Prayer Targets: Cross Still Stands; Not Created Equal; Transgender Policy Clashes
April 17, 2019
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14)
Yesterday’s Washington Update commentary, Hope from Ashes, captured the sentiment of many believers in the wake of the flames that consumed much of the historic Notre Dame Cathedral:
Not much of the roof survived the devastating fire that consumed the Notre Dame cathedral. But there is one thing emerging from the smoldering ashes -- the spark of hope in renewal and unity.
One of the first pictures from the interior of the cathedral, after the fire was extinguished, was the cross still standing above the altar in the middle of a pile of charred debris that fell from the cathedral’s roof. Everyone from political leaders and journalists to businessmen and church officials found a glimmer of hope in the priceless relics that were spared from the flames, smoke, and water. Among the more significant was the Crown of Thorns, believed to have been placed on the head of Jesus at His crucifixion.
While the circumstances were much different, what immediately came to mind as I looked at the images of the cross in the cathedral was the cross made from the twisted metal that emerged from the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
Similar to the pledge of then-President George W. Bush standing at Ground Zero in New York City, French President Emmanuel Macron pledged to rebuild the cathedral that he said was “part of us.” Already, corporate leaders and other philanthropists have pledged millions of dollars to rebuild the cathedral that survived over nine centuries of France’s often turbulent history. In a nation that’s been so divided in recent days, the national, as well as the international unity inspired by the tragedy, reflects the unity that comes from the very faith the structure represents.
It would be hard to miss the spiritual parallels. After all, this is Passion Week, the most significant week of the Christian faith. The devastation and destruction wrought by our sin would overwhelm us except for the hope found in the cross of Jesus Christ. It is that symbol -- of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ -- that is our hope of renewal, the ability to start over.
The Apostle Paul wrote about the hope we have when we accept Jesus Christ, the one who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin, in a letter to the Corinthians. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” And it is in this newness of life, this fresh beginning, that we have the substance that can truly unite.
My prayer for the people of France is that they do succeed in rebuilding this remarkable edifice that is brimming with history and culture. But more than that, I hope this will draw France and their European neighbors, who were once the vibrant custodians of the Christian faith, beyond the symbolism to the substance of the cross. May we all look to the cross, not as an old relic of the faith from generations departed, but as a celebration of hope found through the Savior that hung on it.
The cross still stands. It stands above the smoldering ashes and the charred debris of false idols, foolish philosophies, and fake religions. The cross endures. Let us celebrate the life-transforming power of God’s love poured out at the cross and claim the hope that rose with Christ from the tomb!
Not Created Equal – First we had Virginia delegate Kathy Tran (D-Va.) calling for the killing of pre-born children, right up until the mother goes into labor. Yet at the same time, Tran advocated for the protection of cankerworms (HB 2495). Then we had U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) sponsoring the KITTEN Act, arguing that: “The KITTEN Act will protect these innocent animals from being needlessly euthanized... and make sure that they can be adopted by loving families instead.” This was not long after Merkley voted “No” to legislation that would have protected babies who survive a botched abortion. Just imagine him saying instead: “The [Born-alive Survivors Protection Act] will protect these innocent [infants] from being needlessly [killed]... and make sure they can be adopted by loving families instead.” That makes much more sense, but unfortunately, Sen. Merkley values kittens over kids.
Now another U.S. Senator, Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), wants everyone to know she has a HEART for mistreated dogs but apparently not for infants who escape an abortionist. Her “Help Extract Animals from Red Tape” (HEART) Act seeks to help the survivors of dog fighting, tweeting last week: “Dog fighting is a despicable crime. These animals bring us so much joy and we can and must do more so that survivors of dog fighting find their forever homes. My bill, the HEART Act, would help ensure this.” Just imagine her saying instead: “[Infanticide] is a despicable crime. These [children] bring us so much joy, and we can and must do more so that survivors of [abortion] find their forever homes.” Can’t Senator Harris see the irony in her statement about dog-fight survivors and her “No” vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act?
How can these same active advocates for saving cankerworms, kittens, and dogs at the same time vote for the killing of babies in the womb or letting them die after surviving an abortion?! Their moral hypocrisy is astounding! Don’t misunderstand. No one is in favor of abusing animals. They are a part of the creation God entrusted us to care for and steward. But why do we see this elevation of care and concern for insects and animals over preborns and newborns? It is all about worldview and resultant ideology that guides public policy. If you believe that human beings came to be by random chance instead of being purposefully created by a loving God, you arrive at the conclusion that human beings are nothing special. If you further subscribe to the current environmental dogma, human beings are a threat. Consequently, human life becomes disposable, abortion becomes justifiable, and infanticide becomes acceptable.
