Prayer Targets: Francis Schaeffer; Amy Coney Barrett; Biblical Worldview Resources
October 7, 2020
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us. (Isaiah 33:22)
Dear Praying Friends,
Christian theologian-philosopher Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984) (bio) is remembered for his biblical, prophetic insights into the church, America, and the western world. His 20-plus books, translated into an equal number of languages, sold millions. He and his wife, Edith, founded L'Abri Fellowship International and much more (see bio). Had his insights, warnings and guidance been heeded by the American church, things might be far different. These excerpts are from a message he delivered at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in 1982, drawn from his 1981 book A Christian Manifesto. I will share more next week, so salient are his words to America at this very moment.
Christians, in the last 80 years or so, have only been seeing things as bits and pieces which have gradually begun to trouble them and others, instead of understanding that they are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one; things such as over permissiveness, pornography, the problem of the public schools, the breakdown of the family, abortion, infanticide, increased emphasis upon the euthanasia of the old and many other things. All these things are only the result of the deeper problem. I want to say to you, those of you who are Christians or even if you are not a Christian and you are troubled about the direction that our society is going in, that we must not concentrate merely on the bits and pieces. But we must understand that all of these dilemmas come on the basis of moving from the Judeo-Christian world view -- that the final reality is an infinite creator God -- over into this other reality which is that the final reality is only energy or material in some mixture or form which has existed forever and which has taken its present shape by pure chance.
The word Humanism should be carefully defined. Humanism means that man is the measure of all things. If this other final reality of material or energy shaped by pure chance is the final reality, it gives no meaning to life. It gives no value system. It gives no basis for the law. If indeed the final reality is silent about these values, then man must generate them from himself. [One] must realize that when we speak of man being the measure of all things under the Humanist label, the first thing is that man has only knowledge from himself; that he, being finite, limited, very faulty in his observation of many things, has no possible source of knowledge except what man can find out from his own observation. Specifically, in this view, there is no place for any knowledge from God.
But it is not only that man must start from himself in knowledge and learning, but any value system must come arbitrarily from man himself by arbitrary choice. More frightening still, in our country, at our own moment of history, is the fact that any basis of law then becomes arbitrary -- merely certain people making decisions as to what is for the good of society at the given moment. Now this is the real reason for the breakdown in morals in our country. It's the real reason for the breakdown in values in our country, and it is the reason that our Supreme Court now functions so thoroughly upon the fact of arbitrary law. They have no basis for law that is fixed. [Again], a certain few people come together and decide what they arbitrarily believe is for the good of society at the given moment, and that becomes law. The world view that the final reality is only material or energy shaped by pure chance, inevitably brings forth all these other results which have led to the breakdown in the country -- in society -- and which are its present sorrows. So, if you hold this other world view, you must realize that it is inevitable that we will come to the very sorrows of relativity that are so represented in our country at this moment of history.
It should be noticed that this new dominant world view is a view which is exactly opposite from that of the founding fathers of this country. Now, not all the founding fathers were individually, personally, Christians. That certainly is true. But, nevertheless, they founded the country on the base that there is a God who is the Creator who gave the inalienable rights. We must understand something very thoroughly. If society -- if the state gives the rights, it can take them away -- they are not inalienable. If the states give the rights, they can change them and manipulate them. But this was not the view of the founding fathers of this country. They believed that there was a Creator and that this Creator gave the inalienable rights -- upon which our country was founded and which has given us the freedoms which we still have -- even the freedoms which are being used now to destroy the freedoms.
A poll of the 150 some countries that now constitute the world shows that only 25 of these countries have any freedoms at all . What we have, and take so poorly for granted, is unique. It was brought forth by a specific world view and that specific world view was the Judeo-Christian world view especially as it was refined in the Reformation, putting the authority indeed at a central point -- not in the Church and the state and the Word of God, but rather the Word of God alone. All the benefits which we know -- I would repeat -- which we have taken so easily and so much for granted, are unique. They have been grounded on the certain world view that there was a Creator there to give inalienable rights
We are now losing those freedoms and we can expect to continue to lose them if this other world view continues to take increased force and power in our county. There is no possible way to heal the relativistic thinking of our own day if indeed all there is, is a universe out there that is silent about any values. A good illustration is in the public schools. By law, in the public schools in the United States of America in 1982, there is only one view of reality that can be taught -- that the final reality is only material or energy shaped by pure chance. The government and the courts have become the vehicle to force this anti-God view on the total population. It is exactly where we are.
The abortion ruling, of course, is also a natural result of this other world view. [The] Supreme Court in one ruling overthrew the abortion laws of all 50 states. The law declared that this form of killing human life was to be accepted, and for many people, because they had no set ethic, when the Supreme Court said that it was legal, in the intervening years, it has become ethical. The courts of this country have forced this view and its results on the total population. What we find is that as the courts have done this, without any longer that which the founding fathers comprehended of law: That there is a law of God which gives foundation. It becomes quite natural then, that they would also cut themselves loose from a strict constructionism concerning the Constitution. Everything is relative.
Now, along with that is the fact that the courts are increasingly making law and thus we find that the legislatures' powers are increasingly diminished in relationship to the power of the courts. The courts are not subject to the people's thinking, nor their will, either by election or by a re-election. Consequently, the courts have been the vehicle used to bring this whole view and to force it on our total population. It has not been largely the legislatures. It has been rather, the courts. On this other there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.
