Prayer Targets: Anne Graham Lotz; NDP Report; Pentagon Chaplain; Obama DOJ v. NC; Are Christians Nazis?

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found.Psalm 32:6a

Dear Praying Friends,

Evangelist Billy Graham called his daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, “the best preacher in the family.” Anne’s message consistently calls people to a personal relationship with God through His Word. Author of 11 books, some award-winning, Anne leads AnGel Ministries. Anne lost her husband, Danny, last year, after 3 years of declining health. These excerpts are from her recent Blog It’s Time to Get Serious!:

In Psalm 32:6, the Psalmist implies that there comes a time when God cannot be found. A time when God hides Himself. A time that I believe may have begun in America.

Our nation is in a mess. Why? Could it be because America is losing God’s blessing? His favor? Could our sin be provoking His judgment? Judgment that is not necessarily in the form of a nuclear dirty bomb, or another ISIS attack, or an economic collapse. But a Romans 1 judgment as God backs out of our national life and turns us over to ourselves.

In the Old Testament, God moved in judgment on His own beloved nation of Judah. Interestingly, His judgment was a 22-year process. God moved slowly, giving plenty of opportunity for Judah to repent of her sin, turn to Him, and so escape the judgment. But with all of God’s warnings, Judah became even more defiant. More disobedient. More wicked. She insisted on her right to immorality and idolatry. God became her enemy. He sent in the Babylonians to destroy Jerusalem, the temple, and the people. Those who were not taken captive were slaughtered in the streets (2 Chr 36:15-19).

God warns a nation that judgment is coming. He doesn’t want any to perish. But if a nation does not heed His warnings, He unleashes His anger and there is nothing — no one — who can prevent it. If God would judge His own beloved nation of Judah, why would we think America could escape?

So… if we are coming under the judgment of God — If He is giving us over to ourselves, removing His blessing, protection, and favor – the solution will not be found in politics or the economy or the military or technology. The solution will be found on our knees as we humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and repent of our sin. Then plead for Him to return to us as we return to Him.

Now is the time to get serious about repentance and prayer. As I addressed the crowd gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC on April 9th, I spoke of when Ezra led a great revival in Judah, the people stood in the pouring rain for three days repenting of their sin. (Ezra 10:9) I wonder…had God made it hard on His people to test the seriousness of their repentance?

Those gathered on the Washington Mall were also standing in the pouring rain…and snow…with temperatures in the 20ºs. Was God also testing our seriousness to seek His face, pray, and repent?

God promises: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13) There can be no casual, half-hearted turning to God—not if we want Him to return to us. God emphasizes this in Joel 2:12-14: ‘Even now… return to me with all your heart… Rend your heart and not your garments…Who knows? [God] may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing.

Some of the prayers and repentance calls I have heard in the church or at prayer events seem to be a rending of garments. An outward show to impress. A going through the motions of repentance. But the pleading seems to be contrived and hollow instead of broken-hearted and contrite.

Only God knows those who are rending their hearts as they seek Him. But I am led to ask myself…how truly serious am I about seeking God on behalf of our nation? When was the last time I fasted and wept and mourned and confessed the sin of our nation as though it were my own? I believe the future of America hangs on the answer to that question.

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Prayer Targets: Repentance; National Day of Prayer; Target Boycott; Graham Tour; Election Resources

Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Luke 13:2-5

Dear Praying Friends,

Rev. Richard Owen Roberts has spent a lifetime studying Scripture and the history of revival in America and elsewhere. Like an Old Testament prophet, his words cut through our pretenses and expose our real condition. Speaking of sin, righteousness and judgment, Roberts expresses hope for America. Who else could have written Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel?

Repentance is required of entire nations! Just as the corporate sin of every entity [family, church, community, business, etc.] demands corporate repentance, so national sin demands national repentance. The national sins of which I speak are the gross sins that defile the whole land, making the nation guilty before God. They are the sins that result in the loss of at least some of God’s sovereign mercies and in the display of at least some of His righteous judgments. Several things must be said concerning these sins. First, they are, as stated, national sins – sins that defile the whole land. The general population is corrupted by them. This was true in Sodom, where God could not find even ten righteous people. This was often true of Israel. Isaiah described a particular time saying, “The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, nor softened with oil. Your land is desolate… Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:5-7, 9). Second, they are by their very nature sins that, if left in place, are not only grossly evil but also corrupting. They contaminate everything around them. Jesus warned against the leaven of the Pharisees. We often find that one bad piece of fruit spoils many around it. Any sin, left in place, will corrupt things around it. Third, the leaders of the people are themselves sufficiently contaminated by sin that they make no serious effort to suppress it. Indeed, at a time when national repentance is urgently needed, it is not uncommon for leaders to alter long-standing laws to accommodate gross iniquities, rather than to repent themselves and to call others to do the same. We have seen this happen in recent years when our politicians have changed long-standing laws affecting abortion, usury, homosexuality, fornication, and adultery. At such a time, it is also common for leaders to grow lax in enforcing the laws that remain, sometimes because they themselves selves are guilty of gross violations. Fourth, the nature of the sins themselves, and the degree to which they are happily entertained by both leaders and the masses of the people, may profoundly affect the churches. Rather than the churches altering the world for good, the world will alter the church for evil. The nominally religious are readily drawn into the web of iniquity, and eventually it is only with considerable difficulty that the church can be distinguished from the world. Fifth, the prevalence of sin is so great that some of the remnant of faithful believers who remain are gripped by a spirit of pessimism and do little more than sit quietly by, hoping for an end-time deliverance. Sixth, sin so profoundly impacts the nation that the few servants of God who speak out against it seem to have the ear of but a handful. They are generally treated, even by religious people, as foolish and unprofessional extremists. Seventh, man’s extremity is still God’s opportunity. At the very moment when sin appears to have fully triumphed, the Lord may gift the nation with repentance and faith. It is wise and necessary to observe that nations are rarely ever destroyed before they have first been clearly warned of their sins and of the pending judgment of God, and second, have rebelliously refused to repent. As dark as the present hour appears, it is both refreshing and encouraging to realize that the voices of the true prophets of the living God have not yet been raised to such a level that the nations have heard the word of the Lord and have deliberately refused to repent. Thus far, most of the voices that have been heard have sounded a very uncertain note. No wonder national repentance has not occurred. The English-speaking speaking world, in particular, desperately needs to hear the clarion call to national repentance. Until it does, there is hope even for the Western world (Richard Owen Roberts, Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel, pp. 283-292; 2002).