In his Washington Watch interview with David Closson, Family Research Council’s Research Fellow for Religious Freedom and Biblical Worldview, FRC President Tony Perkins pointed out: “There is a spiritual truth here…and it is the failure to recognize that human beings are created in the image of God. Animals are not. And there is a big difference. Scripture points to that, history points to that, and that has always been a distinguishing factor as to how we treat animals and how we treat people.” Closson agreed, stating that while scripture commands that we care for animals (e.g., Proverbs 12:10; Exod. 23:5; Deut. 22:4), human beings are uniquely the image bearers of God. Consequently, as Jesus taught clearly in the Sermon on the Mount, human beings are of more value and worth than animals in the eyes of God (Matt. 6:26). He also quoted Tony, who had quipped: “Dogs may be man’s best friend, but children are our future.”
What can you do to make a difference? Pray and act. Pray for our elected officials to value human life and act by calling your U.S. Representative through the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Simply request that your representative sign on to the discharge petition for HR 962: Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. Click here to track the signatures on the discharge petition to see if your Representative has signed. Also, we are planning a special emphasis on Sunday, April 28 – here are a number of resources to help pastors and leaders (Kitten Research; Harris Unleashed by Dog Cruelty; Listen to Tony’s Interview with David Clossen on Washington Watch at 27 minutes; www.EndBirthDayAbortion.com/church; EBDA Church Resources for April 28).
- Heavenly Father, we praise you that each person is “fearfully and wonderfully made,” created in your image and likeness, and therefore the crown of your creation. Lord, bless every attempt to inform Americans that while we were made “a little lower than the angels” we were made a lot higher than the animals. Continue to open minds to the reality that every human life is precious and should receive a warm welcome, not callously allowed to die or, worse still, maliciously terminated. Grant that more U.S. Representatives will sign on to the growing call to end birth day abortions. Lord, we humbly yet boldly ask for breakthroughs for the sake of life! (Psalm 139:13-14; 1:26-27; Matt. 6:26; Psalm 8:4-8; Exod. 20:13; Prov. 24:11-12)
Transgender Policy Clashes – Last Friday, President Trump’s Transgender Military Policy finally took effect after needless (and still ongoing) legal battles and opposition from the progressive Left, including from some Obama-era holdovers in military leadership. In doing so, this president fulfilled a campaign promise to stop the use of our military for social experiments. He respects the fact that taxpayers have no business paying for service members suffering from gender dysphoria to have sex-change operations, drugs, and therapy when their mission is to fight and win wars. After all, the Commander-in-Chief, not a black-robed judge, ought to have the last word about our military.
Meanwhile, the battle rages on school campuses across America with the rise of transgenderism and the demand to accommodate the gender-confused in the use of opposite sex showers, locker rooms, and dressing rooms. From Nebraska to Alaska, biological boys are invading girl’s bathrooms, but the girls are walking out and pushing back. In Omaha, Nebraska, students streamed out of the Abraham Lincoln school building in protest to a biological male allowed in the girl’s room, chanting: “We want our privacy” and “One over all is not fair!” In North Pole, Alaska, the girls got physical. When boys invaded the girl’s room, one young lady forcefully kneed one of the intruders in the groin to get him to leave. Tammie Wilson commented: “Good for her ... She was where she belonged. They were not.”
Since local school officials, who evidently value the “emotional security” of a confused few over the privacy and safety of the majority, won’t listen to valid concerns, and since some parents won’t stand up to these misguided “educators,” then maybe student protests and pushback will get their attention. Obviously, no one advocates violence, but what other recourse do young ladies have when faced with biological males invading a space where they feel most vulnerable?
While these bathroom incidents are increasing, they are not universal... yet. But if U.S. House Democrats get their way, they will open every girl’s and women’s locker room, shower, and bathroom in America to biological males under the so-called “Equality Act.” In fact, this dangerous bill already has about 240 co-sponsors. What can you do about it? Pray and act. Pray for moral sanity among our elected officials and act by contacting your House member and tell them to vote “NO” on what is really the Inequality Act! (See Putting Readiness First; “Summary of Trump Administration Policy on Transgender Military Service” and “Department of Defense on Why Those with ‘Gender Dysphoria’ Are Disqualified from Military Service;” Test of Wills Over Privacy)
- Creator God, forgive us for allowing bathroom confusion, which is in reality moral insanity. We thank you for the clarity of the Scriptures, which declare that you created us in your image and you created us male and female. Father, we pray that you would bring this clarity to the confused, healing to the broken, and protection and privacy for the vulnerable. Lord, we pray that you would give your wisdom and reveal your truth to all in authority so that they will rule toward your righteousness and just standards, seeing themselves as your servants, acting always for the common good of the whole, not just catering to the confusion of the few. ( 1:27; Matt. 19:4; Deut. 22:5; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-4)
Finally, continue to pray for Pierre Bynum, who faithfully produces the Prayer Targets and who remains out on medical leave. Thank you for joining us in praying for America and may God bless your Resurrection Day celebration!