Prayer Targets: Political Sermons; VVS; Rising Church; HHS Mandate Again; ENDA; Baghdad Christians
October 01, 2014
For the Pillars of the Earth are the Lord's, and He hath set the World upon them. 1 Sam 2:8
Dear Praying Friends:
Dr. Ellis Sandoz is Director of the Eric Voegelin Institute for American Renaissance Studies at Louisiana State University, his alma mater (B.A, 1951; M.A, 1953). The first sermon from Sandoz's collection of political sermons from the founding era, entitled, "Government the Pillar of The Earth," was delivered on August 13, 1730 before the Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Jonathan Belcher, by Boston Pastor Benjamin Colman. The text was from 1 Samuel 2:1-10:
Hanna could not have spoken with more loftiness and majesty; more authority and command -- to the nobles, rulers, captains and mighty men; ... She celebrates the Lord God of Israel, his unspotted purity, his almighty power, his unsearchable wisdom, and his unerring justice...
"He maketh poor and maketh rich, He bringeth low and lifteth up: He raiseth up the poor out of Dust, and lifteth up the Beggar from the Dunghill; to set them among Princes, and make them inherit the Throne of Glory; For the Pillars of the Earth are the Lord's, and He hath set the World upon them."
Thus my text is introduced as a reason for those dispensations of God towards a person, a family, or a people... We see then that the natural earth has no pillars, in any proper sense; Neither has the moral earth, (i.e. the inhabitants of it) any, but in a metaphorical sense: And so the princes and rulers of it are called it's pillars... the text explains it self... speaks of the Bows of the mighty Men, and of the Thrones of Princes, and then adds -- the Pillars of the Earth... We are to understand this to mean governors and rulers among men; but not the persons that bear rule, so much as the order itself, government and magistracy. For the persons may be weak and slender reeds, little able of themselves to bear up anything...
The Great God has made the governments and rulers of the earth it's pillars, and has set the world upon them... Magistrates need be strong, for government is a great weight; and it is laid upon their shoulders. Pillars are also for ornament...those in power and magistracy are to be adorned with superior gifts, powers and beauties of mind to adorn the offices which they sustain... by employing their superior wisdom and knowledge, skill and prudence, discretion and judgment for the public good... Wisdom is both strength and beauty, a defense and ornament.
But then, is the pillar for ornament only? Integrity, uprightness, faithfulness added to knowledge and wisdom, makes men strong and beautiful pillars, whether in church or state. Every man is ready to proclaim his own Goodness; but a faithful Man who can find? Pr 20 ... David, that pillar of Israel, came into the government with that noble purpose and resolution, Ps 75. When I shall receive the Congregation, I will judge uprightly. So he fed them in the integrity of his heart, and led them by the skillfulness of his hands. God's righteousness and faithfulness, justice and judgment, are the foundation of his everlasting government, the habitation of his throne (The entire sermon may be read online at The Belcher Foundation Website. See Political Sermons of the American Founding Era: 1730-1805, 2 vols., Ellis Sandoz, 1998).
Those who govern are vitally important in God's economy. Scripture charges us, as Jethro did Moses, to select people: "such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness" (Ex 18:21). We must know the candidates and consider supporting those we believe meet God's test. How must God look upon nearly half of all American Christians who do not vote in presidential years and even less vote in the midterms like this year - the consequences of their inaction being the election of officials who impose upon our nation abortion, same-sex "marriage," anti-Christian oppression and other evils? As Election Day approaches, we must make sure we are registered to vote, make sure at least two friends are registered, get to know the candidates, help inform our friends and families on the issues, and this time, vote biblical values! Visit 123Vote.com for more and take the 1-2-3 Vote pledge!
Values Voter Summit - If you were not able to be at the Summit, it was one the most powerful learning and equipping experiences for Christian voters I can remember. Good News: The main plenary sessions are available online at valuesvotersummit.org. I urge you to use them to help you pray with understanding. Also by posting the link to the website or to individual sessions to your Facebook page or Twitter network, you can serve your friends and acquaintances in a big way. As you know from past elections, some of which have been won or lost by very narrow voting margins, every vote counts!
- May God cause the messages delivered at VVS to "go viral" between now and Nov. 4 and may they radically impact the way people vote! (Ex 18:21; Ps 110:3; Hos 4:6).
iPledge Sunday: The Rise of the Church! - This is a major effort by FRC, Vision America and a number of our coalition allies led by United in Purpose to help stir Christians to vote their biblical values. On Sunday evening, October 12th, churches across America will take part in a "simulcast" webcast that will in an entertaining and motivational way, stir believers to take the pledge (Again, visit 123Vote.com to take the 1-2-3 Vote pledge). Free educational materials, websites links and other helpful information will be offered to help every church and every believer to make a difference in this pivotal election where 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 1/3 of the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for grabs - plus thousands of state and local offices. Please do not get weary before you begin. Ask your pastor to bring your church together Sunday evening, September 12th, to view the event. If not, you can sign up as a home group. Visit iPledgeSunday2014.com.
- May churches across America rush to prepare for iPledge Sunday and may God's people prepare and vote in historic numbers, and help change the direction of our nation! (Jer 3:15; 23:3-4; Mk 12:17; Jn 10:10; Act 5:29; Eph 4:12; 1 Tim 4:2-5).
New HHS Rules Still Violate Conscience - Last week, HHS issued its "final rules" applying to businesses with conscience objections to covering abortifacient drugs in employee health insurance plans - essentially repeating the violation of conscience that the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in the Hobby Lobby case. Employers say that the rule still requires employers to take part in the distribution of abortifacient drugs by signing a form redirecting the mandate to provide the coverage either to the insurance provider or some other party. It is nothing more than an "accounting gimmick" with the same outcome. Will the HHS play hardball and impose draconian fines on companies that refuse to sign such forms? Will businesses be required to file lawsuits all over again? Fifty-one Congressmen have written HHS' newly confirmed Secretary, Sylvia Burwell, to protest HHS's attempt to ignore the Supreme Court Ruling.
- May Congress and the Supreme Court act to stop the Administration's defiance of the law and the Constitution! May this tug-of-war end with liberty of conscience reaffirmed (2 Kg 23:25; Ecc 8:11-13; 12:13; Is 33:22; Mt 7:22-23 NKJV; 1 Pt 3:16).
Finally, in an unprecedented act by the Obama administration, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed lawsuits against a Michigan funeral home and a Florida eye clinic for firing employees who are pursuing sex-change operations. The EEOC alleges that the companies are practicing "sex discrimination," covered in the law, by requiring employees to "conform to the employer's gender-based expectations, preferences, or stereotypes." Please pray for our Christian brothers and sisters who remain in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq. The Vicar of the last remaining church in Iraq says every believer wants to leave as ISIS is now on the outskirts of Baghdad and threatens to attack the city. Christians there have no options. Pray that the U.S. and the world community will take up the cause of Christians there and help them evacuate. As always, thank you for praying!