My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, Hosea 4:6a
Samuel Langdon (1723-1797), a Bostonian, was a close friend of Samuel Adams (they graduated from Harvard together). Langdon became a faithful chaplain in the War for Independence, then pastored North Church in Portsmouth till he became president of Harvard in 1774. Returning to the pulpit in 1780 where he served the rest of his life, he preached what is now a classic sermon in 1788. Here are excerpts:
God … hath given you an excellent Constitution…founded on the most rational, equitable, and liberal principles, by which all that is liberty is secured… you are empowered to make righteous laws for promoting public order and good morals… He has moreover given you by his son Jesus Christ… a complete revelation of his will, and a perfect system of true religion, plainly delivered in the sacred writings; it will be your wisdom in the eyes of the nations, and your true interest and happiness… Adhere faithfully to the doctrines and commands of the gospel…practice every public and private virtue… you will increase in numbers, wealth, and power, and obtain reputation and dignity among the nations…The contrary will make you poor, distressed, and contemptible [see Dt 4:5-8]…
The power in all our republics… originates in the people: it is delegated by them to every magistrate and officer; and to the people, all in authority are accountable, if they deviate from their duty, and abuse their power. Even the [President], according to the Constitution… depends on the choice of the people for his temporary and limited power, and will be liable to impeachment, trial, and disgrace for any gross misconduct. On the people, therefore, of these United-States it depends whether wise men, or fools, good or bad men, shall govern them; whether they shall have righteous laws, a faithful administration of government, and permanent good order, peace, and liberty; or, on the contrary, feel insupportable burdens, and see all their affairs run to confusion and ruin…
Rise! Rise to fame among all nations, as a wise and understanding people! Political life and death are set before you; be a free, numerous, well ordered, and happy people! The way has been plainly set before you; if you pursue it, your prosperity is sure; but if not, distress and ruin will overtake you.
Preserve your government with the utmost attention and solicitude, for it is the remarkable gift of heaven. From year to year be careful in the choice off… all the higher powers of government. Fix your eyes upon men of good understanding, and known honesty; men of knowledge, improved by experience; men who fear God, and hate covetousness; who love truth and righteousness, and sincerely wish the public welfare. Beware of such as are cunning rather than wise; who prefer their own interest to everything; whose judgment is partial, or fickle; and whom you would not willingly trust with your own private interests. When meetings are called for the choice of your rulers, do not carelessly neglect them, or give your votes with indifference… act with serious deliberation and judgment… Let not men openly irreligious and immoral become your [leaders]; for how can you expect good laws to be made by men who have no fear of God before their eyes, and who boldly trample on the authority of his commands? And will not the example of their impiety and immorality defeat the efficacy of the best laws which can be made in favor of religion and virtue?
If [your leaders] are corrupt, you will soon have bad men for counsellors, corrupt judges, unqualified justices, and officers [everywhere]… be always on your guard… and let distinguished merit always determine your vote. When all places in government are filled with the best men you can find…obey the laws… Never give countenance to turbulent men, who wish to distinguish themselves, and rise to power… (Langdon, The Republic of the Israelites: An Example to the American States; 1788).
A Justice to Replace Conservative Antonin Scalia – Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and members of the Senate Judiciary committee took a strong stand last week, pledging to follow the “Biden Rule” (based on now Vice President Joseph Biden’s 1992 speech, given as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee). The rule? The Senate should not consider a U.S. Supreme Court Nominee in an election year. It was reasonable then and now. But Democrats are up in arms against Grassley, finding themselves in a dilemma: engage in a war with Republicans that they will lose or support President Obama in choosing a “moderate” whom Republicans may be willing to consider. The President has been ambiguous, saying publicly that he will not nominate a moderate, but privately telling Utah Senator Orin Hatch that he will. He floated the idea of moderate Republican, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, but Sandoval said he is not interested in the job (see Grassley Speech; Grassley Video; Grassley SCOTUS Blog; No Moderate; Yes a Moderate; Biden Rule; Dilemma for Democrats; First Things).
