Prayer Targets: Constitution Sunday, SPLC Finally Exposed
September 13, 2017
For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.Is 33:22
Dear Praying Friends,
As Vice President for Church Ministries, Dr. Kenyn Cureton leads FRC's nationwide ministry to pastors and churches, Watchmen on the Wall. A long-time pastor, Dr. Cureton's avocation is the study, preaching, and teaching of American history from a perspective of God's Providence. This Sunday, September 17, churches across America will celebrate Constitution Sunday, the 230th Anniversary of adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Dr. Cureton has prepared a resource to help pastors craft powerful Sermons to deliver this Sunday. Here are excerpts:
In Philadelphia at what we now call Independence Hall, fifty-five delegates from twelve states assembled on May 25, 1787 for the purpose of revising the inadequate Articles of Confederation. However, these Delegates ended up scrapping the Articles and framing a whole new governing document: The United States Constitution, approved 230 years ago on September 17, 1787, provided the framework for the longest lasting, most successful Constitutional republic in world history.
CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND OF THE FRAMERS -- Every one of the 55 men directly involved in framing the Constitution had an orthodox Christian background. 31 were Episcopalian/Anglican, 16 Presbyterian, 8 Congregationalist, 3 Quaker, 2 Catholic, 2 Methodist, 2 Lutheran, and 2 Dutch Reformed. It is true that by 1787, possibly 3 of them had strayed from the orthodox faith, yet esteemed Christianity to be the model religion, and Biblical morals God's standard for mankind.
George Washington was elected as President of the Convention. He was not quiet about his advocacy for the Christian faith. On May 2, 1778, he had charged his soldiers at Valley Forge: "To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian." On May 12, 1779, told the Delaware Chiefs who had presented their children for education that "above all" what they needed to learn was the "religion of Jesus Christ," and to learn this would make them "greater and happier people than you are" and that "Congress will do everything they can to assist you in this wise intention." Before resigning his commission as Commander-in-Chief in 1783, he wrote a circular letter to all 13 governors of the states, reminding them that "without a humble imitation" of "the Divine Author of our blessed Religion [Heb. 12:2]" we "can never hope to be a happy nation." Washington's adopted daughter Nelly Custis declared of Washington that you might as well question his patriotism as to question his Christianity.8
Washington urged the delegates: "Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God." With the nation's hero at the helm, the outcome of the debates would be taken seriously by the delegates and eventually by the citizens of America.
Delegate Edmund Jennings Randolph of Virginia offered the Virginia Plan, which favored the larger states. Delegates from the smaller states favored the rival plan offered by delegate William Patterson of New Jersey. The New Jersey Plan retained the Articles of Confederation which gave each state an equal vote, but added a Supreme Court. Roger Sherman of Connecticut offered a compromise, but it too failed on its first hearing. Even among these professing Christians, common ground was difficult to find when it came to what form our government should take.
With the Convention going badly and some delegates on the verge of leaving in disgust, the elder statesman Ben Franklin rose to address the remaining delegates on June 28th.
"We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." [Psalm 127:1a] I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel [Gen. 11:1-9]. We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages [Deut. 28:37; Jer. 24:9].
"And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to I chance, war and conquest. "I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven [Neh. 2:4], and its blessing on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service."
Many were deeply moved. New Jersey delegate Jonathan Dayton reported: "The Doctor sat down; and never did I behold a countenance at once so dignified and delighted as was that of Washington at the close of the address; nor were the members of the convention generally less affected. The words of the venerable Franklin fell upon our ears with a weight and authority, even greater that we may suppose an oracle to have had in a Roman senate!" Franklin's passionate plea for prayer and a recess for Independence Day seemed to break the impasse. George Washington and a number of delegates followed Randolph's advice, went to Reformed Calvinist Church in Philadelphia on the Fourth and heard a patriotic speech and a prayer for their deliberations led by Rev. William Rogers. Afterward, there was a change in the atmosphere of the Convention and led to a breakthrough in the debates. Delegate Dayton of New Jersey reported that: "We assembled again; and ... every unfriendly feeling had been expelled, and a spirit of conciliation had been cultivated." While some difficulties continued to arise before the conclusion of the Convention's business in September, the delegates apparently never returned to the fruitless bickering that had existed prior to June 28th.
It is an exaggeration to say that our Constitutional government was the result of a prayer meeting in Philadelphia, but Dr. Franklin's call for prayer did play a critical role in reminding the delegates at a vital point that without God's help, all their efforts would be in vain. (Dr. Kenyn Cureton's Constitution Sunday: Faith of the Framers, fully documented and footnoted, is an invaluable reference for pastors. All Americans need to know the important facts in this resource.)
