Prayer Targets: A Christian Nation; Clergy Allowance; Military Voters, Debates, Lawsuits; Bus; VVS
September 19, 2012
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Psalm 33:12
Dear Praying Friends,
Professor Charles Hodge (1797-1878) married the great-granddaughter of Benjamin Franklin. He received his doctorate from Rutgers University and taught for fifty years at Princeton University. Hodge wrote in 1871:
The proposition that the United States of America [is] a Christian...nation, is not so much the assertion of a principle as the statement of a fact. That fact is not simply that the great majority of the people are Christians...but that the organic life, the institutions, laws, and official action of the government, whether that action be legislative, judicial, or executive, is...in accordance with the principles of...Christianity...
If a man goes to China, he expects to find the government there administered according to the religion of the country. If he goes to Turkey, he expects to find the Koran supreme and regulating all public action. If he goes to a Protestant country, he has no right to complain, should he find the Bible in the ascendancy and exerting its benign influence not only on the people, but also on the government...
In the process of time thousands have come among us, who are [not] Christians. Some are...Jews, some are infidels, and some atheists. All are welcomed; all are admitted to equal rights and privileges. All are allowed to acquire property, and to vote in every election... All are allowed to worship as they please, or not to worship at all...
No man is molested for his religion or for his want of religion. No man is required to profess any form of faith, or to join any religious association. More than this cannot reasonably be demanded.
More, however, is demanded. The infidel demands that the government should be conducted on the principle that Christianity is false, the atheist demands that it should be conducted on the assumption that there is no God... the sufficient answer to all this is that it cannot possibly be done"(Dr. Kenyn Cureton, Lost Episodes, Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, Eerdman, 1940, Vol. 3, pp. 343-346).
People of every faith have found liberty, security and economic opportunity in the United States, thanks to America's Christian heritage and Constitution. Saving faith cannot be imposed. American law is rooted in the goodness of Judeo-Christian morality based on the Bible. Yet radical Muslims, homosexual activists, atheists and others, not content with America's benefits, labor to overthrow our heritage and to impose their own faith upon our nation via stealth, protest, lawsuits, propaganda, intimidation, even violence.
Clergy Parsonage Allowance - Most clergy families once lived in a rent-free parsonage nearby the church. Years ago, churches began providing clergymen a "housing allowance" so they could rent or buy a home elsewhere in the neighborhood. Congress modified the law so churches could provide pastors a tax-free housing allowance, up to their actual housing cost, limited to the rental value of the home. This was akin to the tax-free allowance paid members of the Armed Forces. Atheist groups have long despised the clergy housing allowance calling it a violation of the separation of church and state. But not taxing churches and ministries dates back to before the Constitution, based on the premise that God and His work cannot be taxed because the power to tax is the power to control and destroy (see Parsonage).
- May God protect His Church's treasuries from the grasping hand of government. May the ministry that churches and pastors provide the community be treated as sacred, and not to be tampered with or taxed (Gen 14:18-20; Ex 29:27-35; Lev 27:28-30; Num 18:24-32; Mal 3:10; Heb 7:8).
Military Voters - 95% fewer military voters in Virginia have received absentee ballots for the 2012 Election, and it appears that the pattern persists elsewhere. Something is terribly wrong. It is well known that servicemen and their families tend to vote more conservatively than most Americans. The Obama Justice Department intervened in Florida (which purged 53,000 dead voters from their rolls), and has challenged efforts to clean up voter rolls and probed new voter ID laws elsewhere.
- May every effort to deny the military and other men and women their voting rights be exposed and those who are guilty be brought to justice. May steps be taken to insure that every serviceman be enabled to vote in this election (Ex 18:21; 1 Chr 18:14; Pr 11:1; 20:23; Ps 64:2-10; Ec 5:8; Is 59:4; Lk 8:17; 12:3; Eph 5:11-14).
Presidential Debate Schedule - Pastor Rick Warren, who received high marks for his 2008 Presidential forum at Saddleback Church in 2008, says he will not do a repeat this year. He does not want to give legitimacy to what he believes has been an uncivil exchange between the candidates. Planned debates will be held:
#1 - Presidential - Wednesday, 10/3/12, Domestic Policy, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET, University of Denver, Denver, CO, Moderator: Jim Lehrer (News Hour on PB);
#2 - Vice Presidential - Thursday, 10/11/12, Foreign &Domestic Policy, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET, Centre College in Danville, KY - Moderator: Martha Raddatz (ABC News);
#3 - Presidential - Tuesday 10/16/12, Town Meeting format - Foreign & Domestic Policy, 9:00-10:30 p.m. ET, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY, Moderator: Candy Crowley (CNN News);
- May God use the debates to reveal more truth about the candidates. May America tune in and may God use the debates to inform Americans so that they can vote wisely. God give us the candidates of your choosing, the ones who will serve the American people faithfully and wisely (Ex 18:21; 1 Sam 13:14; 2 Sam 23:3; 2 Chr 1:9 ff; Pr 4:7; 18:17; Lk 5:8; 1 Cor 4:2,5).
More Lawsuits against Obamacare - Hobby Lobby, a privately-owned Christian chain of arts and crafts stores with 500 stores in 41 states, filed a federal lawsuit against the HHS mandate. Christian-owned and operated businesses must provide, without co-pay, the "morning after pill" and other abortifacient drugs, or face fines, which in Hobby Lobby's case would be up to 1.3 million dollars per day. College of the Ozarks, a Christian school famous for the work ethic it instills in each student, has also filed suit. There are now 29 separate lawsuits challenging the mandate. Hobby Lobby, College of the Ozarks).
- May God stand by His churches and all Americans whose religious liberties have been violated! May the courts rule in our favor and may Obamacare be declared unconstitutional! (1 Chr 16:21-22; 2 Chr 26:16-23; Is 5:20; 10:1-2)
Finally, the Values Bus - The FRC/Heritage Foundation American Tour continues to equip and train values champions to register voters this fall. The Bus will be in Iowa on 9/21, in Council Bluffs on 9/22; Cornerstone Outreach Church with Pastor Carey Gordon in Sioux City on 9/23; at the Capitol in Des Moines on 9/24, and in Philadelphia at America for Jesus 2012 on 9/29. Tony Perkins is scheduled to speak in Philadelphia (see Values Voter Bus, America for Jesus 2012).
If you have not yet seen iPledge Sunday or the Values Voter Summit online, you MUST! You'll want to urge your church, friends and family to see them! They will be inspired to prayer and action! Please sign the iPledge2Vote commitment! Thank you for praying!