Former Executive Director of the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ Rev. Dr. Gary L. Cass spoke to Scott Spages about the Persecuted Church, his respect for the Puritans and his hopes for the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, where he is now the chairman and CEO. The married father of three from Las Vegas has called South Florida home for more than three years. He and his family attend Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church.
SS: You served on the school board in San Diego County from 1998–2006. What was your motivation to run for public office?
GC: My duty as a pastor in the community and my children’s education.
SS: Can you name a key issue that you worked on as a member of the school board that stands out?
GC: Trying to keep the schools focused on education, not liberal social policy.
SS: You began in Life by preaching the Gospel behind the Iron Curtain and working with the Persecuted Church in the former Soviet Union. What should Americans learn from your experiences there?
GC: That persecution is not to be glamorized. It is brutal and must be opposed before it can take root, thus the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission.
SS: For 20 years you served as a pastor, you’re a minister in the Presbyterian Church, you were the executive director of the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ and, now, you are the president and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission [CADC]. To date is there one accomplishment in your public service that you’d like to tell us about?
GC: Working with Dr. Kennedy was one of the great privileges of my life. He and Anne were so kind and committed to Christ’s kingdom.
SS: Can you name a time where your faith was challenged as a public official [or in other leadership positions]?
GC: I was fortunate to have my convictions settled before I ran for office so I did not have to figure out what I stood for in the heat of the moment. I told everyone what I stood for and ran on that basis and was re-elected, even though the other side targeted me.
SS: Do you intend to run again for public office?
GC: Not yet, but never say never.
SS: Everyone develops an opinion about presidential and gubernatorial elections, but few people focus on local elections. What are your thoughts about this?
GC: Christians are short-sighted if they do not take the local elections seriously. Those who win in the local races are most likely to become the Governor or Congressman. We must elect principled Christians up and down the ticket, and it is easy to win on a local level if we work together. We had an 80 percent success rate in San Diego electing and re-electing Christians.
SS: Is there a person in American history that you truly admire or are fascinated by, and why?
GC: I am fascinated by the Puritans and their piety and practicality. They loved God and created great institutions to advance His glory. Jonathan Edwards is arguably the leading light of American Puritanism.
SS: As President of the CADC, do you believe the proposed Hate Crimes legislation in Washington, DC, is a threat to Christianity?
GC: If people only knew what was at stake, they would be appalled. Go to other nations where these kinds of laws are in place, and Christians are fined or imprisoned for speaking biblical truth.
SS: What are your thoughts on careers in elected office and government, versus being a public servant?
GC: In principle, I believe in term limits because of the corrupting influence of political power.
SS: Growing up, did you have a favorite sport or hobby?
GC: Motorcycles and music
SS: Who has most shaped you as a leader – your mother or your father?
GC: Even though my father passed when I was 9, he was a good Christian man and that gave me permission to take Christ seriously.
What was your
First job? Busboy
Favorite movie? “The Pink Panther”
Last book read? Van Til’s “Apologetic”
Musical preference? Smooth jazz
Favorite team? UNLV Rebels
Complete the following sentences
At the CADC I hope to make sure that the name of Christ is hallowed, that his people are protected and that my children and future grandchildren enjoy the same religious liberty and freedom of speech I was given through the sacrifice of our Founders and subsequent generations.
The one thing that I would change about the USA is that more people would know and love the Lord Jesus Christ and then act and vote accordingly. In the meantime, that those who do claim Jesus Christ as Lord would do their duty to evangelize (the Great Commission) and put the kingdom of God and His righteousness first in every aspect of their life (the Cultural Mandate).
For more information on the CADC, visit DefendChristians.com.