from the Conroe Kiwanis Annual Prayer Breakfast which has been a prayer event honoring the Lord and Montgomery County’s role in His Kingdom. Mack’s event focuses on Mack.

The theological question

Let’s be clear: this article poses questions and does not provide answers. The Golden Hammer is hardly a source of theological doctrine nor should it be.

Mack’s use of prayer to raise money for himself would seem to raise questions, however, that Jesus addressed in the Sermon on the Mount (middle section). More specifically, Jesus said,

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not they left hand know what they right hand doth: That thine alms may be in secret and they Father which teeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou praise, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into they closet, and hen thou hast shut thy door, pray to they Father which is in secret; and thy Father which teeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

Matthew 6:1-7 (KJV).

Since this newspaper is no source of theology, it’s appropriate to consult others who are. Barbour Publishing noted, “The main thrust of this section is that a disciple’s piety, almsgiving, and prayer are not to be like those of the hypocrites who did their righteous deeds to be seen and admired by others…Public prayer can be a challenge, especially to the one leading the prayer. There is the danger of it being said to impress others rather than being addressed to God.”

Ken Cayce, a Southern Baptist theologian, has written of the foregoing portion of the Sermon on the Mount:

“Because of the statement ‘enter into thy closet,’ some have suggested that all public prayer is wrong. This would be contrary to the rest of the New Testament statements about prayer, commandments and restrictions regarding prayer, and examples of prayer meetings, such as Acts 12:12.

“The principle here is that the believer should not make a show of his prayer nor of the answers he receives to prayer in such a way as to call unnecessary attention to himself.”

If Mack didn’t plaster his name and his attempts to raise money all over the so-called “Prayer Breakfast Re-Election Kick Off Event,” it would seem that Mack would address the event to God. Instead, Mack seems to make a “show of his prayer…in such a way as to call unnecessary attention to himself.”

Isn’t the Mack fundraiser precisely what Jesus warned about the hypocrites, calling attention to oneself rather than to God, by praying publicly to raise money for a political effort?

Two of Montgomery County’s most corrupt and ineffective officials: Precinct 2 County Commissioner Charlie Riley (left) and Wayne Mack (right).

The political question

The ethics of politics is an area in which this newspaper feels far more comfortable than addressing the theological questions.

There is good reason that Montgomery County, Texas, has a reputation as one of the most corrupt counties in the United States. The reason? Montgomery County, Texas, is one of the most corrupt counties in the United States.

Montgomery County’s citizens are desperately seeking political reform. They’re looking for true “public servants” rather than arrogant elitists who believe citizens have no place in the political system’s determination of policy.

Therefore, Wayne Mack, who is running for re-election as a Justice of the Peace in the 2018 election, should come to the people with his political record, his record as a County employee, and his ideas for reform of the County government. Mack’s religiosity does not translate into any of those, as his poor record as a County official has revealed.

Ethically, shouldn’t Wayne Mack raise money and seek public support for his re-election based upon his work as a County official rather than based upon his attempt to mix himself with prayer which should address God as opposed to Wayne Mack?

 

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