Prayer Targets: Franklin Graham; Government and Sexual Sin; SOGI's, RFRA's, Watchmen on the Wall
February 25, 2015
But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints... Ephesians 5:3
Dear Praying Friends,
As a young man, Franklin Graham rebelled against his faith and fled his father's footsteps but later returned wholeheartedly to Christ. Through faith, faithfulness and hard work, over time, he rose to become Chairman of Samaritan's Purse and later the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA). Graham is a powerful spokesman for Bible-believing Christians across America, courageously addressing the issues of our day with plain biblical truth.
The sexual revolution that began in earnest five decades ago with promises of new and liberating sexual freedoms has instead left behind a shattered moral landscape that has undermined the fabric and foundation of our nation. Casting off what was perceived as the puritanical restraints of previous generations, the '60s and '70s launched a new era of sexual experimentation...
The new thinking said cohabitation wasn't really a problem. Divorce wasn't nearly as harmful as once thought. Promiscuity presented no clear and present danger to the family unit. Same-sex attraction was perfectly normal. Pornography was little cause for concern. Indeed, an entire industry developed around its spurious allure.
Fifty years later... in many respects the American family is completely unrecognizable, courtesy of a failed sexual revolution that has left a devastating wake of destruction.
In certain segments of American culture, more than 70 percent of children are born to single parents and remain in single-parent households... Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, and couples who cohabitate before marriage are even more likely to split. Some studies show that ... pornography available on the Internet has likely contributed to the declining marriage rate.
The freedoms promised by the sexual revolution have instead given way to ever increasing slavery and captivity to sin. The attempt to cast off moral restraint has only opened wide the devil's destructive, deadly toolbox... (2 Pet 2:19)...
The pervasive, immoral reach of popular media, which actively promotes every type of sexual misconduct imaginable, constantly agitates against the biblical norms of upright, godly behavior.
The Scripture is clear: "But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you. ... For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral... has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God" (Eph 5:3, 5)...
God's laws and commands are given for our good. Sexuality is a gift from God to be used within His wise restraints. Like the levees that hold back mighty rivers from destructive floods, God's Word and ways are designed to keep our thoughts, passions and desires in godly bounds...
"The body is not meant for sexual immorality," wrote the Apostle Paul..."but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body" (1 Cor 6:13)... To flaunt His design is, in essence, to commit idolatry by prizing and delighting in what God hates.
Our culture, like ancient cultures that ultimately were destroyed in large part due to their own moral depravity, has been severely weakened. A stable family unit committed to the truth and precepts of the Bible was once the foundation and backbone of our nation. That model is now the exception, not the rule... The earth, about to be judged by the King of kings and Lord of lords, has become completely intoxicated by wanton pleasures. "For all the nations have drunk ... of her (Babylon's) sexual immorality" (Rev 18:3)...
There is still time to repent. That is why Jesus is delaying His return, "not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). My prayer is that we do not refuse that offer while there is still time (Franklin Graham, The Plague of Sexual Immorality; Decision Magazine, Feb. 2015)
Sexual sins harm everyone: children, teens, women, and indeed all of society, not just the "consenting adults" (see FRC's Labyrinth of Love, Ambivalence and Sex).
Government Enforced Acquiescence to Sexual Sin - The sexual revolution is no longer simply individuals doing "whatever feels good," but federal, state and local governments forcing this anarchy upon all Americans, demanding that Christians and others consent to and even celebrate behavior that the Bible calls sin. The "new think" in this Brave New World is that the penumbra of a "right to practice homosexuality and other sexually impure behaviors" has replaced religious liberty as the cornerstone of our Constitutional rights and now religious liberty must bow to it. With the Obama administration modeling this philosophy domestically and even in foreign policy, a growing number of states and local jurisdictions are requiring Christians to accept and celebrate sexual behavior aberrant to their faith, threatening them with fines, lawsuits, loss of jobs and/or businesses and bankruptcy if they refuse. If the trend is not reversed, those dedicated to biblical purity will be targeted for investigations, fines, and lawsuits, even pastors and our churches won't escape. They will be held in contempt and possibly jailed if they fail to bow to judicial orders.
