Prayer Targets: Work & Socialism; Fiscal Cliff; Ugandan Prayer; U.N.: Internet, CRDP, Palestinians
November 28, 2012
If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat... [W]e command ...that they work in quietness and eat their own bread. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
Dear Praying Friends,
Paul's exhortation to the Thessalonians is at the core of the "Protestant work ethic," the economic principle that built America. Private charity is also taught in the Old and New Testaments, but never socialism. Socialism and communism are not morally neutral systems. Their results are unjust, immoral, oppressive, and destructive to individuals, families and nations. Ignoring the glaring historic failures of socialism and their incompatibility with the laws of God, the elites of our day remain driven by a false vision of a socialist utopia.
Our Pilgrim Fathers learned that socialism does not work! In their struggle to survive in in the New World, they learned that redistributing income results in scarcity, dependence and even death. For their first few at Plymouth (1621-22), the Pilgrims embraced a socialistic scheme. The fruit of each man's labor went into a common storehouse, and then each took from the storehouse as his family had need. Laziness and even thievery resulted when capable men refused to labor but demanded to be fed.
Governor William Bradford called for change, ordering each family to raise its own food. Based on a biblical work ethic and personal responsibility, this new system resulted in success. After the harvest of 1623, "instead of famine now God gave them plenty," Bradford wrote, "for which they blessed God... Any general want or famine hath not been amongst them since to this day." In 1624, food production was so abundant that the colony began exporting corn. In his "History of the Plymouth Settlement," Bradford documented the hard lessons of socialism and the benefits of free enterprise from which they learned (see The Great Thanksgiving Hoax, watch video Thanksgiving, Overcoming Socialism).
Had the Pilgrims not changed their approach, they would not have survived. Nor will we, if we continue down the path of godless socialism we are traveling (see How "Life of Julia" Prevailed).
Fiscal Cliff - America faces two major problems if Congress and the President fail to act before New Year's Day: 1. Expiration of the 2001-2003 Tax Cuts - Every taxpayer faces significant tax increases. The estate ("death") tax rate will also rise from 35% to 55% and the $5 million asset exemption will drop to $1 million. Many small family farms and ranches will be forced to sell their land to pay taxes. Congressional Democrats (and some Republicans) want to eliminate the mortgage deduction and put caps on charitable deductions. President Obama promises to veto any extension that does not raise tax rates on upper income Americans, which is a part of his plan to redistribute wealth. 2. Sequestration - The 2011 Budget Control Act requires the President and Congress to produce a budget that meets goals to reduce growth of the deficit and national debt. If they fail, a 10% across-the-board cut for all government agencies will be automatic. The Heritage Foundation estimates that 42.6% of the $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts will be cut from defense spending, putting national security in jeopardy (see Chart). Entitlement spending, the largest part of our budget, will barely be touched.
The impact of these events - the "Fiscal Cliff," will be huge. Most economists expect a deep recession if they are not remedied. If the charitable giving deduction is capped, it could mean a radical loss of income for churches, missionary agencies, and charities of every kind, for whom contributions are life blood (see letter to President from the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and other leading charitable and philanthropic organizations. See also Compromise Elusive, Farmers, Ranchers & Everyone Else, National Security, Charitable Giving, Congressional Budget Office Analysis, Mortgage Interest).
- May God intervene mercifully, giving our leaders strength of will and guiding them with wisdom to preserve the fiscal underpinnings of our nation. If He intends to bring us to our knees by economic distress, may we bow in humility and repentance before Him and may he hear our cries for help! (Gen 39:3; Dt 28: all; 32:7-43; 2 Chr 1:11; Ezr 7:27-28; Pr 18:9; Lk 16:2)
Ugandan President Leads Nation in Repentance - Longtime President Yoweri Museveni observed Uganda's 50th anniversary of independence by publicly repenting of personal and national sin. "I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. "We ask for your forgiveness... We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation. We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft...shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal..." After confessing many more sins, Museveni dedicated Uganda to the Lord. Bloodshed, violence and political unrest persisted for years after Idi Amin's demise. But Uganda began to recover after pastors began to unite in desperate prayer for their nation. FRC has joined in prayer with pastors and leaders from across Africa, including Ugandan Pastor Laban Jumba, a prayer pioneer during the Amin regime who birthed Intercessors for Uganda in the 70s. Believers across Africa are praying for America, that God will send revival and awakening, our nation's only real hope (read Michael Carl).
- Thank God for leaders who stand boldly for Jesus, understand the curse of sin, and know God and His blessing are a nation's greatest possession. May God raise up such leaders in America and every nation! (Ex 18:21; 1 Sam 16:1, 7, 11-16; Ps 75:6; Jer 23:5-6; Lk 22:25-27; 1 Tim 2:1-8)
United Nations and Lame Duck U.S. Senate Update - In addition to considering an elevation of Palestine to "non-member observer state" status and seeking ways to control the internet, the United Nations has found a willing partner in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is using the 2012 "Lame Duck" session to bring up the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP). Sixty-one members voted for the Senate to consider the treaty and there was some debate. Conservatives oppose the treaty, altogether, because, like others, it would empower the U.N. over the U.S. Constitution, state laws, and the authority of parents. There are problems with several yet unratified U.N. Treaties that the Democrat-controlled Senate could bring up at any time (see Divided European, U.S. Response, Israeli Response; Internet, More; Senate Yesterday, Heritage on Treaty, Perkins on Treaty, Contact your Senators!).
- May God prevent U.N. members from supporting the biblically illicit recognition of "Palestine," and thereby consent to dividing the Holy Land. May God confuse their efforts to control the internet. May He stir his people to contact their U.S. Senators and may a strong majority refuse to subject American citizens, families, communities, cities, states and nation to international controls that trump our Constitution and national sovereignty! (Dt 30:1-5; Pr 28:4; Ps 73:8-12; Is 9:7; 31:1-4; 34:8-10; 56:10-12; Eze 22:25; Zec 12: all; Acts 4:29-31; Rev 17:13-14)
Finally, the U.S. Supreme Court will almost certainly take up Obamacare again, with numerous cases still in the works in lower courts. The Court has now reinstated a major legal challenge to Obamacare: Liberty University's lawsuit against both the Individual Mandate and the Employer Mandate of the Affordable Care Act. The Fourth Circuit threw out the case last year, saying it could not be argued on its merits until the particulars of the law go into effect in 2014. Please continue to pray for the complete repeal of Obamacare. And thank you for your faithfulness to pray!