They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them. Pr 28:4
Dear Praying Friends,
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), son of President John and Abigail Adams, was our sixth U.S. President (1825-1829). A distinguished statesman, Adams became the only U.S. President to retire and run for the House of Representatives, where for 17 more years he led the fight to end human slavery. Excerpts from his July 4, 1837 Independence Day Speech to the people of Newburyport, Mass.:
Why is it that [Christians with contradictory doctrinal views] unite with all their brethren… year after year,” in celebrating this, the birthday of the nation? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence… laid the corner stone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity, and gave to the world the first irrevocable pledge of the fulfilment of the prophecies, announced directly from Heaven at the birth of the Savior and predicted by the greatest of the Hebrew prophets six hundred years before?
The object of this Declaration was two-fold. First, to proclaim the People of the thirteen United Colonies, one People, and in their name, and by their authority, to dissolve the political bands which had connected them with another… A Nation was born at once! Well, indeed, may such a day be commemorated by such a Nation… But whether as a day of festivity and joy, or of humiliation and mourning… depends [after many years], not so much upon the responsibilities of those who brought the Nation forth, as upon the moral, political and intellectual character of the present generation…
The sovereign authority, conferred by the Declaration upon the people of each of the Colonies, could not extend to the exercise of any power inconsistent with that Declaration itself… [It] was at once a social compact of the whole People of the Union, embracing thirteen distinct communities united in one, and a manifesto proclaiming themselves one Nation, possessed of all the attributes of sovereign power….one People consisting of thirteen free and independent States, was new in the history of the world.
The Declaration implicitly denied the unlimited nature of sovereignty. By the affirmation that the principal of the natural rights of mankind are unalienable, it placed them beyond the reach of organized human power; and by affirming that governments are instituted to secure them, and may and ought to be abolished if they become destructive of those ends, they made all government subordinate to the moral supremacy of the People.
The Declaration itself did not even announce the States as sovereign, but as united, free and independent, and having power to do all acts and things which independent States may of right do. It acknowledged, therefore, a rule of rights paramount to the power of independent States itself, and virtually disclaimed all power to do wrong. This was a novelty in the moral philosophy of nations, and it is the essential point of difference between the system of government announced in the Declaration… and those systems which had until then prevailed among men. A moral Ruler of the universe, the Governor and Controller of all human power, is the only unlimited sovereign acknowledged by the Declaration… and it claims for the United States of America, when assuming their equal station among the nations of the earth, only the power to do all that may be done of right.
All the legislators of the human race, until that day [held] sovereignty to be unlimited and illimitable. The Declaration… proclaimed… a law of resistance against sovereign power, when wielded for oppression. A law ascending to the tribunal of the universal lawgiver and judge. A law of right, binding upon nations as well as individuals, upon sovereigns as well as upon subjects. By that law the colonists resisted their sovereign. By that law… they appealed to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions, and neither claimed nor conferred authority to do anything but of right (Read Complete speech at Library of Congress).
Adams went on to excoriate the sin of the Union’s failure to live up to the Declaration by ending human slavery, warning of civil war and the high cost to future generations, foremost, the failure to fulfill that mission of Jesus Christ. He ended his speech with what was, in essence, an altar call to repentance.
D.C.: Religious Oppression – In December, the D.C. City Council passed a bill to overturn the Armstrong Amendment, an amendment passed by Congress in 1989 that exempted faith-based educational institutions from rigid provisions in the D.C. Human Rights Act that would require them to endorse, fund or provide other benefits to individuals or groups promoting homosexual identity or conduct. Removing the Armstrong Amendment exposes schools of faith to lawsuits simply for holding to their beliefs about marriage and human sexuality. The D.C. Council also unanimously passed an act to prohibit pro-life organizations from ensuring their employees’ public behavior is consistent with the values and mission of their organizations. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) have introduced “disapproval resolutions,” to void both acts, but they must pass the house and be signed by a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual President (Amendment Forces Religious Groups to Violate their Beliefs; Armstrong Amendment).
