Prayer Targets: Marriage & the High Court; Military Persecution and Sexual Assault; Obama Amnesty, More
December 18, 2014
Fools because of their transgression, and because of their iniquities, are afflicted. Their soul abhorreth all manner of meat; and they draw near unto the gates of death. Then they cry unto theLordin their trouble, and he saveth them out of their distresses. He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:17-20
The French historian, Alexis de Tocqueville, displayed an amazing montage of early 19th Century American culture in his two-volume Democracy in America. He pointed to America’s strong Christian faith that shaped education, industry, creativity, community, political diversity yet unity, charity, family, etc. Our success shocked and inspired the world. But the historian saw ardent Christianity as the secret of our success. Unfortunately the famous quote about his searching and finding that secret in our churches, in the “pulpits that flame with righteousness” cannot be found in his book or other writings. But the quote is eminently true, and could easily have been his. Ronald Reagan used the quote often in his speeches to promote faith and conservative values. Here are two more, hard to attribute:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship…
The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy, from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage again.
Despite uncertain authorship, these “quotes” are self-evident truths, supported by common sense, world history, and biblical history. But Scripture focuses on the cycles of forgetting God, sin, warning, apostasy, judgment, awakening, repentance & turning back to God, mercy, obedience, restoration and blessing. God’s word teaches that individual liberty and prosperity are byproducts of a man’s/nation’s relationship with God. Governments cannot solve our problems, and for many decades have made them worse. Only individual and nation-wide repentance and returning to God will bring the deep healing America needs: in our individual lives, our families, our racial and political relations, our economy, etc. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and its bounty of repentance, faith, forgiveness, reconciliation and continuing obedience to the greatest commandments, will solve our problems. Neither Republican nor Democrat politics can do this. Matters to pray for as you prepare for Christmas and the New Year:
Marriage Moving to the Supreme Court – In a dramatic 2012 effort, pastors and ministers across North Carolina, including Billy & Franklin Graham, banded together to amend the state Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The ballot initiative passed in May 2012 with 61% of the voters for and 39% against. The 4th Circuit struck down Virginia’s marriage amendment in July, 2014, and a District Judge struck down North Carolina’s marriage amendment in October. Mainly because of such sweeping Court rulings, 35 states and DC now allow same-sex marriage, in many cases overruling substantial majorities of the voters. North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis (U.S. Senator-Elect) and State Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger have responded to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals with a promise to appeal the court’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court with the request that a stay be issued to prevent issuance of same-sex marriage licenses, pending the High Court ruling. With several marriage cases and contradictory appeals court rulings before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court is very likely to choose one or more of them for review in January. Both sides want the court to rule and there is an outcry by homosexual activists for a sweeping decision like Roe v Wade. Other cases before the Court, newly or not yet accepted for review, include: 1) the Bronx Household of faith Case (ADF Appeal); 2) the NC “Choose Life” license plate case; 3) a privileged priest confession case; 4) the Notre Dame HHS Mandate case; 5) Obamacare IPAB (“Death Panel”) case (read Coburn & Roe); 7) the 6th circuit marriage cases (KY, MI, OH, TN)); 8) the Texas, LA marriage cases (before 5th circuit judgment); 9) the NJ sexual orientation/gender identification (SOGI) therapy ban case (see Science; Liberty; and others!
Lord, the war on marriage is a war against God and man, for you said, “God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Help us prevail in defending the cornerstone of all human relationships - the very image of God displayed brilliantly through the sacred union of a man and woman! (Gen 1:27; Proverbs 18:22; Mt 19:5-6; Eph 5:22-32)
Religious Persecution Still Alive in U.S. Army – Despite language in the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and new DOD rules issued in January to stop mounting religious liberty violations in the military, some in command have not gotten the message. Last week, Todd Starnes broke the story of Army Chaplain Joseph Lawhorn who, leading a training session on suicide prevention with the 5th Ranger Training Battalion at Fort Benning, Georgia, told fellow troops about his own struggles with depression and how his faith in God helped him through. He offered participants a handout listing secular and religious groups that offer help for those struggling with depression. Chaplain Lawhorn was called to the office of Army Colonel David Fivecoat, Commander of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade and given a “Letter of Concern.” His behavior, sharing his personal testimony and handing out the names of religious helping organizations was purportedly unacceptable. FRC’s Tony Perkins suggests that when our troops are dealing with a confidence crisis, low morale,sexual assault, and suicide, withholding from them the benefits of faith is both “ridiculous, and dangerous.” Chaplain Lawhorn is fighting the bad mark on his record with help from the Liberty Institute (see Chaplain Punished; Ranger Danger; New Rules; Petition).
Lord, defend Chaplain Lawhorn! Let this be the case that punctuates the change made in the 2014 law to protect those who confess and live their faith in the Armed Services. Let not only Chaplains, but every believer in the military, be made safe to learn and live his or her Christian faith! (Ps 20:1-3; 59:1-3; Acts 4:20; 2 Tim 2:12-13; Titus 2:12)
Sexual Assault in the Military – After reporting a 66% increase in sexual assault last year the DOD reports that sexual assaults are up 8% this year; the Rand Corporation, which did a separate report, called that a “decrease.” Over half of the assaults are homosexual assaults – men on men (see GQ: More than Half Men; Tony Perkins: Military’s New Assault Team; Video: Staggering; 23,000 Assault Response Coordinators; 2nd Report Calls Increase Drop; Mil Site).
God intervene to protect our men and women in uniform. May revival through the Gospel, which alone will motivate and enable men to control their lusts, break out across the branches. May the intractable introduction of homosexuality into our services somehow be reversed (Dt 6:24; Psalm 119:121; Proverbs 28:16 ; Jeremiah 22:3; Daniel 3:17-18; Jude 1:7).
Finally, Please pray for these matters as God leads you: 1) the Israeli elections in March, the continuing “knife intifada”, US/Israeli Relations; 2) The Louisiana Robicheaux same-sex “marriage” case will be heard Friday, January 9th, the linked Texas SSM case will be heard by the same court: the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans; 3) a Federal Judge ruled President Obama’s Illegal Alien Amnesty unconstitutional, but White House lawyers say the courts are powerless to stop it. Meanwhile, Congress failed to restrain the President’s Amnesty order via the lame duck spending bill, leaving the issue to the new Congress to deal with in 2015, 4) a New Jersey Senate committee has voted to “approve without recommendation” an “Aid in Dying” Law to allow physicians to prescribe terminally ill patients drugs with which to commit suicide. It’s now up to the full Senate; 5) Franklin Graham and Black Baptist Pastor Amos Brown have united to agree on Ferguson and Staten Island, The two largest Pentecostal denominations, the mostly white Assemblies of God (AG) and the mostly black Church of God in Christ have done likewise. As we approach Christmas and the New Year, thank you for praying!