Prayer Targets: Calvinism; Watchmen; Prayer Accord; Obama on Liberty?; Graham; Terrorists; More
February 13, 2014
Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity? Psalm 94:16
Dear Praying Friends,
No force shaped the worldview of our Founding Fathers more than Christianity, and in particular, Calvinist Protestantism. The "Puritan work ethic" made America the hardest working, most productive and innovative nation in world history. But our Forefathers' views on Providence, morality, justice, grace, and liberty contributed far more to our nation and the world.
Calvinism came to America in the Mayflower, and Bancroft, the greatest of American historians, pronounces the Pilgrim Fathers "Calvinists in their faith according to the straightest system." John Endicott, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; John Winthrop, the second governor of that Colony; Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut; John Davenport, the founder of the New Haven Colony; and Roger Williams, the founder of the Rhode Island Colony, were all Calvinists. William Penn was a disciple of the Huguenots [French Calvinists]. It is estimated that of the 3,000,000 Americans at the time of the American Revolution, 900,000 were of Scotch or Scotch-Irish origin, 600,000 were Puritan English, and 400,000 were German or Dutch Reformed... Episcopalians had a Calvinistic confession in their Thirty-nine Articles; and many French Huguenots also had come to this western world... about two-thirds of the colonial population had been trained in the school of Calvin. Never in the world's history had a nation been founded by such people... [They] came not primarily for commercial gain or advantage, but because of deep religious convictions. It seems that the religious persecutions in various European countries had been providentially used to select... enlightened people for the colonization of America... Let it be especially remembered that the Puritans... the great bulk of the settlers in New England... were truly devoted to the doctrines of the great Reformers, that they had an aversion for formalism and oppression whether in the Church or in the State...
With this background we shall not be surprised to find that the Presbyterians took a very prominent part in the American Revolution. Our own historian Bancroft says: "The Revolution of 1776, so far as it was affected by religion, was a Presbyterian measure. It was the natural outgrowth of the principles which the Presbyterianism of the Old World planted in her sons, the English Puritans, the Scotch Covenanters, the French Huguenots, the Dutch Calvinists, and the Presbyterians of Ulster." So intense, universal, and aggressive were the Presbyterians in their zeal for liberty that the war was spoken of in England as "The Presbyterian Rebellion." An ardent colonial supporter of King George III wrote home: "I fix all the blame for these extraordinary proceedings upon the Presbyterians... They always do and ever will act against government from that restless and turbulent anti-monarchial spirit which has always distinguished them everywhere." ... [English] Prime Minister Horace Walpole said in Parliament, "Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson" (he meant John Witherspoon, president of Princeton and signer of the Declaration of Independence).
History is eloquent in declaring that American democracy was born of Christianity and that that Christianity was Calvinism. The great Revolutionary conflict which resulted in the formation of the American nation was carried out mainly by Calvinists, many of whom had been trained in the rigidly Presbyterian College at Princeton, and this nation is their gift to all liberty loving people (Rev. Loraine Boettner, Calvinism in America).
John Knox, Matthew Henry, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, William Carey, Charles Hodge, Abraham Kuyper, J. Gresham Machen, D. James Kennedy, and other great men were Calvinists. But America needs all Bible-believing pastors and leaders today, regardless of their views on the "Doctrines of Grace," who like those patriot pastors of the founding era, will preach the word boldly and lead the church to stand against evil and evildoers in the public square. Praise God they are arising!
Watchmen on the Wall - When Tony Perkins joined FRC as President over ten years ago, he launched a Church Ministries Initiative to help pastors across America increase their impact upon our nation for righteousness. We are seeking pastors who can pledge before God to: 1) Pray and teach their people to pray for our nation; 2) Preach the Word as it applies to the great moral issues over which our culture is now warring; and 3) to Partner with likeminded pastors to defend faith, family and freedom in their communities and states. Pastors who work closely with us are developing "Culture Impact Teams" in their churches to watch the news, keep their churches informed, and to motivate their members to make a positive, "Salt and Light" impact on their communities. These pastors and churches are making a marked difference across our nation. You can help!
- Pray often over FRC's Watchmen on the Wall! May God double the numbers of participating pastors in 2014! Pray for your pastor and ask him to join the network, if he has not already. Point him to WatchmenPastors.org, or urge him to give me a call! (Ps 13; 62:6-7; Ecc 4:9-12; Eze 3:17-21; 33:2-19; Hab 2:1-4; Jn 10:10-15)
National Prayer Accord - The National Prayer Committee created the National Day of Prayer Task Force and serves the nation's growing prayer movement in many ways. It is now calling churches and believers across America to embrace a prayer covenant to multiply in united prayer for our nation. Join us and Churches, families, prayer groups and individuals who are embracing the accord, to facilitate united prayer for revival and awakening throughout the year.
- May we covenant to pray: 1) Weekly -- one-half to one-hour private or small group prayer; 2) Monthly -- one to two hour individual church prayer gatherings; 3) Quarterly -- one to two-hour local, multiple-church prayer gatherings; 4) Annually -- The National Day of Prayer (first Thursday of May), Cry Out America (September 11). The Call2Fall (Sunday before Independence Day), If 7-14, July 14th, and other special prayer days! (2 Chr 7:14; Ps 50:14-15; Is 62:6-7; Acts 4:18-33; Eph 6:10-20; 1Th 5:17; 1 Tim 2:1-8)
President Obama and International Religious Liberty - President Obama shocked policy experts who know his record when he delivered a speech on international religious liberty at the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday. The president's record on religious liberty, at home and abroad, is dismal. A recent Pew study shows religious oppression on the rise and Christians as the world's most oppressed religious group. Something good came from the President's speech however, when he called for North Korea to release American missionary Kenneth Bae and Iran to release American Pastor Saeed Abedini (sentenced to 8 years in prison for sharing his Christian faith). The same day Rep. Chris Smith's (R-N.J.) held hearings in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Human Rights, which he chairs. The hearing further revealed the dichotomy between the President's rhetoric and the facts (view Prayer Breakfast; read Pew Study, Appeal to NK, Iran; Hearings; Smith; Why U.S. Policy Matters; Sidelining Religious Liberty - Farr; HHS Mandate; Lip Service; A Helping of Hypocrisy).
- May God correct an administration that has failed to defend religious liberty. May the State Department agency tasked to be the religious liberty watchdog be staffed, activated, and empowered to do its job. May the President act to end the oppression of Christians, worldwide (Ps 74:19-23; Pr 28:15-16; Is 58: all; 61:1-4; Jer 34:17; Gal 5:1, 13).
Please pray for: 1) Rev. Franklin Graham is under fire for his article, Ducking the Issue. He defends Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, calls sin, sin, calls Christians to repent, and challenges us to be salt and light to impact our culture. Pray for Dr. Billy Graham, now 95, and for Franklin (CEO, both of BGEA and Samaritans Purse). May God use this family, and with them pastors and Christian leaders from across America, to turn our nation back to God! May their critics find the Christ they preach! 2) Pres. Obama's change to immigration law to admit immigrants who have had "limited involvement" in terrorism to be stopped; 3) States to stand up against US Attorney General Eric Holder's dispensing of federal marriage benefits to "married" same-sex couples, even in states that ban same-sex marriage (more); 4) Academic and former FRC staff member, Teresa Wagner, to prevail in her lawsuit against the University of Iowa for denying her a teaching position because of her pro-life beliefs. Thank you for praying!