Roberts later explains that we cannot repent for others by proxy. We must repent for ourselves and intercede for our nation and our unsaved countrymen, not repent for them.

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Prayer Targets: National Day of Prayer

Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion, to the descendants of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1 (National Day of Prayer 2016)

Dear Praying Friends,

Thursday, May 5th is the National Day of Prayer! During America’s colonial period many of our Forefathers: pastors, teachers, governors, legislators and other religious and civil leaders did all they could to guide the people in their jurisdictions to seek the favor, protection and guidance of Almighty God. They called for routine public observances and special days for all citizens to humble themselves, fast, pray and repent of sin. They knew that sin, unrepented of, would separate our country from God, undermine God’s blessing, and incur His judgment.

With few exceptions, our Founding Fathers were steeped in a biblical world view. Most learned to read by reading the Bible and many were educated from Scripture-filled primers. As young law students they learned from William Blackstone, whose Commentaries on the Laws of England, was the legal textbook of the period. Blackstone exalted God’s Law as the foundation for and superior to all just human law (see Douglas H. Cook, Regent University).

Consequently, they were familiar with the story of Achan, whose private sin brought defeat to Israel by its enemies and great loss of life (Joshua 7). They quoted in their private and public statements the scripture: “Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people” Pr 14:34. They believed literally: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Ps 33:12); “When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when the wicked bear rule the people mourn” (Pr 29:2); and “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Ps 9:17).

Just after armed conflict broke out with the British in Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress provided a rallying point that brought Americans together as one nation: a nationwide call to prayer. The resolution called for a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer throughout the Colonies on Thursday, July 20th, 1775. Fellow patriot James Warren wrote Samuel Adams:

Three millions of people on their knees at once, supplicating the aid of Heaven, is a striking circumstance, and a very singular one in America. May the blessings of Heaven follow in answer to our prayers… (Samuel Adams: A Life; Ira Stoll, 2008)

Their prayers were heard. Since the time of the Pilgrims, colonial governors and legislatures had issued hundreds of proclamations, calling upon Americans to repent, fast and pray.

Today’s National Day of Prayer hails from that pivotal nationwide prayer meeting one year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which could be considered the first truly national day of prayer. America was conceived, birthed, and continues to be sustained by prayer. That first national prayer meeting further united the colonies, and on the basis of that unity in the face of tyranny, the Founders declared Independence. Scores of the faithful, pleading for God’s favor and willing to lay down their lives for the cause of liberty, contributed to the defeat of the most powerful nation at the end of eight long years of war. Founder Ben Franklin’s call for prayer at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia turned the tide of the meeting that produced our Constitution, which has in turn produced the longest period of prosperity coupled with religious and political liberty of any nation in history. But the key was the faith of the American people of the founding era, a faith nurtured by immersion in the Holy Scriptures, strengthened by times of sincere, humble and fervent, corporate prayer, inspired by the preaching of courageous patriot pastors, and lived out with a bold determination to arise and defend their God-given liberties.

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Prayer Targets: Lincoln’s Call2Fall; Big Business Bullies; Persecuted at Home & Abroad; Elections

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. Daniel 3:17-18 (NKJV)

Dear Praying Friends,

The April 9th United Cry drew an estimated 1,000 people from across America to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Assailed by rain, snow, sleet, bone-chilling temperatures and blustery winds for most of the day, the group poured out their hearts in repentance, prayer and seeking God’s face. Braving the harsh weather, we interceded for our families, friends, churches, and country. Mentioned often was the powerful call to prayer issued by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863, amid the dark hours of the Civil War.

President of the United States of America, A Proclamation: Whereas the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation; and

Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord;

And, insomuch as we know that by His divine law nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.

Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do by this my proclamation designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do hereby request all the people to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite at their several places of public worship and their respective homes in keeping the day holy to the Lord and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the divine teachings that the united cry of the nation will be heard on high and answered with blessings no less than the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this 30th day of March, A. D. 1863, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventh. ABRAHAM LINCOLN (AbrahamLincolnonline.org).

Since the beginning of country’s history some of the most spiritual, heartfelt, biblically accurate and beautiful calls to pray have been issued by American civil leaders. In 1952, Congress passed a resolution calling for an annual National Day of Prayer. President Harry Truman signed it into law. This year’s NDP will take place May 5th, just two weeks from now!

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Prayer Targets: Prayer Tears; Big Business Tyranny; Pornography; Fasting; Persecuted Church Sunday

He that goes forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:6

Dear Praying Friends,

Dr. James Goll, Director of Prayer Storm, co-founder of Encounters Network, instructor at the Wagner Leadership Institute, longtime leader in the national prayer movement, is an author of many books on prayer and intercession. This from his article: Which Way Will the Scales Tip?

Going forward, will good or evil prevail in American society? The body of Christ, the nations of the Earth and the U.S.A. are currently at a tipping point… At these critical moments, things change in a society or nation for good or for evil…What determines the outcome? Who decides? Can we actually have an impact? Scripture is clear about the power of a compassionate heart that sows in intercession and tears. By softening our hearts and crying out to God together for mercy, we can tip the scales to bring forth the rain of awakening upon the Earth.

The Scales of Justice – The scales of justice symbolize the balance between truth and fairness sought after in the judicial system… Each side of the scales represents a divergent view of a case… After all the evidence and arguments have been presented by each side, the scales then tip one way or the other determined by which side appears to have made the weightier case… Webster’s Dictionary defines tipping point as “the critical point in a situation, process or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.” … Wikipedia adds “First used in physics…it referred to the adding a small amount of weight to a balanced object until the additional weight caused the object to suddenly and completely topple…”

Passionate Prayer Changes Things! Matthew Henry, the English theologian declared, “When God intends great mercy for his people, the first thing He does is to set them a-praying!”… Charles Finney, had phenomenal prayer support from Father Nash behind the scenes. He is quoted, “Revival is no more a miracle than a crop of wheat. Revival comes from heaven when heroic souls enter the conflict determined to win or die—or if need be, to win AND die.”

Isaiah battled with an unrepentant, even defiant nation of Israelites, who refused to acknowledge sin or abandon its idols even in the face of defeat, bondage and slavery to other nations. God issued a challenge to His people through Isaiah that reveals the heart of God toward us—even when we are in sin and trying to justify our rebellion: “Put Me in remembrance: let us plead together: declare thou, that thou mayest be justified” (Is. 43:26 KJV); “Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; State your cause, that you may be proved right” (Is. 43:26, NASV).

