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 5th, UnitedCry 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!