Prayer Targets: Election Day and the Christian Vote; Houston and I Stand Sunday
October 30, 2014
Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God; that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:13 KJV
Last week I quoted from Rev. Israel Evans’s 1791 sermon delivered to the Grand Court of New Hampshire (the State’s House and Senate). Ellis Sandoz’s Political Sermons of the Founding Era: 1730-1805 contains many such sermons. But Evans summarized them all in these words:
Religious liberty is a divine right, immediately derived from the Supreme Being, without the intervention of any created authority. It is the natural privilege of worshipping God in that manner which, according to the judgment of men, is most agreeable and pleasing to the divine character. As the conscience of man is the image and representative of God in the human soul; so to him alone it is responsible. In justice, therefore, the feelings and sentiments of conscience, and the moral practice of religion, must be independent of all finite beings. Nor hath the all-wise Creator invested any order of men with the right of judging for their fellow-creatures in the great concerns of religion.
Christians and Election Day, November 4, 2014 - The Founders made Religious Liberty the cornerstone of the liberties enumerated in the Bill of Rights. With this legacy, Christians tend to take our liberty for granted. Our Fathers fought and died to preserve all of our liberties, including the freedom to choose our own leaders. Yet American evangelicals seem to have lost their will to work or fight to preserve liberty even by casting their vote every two years. The Church’s abysmal voting record suggests a sad ignorance of how our system works, a shocking apathy and indifference, and/or, a lack of genuine gratitude for the freedom we have. The failure of many of our Christian leaders to teach and model Christian citizenship, and most striking, little sense of any compelling Christian duty to vote. Jesus called us “the salt” and “light” of the earth, yet, when we have the opportunity to exercise our biblical worldview to help guide our nation on a righteous path, fewer than half of us even show up to vote. When Rev. Franklin Graham asserted in 2012 that Christians were responsible for the reelection of Barack Obama, NBC’s Domenico Montanaro balked, showing that Christians voting patterns in 2012 were slightly more conservative than in 2008. But then the journalist conceded there are 80 million evangelicals eligible to vote, but only 32 million voted in the 2012 Presidential Election – fewer than half.
When Christians vote their Christian values, that is a part of living out their faith in Christ. They are being salt and light. When we are exercise our Christian conscience and liberty and use our vote to choose “from among the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness,” we are serving God as Moses did in leading the Israelites (Ex 18:21) ((see iPledgeSunday; Christians Vote; FRCAction Congressional Scorecard; 123vote, State Guides; Many Christian Voters’ Guides).
Lord, we have less than a week before Americans choose their nation’s political destiny. You know what all is at stake. Grant your Church heart-felt repentance at every level. Among the sins for which we must repent, help those who are called by your name to repent of our failure to love our neighbors and nation enough to diligently vote, and to vote for men and women who will uphold righteous and just laws. May believers everywhere pray and fast this week as they plan to cast their votes. Have mercy and redeem our nation, a nation you have blessed beyond any nation in history, but which has declined precipitously under our watch. Guide your people this Election Day and may our choices be pleasing to You ( 2 Chr 7:14; 20:5-12; Ps 27:8; 80: all; Is 54:8; 49:7; Is 58:6-8)
Houston’s Assault on Churches and Voting – Houston’s first elected openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker and the pro-homosexual City Council passed a radical transgender “bathroom bill” into law, THEN, unconstitutionally prevented a successful, legal, Christian-led petition to put the law to a public referendum on Election Day. Advocates of the referendum sued, and the City issued subpoenas to 5 area pastors demanding a shocking six-page long list of specific items, including: all sermons, speeches, emails, texts, tweets and private communications with church members, etc. The subpoena demanded everything mentioning homosexuality, the mayor, the “bathroom law,” the legal process, etc., all under threat of fines and jail.
There is a relationship between the city of Houston’s behavior and the Christian vote. A shockingly dismal voter turnout has become the trend in Houston. Houstonians have elected and reelected the city’s first openly lesbian Mayor, Annise Parker, three times. Of nearly 2 million registered voters, in 2009, only 16.4% voted. Of them, 53%, voted for Parker in a runoff. In 2011, 13% voted, just 50.8% for Parker. In 2013, 13.2% voted, 57.2% for Parker. If Christians do not vote, people who are diametrically opposed to our values will be elected.
Yesterday, under pressure from local citizens and appeals from Christians and clergymen across America, Mayor Parker announced that she will withdraw the subpoenas. Tony Perkins said,
As we have stated since the beginning of this intrusion into the private affairs of Houston churches; this is not about subpoenas, this is not about sermons, it is not even about biblical teaching on sexual immorality, it is about political intimidation and the bullying by Mayor Parker that continues.
Despite the fact that the citizens of Houston gathered over 50,000 signed petitions in 30 days, which is 30,000 more than required by the city charter, the Mayor has refused to allow the people of Houston to vote on her unfair special rights ordinance that discriminates against religious freedom within the city and endangers citizens by declaring that public bathrooms can no longer be limited on the basis of a person's actual biological sex.
The citizens of Houston have a right to vote, and Mayor Parker has denied them that right. America must see the totalitarianism that accompanies the redefinition of marriage and human sexuality, which results in citizens being denied their most fundamental rights.
Pastor Ronnie Floyd, author of The Power of Prayer and Fasting wrote “Our King, the Lord of lords, Creator and Sustainer of all, King Jesus, is coming again. But before He appears, He wants to see a mighty awakening stirring in your life, in mine, and in the churches throughout this nation. If we don’t choose to fulfill the spiritual challenges God has issued to us, we may one day walk away in grief… Our last, fleeting, propitious moment before the judgment, you and I will know in our hearts that God wanted us to do something great through His power, but… we, somehow, were too preoccupied with other distractions to meet the challenge… As we approach the judgment seat of our Lord Jesus Christ, and come face-to-face with the King of kings, the fear of God will overcome us as we realize it is now too late in the day to humble ourselves before the Lord, too late to fast and pray…?” (Starnes on Mayor’s Announcement; FRC Response; Trick or Treat?; Sign the ISTAND Petition)
Please anoint I Stand Sunday by Your Spirit and may it mightily to awaken your church to repent, to pray, to stand and to vote. May your people, by faith and obedience, return our nation to its former place of faithfulness and blessing! And may the Elections be cause for Christians to rejoice! (Ex 8:20; 9:11; 9:13; 14:13; 18:14-22; 1Kg 2:2-3; Ps 75:6-8; Pr 29:7; Ecc 8:12-13; 12:13)
Thank you for praying!