How Desperate Are You? Beloved, God is weeping over the condition of our nations and the hard condition of the heart of the body of Christ. He is travailing through us with tears for our own breakthrough. We know that when we sow in tears, we will reap in joy (Ps. 126:5). This principle applies first to Jesus, and then to every believer who enters into identification with His heart.

Do you want awakening? Do you want true revival – the restoration of God’s glory? Do you want your family, neighbors and friends to come to Jesus Christ? Do you want a turnaround for this nation? Do you want the body of Christ to have a new heart? How desperate are you?

Try passionate, heartfelt prayer that expresses itself even in tears. Yes, try tears. Drop your defenses and become tenderhearted. Enter into the vulnerability and desperation in your inner being. Grab hold of heaven’s heart and do not let go until the Third Great Awakening is fully released. Let’s lift a united cry until a Global Jesus Movement is moving from shore to shore.

We are at the crossroads. Which way will the scales tip? Together, we can help determine the outcome! Together, through our collective cries for mercy, we can tip the scales and the rain of revival, restoration and recovery will come pouring forth. Let’s saturate our prayers and saturate our land with tears (edited for length: see full article at Encounters Network).

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Prayer Targets: Rev. Simeon Howard; United Cry; Sex v. Christianity; More

Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 14:34

For the past few weeks, we have learned much from Rev. Simeon Howard’s sermon, preached to the Massachusetts Legislature on Election Day, May 31, 1780. He summarizes the duties of voters to select leaders who meet God’s requirements:

I have considered the qualifications of a good ruler mentioned in Scripture [Ex 18:21]. They are all necessary to form that character, whether in the legislative, executive or judicial department: It is not difficult to see, that the want of any one of them in any department, must be prejudicial and dangerous to the community.

Finally, [with these qualities] our political fathers will not fail to do all they can, to promote religion and virtue through the community… they will watch over their morals with the same affectionate and tender care that a pious and prudent parent watches over his children, endeavor to check and suppress all impiety and vice, and lead the people to practice righteousness which exalteth a nation. If new laws are needed or existing laws need revision to prevent or punish public immorality, extortion, fraud, oppression or any vice, they will take care to supply this defect, and render themselves a terror to evil doers, as well as an encouragement to such as do well.

They will promote to places of trust, men of piety, truth and benevolence. Nor will they fail to exhibit in their own lives, a fair example of that piety and virtue, which they wish to see practiced by the people: They will shew that they are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, by paying a due regard to his sacred institutions, and to all the laws of his kingdom.

Our leaders, can do more, perhaps more than any other order of men, to preserve or recover the morals of a people. The manners of a court are peculiarly catching, and, like the blood in the heart, quickly flow to the most distant members of the body. If rulers desire to see religion and virtue flourish in the community they must countenance and encourage them by their own example.

And though the fear of God, a regard to truth and a hatred of covetousness, are necessary to form the character of a good ruler, they are even more necessary to form the character of a good man, and to secure the approval of God, the Judge of all. All men are accountable to him. He does not regard the persons of princes more than of their subjects. If they are impious, vicious, or abuse their power, they may bring misery upon other men, but they will surely bring greater upon themselves. The eye of heaven surveys all their counsels, designs and actions; one day, these shall all be made manifest, and every one receive according to his works.

Happy they, who on that day shall be found faithful, for they shall lift up their heads with confidence, and amidst applauding angels enter into the joy of their Lord: While those who have oppressed and injured the people by their power, and corrupted them by their example, shall be covered with sham and confusion, and sentenced to that place of blackness and darkness, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth!

LET me now conclude, that it concerns us all to fear God, and to be men of truth hating covetousness. The low and declining state of religion and virtue among us, is too obvious not to be seen, and of too threatening an aspect not to be lamented by all the lovers of God and their country. Though our happiness as a community, depends much upon the conduct of our rulers; yet it is not in the power of the best government to make an impious, profligate people happy. How well soever our public affairs may be managed, we may undo ourselves by our vices. And it is from hence, I apprehend, that our greatest danger arises. That spirit of infidelity, selfishness, luxury and dissipation, which so deeply marks our present manners, is more formidable than all the arms of our enemies. Would we but reform our evil ways, humble ourselves under the corrections, and be thankful for the mercies of heaven; revive that piety and public spirit, that temperance and frugality, which have entailed immortal honor on the memory of our renowned ancestors; we might then, putting our trust in God, humbly hope that our public calamities would be soon be at an end, our independence established, our rights and liberties secured, and glory, peace and happiness dwell in our land. Such happy effects to the public, might we expect from a general reformation.

BUT let everyone remember, that whatever others may do, and however it may fare with our country, it shall surely be well with the righteous; and when all the mighty states and empires of this world shall be dissolved and pass away “like the baseless fabric of a vision”, they shall enter into the kingdom of their father which cannot be moved, and in the enjoyment and exercise of perfect peace, liberty and love, shine forth as the sun forever and ever (Rev. Simeon Howard, 1780 Election Sermon, U of Michigan Library, edited for length).

UnitedCry DC16 – This Saturday, April 9, from 9 AM-4 PM, as many as 30,000 pastors and Christian leaders from across America will be gathering at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC in Solemn Assembly.  Our purpose is to repent, pray, and seek God’s face in a Joel 2:17 response amid America’s 2016 moral, spiritual and political crisis.  The pastor-led effort, envisioned by Pastor Lewis Hogan from Gateway Church in Dallas, Texas and a diverse team of pastors and leaders from across America promises to be a prayerful precursor to numerous calls for nationwide prayer and repentance. The event will be aired live on GodTV (see UnitedCry DC16; view it live on GodTV).

The Sexual war against Christianity – Yesterday, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law HB 1523, the “Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act.” The law is similar to the Indiana Religious Freedom Reformation Act (RFRA), which came under such fire from homosexual activists and pro-LGBT businesses that Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana legislature caved in to the activists, gutted the law and turned it, instead, into an LGBT special rights law.  So vicious was the opposition by homosexual activists, so potentially damaging were the threats by big business, so hot was the heat of the battle that it gave coinage to a new word: “Penced!” Perhaps fear of being “Penced” led Georgia Governor Nathan Deal to veto a watered-down RFRA law that would have protected only pastors, churches and church organizations but not individuals, businesses and non-profit groups.  Gov. Bryant signed into law a measure that protects all Mississippians from government discrimination, regardless of their beliefs on marriage.