- May God move a majority in the House and Senate to use their authority to repeal these unconstitutional “laws” and the President to sign the bill! (Lev 10:9-11; 26:7-9; Psalm 110:3; Pr 21:1; Hab 1:3-5)
More Navy Abuse of Distinguished Chaplain’s Ministry – Despite Congress’s passage of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, which included specific requirements for the military branches to respect and protect the religious conscience and practice of all military men and women, especially chaplains called and endorsed by their denominations, the Navy has egregiously violated the law and Navy regulations by dismissing Lt. Commander Wes Modder for privately counseling a homosexual assistant according to biblical truth and his denomination’s position. In what appears to have been a set-up, Modder’s new assistant filed a formal complaint, after gathering evidence from other sailors who engage in homosexual behavior. Now, after having dismissed Modder from his regular duty and planning to relieve him from military service, the Navy has prevented him from ministering to the family of a former Navy comrade who died unexpectedly, issuing him a “no contact” order and banishing him from the base on the day of the sailor’s memorial service.
Liberty Institute attorney Michael Berry said, “It’s beyond me why the Navy would treat a highly decorated chaplain with such derision.” As of today, over 100,000 have signed a petition to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, saying, “Chaplains in the military must be allowed to fully and freely represent in word and in deed the faith communities that have endorsed them. Chaplain Modder should be free to counsel according to his biblical faith on the issues of sexuality, morality, and any other issue. I urge you to take action to restore Chaplain Modder and ensure that his religious freedom is secure” (News Story; Sign Petition).
- May God turn the tide in the U.S. Military! May our Congress hold our Military leaders accountable for their disobedience to the law, and their violations against officers and enlisted men’s God-given rights to religious liberty, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution! May our service chaplains cease to be abused for doing their job, ministering the Word of God! (Rom 13:7; 1 Cor 4:2; 2 Tim 4:1- ff; Heb 11:36-40; 13:17; 13:7)
Indiana, Georgia RFRA’s – The Indiana Legislature has overwhelmingly approved their Religious Liberty Restoration Act (RFRA). Governor Mike Pence has promised to sign it. Just as happened in Arizona, one company is using economic pressure on Pence. Georgia’s RFRA passed the Senate but the Republican Speaker of the House says none is needed. If the bill moves forward, he favors an amendment that would nullify its purpose altogether (see IN: RFRA Passes; Economic Threats; GA: GOP Speaker Endanger RFRA; Clock Ticking; Listen FRC’s Travis Weber on RFRA’s 17:00-33:56).
- May the American people speak loudly in each state to compel their elected representatives to uphold religious liberty by passing strong and effective RFRA’s that will fully protect God’s people from being forced to endorse or celebrate a Biblically forbidden sexual worldview under threat of fines or worse worldview (Lk 18:1-8; Acts 4:31; Eph 6:10-20; 1 Tim 1:9).
Watchmen on the Wall in San Antonio – This Friday, March 27, FRC’s Church Ministries’ team will be in San Antonio, Texas. The one day briefing will show pastors how they can make all the difference in the maize of religious liberty threats to their churches, families and believers in their community, in Texas and across America. Please pray for this briefing: the speakers, good attendance, God’s presence and powerful effectiveness. Let your pastor know if your church is close enough for him to attend (visit Regional Watchmen Briefings).
- May God draw pastors in Texas and across America to rise to their leadership role in the fight for our religious liberty, May He give FRC’s Church Ministries team extra strength to keep up with an extraordinary travel and ministry schedule, making them effective wherever they go! (Neh 4:14-15; Is 40:31; 62:6-7; Jer 3:15; Jn 10:1-13)
Finally, 367 members of the House of Representatives have signed an open letter to President Obama warning him not to agree to any “deal” that will not stop Iran’s capacity to make a nuclear bombs. Iran refuses inspections even under the current law, saying they would hinder negotiations. Negotiators say they are “nowhere near a deal” and the deadline will likely be extended! Pray for Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and others standing for Biblical marriage who are villainized and threatened because of their support for the time-honored institution of man-woman marriage. Pray too, for the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments challenging marriage in four cases April 28th. Tony Perkins asks believers everywhere to fast and pray from April 7th through the 28th! Thank you for praying!