- Thank God for the Senate leadership’s stand. May GOP members hold fast, whatever pressure to do otherwise may come. May the American people elect a president who will nominate a constitutional conservative justice in the New Year! May he or she be speedily confirmed. May voters be alert to the kind of justice each presidential candidate would select, given that the next president may have the opportunity to choose three or more! God have mercy upon us! (Ex 18:20; 1 Sam 16:1-13; Ps 78:8; Pr 15:22; 11:14; 1 Cor 15:58; Jas 1:6-8)
Parental Rights, Sexual Tyranny – Yesterday, February 29th, the United States Supreme Court declined to take up Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit challenging a New Jersey law prohibiting counselors from providing and minors from receiving counsel to reduce unwanted same-sex attractions, behaviors, or identity. Minors in New Jersey now have no freedom to seek counseling consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs. By allowing the case to stand, there remains a conflict among the federal circuit courts of appeal on the First Amendment speech claims of the counselors and the clients. Originally set for conference in January before all 9 justices, consideration was deferred until February 19. Experts expected that the Court would decide to hear the case. But with Justice Scalia’s passing, pro-liberty decisions on cases like this highlight the need for the selection of a conservative nominee to replace Scalia and should be deferred until next year. Liberty Counsel had challenged a New Jersey law, prohibiting change therapy (counseling to help someone with sexual identity problems to find their way back to their natural sexual identity). Their client, a minor, was receiving such counseling, and his parents desperately wanted to help their son live according to his conscience, religious beliefs and values. Before he began counseling, the boy struggled with daily thoughts of suicide and depression. Counseling led to his deliverance from anxiety, depression, or thoughts of suicide. Now persons who struggle with sexual identity may not be given change therapy and it will be illegal for parents to obtain such counseling for their children (See Gender Identity in the Law. SCOTUS Rejects Counseling Case).
- May God intervene to reinforce the constitutional principal of religious liberty and parental rights! May he overturn the idea that has prevailed under this present administration, that “LGBT ‘rights’ trump religious liberty.” May our states all pass substantive Religious Freedom Reformation Acts and Government Non-Discrimination Acts that protect Christians from having alien sexuality forced upon them, which their faith and conscience reject. May parental rights be protected, as well! (1 Sam 2:22-25; 3:11-14; 4:17-18; Pr 22:6; Eph 6:4; Col 3:20; Heb 12:11)
Supreme Court Hearing on Texas Abortion Clinic Regulations – Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments over Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Texas Case in which a state law to provide common sense regulations that require abortion clinics to meet minimum state requirements for all surgical clinics and have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 minutes of the abortion facility. Both are measures for the safety of mothers and babies in the event of a botched abortion. The exposé of Kermit Gosnell’s criminal abortion operation in Philadelphia gave rise to new abortion laws in several states. The Texas law was passed with much to do by the pro-abortion movement, complete with a state senator staging a filibuster and eerie satanic chants by abortion advocates in the State Capitol Building. FRC has signed on to amicus brief in this case and hosted a press conference yesterday in cooperation with Allan Parker of the Justice Foundation, which also filed a unique amicus brief in which 3,348 women testify to the harm abortion did to them. (see Brief Joined by FRC; Justice Foundation Brief; Video of Press Conference).
- Pray that moral crime of abortion will one day be outlawed altogether in our nation. May this and every case hasten that day. Especially in this election year, may we repent for failing to reverse this evil and may we elect a president and officials at every level who will aggressively uphold the biblical and constitutional right to life! (Gen 4:9-11; Ex 20:13; Dt 30:19; Pr 24:11-12)
Finally, yesterday was Super Tuesday, a major milepost in the presidential and other primary elections. As Salt and Light, Christians must persist in standing for candidates that meet the criteria God requires, whatever the rest of America does. Tony and FRC’s Church Ministries Team will be at the Annual Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast March 3rd, the Pastors Awakening Summit, March 4th, and the annual Awakening 2016, March 5th. Please pray for us and for these events that God’s will, will be done, and that he will be gloried! Pray for upcoming events: the National Day of Prayer, May 5th, UnitedCry DC16, April 9th, the Watchmen on the Wall Pastors Briefing May 25-27; Call2Fall on July 3rd. Please take time to share the Prayer Targets, posted on the Call2Fall Facebook page, with your FB friends. Use your likes and comments and shares to help us multiply awareness, prayer, commitment and excitement about Call2Fall in advance of July 3, 2016. Thank for praying!
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