The rage focused against state RFRA’s and Government Non-Discrimination Acts (GNDAs) coupled with aggressive efforts to implement pro-LGBT “Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity” laws (SOGI’s – also called bathroom bills) has reached new heights of insanity. The entry of big business in support of the LGBT activist crowd has multiplied the pressure and intimidation that our elected officials face. Fortunately, the threats by business to inflict pain on pro-liberty jurisdictions have, thus far, proven empty. In Houston, where the pastors and citizens defeated a SOGI under threat of supposed economic ruin, the economy is booming.  Many of the intolerant “tolerance” crowd of moneyed activists behind this movement are the true discriminators who want nothing less than to replace the moral foundation of our nation. Theirs is an assault against Christianity and Christians in particular. The only way to protect all American believers is for the U.S. House and Senate to pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) and to elect a Congress and president who will work together to enact it!  (see FRC on Mississippi’s New Law; Indiana RFRA; Georgia Veto; Porn Phenomena; Horowitz: The Raging War against Religious Liberty; view Sexual Orientation, the Idol of our Day; view panel Religious Liberty around the World).

Finally, please continue to pray for FRC’s National Hispanic Pastors Briefing Tuesday, April 19th at Colorado Christian University and FRC’s premiere pastors briefing in Washington, D.C.: Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing May 25-27. Please tell your pastor about it, and consider covering the cost to participate.  Please also encourage your pastor and church to join FRC and churches across America to observe Sunday, April 17th as “Stand with the Persecuted Church Sunday.” While we contend to preserve religious liberty in our own land, multiplied thousands of our brethren are suffering and dying for their faith! As always, thank you for praying!

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Prayer Targets: Covetousness; The Evangelical Vote; The Persecuted Church; RFRAs; Hispanic Pastors

Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (immoderate desire for wealth, greedy longing for more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs. Luke 12:14-16 AMP Classic

In his election sermon on Exodus 18:21, Rev. Simeon Howard explained to Massachusetts elected leaders the firm qualifications God has given us to use in choosing leaders “whether… legislative, executive or judicial… The want of any one of them,” Howard warned, would “be prejudicial and dangerous to the community.” Here is Part #4:

“Hating covetousness.” Covetousness is an inordinate desire for riches; such a desire as will even make a man pursue them by unlawful means, and prevent his using them in a right manner. Hating covetousness is a strong expression to denote a freedom from this vicious temper, and a sense of its unreasonableness and turpitude (depravity). That it is of great importance that civil rulers have this qualification will be evident upon a little reflection.

COVETEOUSNESS is a fruitful source of corruption… “They that will be rich, fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition: For the love of money is the root of all evil.” Almost all the oppression, fraud and violence that has been done under the sun, has owed its rise and progress to covetousness. The indulgence of this vice debases the mind, and renders it incapable of anything generous and noble… [It] destroys the principles of benevolence, friendship and patriotism, and gives a tincture of selfishness to all its sentiments: It hardens the heart and makes it deaf to the cries of distress and the dictates of charity; it blinds and perverts judgment and disposes it to confound truth and falsehood, right and wrong.

A CIVIL ruler under the direction of this principle will oppress and defraud his subjects, when he has it in his power… he will enact laws to serve himself, not the community, and he will enact none that he thinks would be prejudicial to his private interest, however beneficial they might be to the public or to the support of justice and equity between men. He will pervert justice and rob the innocent for bribes… yea religion itself, the greatest honor and blessing of society, he will see languish and die, rather than impart anything to support its cause… having long looked upon riches in the same light that good men do upon religion, as his chief good, and feeling the same attachment to them which they do to [religion]… mistaking his love of money for the love of God, and his covetousness for his conscience; supposing, with those corrupters of religion mentioned by the apostle, “that gain is Godliness.” If he has a voice in the appointment of subordinate officers, he will… appoint such as will be most subservient to his private interest, however unqualified for the office: In a word, all his conduct, all his reasoning and votes will be tinctured by his selfish spirit; and in a critical time when great expense is necessary for the public safety, he may by his parsimony be a means of the ruin of his country.

BUT a ruler who hates covetousness will conduct in a very different manner.—He will never oppress or wrong the community; the public interest will be always safe in his hands; he will freely expend his time and his estate, in discharging the duties of his office for the good of his country; he will be ever ready to promote good laws, though they deprive him of opportunities… he will devise liberal things… that promise advantage to his country; he will do all in his power to promote the liberal arts and sciences, manufactures and all useful inventions, to encourage men of learning and genius, and to aid the cause of religion and virtue: In promoting men to places of trust, he will be influenced by no selfish, private views, but by a regard to the public good; no bribe will purchase his vote for an unfit man, and hating covetousness himself, no consideration will induce him to give it for a sordid, avaricious wretch; he will neglect no measures necessary for the public safety and happiness… All his conduct will bear the marks of his nobleness and liberality of sentiment, of his selflessness and public spirit (Rev. Simeon Howard, Election Sermon, University of Michigan Digital Library, May 31, 1780).

The Evangelical Vote – A Barna Group study released March 24th, found that among all Christian groups, evangelicals are the least likely to be paying attention to the 2016 election race. About 38% of Americans are self-declared evangelicals, but Barna used the term only to identify persons who are evangelical in their fundamental biblical beliefs.  By his criteria, only 8% of Americans are truly evangelical.  Not surprisingly, self-declared evangelicals are all over the map politically, some Democrats, some Republicans, but how many are voting biblically? Despite the media circus revolving around evangelical voters, the sad news is that just 8 percent, the most capable of influencing America for righteousness, are paying the least attention to the elections as compared to other professing Christians (see Newest Barna Report; Who Qualifies as an Evangelical?)  