Those who work to expunge faith from government and politics blindly advocate for the disintegration of our nation. To Dr. Franklin's scripture-based assertions of the need to call upon God in urgent prayer, we add the words of Jesus to his disciples: "Without me, you can do nothing (John 15:5)."
Misguided Efforts to Destroy the Conservative Christian Movement? -- During every election cycle for decades, voices from the liberal media and culture boldly pronounce the "Christian Right" dead. Dormant is a more accurate word. The proof is in the fact that in some election cycles there has been a civic revival among evangelicals and voters who value life, liberty, marriage, religious freedom, fundamental morality, and Christian values who have demonstrated a substantial measurable influence. But the Left still refuses to acknowledge it. Instead, they increase their efforts to try and make their pronouncements come true.
Two weeks ago, the progressive Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) published a study saying that white Christians in America now compose fewer than 50 percent of the American population compared to 80 percent just a few decades ago, and that only 17 percent of Americans now identify as evangelicals, compared to 23 percent in 2006. The president of PRRI has been promoting his book, The End of White Christian America, for well for over a year. In a report analyzing the study, Tony Perkins gave a simple, profound, and extremely important statement regarding people of all races:
"Christianity is not about color but about the cross which transforms all who bow before it. As people truly follow the teachings of Christ and their lives are shaped and guided by truths of Scripture, ethnic and cultural preferences are eclipsed. The color of the country's Christianity is far less important in shaping the future than the Church's fidelity to the Scripture."
But the horrific incident in Charlottesville, Va. in August, instigated by white-supremacist groups, gave radical liberal progressive voices a fresh platform to unjustly vilify the entire conservative movement. Celebrities and activists rushed to social media to broad-brush President Trump, Republicans, conservatives, and even white evangelical Christians as racists. This, of course, was pure slander.
Some groups made lots of money amid efforts to ratchet-up racial tensions. One of those was the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has made big business out of monopolizing and instigating tensions among various groups. The SPLC targets effective Christian ministries by declaring them to be "hate groups" and designating them as such on their infamous "Hate Map" on their website. This map not only misguides vulnerable visitors, it libels some of the finest Christian groups in America. The SPLC has done some useful work in calling out the KKK decades ago, but it now makes millions of dollars as a supposedly unbiased authority on "hate groups" nationwide, while at the same time libeling and slandering Christian groups that hold to biblical beliefs about human sexuality, marriage, and family. The SPLC punishes groups that do not affirm their LGBT agenda by listing them on their "Hate Map" (a couple dozen are listed here). The liberal media gives credibility to the SPLC by repeatedly reporting its scurrilous hate designations and charges.
As a result, the SPLC has made "hate" profitable, luring unsuspecting donors to help them fatten their estimated $319 million endowment, some of which is held offshore. Finally, some groups are standing up to the SPLC. D. James Kennedy Ministries has filed a lawsuit against the group. Last week, nearly 50 leaders of conservative and Christian organizations wrote a letter to news media outlets requesting that they cease and desist from using the SPLC as a source of information, given their track record of abuses.
It was five years ago on August 15, 2012, that an LGBT activist entered the FRC Headquarters in Washington, D.C., inspired by the SPLC's "Hate Map," wielding a 9-millimeter handgun with 50 rounds of ammunition, intent on murdering every member of the FRC staff. FRC Building Manager Leo Johnson heroically stopped the shooter before he could kill anyone, and was shot and badly injured in the process. (See Business Dances for SPLC; Fundraising Practices; Media 'Endangering Lives' by Citing SPLC; Will they brand Churches Hate Groups?SPLC Stashes Cash Overseas; Some see them as the SPLC them; Five Year Anniversary.)
- Pray that the SPLC's leaders, deeds, and motives will be exposed and that their influence will diminish. May God mercifully reach into the lives of the SPLC's leaders, staff, and supporters, and convict them of the wrong they are doing. May the Holy Spirit lead them to repentance. May many encounter Christ dramatically, just as Rabbi Saul before he became the Apostle Paul, who was on his way to destroy followers of Christ. May the American press and Big Business cease and desist from promoting the SPLC. May those who have helped instigate the present divide among Americans cease to sow seeds of division. Rather, may their stockpiled millions of dollars be used to heal the divisions in America they have helped to create. Protect and prevent the innocent and vulnerable from falling prey to SPLC's fundraising schemes. Keep them from entanglement with the deeds of the SPLC. Finally, we pray that you would hinder the SPLC from inspiring the harm of one more person and move them to take sincere Christ-followers and Christian organizations off their "Hate List" and issue a much needed apology. (Pr 6:16-19; 16:2; Mt 5:44; Lk 19:8; Jn 10:10; Acts 9:1-19; 1 Cor 4:5; Eph 5:6-13; 1 John 4:20)
Thank you for praying!