Prayer Targets: Biblical Politics; ERA; Chick-fil-A; Cult of Transgenderism; Daleiden found Guilty
November 20, 2019
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. (1 Corinthians 2:12-13 NASB)
Dear Praying Friends,
David Closson (M.Div.) is Director of Christian Ethics and Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, where he researches and writes on issues related to religious liberty, human sexuality, and the development of policy from a biblical worldview. David is in the process of completing a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics (focus in public policy) at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. These excerpts are from his introduction to “Biblical Principles for Political Engagement”:
Do Christians have a moral or biblical obligation to participate in politics? Is there a distinctively Christian way to engage the political process? Do Christians have a duty to vote, and if so, what principles should inform believers when they cast their ballot?
Christians in every generation have debated these questions. In fact, over the years several models and suggestions for Christian political and cultural engagement have been proposed. These proposals, while differing in a few particulars, share the common goal of helping Christians apply biblical principles to moral and political concerns.
That Christians are engaging with today’s pressing moral concerns is encouraging because there have been times when that has not been the case. As recently as 1947, theologian Carl Henry warned his post-war contemporaries that historic Christianity risked losing influence because of its hesitancy to apply the gospel to “pressing world problems.” In Henry’s day, many evangelicals were tempted to or had already withdrawn from the public square. As a result, evangelicals were becoming increasingly inarticulate about the social reference of the gospel. Henry rightly feared that this withdrawal signaled to the world that Christianity could not compete with other ideologies. Instead of withdrawing, Henry encouraged Christians to apply the fundamentals of their faith to the full range of issues the gospel speaks to, including politics, the foundational arena where people’s public lives are ordered.
Thankfully, many Christians in the mid-twentieth century followed Henry’s lead and pursued a path of active engagement with the world. However, over the last few decades, with the rise of secularism and the Sexual Revolution’s repudiation of Christian sexual ethics, biblical principles have been steadily pushed to the periphery of the public square. As a result, it is not uncommon for Christians today to be uninformed or confused about how their faith ought to influence their public engagement.
Recently, most notably in response to the 2016 presidential election, the connection between gospel faithfulness and political responsibility has re-emerged and Christians are again asking how to relate biblical convictions to the issues of the day. In today’s hyper-politicized environment, some argue that Christians should not associate too closely with elected officials or political parties, because it conflates the responsibility of the church with that of the state. Some take this view and argue for full withdrawal from the public and political space. On the other end of the spectrum are those who argue for heavy involvement with politicians and partisan politics.
HOW SHALL WE MAKE SENSE OF ALL OF THIS? We will attempt to tackle these questions and concerns... to help Christians navigate the issue of political engagement from a biblical worldview by connecting the implications of the gospel to the political process with these two questions:
First, we will address the question of whether Christians should engage the political process (including asking what “politics” is and why we should care) and see if the biblical worldview offers a framework or set of principles that can help Christians navigate the field of politics. Then we will consider the role of government, discuss how Christians should engage in politics (including voting, our two-party system, clear biblical issues, and some practical tips), and think through a few current issues.
SHOULD CHRISTIANS ENGAGE IN POLITICS? Without doubt, we live in a time of acute political polarization. These divisions are inevitably exacerbated during campaign season with the barrage of candidate advertisements, robo-calls, 24-hour cable TV coverage, and campaign literature. Moreover, the toxic tone and extreme partisanship in politics can be discouraging. Thus, it is no surprise that withdrawing from the political process has become a temptation for many Christians. After all, if God is sovereign and controls the heart of the king (Prov. 21:1), do we really need to get involved in the messy world of politics? Because political engagement can be divisive, shouldn’t Christians abandon politics and direct their energies toward more spiritual pursuits? (Read the rest of Biblical Principles for Political Engagement: Worldview, Issues, and Voting by David Closson – free in PDF format; order the paperback booklet)
The Bible is clear: Christians must be involved. Help equip your family members, fellow prayer warriors, church friends, perhaps even your pastor. Email them this link or get hard copies of the booklet, a timely Thanksgiving gift at the beginning of an election year! Remember, many elections are won by just a few votes. Don’t forget to PRAY!