  • May pastors preach, teach and effectively disciple God’s people to study His Word and apply it to every area of life, including the realm of influencing public policy and government. May we obey Him in all things, especially in how we choose candidates for public office in 2016! (Ex 18:21; Mt 20:27; 28:19-20 NIV; Jn 8:31; 2 Cor 10:5 ; 2 Tim 2:15, 4:1-4)

Standing with the Persecuted Sunday, April 17Remember prisoners as if you were in prison with them, and people who are mistreated as if you were in their place” Heb 13:3 (CEB). FRC President Tony Perkins is asking churches across America to observe April 17, 2016 as Stand with the Persecuted Sunday.  Urge your pastor to take time during your weekend services to view a brief, 2-minute video, distribute a special bulletin insert, and spend time in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters at home and abroad. While believers face growing hostility in America, we have experienced nothing like the mistreatment, displacement, violence, rape, crucifixion, and beheadings experienced by followers of Jesus in Iraq, Syria, Libya, other parts of the Middle East and beyond.  We are honored to stand with ministries like Open Doors USAInstitute on Religion and Democracy, Voice of the Martyrs, and others to highlight the plight of and pray for the persecuted.  Please urge your pastor and church to join us on Sunday, April 17 to Stand with the Persecuted (see www.FRC.org/stand).

Sexual v. Religious Liberty – There is no explicit or implicit right in the U.S. Constitution to unnatural sexual expression or identity while the guaranteed right of religious liberty is explicitly stated in the First Amendment. Yet dogged by an all-out political assault from sexual libertarians, CEOs, governors, mayors and public officials at all levels are being forced to make a choice: impose the homosexual and transsexual agenda upon their people, or protect the religious and conscience rights guaranteed all Americans. Some are surrendering to or even championing the LGBT agenda.  Others are standing courageously amid threats and harassment.

In Georgia, the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly for legislationthat mirrors the federal RFRA, but is much narrower, protecting only churches and church ministries and not individuals or businesses.  Gov. Nathan Deal (R) caved in and vetoed that religious liberty bill on Monday. However, in North Carolina, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) courageously signed a bill into law passed in the legislature’s called special session that prohibits local “bathroom bills” from being enacted, nullifying Charlotte’s recently enacted SOGI ordinance (see Deal vetoes RFRA; Governors: Big Business and Religious Liberty; McCrory signs “Bathroom Bill” Prohibition; Charlotte’s March Madness; Devil to Georgia; View related lecture: Rosaria Butterfield on Sexual Idolatry).

  • May our churches be given light from heaven to understand the huge threat to religious liberty that the Supreme Court decision has caused by redefining marriage and opening the floodgates to sexual insanity! May God’s people arise to engage in this battle to preserve the privacy and innocence of our children and grandchildren in our schools and communities(Dt 6:4-7; Mt 19:4-6, 20:32-34Eph 5:8-14; 6:4; Rom 1:18-19, 32; Gal 5:1)

Finally, pray over and let your friends in the Hispanic Church community know about FRC’s upcoming National Hispanic Briefing Tuesday, April 19th at Colorado Christian University.Remember, the best way this sexual v. religious liberty battle can be stopped legislatively is by the U.S. House and Senate passing the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). We must elect a Congress and President who will work together to enact FADA. Please continue to pray for Franklin Graham’s ongoing 50-state Decision America Tour, the National Day of Prayer, May 5thUnitedCry DC16, April 9th, the Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing May 25-27; and Call2Fall on July 3rd. Don’t miss FRC’s free online lecture: Religious Liberty around the World as of March 2016 – Noon, Wednesday, April, 6th. As always, thank you for praying!

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Prayer Targets: Men of Truth; Obamacare v Little Sisters; Pray for the Persecuted Church; FADA, More

They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie…

I have already highlighted parts #1 and #2 of the 1780 political sermon by Dr. Simeon Howard, long time pastor of Boston’s Old West Church (successor to Rev. Jonathan Mayhew). In his sermon, Dr. Howard exposits Exodus 18:21, God’s prescription for choosing leaders. Here is Part #3:

“They must be men of truth!” means men free from deceit and hypocrisy, guide and falsehood: Men who will not use flattery and cajoling, falsehood, and slandering of a competitor to get into authority: And who when they are in, will conscientiously speak the truth in all their declarations and promises, and punctually fulfil all their commitments.

In relating with other states, they will act with the same integrity which honest men do in their private affairs, and promise nothing but what they intend, and think they are able to perform. Commitments already made to other powers, they will honestly endeavor to fulfil, so far as it belongs to their department, without seeking or pretending some excuse for failure…

They will show the same integrity and fidelity in their conduct towards individuals. They will not promise to any one, what they have reason to think they cannot, or do to not intend perform. Promises government has already made, the execution of which belongs to them they consider their duty to fulfil, if possible, so no man will suffer from placing faith in the pledges of government.

Civil rulers generally bind themselves expressly and implicitly by accepting their office, faithfully to discharge the duties of it. And a man of truth will pay a sacred regard to this commitment. He will not content himself with receiving honors and emoluments of his office, while neglecting the duties of it… Having solemnly engaged to use his power for the public good, he will never employ it in encouraging and supporting the enemies of his country, or to carry on, under the mask of patriotism, measures to promote his own selfish and private views, or to screen and protect from public justice, offenders against society. He will not employ his abilities to impose upon the understanding of others, and make the worse appear the better reason, in order to disguise truth, and pervert justice. He will not suffer one man, or one part of the community to be injured and robbed by another, when his office enables him to prevent it; because this would be violating his promise. In a word, he will to his utmost … [to] manifest by all his conduct that he is an honest, upright man. He will make no false pretenses, he will put on no false appearances, but ever act with Christian simplicity, and godly sincerity.

SUCH will be the conduct of men of truth: And such men only are proper to be entrusted with authority over a free people. Rulers of this character will be honored, beloved and confided in by their countrymen, and respected by other nations; their subjects will be easy and happy, united together in the bonds of truth and love, and by their union able to defend themselves against invaders; their government resting on the basis of truth and justice, will be firm and stable, revered and honored both at home and abroad. Whereas that deceit and hypocrisy, that falsehood and insincerity, that dissimulation and craftiness…however they may sometimes succeed and procure some temporary advantages, will almost always weaken and disgrace the government which practices them, by sapping the foundation of public credit, producing uneasy jealousies, disaffection, divisions and contempt of authority among the people, and lead them by example to the practice of the same insincerity, falsehood and dishonesty towards one another, which they see in their rulers; and by rendering them infamous in the eyes of other nations, and perhaps raising up enemies to punish their treachery.

AND without doubt it may be asserted with truth, upon the principles both of natural religion and revelation that the government that is directed by truth and integrity, will be the fairest to secure and promote the happiness of the community, however contrary this assertion may be to the principles and practices of modern courtiers and politicians.

The Apostle Paul warned that God would send a “powerful delusion” to those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Th 2:10-11). May we and the leaders we choose love truth! 

Obamacare vs. Little Sisters of the Poor – Today at 10 AM,the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, a landmark case challenging the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act.