There is not space to list the many state and local laws, ordinances and executive orders like this, but those in power, devoid of biblical wisdom, are tearing our nation down, one brick at a time.
- May God raise up pastors, intercessors and whole churches whose "hands have learned to war and their fingers to fight" with prayer. May they wisely stand to correct morally out-of-control government! May our churches not compromise, but correct our nation and avoid the wrath of God! (Dan 3:16-18; Jn 10:10; Rom 13:3-4; 2 Cor 6:14; Eph 5:3-7; 2 Tim 4:1-5; Rev 4:2-5).
"SOGI's" and "RFRA's" - A nationwide blitz is underway by homosexual activist groups to pass Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Laws (SOGI's). These are bills that require businesses and institutions to recognize the sexual identity of individuals other than the one assigned at birth (e.g., a male student who identifies as female, could use the school's girls' bathrooms, locker rooms and shower -- thus the nickname "bathroom bill"). Some are so far reaching as to require businesses to allow employees to dress according to their chosen identity or face fines. Thankfully, this year three statewide bills (ID, MT, WY) have been defeated, but others are pending: AZ, MA, NC, NY, VA (some links advocate sites) and there are many, many efforts that have not come to the national fore in cities, towns, counties, and other small jurisdictions.
Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA's) are named after a federal bill nearly unanimously passed by Democrats and Republicans and signed by President Clinton in 1993, intended to codify and strengthen aspects of the First Amendment that, like today, had grown fuzzy in the Court's interpretation. The law was intended to apply at the federal, state and local level, but in 1997, the Supreme Court ruled that law only applied to the federal government. Nineteen states have since passed state RFRA's. State RFRA's are under consideration right now in Indiana, South Dakota, Georgia, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, Wyoming, West Virginia, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. Some are efforts to strengthen existing RFRA, others are new efforts where it has become suddenly clear a RFRA is needed - like in Georgia, where Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed fired distinguished 30-year veteran Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for including biblical statements about homosexuality in a Christian discipleship book he produced for his Baptist Sunday School class. Alert pastors across America are making sure that the Christian community in their state is not caught by surprise by some anti-Christian SOGI bill that conflicts with their own or their people's religious conscience.
- May pastors, teachers, parents and others stand together to oppose these shockingly irresponsible SOGI bills. May pastors not only lead to stop them, but lead to pass adequate RFRA to protect their church members and other men, women and children of conscience (Gen 18:17-33; Is 10:1-3; Mt 18:5-7; Eph 6:4; Jas 2:26).
"Watchmen on the Wall" - Envisioned by FRC President Tony Perkins, Watchmen on the Wall (WOTW) ministry is in its 12th year. Led by V.P. for Church Ministries, Dr. Kenyn Cureton, it is one of FRC's most vibrant divisions. We are working to equip and empower pastors and churches across America to defend faith, family, and freedom on their part of the nation's "wall." Watchmen began with a small core of 1,200 pastors in 2004 and has grown to a network of some 56,000+ pastors who are in our communication network, nearly 7, 500 who are standing with us in the fight, having pledged to 1) Pray and teach their churches to pray, 2) Preach the word of God as it pertains to the moral issues that are being debated in the public arena, and 3) to Partner with fellow pastors to advance righteousness and stop evil when it arises in their states. If God's pastors do not stand and lead on such issues, who will?
- Please pray for FRC's Church Ministries Division and urge your pastors to find out more and to get involved. Urge your pastor to visit WatchmenPastors.org, and click Events and Regional Events to join us either in DC for the national briefing or for a regional briefing. Please pray for our upcoming Briefings in Houston, TX (March 10-11), Springfield, MO (March 17); San Antonio, TX (March 27); Waterville, ME (April 9); and our National Hispanic Pastors' Briefing in Dallas, TX (April 28).
Thank you for praying!