Prayer Targets: Eighth Commandment; Obama Budget; Obamacare Repeal; The Kleins; War Room, Reconciliation
February 04, 2015
“Thou shalt not steal.” Exodus 20:15
Dr. Kenyn Cureton is Vice-President for Church Ministries at FRC and leads a growing team to help pastors across America to stand for righteousness in the public square, and to provide the moral leadership in our communities and states for which they, alone, have the God-given gifts and calling. This is from Dr. Cureton’s popular essay on the Ten Commandments (see Bio; download PDF).
Seventy-eight percent of Americans are in favor of public displays of the Ten Commandments... The greatest tragedy is not that the Ten Commandments are vanishing from public schools, courtrooms, and government buildings, but that they are disappearing from the minds, hearts, and lives of most Americans...
The American experiment in ordered liberty presupposes the existence of a Supreme Being who instituted a universal moral code. As the Declaration of Independence reminds us, this code is “self-evident.” The Declaration enshrined this simple yet powerful truth, that “unalienable rights,” or basic human rights, do not come as a gift from a ruling elite, such as kings and rulers, parliaments and legislatures, judges and courts; rather, natural rights come from God...
Sadly, most Americans have lost touch with our rich Judeo-Christian heritage. Yet... the Ten Commandments are referenced by a majority of Americans as an essential guidepost for American life (see Gallup Poll, 2003)… Today, we focus on the EIGHTH COMMANDMENT:
“You shall not steal.” Exodus 20:15 - This commandment is about respecting the property of others. God is ultimately the provider of all things. Since everything belongs to Him, we certainly do not have the right to take what He has given to someone else. Again, numerous colonial laws outlawed theft. In fact, a federal court acknowledged that the Bill of Rights’ Fifth Amendment “takings clause” was an embodiment of the Decalogue’s eighth commandment: “...that constitutional provision which in effect but restates another of the Decalogue when it provides, ‘Nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.’” Signer of the Declaration and Continental Congress President, John Adams reasoned: “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If ‘Thou shalt not covet,’ and ‘Thou shalt not steal’ were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.” The eighth commandment requires that we treat the property of others considerately (See Cureton: The Ten Commandments: Foundation of American Society, Downloadable PDF).
Government has God-given responsibility to collect taxes to fund its legitimate purposes (see Mat 22:15-21; Rom 13:1-7). But the taxes now being exacted from the American people are funding behemoth projects that are biblically and constitutionally illegitimate. Schemes to fix “income inequality” through “wealth redistribution,” veer dangerously close to sophisticated theft. We need a system that does not punish those who by study, hard work, risk-taking and sacrifice have advanced their condition - by exacting the fruits of their labor - while rewarding those who have chosen not to put forth that same effort - all the while meeting the needs of those who cannot work and are in desperate need. Carefully vetted programs to help the helpless are justified; but our system is becoming riddled with dishonesty at every level. The Pilgrims and the Soviets tried socialism and it failed. Yet, we have let Barack Obama, in broad daylight, and on the largest scale in history, move the American government closer to violating the EIGHTH COMMANDMENT. Scripture warns, “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Num 32:23b).
Obama Budget – Jim Clifton, CEO of the Gallup organization, says the government’s 5.6% unemployment estimate is a “big lie”; and excludes those hopelessly out of work who have stopped looking or the multiplied millions who are “severely underemployed.” It counts as employed, people who are unemployed, but who work one hour per week and earn $20 per week. Only 44% of the work-capable adults are employed for 30 or more hours per week. Against this backdrop President Obama announce that “the era of austerity is over” and proposed a $4 trillion budget which includes huge new taxes, tax increases, lavish new programs, a 20% increase in the budget deficit and an $8.5 trillion increase in the National debt over the next 10 years. Since Pres. Obama took office, the federal debt has climbed from $10.6 to $18.1 trillion, or about $1.25 trillion for each year he has been in office. Among his new programs: an expansion of government controlled education via free, taxpayer funded community college tuition and a $500 dollar annual tax credit for working mothers (but not for mothers who stay at home with children). In the ‘90s, FRC championed and won, a pro-family $500 child tax credit (now $1000) and we have been working to get the credit indexed for inflation. But the new Obama proposal would punish stay-at-home moms and promote working moms. No family can run a budget like this. Christians who have eyes to see must pray and work to prevent our nation’s bankruptcy and the colossal burden of debt we are leaving our children and grand-children. By our silence we affirm and enable federal government’s continued violation of the 8th and 9th Commandments! (Gallup: Big Lie; Deficit to Grow; SOTU Speech Fails Families; Child Credit Improvement Act; Hear Tony Perkins & Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Chairman, House Budget Committee: 17:10-33:42)
God, help your people to understand that the financial stewardship of our nation is a moral and spiritual issue that has deep implications far beyond the surface; that by accumulating national debt, we are defying your commands and pronouncing a curse upon ourselves and our children. Forgive us for our sins in this sphere and help us to repent. Grant us leaders who can lead us back from the brink of national bankruptcy; reverse our rush to becoming a culture of dependency; reorder our priorities; eliminate spending for sin and evil. Give us leaders who respect the labor and property of every American as things to be protected and not exploited by government to advance any politician’s agenda. Please bring the “nanny” state to a soft landing and may policies be enacted that promote marriage, family independence and health as key to a healthy and prosperous nation! (Dt 15:6; 28, esp.v. 12; Ps 37:21; Pr22:7; Lk 19:12-27; 1 Cor 4:2)
House Votes Obamacare Repeal; Cruz introduces Senate Bill – House Republicans have passed several bills to repeal Obamacare, but Harry Reid would not allow them to touch the Senate floor. Tuesday night, the House passed another adding that the House must produce a replacement bill. It passed mostly along party lines, 239-186. Sen. Ted Cruz has filed a Senate bill to repeal (with 47 cosponsors). There are now 54 Republicans in the Senate, but 60 votes are needed to end debate and require a vote. In any case the President promises a veto. A miracle could come through the Supreme Court, which in March will consider a suit challenging the federal payment of subsidies to insurance clients in federally run exchanges. The law limits subsidies to clients in state-run exchanges. The administration has been ignoring the letter of the law, and giving subsidies to anyone otherwise qualified. Obamacare will disintegrate if the court rules that the law, as written, must be followed (see House Votes to Repeal, Senate Committee; Cruz & 47 others; Supreme Court; GOP Alternative).
God, please bring liberty of choice and control of 1/6th of the U.S. economy back to the American people. Help our legislators to write a bill that will help those who need it most without robbing everyone else of their freedom and sustenance! (Ex 15:26; 1 Sam 8:7-22; Pr 8:15; 2 Cor 3:17; 1 Tim 2:1-8)
Finally, 1) Aaron and Melissa Klein, featured in Tony Perkins’s State of the Family Address in January have been found guilty of discrimination by an Oregon judge for declining to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding ceremony in 2013, when same-sex marriage was illegal in Oregon. The sentence, up to $200,000 in fines and damages will be announced on March 10th. 2) Alex and Stephen Kendrick’s latest Film, the War Room, will premier August 28th. The film is a powerful illustration of the power of prayer and will instruct and inspire everyone who sees it, especially those who are engaged in prayer. 3) FRC Senior Fellow for Church Ministries, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Founder of S.T.A.N.D., is hosting a special event in the Congressional Auditorium of the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Wednesday, February 15th from 7-9 PM. It will focus on Awakening, Racial Reconciliation and Healing, following the trouble at Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. Please pray, and if you know folks in the DC area, send them a note! As always, thank you for praying!