Prayer Targets: Star Parker; Indiana Fallout; Leaders Leaving Religious Liberty; Good News!, More...
April 09, 2015
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12
Star Parker, long-time friend of FRC, is founder and president of CURE, a Washington, DC think tank that advocates free market policy solutions to poverty. When Star met Jesus (testimony), she was delivered from drug abuse, crime, promiscuity, multiple abortions, and welfare dependency. A powerful spokesperson for the biblical worldview, her expertise extends far beyond poverty issues. She writes:
The objective of these pro-homosexual campaigns is to de-legitimize and annihilate Christianity in America. Columnist George Will points out that Apple’s openly gay CEO, Tim Cook “...thinks Indiana is a terrible place. (Yet) he opened marketing and retail operations in Saudi Arabia two months before a man was sentenced to 450 lashes for being gay” Will was commenting on Cook’s Washington Post op-ed protesting Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act…
World Magazine reports that Cook has recently been in the United Arab Emirates negotiating on behalf of Apple. There, homosexuality is against the law and the penalty is death. Cook’s duplicity is not only in words, but also in deeds.
The Indiana law was passed to protect religious freedom, just like the federal law and laws in 20 states. Our Declaration says “unalienable rights” to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." But for Cook and others who purport to care about freedom, protection of liberty for people of faith is an act of aggression against gays... He renders religious freedom meaningless….
“This isn’t a political issue. It isn’t a religious issue. This is about how we treat each other as human beings,” he writes… (Yet) Christians cannot live by the Bible’s words they hold sacred without discriminating against gays. If this is about “how we treat each other as human beings,” how can Cook justify a same-sex couple going to a baker or photographer they know is Christian, for whom homosexuality is a sin, to demand a cake or photography services for a gay wedding? Can Cook really believe this is decent, tolerant, freedom loving human behavior?
The truth is that the objective of the homosexual campaign is not about American freedom. It is the de-legitimization and annihilation of Christianity in America.
This did not begin yesterday. It is now been well over a half century that the words of our constitution intended to protect Christians have been used as weapons against them.
From the prohibition of prayer in school, to prohibitions of public displays of the Ten Commandments and Christian symbols, to lawsuits against Christian photographers for refusing to provide the photography for gay weddings, the war against Christian presence in America has become increasingly open and aggressive.
What has happened over the last half century as this has gone on? The institutions and behavior that provide the glue holding together a faithful, civil, and virtuous society have collapsed. The traditional American family is in shambles. Forty three percent of our babies are born to unwed mothers compared to 5 percent a half century ago. Over 56 million have been aborted…
Meanwhile, as legal violence is used in the war on Christianity at home, physical violence is being used in the same war in Muslim countries. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Christian population in the Middle East has been reduced from 20% a century ago to 5% today. As many political and business leaders cowardly enable this global war on Christianity, Christians must stand in defense of themselves and their religion and convictions (Starr Parker, The Ongoing War against Christianity, April 6, 2015).
The war against Christianity predated President Obama, but his promotion of homosexuality, commiseration with the Muslim Brotherhood and open hostility toward Christians and Israel has energized those who hate both, at home and abroad. But if the Supreme Court redefines marriage, we will not stop fighting for truth, just as we have never stopped protesting the killing of the unborn. Prayer is our first line of defense and offense.
Elected Leaders Abandoning Religious Liberty Protection – Reacting to the shocking backlash against Gov. Mike Pence and Indiana Legislators by homosexual activists, politicians across America have been running from calls for religious liberty protection. Amid hostile threats from homosexual activists, the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) was strangely converted from a mirror of the federal law (the law that protected Hobby Lobby from Obamacare’s abortifacient mandate) into a special rights law for homosexuality. The Christian Post calls it worse than no law at all.
Many public officials elsewhere, intimidated by the shake-down tactics used against Governor Pence and Indiana’s legislators, are moving to abandon their citizens’ fundamental rights to religious liberty rather than risk a fight like what they saw in Indiana. Gov. Pat McCrory says he opposes religious freedom laws being considered in North Carolina, including a RFRA. Meanwhile Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has vowed to veto a RFRA bill in his state if it is not accompanied by a homosexual special rights law. And North Dakota Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple has harshly criticized his legislature for failing to pass a sexual orientation/gender identity (SOGI/bathroom) law. Pro-liberty Michigan lawmakers are moving forward with the RFRA despite veto threats (“Fixed” RFRA; NC Gov.; MI Gov; ND Gov; NYTimes; President’s Words).