Schaeffer wrote his manifesto just seven years after Roe v. Wade. That ruling was godless, arbitrary, and unconstitutional, precisely what Schaeffer said we could expect from a humanistic, man-centered, and godless government. Schaeffer's books, speeches, and manifesto were powerful, but did not move our churches to robust or sustained citizen action. Confused and apathetic would characterize the reaction of the church to the historic decisions that stripped away the "unalienable" God-given rights the Declaration promised would be protected in our new independent nation. The moral trajectory of the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions during the past 60-plus years has been an increase of arbitrary, spiritually lawless, anti-God, and anti-constitutional rulings (some truly bizarre) that have usurped the authority of the people, our lawmakers, and God Himself, overturned American tradition, mores, and morals, and upended all seven spheres of American culture. Most of what Schaeffer envisioned has happened. The election will determine whether we cast off all reverence for God or set a new course toward Him.
Amy Coney Barrett's Confirmation -- So much is at stake on the confirmation of Amy Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court! It is a do-or-die fight for the political Left, and for all who care about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Liberals on the Senate Judiciary Committee disregarded the Constitution in 2017 by attempting to impose a religious test to prevent Mrs. Barrett's confirmation to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It was ugly. They said her Catholic Christian faith disqualified her from serving as an appeals court judge. Such rhetoric is strangely missing in the debate over the Democratic presidential candidate's Catholic faith. Indeed, his Catholic faith has been used as a selling point. Now we are told by the Left that they have learned their lesson and will not try that trick again. But according to FRC's "No Religious Test" Clause publication:
The debate over religious tests is likely to be at the forefront of Judge Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation process. When Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) (who has previously referred to a resolution disapproving of religious tests as "alt-right" when speaking on the Senate floor5) was recently asked by a reporter whether Barrett's religious beliefs should be off-limits during the upcoming confirmation process, she responded: "No."6 Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to directly address the question when asked if Barrett's religious beliefs should be off-limits.7 Yet Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has made his position clear, condemning such religious tests and referencing Barrett's 2017 confirmation battle when speaking from the Senate floor last year.8 More recently, Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) warned Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to steer clear of attacks on Barrett's religion in the upcoming confirmation process,9 and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) warned he's ready for a "fight" if Barrett is attacked for her faith.10 As the battle ramps up over President Trump's latest Supreme Court pick, we must remember that no religious test should be used to disqualify the nominee.
Heavy pressure is being put on weaker members of the GOP majority in the Senate. Barrett clerked for a time under the late Justice Antonin Scalia and promises to carry on his principles in her rulings. She would change the balance of the court such that the application of "arbitrary law" could be replaced with the majority court applying the Constitution. Who knows -- perhaps some of the egregious rulings that were wrongly decided over the years might be reconsidered and overturned?
The outcomes of thousands of election battles underway across America could solidify the decades long disintegration of law and order, brought about by increasingly godless, arbitrary, man-centered government. Or, they could push us toward the advancement of the constitutional government envisioned by our Founders as "One Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (See The Courtroom Drama over Roe; Justices Alito, Thomas, blast Same-Sex Marriage Ruling; The Left: a Conservative Woman's Place is in the Home; The Dogma Days of Summer; Attacks on her Faith; Lives Literally on the Line; Anti-Christian Dogma; Hawley: Fight for America's Soul; Election: Clear Distinction on Abortion)
- Father, thank you for what our Founding Fathers called Providence, referring to your oversight, care, and establishment of your will in human history. Thank you that we are at what many have called a tipping point. We have done all we know to repent, we've prayed and sought your face, and now we are looking for your hand of mercy to tip our nation, not in the direction that we deserve, but in the direction of your grace, forgiveness, goodness, and mercy, and the fulfillment of your purpose, will, and destiny for our nation. Lord, restore righteousness and justice in our legal system, in the U.S. Supreme Court, and in all our courts. Grant Amy Barrett and America her speedy confirmation. And may all the justices who were appointed because of their conservative background and constitutional fidelity maintain their fidelity and not fall away as some before them have done. Use the court to function as our Founders intended: to interpret the law and judge difficult cases, not make the law. May they be defenders of the 1st Amendment and not accomplices to those who wish to tear it down. In Jesus' name, amen. (Ex 18:19-21; Dt 1:16-18, 10:17-21; 2 Chr 19:6; Pro 9:10; Is 5:20-21, 33:22; Ja 4:12)
Finally, Please pray over these issues as the Lord guides you: 1) A group of Satanists are suing to require an ad firm to highlight its abortion rituals on billboards apparently asserting that their religious rights have been offended, pointing to exemptions provided by State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts or RFRA, which prohibits the government from substantially interfering with a person's free exercise of religion (Dt 18:9-14, 32:39; 1 Sam 2:10; 1 Chr 29:11-12; 2 Chr 20:6; Ps 103:19; Dan 2:21, 4:35; Lk 10:17-20; Jn 8:42-47; Rom 1:28-32; 2 Cor 11:14-15; Eph 2:1-10, 5:6-12, 6:10-18; Col 1:16; Rev 20:10); 2) Pray that the newly launched FRC.org/worldview website will be widely used. It contains newly released prayer guides, abbreviated versions of my publications, and a Spanish version of Biblical Principles for Political Engagement (Gen 1:1; Jn 3:16, 4:23-24; Rom 1:20-25, 8:5-8, 12:2; 1 Cor 2:12; Eph 2:1-2 4:17-32; Col 2:8; 2 Tim 4:2-4; 1 Pet 1:13-25; 1 Jn 2:15-17).
As always, thank you for praying, but especially now!