Who canargue that religious liberty is not under assault in America, with the Obama administration leading the way?  Since September, 2013, the HHS has attempted to force a religious order of mostly nuns who devote their lives to the service of the poor to violate their religious conscience. In its determination to impose the pro-abortion elements of Obamacare upon all Americans, the Obama Justice Department has spent a small fortune of taxpayer dollars in its unrelenting effort to make this charitable ministry (and others) participate in obtaining insurance for its employees that includes drugs and devices that can cause abortion.  The Catholic church and faith prohibit the use of artificial abortion and they are decidedly pro-life.  Forcing Catholic nuns to fund or consent to providing abortifacient drug insurance to its employees is a violation of the nuns’ faith and conscience. Nevertheless for two and a half years, the Obama administration has used the full weight of the U.S. Government against these nuns, including the threat of debilitating fines.

The Little Sisters of the Poor’s case has been has been bundled together with six other non-profit religious organization cases. All but Zubik v. Burwelllost their cases in various federal appeals courts and all face punitive fines if they lose.  For example, the Little Sisters would be fined $100 per employee per day.  That would translate to $70 million in fines per year, one-third of their operating budget. This is nothing less than tyranny. Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned for profit business, won its lawsuit against HHS and preserved the constitutional liberty of conscience right for private businesses. Why has the Obama administration subjected these charities to threats and intimidation for 2 ½ years?

Unfortunately, due to the untimely passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, if the court produces a split, 4-4 ruling, which is likely, appeals court rulings will stand, meaning Little Sisters and the other petitioners will either submit to the violation of their faith or pay outrageous fines.  

Religious freedom is our first freedom. Without it, there is no freedom. This court case will have a huge impact on all people of faith. Experts in the field, given the court’s current makeup, are not optimistic (see WSJ on Obamacare vs. Little Sisters of the Poor; Basic Facts; Schwarzwalder: Accommodation a Gimmick ; Historic Fight – Arguments; Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America).

  •  May God move upon the hearts of the eight justices that now comprise the Supreme Court! May at least one of the liberal justices be convicted by the Holy Spirit of the weightiness of the First Amendment guarantee of Religious Liberty, and vote contrary to his or her normal pattern on such cases! May God help the Senate to stand by its pledge not to consider or confirm any new Justice to replace Antonin Scalia until next year. May Congress see how critically important it is that they pass the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA). (Est 3:2; 4:16; Ps 11:7; Is 56:1; Eze 22:26; Dan 3:15-18; Lk 4:18-19; Acts 5:29; Gal 5:1; 1 Jn 3:7)

Stand with the Persecuted Sunday on April 17 – Given the Obama State Department’s late but welcome acknowledgment of the ISIS Genocide of Christians and religious minorities in the Muslim-dominated Middle East, FRC President Tony Perkins is asking churches everywhere to observeApril 17, 2016 as Stand with the Persecuted Sundayand set aside time during their weekend services to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters there. While Christians face growing persecution in America, we have experienced nothing like beheadings, mass murders, rapes, pillage and destruction experienced by our fellow Christians in Iraq, Syria, and other parts of the Middle East and beyond. Ministries like Samaritans Purse, Open Doors, Voice of the Martyrs and others have rushed to respond, but apart from isolated military air strikes which experts say are far too little to stop ISIS, the U.S. Government has given no aid to relieve the hundreds of thousands  of refugees in Kurdish North Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere. If the church in America does not arise to “pray” and “pay” to help our desperate brothers and sisters overseas, will believers around the world help us when such crisis comes to our own land? Please urge your pastor to join us on April 17, 2016.

Finally, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest (R) and House Speaker Tim Moore called the Legislature into special session at 10 a.m. today for the purpose of considering how to undo what the City of Charlotte has done in passing a SOGI (sexual orientation, gender identity/transgender) ordinance that would allow a sexually confused person to use any public bathroom, shower and locker room facility they choose. A violation of all peoples’ privacy, religious liberty and common sense, such SOGI ordinances are being advocated and aggressively pushed in municipalities all over America.  Pray for legislation to stop this madness in North Carolina and other states.  Please continue to pray for Franklin Graham’s ongoing 50-state Decision America Tour, the National Day of Prayer, May 5thUnitedCry DC16, April 9th, the Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing May 25-27; and Call2Fall on July 3rd. Pray for God’s power and presence to be evident in churches all across America this Resurrection Sunday (click here for a Sermon Starter for pastors) and may many come to know and experience the Risen Lord!  Thank you for praying!

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Prayer Targets: Men Who Fear God; the Elections; SCOTUS Nominee War; GOP Races; Genocide!

But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain… Exodus 18:21 (NIV)

In last week’s Prayer Targets, I highlighted a sermon by Dr. Simeon Howard, successor to Rev. Jonathan Mayhew at Old West Church in Boston. More from his 1780 political sermon:

The fear of God, in scripture, does not mean a slavish, superstitious dread of a cruel Being; but a reverence that arises from habitually considering God’s glorious perfection and providence; his moral rule of the world, love of holiness and hatred of vice. He sees every thought and action of his creatures, and will punish the impenitent and reward the virtuous. The fear of offending him produces obedience to his laws, together with hope in his mercy and love due One so amiable in character…Without this fear, a man is unworthy of any trust or confidence. No principle so promotes this regard for virtue, as the fear of God. A man may follow virtue when he faces no strong temptation to the contrary. But when temporal infamy and misery are a certain consequence of practicing virtue, and temporal honor and happiness the consequence of forsaking it, will [he] adhere to his duty without regard for God, as his ruler and judge? Will he sacrifice all for the sake of virtue, when he has no expectation of reward beyond the grave? Will he embrace reproach, poverty and death to do what is right? With no fear of God this ought not to be expected…

MEN invested with civil power are much more exposed to temptations to violate their duty than other men: They have more opportunities of committing injuries; and may do so with less fear of present punishment; they need every possible restraint to keep them from abusing their power….