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) – In the November 5th election, Virginians put both houses of their General Assembly into the hands of the Democrats. With controversial Democrat Ralph Northam in the Governor’s House, the state apparatus will be under complete Democratic Party control. Already, an effort is underway among Virginians to ratify the Federal Equal Rights Amendment. Passed by Congress in 1972, only 35 of the 38 states (3/4) required by the U.S. Constitution to ratify the amendment had done so by the March 22, 1979 deadline. The Legislatures of four of those states then voted to rescind their ratification before the deadline. A fifth state voted to sunset their ratification as of the deadline. In 1978, Congress voted to extend the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982, but no new states ratified. In 2017, in hopes of an ERA revival, Nevada, and in 2018, Illinois, voted to ratify despite the deadline having passed. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an advocate for the ERA, has written that any ERA ratification process would have to start all over, but last week Chairman Jerry Nadler and the House Judiciary Committee voted to pass a bill to extend the ratification period again along party lines (21-11). In an earlier House Resolution 216 Democrats and 2 Republicans voted in favor of such a the move – 218 votes are sufficient to pass the bill. The Equality Act passed earlier this year by Congress, which redefines “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”. It would not only remove legal protection of women and girls for separate public restrooms, scholarships, sports teams, etc., it would also enshrine abortion on demand, taxpayer funding for abortion, and end conscience protections for medical workers who object to abortion. (Hear Perkins, Mosley & Semelsberger on ERA; see Blue Virginia wants ERA; Efforts Hit Snag – U.S. Constitution; Eagle Forum: Reasons to oppose ERA; Family Institute: 9 Reasons to Reject the ERA; Press Conference: FRC Opposes ERA)
- Father, most Americans have little understanding about euphemistic titles like “Equal Rights Amendment” or “Equality Act.” Protect the American people from deliberately ambiguous and contradictory use of words to mislead and manipulate voters, common in politics today. Protect us from tragically misguided efforts to redefine sacred words like “man,” “woman,” “family,” “marriage,” etc., in an effort to overthrow your created order. May your people arise to teach the nations everything you have commanded us. Restore your moral order to our backslidden nation. The blind lead the blind, Lord, and both are falling into the ditch. Intervene, Oh God! Raise up a new generation of leaders like Phyllis Schlafly in our day to lead your people from the brink of cultural self-destruction! Please stop the so-called “Equality Act” and “Equal Rights Amendment” and help us to embrace your wisdom and liberty and not subjugate ourselves to immoral elitists who will redefine sacred things, mislead our children, and subject Christians to abuse and persecution. (Gen 1:27; Pr 6:16-19; Is 5:20; 42:22; 58:1-14; Jer 3:22; 1 Cor 2:12-14)
Chick-fil-A Betrays the Faithful– On the very day the Salvation Army kicked off its annual “Red Kettle Campaign,” Chick-fil-A announced that it was dropping its long-time relationship with the Salvation Army as a major donor. Chick-fil-A also cut off its planned annual gift to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Both groups have been criticized by LGBTQ activists for their biblical faith. Millions of Chick-fil-A’s most loyal customers are Christians because of the company’s foundational commitment to biblical principles, and they are disappointed to say the least. Now, the company that was founded by the late S. Truett Cathy in 1946 has succumbed to unceasing assault and harassment by LGBTQ activists who were offended by the founder’s commitment to a biblical view of marriage as between one man and one woman and his company’s support for like-minded non-profits. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who organized a national “Appreciation Day” for Chick-fil-A in 2012, is upset. “Today,” he said, “Chick-fil-A betrayed loyal customers... I regret believing they would stay true to convictions of founder Truett Cathy. Sad.” FRC President Tony Perkins recalled the day when a lone gunman entered Family Research Council’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. with a backpack stashed with Chick-fil-A sandwiches he planned to smear in the faces of staffers he hoped to kill. “They endorse Chick-fil-A,” the convicted domestic terrorist said after he shot FRC’s building manager Leo Johnson, who miraculously subdued him before others were hurt. (See Chick-Fil-A Caters to Liberal Mob; Chick-fil-A pulls support from Christian groups; Salvation Army Responds)
- Father, May Christian customers be faithful to express their disappointment to Chick-fil-A and its owners, just as they expressed their appreciation in 2012! (Pr 18:24; Mt 18:15-17)
Finally, please add these items to your prayer lists: 1) Keep praying for Kanye West! (Tony Perkins article in The Federalist; Surprise visit to Texas prison; Lakewood Church; Testimony); 2) Pray, too, for former NBA player Lamar Odom who has come forward with his personal testimony of deliverance from pornography by faith; 3) An effort to repeal President Trump’s policy banning the new enlistment of transgender troops has been one of the issues holding up passage of the much needed Defense Authorization Bill. FRC has catalogued the extra taxpayer cost of maintaining the transgender troops already in military service; 4) In a preliminary search, FRC staff documented 319 Drag Queen Story Hours that have been conducted across America. While not all have been conducted at public libraries at taxpayer expense, many have, and the American Library Association encourages local libraries to welcome and conduct them; 5) The transgender cult is affecting an increasing number of minors. Parents in many districts are allowing their children to be indoctrinated with the ideology of this cult. Fully 18 states and many more local jurisdictions have outlawed counseling to help persons with gender dysphoria. In addition, the federal Equality Act will be interpreted to support this growing cult; 6) FRC has published the true account of a woman whose family has been tragically torn apart by transgenderism. Read the 6-part series: Part 1 – The Cult of Transgenderism: My Brother’s Crisis of Identity in an America Gone Mad; Part 2 – The Damaging Delusions of Identity Obsession and Erasure; Part 3 – The Lies and Money Behind the Transgender Movement; Part 4 – The Cultural Power of the Transgender Movement; Part 5 – The Regressive Cult of Transgenderism; Part 6 – America Needs a Reality Check on Transgenderism; 7) A California jury ruled against David Daleiden and others who helped expose Planned Parenthood’s baby body parts business. Their attorneys will appeal the multimillion-dollar judgment.
Much more to pray about, but as always, thank you for praying!