By Jessica Pigg
Nov. 6, 2023
Following an arduous three weeks in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Mike Johnson, a Christian and a Southern Baptist, received enough votes to become Speaker of the House Oct. 25. He has since been thrust into national headlines with significant media attention turning toward his faith and commitment to a biblical worldview.
Despite currently serving his fourth term in Congress, Johnson’s new role as Speaker and his proximity to the presidency have cast new light on the congressman’s deeply-held religious views and what influence those views may bring to his political work. With many in mainstream media voicing concern that Johnson’s biblical convictions will color his position on controversial issues such as abortion and homosexuality, many media outlets are looking back to what Johnson stated in 2016 when he was running for Congress.
Johnson, the Louisiana Republican and constitutional lawyer, told the Louisiana Baptist Message “I’m a committed Christian, and my faith informs everything I do.”
It is this intellectual acumen, principled conviction, and Christian worldview that has drawn much attention as all of Johnson’s remarks throughout his political career have now been placed under a microscope and have revealed just how much his Southern Baptist roots will drive his public office.
With comments by mainstream media outlets and some Christian organizations fueling skepticism, opinions about Johnson vary.
Despite Christianity Today suggesting that Johnson was merely “Bible-quoting” and actively “peppered his remarks with religious references,” many Southern Baptists across the nation are greatly encouraged by the biblical conviction and worldview Johnson will bring to his role.
Tarren Bragdon, president and CEO of The Foundation for Government Accountability and previous member of the Maine House of Representatives, believes that Johnson’s faith will actually be a fresh perspective that will reap results.
“Rep. Mike Johnson’s reputation and track record shows how faith and love of freedom drives him,” said Bragdon. “He will lead with those values and get results. That is what America so needs.”
Scott Colter, executive director for the Conservative Baptist Network and director of strategic initiatives at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn., believes that Johnson’s track record speaks for itself when it comes to incorporating his biblical worldview in the public square.
“Speaker Mike Johnson has already exemplified his Christian faith in the public arena in numerous ways,” Colter said. “As a committed, conservative Southern Baptist, he is guided by the truth of Scripture and holds to a biblical worldview.”
With many generations of Americans being misled that religion has no place in the public square, Colter believes that it is actually a biblical worldview that must fuel all conversations pertaining to life and godliness.
“The Bible is not silent about matters of faith, family, church, marriage, gender, life, and freedom,” he continued. “I am grateful for the demonstrated leadership of Speaker Johnson as he embarks on this most important role in our nation.”
In a recent 41-minute interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Johnson shared how his principled convictions and faith deeply impact his worldview.
“I am a Bible-believing Christian,” Johnson told Hannity. “Someone asked me today in the media, they said, ‘What does Mike Johnson think about any issue under the sun?’ I said, ‘Well, go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it.’ That’s my worldview.”
This sentiment is exactly the reason Southern Baptists have reason to celebrate this appointment.
Sharayah Colter, founder of Colter & Co., ardent advocate for the sanctity of human life, and contributing author to the book, Christianity and American Culture Today, believes the election of Johnson “delivers a significant win to conservatives who value both the Constitution and the way our government was founded upon a Judeo-Christian system of ethics.”
“Speaker Johnson may now be the most predictable politician in Washington with his statement that if you want to know his worldview, you can simply pick up the Bible,” she said. “No one has to guess where Speaker Johnson stands on issues of life, freedom, justice, truth, and good governance. Rather, we can know that at every turn, he will try his best to reflect God’s wisdom and ways. May we pray for Speaker Johnson that as a man yielded to following God, he will receive the wisdom God promises in James to those who ask for it sincerely.”
Southern Baptist Roots
Johnson served Southern Baptists as a trustee of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) from 2004-2012. Before entering politics in 2015, he worked as an attorney in private practice and for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). He is also a member of Cypress Baptist Church in Benton, La., where John Fream is senior pastor.
Johnson hosts the podcast, “Truth Be Told,” with his wife, Kelly, who is a licensed pastoral counselor and educator. In it, they discuss and present a “thoughtful analysis of hot topics and current events from a Christian perspective—and interviews with some of the most influential people in politics, law, the media, the church, and other areas,” according to the podcast description.
“I had the privilege to be Speaker Johnson’s pastor for several years,” said Brad Jurkovich, senior pastor at First Bossier. “I am grateful for his faith and fortitude to be used in such a challenging arena of American life. I pray that his faith will be unshakable as he will be tested in many ways. He needs the prayers of God’s people now more than ever.”