A holy life comprised of the fear of God, has a powerful tendency to ennoble the mind and beget an abhorrence of everything cruel and base; to inspire a magnanimity and fortitude of spirit that will prevail through the greatest dangers and difficulties; refine and purify the heart, disengage it from the vanities of the world, and beget good will and benevolence – the brightest part of a virtuous character. Contemplating daily the perfections of the Deity naturally will lift the affections and fix them upon divine things, make us love and seek to imitate the moral character of God; and weaken the lusts so apt to draw men aside and entice them to sin…

Circumstances often occur to leaders, which call for greater wisdom than they possess, though they may be very able men. In such cases we are directed to look up to God, the inexhaustible source of wisdom. God may give us a more just views and lead us to wiser decisions, than we would otherwise have made…  There is little reason to think that this light and direction will be given to men who have no fear of God. Though they lack wisdom, they will not ask it of God, “who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not.” Without divine counsel, their conduct will be wrong and ill-judged, calculated in many instances, not for good, but harm, even destruction.

It is important for their happiness that religion and virtue prevail among a people. Government should use its influence to promote them. Rulers should encourage the people both by their example and authority; … they should punish open acts of profanity and impiety, which destroy reverence for God, the only effectual support of moral virtue…without which there can be no confidence, peace or happiness in society. WITHOUT such, there is danger that the people will forget God and abandon themselves to immorality. God has made religion and virtue necessary to the happiness of human society. It is the duty of the civil magistrate to promote them.

TAKING this care for religion appears so plain and important a duty, that a government that wholly neglects it, would be guilty of base ingratitude and a daring affront to heaven. By such conduct they, in effect, adopt the language of the profane fatalists mentioned by Job, who “say unto God, depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is the Almighty that we should serve him! And what profit shall we have if we pray unto him?”

Faith in the gospel of Christ should be considered an important qualification for civil rulers. Impious, immoral men at the head of government, with authority to appoint subordinate officers, will choose men of their own character, and so spread corruption and much injury to society. [Edited for archaic language]

Why is our nation so troubled? We have ignored God’s command to choose leaders who fear God!

2016 Elections – Too many Christians are either ignorant of Exodus 18:21 or choose to ignore it when voting. Yet God’s principles in that verse have direct application for how we ought to select civil leaders. Indeed, Exodus 18:21 (see also Dt. 1:9-18) set forth the political framework for the selection of leaders among the Israelites, a forerunner of our own representative form of government. God’s prescription applied to the selection of all representative leaders, including those over thousands down to leaders of tens.  In other words, it applied to officials at every level of government. Interestingly, Exodus 18:21 was the staple Scripture for the election sermons of the founding era. It was the standard for the 3 million Americans who lived through the War for Independence and the creation of the American republic. It remains the standard for Bible-believing Christians to choose our national, state and local leaders. The “fear of God” is the cornerstone of the admonition, which is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Pr 1:7; 9:10).

But are American Christians guided by the fear of God as a key criterion for voting? Columnist Ross Douthat, a conservative amid a sea of liberal writers at the New York Times, wrote a gloomy analysis of the fractured thinking of those who identify themselves as Christians in America, demonstrating that the lines of division are evidenced by their voting patterns thus far in the 2016 Election.  Frequency (or even complete lack) of church attendance is a general predictor of the candidate (and party) of choice. The Barna Group, Christian pollsters and analysts, similarly address the confused and confusing Christian vote, identify evangelicals as a much smaller slice of the American church. They determine how to classify Christians by their adherence to biblical truth. Thus they say that American evangelicals are a much smaller segment of the population than other pollsters. For them the vast majority of believers who declare that they are born again do not qualify as evangelicals because of their low score in answering questions that reveal the degree of their fidelity to fundamental biblical truths. The fact that believers are all over the map suggests a low level of biblical literacy among Christian voters. That’s why we are emphasizing Exodus 18:21.

America is at a crossroad! The next president will likely nominate two, possibly three or more Supreme Court Justices.  A liberal progressive president will most certainly select people who believe the Constitution is a “living and breathing document” and will legislate from the bench, further overturning laws duly enacted by Congress and the states. But a “conservative” president with no fear of God is as much a threat as proven liberals.  Thankfully, Christians are coming out in higher numbers to vote than in past years. If we seek His face, study the candidates, observe the Scriptures pertinent to our decision-making, and vote accordingly, even if we do not prevail, God will honor our intentions (see Ross Douthat: Trump’s Christian Soldiers; see Tony Perkins discussing the  2016 Election on C-Span’s Newsmakers; John Bolton on American World Leadership). 

  • May God’s people wholeheartedly obey His guidelines for choosing civil leaders, especially during the primary elections. May God’s people urge fellow believers to do likewise, and may we pray fervently that they will! May our nation turn this year back to the Bible and back to the Constitution as it was intended by the Founders. May Christians everywhere make the American election the object of daily prayer! 

The Supreme Court – President Obama, now a lame duck in an Election Year has just named his choice for Supreme Court Justice to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s vacant seat: Merrick Garland, a Chicago born, Harvard educated liberal, currently serving as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.  Congressional Quarterly reports that: “Replacing Scalia with Garland would likely swing the ideological balance of the court leftward as it considers issues such as state abortion laws and potentially gun rights cases.”  This nomination comes despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) pledge not to bring any high court nomination to the Senate floor this year. Republicans are determined that Scalia, the longest serving member on the court and a staunch conservative, will not be replaced by a liberal who will tip the balance of the court and further damage America. President Obama will make this a serious fight. It is essential that Senate Republicans stand firm with McConnell (see Supreme Decision by FRC’s Dr. Chris Gacek; Follow News on the Nomination Fight; White House Battle Plan; Obama to nominate Merrick Garland; Why all the Outrage?

  • May Christians fully understand what is at stake with the presidency and his/her nominees to the Supreme Court, which has a profound impact on the direction of our nation. May churches and the intercessory prayer movement engage in warfare prayer until our high court is predominated by Constitutional conservatives who will preserve the right to life, natural marriage, religious liberty, private property, the Second Amendment and overturn rulings where past courts have gone awry. May our children’s liberty be vouchsafed!

Finally, please continue to pray over these matters:  Troubled by President Obama’s hesitancy to declare the murder of Christians and other religious minorities by ISIS a “Genocide,” the U.S. House unanimously passed a genocide resolution by a unanimous vote.  The Senate has yet to vote on a similar resolution. How can we stand by when our brothers and sisters are being mistreated, brutalized, and slaughtered? Thank you for praying!

