Former Democratic Political Operative Becomes Christian And What We Can Learn From It.

beckelI am guilty of writing off people that I don’t think that would ever become Christians. It’s not that I think that God can’t bring the person to faith in Christ it’s just that I think he won’t. The person is too far from God, too rebellious, too indifferent to humble themselves, see their need for a Savior, and trust in Jesus.

Doubting, faithless me got a much needed slap in the face by Bob Beckel’s story in his recently published memoir I Should Be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction. You might know Beckel from the show The Five on Fox News where he was the political liberal outnumbered by his conservative cohosts. Or you might remember  him, like I did, as the campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s 1984 presidential campaign against Reagan. (Mondale lost in a landslide barely winning his home state of Minnesota.)

Beckel is a great storyteller and the book is full of fabulous stories of his career in politics but also his abusive childhood and struggles with alcoholism. What really got me though is that Bob Beckel became a Christian. Really? Would you have guessed that a raging alcoholic who regularly visited prostitutes and was involved in political immorality at its worst would become a Christian? Did I mention that he was an atheist?

How Bob Beckel Became A Christian And 8 Things We Can Learn From It

1. God normally uses people to reach people. According to Beckel he was getting ready to go on Fox News (how he got a job with Fox is really interesting but you’ll have to read the book) with conservative columnist Cal Thomas. Thomas asked him how he was doing and Beckel said “not very well” which was unusual in Washington where everyone claimed to be “fine”. Thomas asked to visit with him after the show and took an interest in his struggles.

2. You don’t have to know a lot about the Bible or apologetics to influence someone for Christ. At the end of their conversation Cal Thomas asked Beckel if he could send him a book which ended up being Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell. That book started to convince him that the Christian truth claims were credible; that becoming a Christian wasn’t intellectual suicide.

3. Invite people to come to church with you. Eventually Cal Thomas invited his friend to church and told him that they’d sit together. Most people don’t like to walk into a new place by themselves but they’re fine doing it with a friend.

4. Patience. Beckel specifically says that Thomas was never pushy.

5. God usually uses regular people not pastors. The person that pointed Bob Beckel to Jesus was a guy who he worked with not a pastor. If a pastor had approached him, Beckel would have probably run the other way, but he was open to listen to a guy like him. Insiders (like co-workers) often have more influence than outsiders (like pastors).

6. People are usually more open when they are facing adversity. Beckel was at a low point in his life. His marriage and career had hit bottom. He was struggling to overcome his alcohol addiction.

C. S. Lewis: “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Maybe for your friend or neighbor or co-worker it will be a broken relationship or infertility or a miscarriage or marital struggles or depression or job loss. In those difficult times they will turn to someone to talk to. Have you built a good friendship, have you expressed your care and concern, have you proven safe and trustworthy so that in their moment of need they will turn to you?

7. Don’t give up on anyone. It’s no more of a miracle that Bob Beckel is a Christian than you and I are or anyone else is. It’s no harder for God to change his heart than mine. And his sin wasn’t any greater either. When I start believing that God won’t bring someone to Christ because the person is too far from him, I am doubting God’s love and power and thinking a little more highly of myself than I ought. It’s a miracle that any of us believes in Christ.

8. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean that all our problems go away. We should know that because all our problems haven’t gone away. And yet we tend to be more patient with ourselves and our sins than others’. I say that because if you google Bob Beckel you’ll see reports that he was fired from Fox News because he relapsed into addiction after having major back surgery. Beckel denies that and says that he’s recovering fine. I have no idea what’s true and what isn’t. All I know is that when people come to Christ their sins and struggles don’t usually disappear. We will always need to trust in Jesus.

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