Ronald Reagan: Man of Faith

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Whatever your personal political beliefs may be, it is inspiring to see anyone at the peak of achievement in their career take a very public and brave stand for their faith in Jesus.  Below is a collection of anecdotes on faith from the life of a former U.S. President – may this be a challenge to us to be brave in sharing the gospel in whatever field or calling we have.

Former President Ronald Reagan was well known for his leadership and charismatic speeches.  He was less known for his faith, despite being a devout follower of Jesus Christ.  His son, Ron Reagan, recently gave interviews with the media that provide us with insight into his faith was, how it shaped his life and his presidency. 

According to Ron Reagan, his father deeply honored his relationship with Jesus and was mindful in how he shared his faith. “The way he (former President Reagan) practiced his religion, the way I saw it, anyway, in terms of his presidency and his public life, was that he was unabashed about it in the proper setting, in a church or whatever. He would be quite open about his feelings. But he didn’t use it in a way, I mean, it was a very personal thing to him, and it wasn’t …Dad was also a deeply, unabashedly religious man. But he never made the fatal mistake of so many politicians wearing his faith on his sleeve to gain political advantage. True, after he was shot and nearly killed early in his presidency, he came to believe that God had spared him in order that he might do good. But he accepted that as a responsibility, not a mandate. And there is a profound difference.”

Throughout his presidency, former President Reagan made his faith known during those “proper settings”.  At an ecumenical prayer breakfast in 1984, Reagan said, “I believe that faith and religion play a critical role in the political life of our nation – and always has – and that the church – and by that I mean all churches, all denominations – has had a strong influence in the state. And this has worked to our benefit as a nation.”

Prayer, faith, and Christianity were frequently mentioned through his presidency.  During his 1983 speech before the National Association of Evangelicals, Reagan shared, “There are a great many God-fearing, dedicated, noble men and women in public life, present company included … The basis of the ideas of those ideals and principles (that brought us into the public arena) is a commitment to freedom and personal liberty that, itself, is grounded in the much deeper realization that freedom prospers only where the blessings of God are avidly sought and humbly accepted.”

When speaking of Jesus specifically, Reagan said during his 1984 speech at the National Religious Broadcasters, “He (Jesus) promised there will never be a dark night that does not end. And by dying for us, Jesus showed how far our love should be ready to go: all the way.”

The inspiring video montage below captured instances of when Reagan shared his deeply held values and allows us see that he is man of faith. 

Image credit: blog / nowtheendbegins