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Prayer Targets; Able Men; SCOTUS Blocks, States Push for Life; DOJ’s Religious Bias; Liberty in MO

Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness… Exodus 18:21a

Rev. Simeon Howard (1733-1804) succeeded Jonathan Mayhew as pastor of the Old West Church in Boston. On May 31, 1780, he preached the election sermon to the Massachusetts Governor’s Council and the House of Representatives. It was printed and published at state expense. Howard took Exodus 18:21 as his foundational Scripture. I believe the 2016 election is of such importance that we need to examine the verse, each point at a time: Excerpts from Howard:

They must be able men. God has made a great difference in men in respect of their natural powers both of body and mind: To some he has given more, to others fewer talents… And though there are none but what may be good members of civil society as well as faithful servants of God; yet everyone has not abilities sufficient to make him a good civil ruler. Woe unto thee, O land, when thy king is a child, says Solomon (Ecc 10:16-17); hereby intimating that the happiness of a people depends greatly upon the character of its rulers, and that if they resemble children in weakness, ignorance, credulity, fickleness, etc. the people will of course be very miserable.

By able men may be intended men of good understanding and knowledge; men of clear heads, who have improved their minds by exercise, acquired an habit of reasoning, and furnished themselves with a good degree of knowledge: Men who have a just conception of the nature and end of government in general, of the natural rights of mankind, of the nature and importance of civil and religious liberty; a knowledge of human nature; of the springs of action and the readiest way to engage and influence the heart; an acquaintance with the people to be governed, their genius, their prejudices, their interest with respect to other states, what difficulties they are under, what dangers they are liable to, and what they are able to bear and do. These things are ever to be taken into consideration by legislators, when they make laws for the internal police of a people, and in their transactions with, or respecting other states.

It would be going too far to say, that an honest man cannot be a good ruler, unless he be of the first character for good sense, learning and knowledge; but it will not be denied, that the more he excels in these things, the more likely he will be to rule well: He will be better able to see what measures are suited to the temper and genius of the people, and most conducive to the end of his institution; how to raise necessary supplies for the expenses of government in ways most easy and agreeable to the people; how to extricate them out of difficulties in which they may be involved; how to negotiate with foreign powers, how to prevent or mitigate the calamities of war, by compromising differences or putting the people into a condition to defend themselves and repel injuries: In a word, how to render them happy and respectable in peace, or formidable in war. These things require a very considerable degree of penetration and knowledge…

It is therefore proper that rulers should be men of understanding and learning… Observe, that [mentally or morally] weak and illiterate men at the head of a government, will likely place, in inferior and subordinate offices, men of their own character, merely because they know no better.

BUT by able men, may be intended men of courage, of firmness and resolution of mind … Wise men will not indeed determine rashly, but when the case requires it, they will resolve speedily, and act with vigor and steadiness (Rev. Simeon Howard, Election Sermon, University of Michigan Digital Library, 1780).

In future Targets, we will further examine Rev. Howard’s classic exposition of Exodus 18:21: what it means for a civil servant to 1) be able, 2) fear God, 3) be a man or woman of truth, and 4) hate covetousness. Our nation is in deep trouble. It is time for Bible-believing Christians to obey Him by voting for leaders who meet his requirements. Too many in 2016 are being reckless with their votes!

Supreme Court Blocks Pro-Life Louisiana Law – On Wednesday of last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.  The case is the challenge to a Texas law requiring abortion clinics to meet the same safety requirements all outpatient surgical clinics are required to meet in Texas, and requiring abortionists to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic. The law’s obvious purpose is to preserve the health and safety of women seeking abortion, and thus avoid the deaths and horrors that take place routinely in abortion clinics across America because of the failure of states to regulate abortion clinics.

Court watchers say Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan blasted the Texas Solicitor General suggesting that the intent of the law was to reduce women’s access to abortion. FRC’s Cathy Ruse, who was in the courtroom, said that the weight of discussion did not focus on the health and safety of women, but the closing of abortion clinics and limiting access to abortion.  On Friday the high court blocked a two year old Louisiana law from being enforced, which included a comparable element of the Texas law, requiring admitting privileges for abortionists to a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic. Unanswered in court was why the clinic operators were unwilling to invest in their operations to assure the health and safety of their clients.  Framing of the Issue; W. Post: LA Law Blocked; Other Side; Washington Watch Radio; Press Conference).

  • May a president be elected who will appoint conservative justices who will not hesitate to affirm such common sense laws as these.  May the unconstitutional Roe v. Wade ruling be overturned and America’s abortion nightmare come to an end! May God’s people go to the polls and make sure they vote for men and women who have a track record proving that they have the “fear of God.” May we support leaders at all levels of government who value human life! (Gen 4:9-11Ex 20:13Dt 30:19Pr 24:11-12; Jn 10:10-15)

Virginia, Missouri, South Carolina, Florida legislatures Pushing for Life – The Virginia Senate passed a law to end taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood Tuesday, the House having already done so. The bill now goes to liberal Governor Terry McAuliffe who promises to veto it. But Florida, Missouri and South Carolina are all on the verge of ending state Medicaid funding for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.  Pray for the governors of those states to stand for life and against funding for these merchants of death (see Virginia Defunding Bill; Florida Bill back to Governor; Missouri; South Carolina on the Cusp)

  • Thank God for the pro-life champions in our state legislatures who will not sit back and allow their citizens to be forced to fund our country’s largest abortion business with a billion dollar budget and half of which comes from taxpayers. Some are also conducting investigations in to the organization’s trafficking in aborted baby parts. May God intervene to enable each of these efforts to prevail. And may such efforts in many more states be initiated. (Lev 20:1-5; 1 Sam 8:6-7; 2 Sam 23:16; 2 Kg 24:4; Jer 34:15; Jn 10:10-15) 

Finally, the Obama Justice Department has announced a new Religious Freedom initiative in American public schools to crack down on discrimination and bullying, especially against Muslims (hear Tony Perkins). The Missouri Legislature, overcoming a Democrat filibuster, passed a religious liberty bill that will protect Christians from being forced to participate in same sex marriages. Thanks to all who prayed for the Florida events in which FRC played a major role: the Annual Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast, the Pastors Awakening Summit, and the annual Awakening 2016. Each event was greatly blessed and a great blessing to those who attended. Click on to the websites as the Breakfast and the Awakening events were recorded and can be viewed online. Please continue to pray and make plans for the National Day of Prayer, May 5thUnitedCry DC16, April 9th, and Call2Fall on July 3rd.  Pray about sending your pastor to FRC’s Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing! Thank you for praying!

 

Voter Resources:

Primary Calendar & Other Information

FRCAction’s Presidential Election Voter’s Guide (501c3 Compliant)

FRCAction’s Online Congressional Score Card

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