The losers are all people of faith who cannot in good conscience help provide abortions or participate in a homosexual wedding, but who will continue to be forced to violate their beliefs or suffer fines and lawsuits. Such, of course, is not religious liberty, but tyranny, yet this is happening in a growing number of jurisdictions across America. Americans are not-so-subtly being conditioned to accept violations of Christian faith. When President Obama criticized Christians at an Easter Breakfast in Washington this week, laughs could be heard in the audience. On Easter a New York Times columnist wrote “Christians must be made” to embrace the gay lifestyle.
A case in point is the small family owned business in Walkerton, Indiana, Memories Pizza. Family member and employee, Crystal O’Connor, answered a local reporter’s hypothetical question saying her restaurant could not cater a homosexual wedding because of the family’s religious beliefs. Over 1500 homosexual activists raged against the tiny business, calling in phony orders, making serious threats, sending nasty and menacing emails, and similarly nasty Facebook posts. The proprietor, Crystal’s dad, Kevin O’Connor, chose to close his doors rather than risk his family’s safety. Indiana’s response? After the Indiana RFRA was “fixed,” one leading legislator assured reporters that businesses like Memories Pizza will not be free to refuse to cater a homosexual wedding.
Pray God will open the eyes of sleeping Christians and thinking non-Christians, too many of whom have sacrificed their consciences to avoid confrontation. May He stir pastors to teach how to stand and understand that there can be no compromise in matters of conscience! The early martyrs simply replied, “Jesus is Lord.” May God send revival to the Church and awakening to America! (John 12:25; Eph 5:14; 6:10-20; 1 Tim 1:5; 1:15)
Good News from Indiana – Some good things came from the Indiana debacle. After Blaze TV reporter Dana Loesch interviewed Kevin and Crystal O’Connor of Memories Pizza, she and her colleagues were so moved that they set up a “crowd funding” appeal for Memories Pizza, with a goal of $200,000. Nearly $850,000 was donated in 7 days. Now, donor attention is shifting to Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington florist sued for refusing to serve a same-sex wedding. ADF lawyers say she stands to lose everything, including business and home (See Memories Pizza, Arlene’s Flowers).
May God provide for and protect all of His people who suffer for taking a stand for Christ! (Ps 68:6; Mt 25:36; Mk 10:28-30; Lk 4:18-19; Acts 16:25; Gal 5:1; Ph 4:1; 1 Th 3:8; Rev 2:10)
Springfield SOGI Repealed – Despite national media attention and big business pressure in Indiana, citizens in Springfield, Missouri voted Tuesday to repeal a city ordinance that gave special protections to homosexuals. Pastors, organized by FRC and encouraged by their counterparts in Houston, played a major role in the repeal effort (Springfield: Emotions; Houston: Update).
May God give pastors and people courage to resist every effort to give homosexuals special legal rights! (Josh 1:7-9;Eph 4:27; 2 Tim 4:2-5; Jas 4:7; Jude 1-25).
The National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 7th – this official day was enacted by Congress in 1952, and points to the days of prayer upon which our nation was founded. In that period the vast majority of Americans honored God, attended church, and when an official call to prayer went out, they took it seriously and filled their churches to seek God for our nation. This year’s honorary chairperson is Beth Moore (Read her Prayer for America, HERE). The Scripture verse for the Day is 1 Kings 8:28b: “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.” This year’s theme is “Investing in Hope... Transforming our Nation trough Prayer!” FRC will Webcast the NDP Men’s prayer meeting on Wednesday, May 6th. Watch for details (see NDP Website; History; Find an Event).
Finally, please pray! President Obama is backing a federal effort to prohibit parents from getting their minor children therapy for same-sex attraction. Pray for FRC’s Church Ministries’ team. With upwards of a hundred pastors from across the state of Maine and other great leaders, they are gathered in Waterville, for a “Watchmen on the Wall” pastor’s briefing. Pray for the pastors! Their leadership is key to the turning of the spiritual tide we long and pray for. And please don’t forget to pray for and participate in the March for Marriage, April 25, 2015, in Washington, DC, and Call2Fall, Sunday, June 28, 2015. If your church is not signed up to participate in Call2fall, please urge your pastor to do so. And if your church is not participating, sign up for your family or prayer group. Thank you for praying!