Prayer Targets: Call2Fall this Sunday; Gorsuch's Lawless Ruling Not Last Word; The 2020 Elections
June 24, 2020
"When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)
Dear Praying Friends,
Why the Call2Fall this coming Sunday, June 28, 2020? When Tony Perkins was first tasked by the Lord to initiate the Call2Fall in 2009, the church and America were already amid clearly measurable, long-term spiritual and moral decline. Many hoped that things would "get back to normal." But, overall, the decline has persisted in our churches, society, public institutions, and policy.
America's founders often reminded us that without religion and morality, our Republic could not survive. Only God's people can be the salt and light our society needs. And we cannot be that apart from God himself. We Christians have not been nor done all we could to be an effective witness for Jesus, and to address the needs in our culture only He can meet. We've been slow to act on God's word, to obey his commandments and fulfill his great commission.
We're in serious trouble as a people. Recent events have highlighted the capacity for brute lawlessness in our society. The rise of leaders and ideologies hostile to Christianity and the Christian foundations of America.
Christianity works. The presence of Jesus Christ, His redemptive work and love, and the moral commandments of scripture are rock that produce love, peace, and cooperation in society, along with law and order. Where Jesus is absent, tyranny and/or lawlessness abound. The growth of Marxist, anarchism, and other anti-Christian ideologies among our young people does not bode well for the churches of America. I could spend pages documenting the challenges we face and the moral decline that must be repaired in our nation.
Everyone reading this knows that Jesus is the answer; that repentance among God's people and a wholehearted return to the God of the Bible in our churches and our nation are the answer and hope for America. This is what we as believers must give our lives for.
2 Chronicles 7:14 has been repeated so many times in our churches that it has lost meaning. But this promise from God to us is the hope, the only hope for the healing of our land. We who name Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord must claim it and put it into practice -- not just on the National Day of Prayer, the Call2Fall, or some other organized prayer event, but every day until the leaders and people of America's churches are -- as a way of life -- humbling themselves before God in prayer and repentance, seeking God's face daily, turning from every practice and behavior the Lord calls sin, and living for God daily. Then He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land. God's and His people can yet be the "city on a hill" Christ inspired them to become (Mt 5:14).
I pray that you and your church or family will join us this coming Sunday to pray for ourselves, our families, our churches, and our nation -- after the pattern of 2 Chronicles 7:14, taking time on your knees in humility. Ask your pastor, if he is not already planning to do so, to make time in your Sunday services for the Call2Fall. All he needs to know can be found at Call2Fall.com. Help us to declare our dependence upon God before we celebrate Independence Day on the Fourth!
Gorsuch's Lawless Supreme Court Ruling -- On June 15, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch issued the Roe v. Wade of religious liberty. Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia upended scores of state ordinances and laws concerning abortion based on a "right" that can be found nowhere in the U.S. Constitution and has redefined words to suit a political agenda, an agenda that would impose extreme ideas about human sexuality throughout our society.
In Bostock, Justice Gorsuch wrote that the Supreme Court "normally interprets a statute in accord with the ordinary public meaning of its terms at the time of its enactment." He even admits that when the Civil Rights Act, the basis of the Court's action, was enacted in 1964, the term "sex" referred "only to biological distinctions between male and female." But then, he writes, this is just a "starting point" and concludes that "it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex."
Justice Gorsuch is redefining nothing less than the very nature of humanity. There are two sexes, male and female. This is not a theological assertion. It's a matter of science. The National Center for Biotechnology Information, part of our National Institutes of Health, reports that "biological differences" between men and women "have long been recognized at the biochemical and cellular levels." But according to Justice Gorsuch, a person's decision to base his self-identification on his gender preference or sexual attraction now defines his or her sex, and therefore the 1964 definition must now include homosexuality and transgenderism.
This is lawlessness. And as Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri said after the Bostock ruling came out, "This decision...will have effects that range from employment law to sports to churches. There's only one problem with this piece of legislation: it was issued by a court, not by a legislature."
Conservatives have fought hard for decades for judicial nominees who would respect and adhere to the Constitution. Real progress has been made, such as advancing protections for the unborn and defending religious liberty both here and abroad. But the Bostock ruling was a body blow to the movement to restore moral and biological sanity to American public life. Neil Gorsuch was supposed to be a genuine conservative, a scholar with the highest credentials who would be a tremendous successor to the late, great Justice Antonin Scalia. Now all of that is in doubt.
We must resist this temptation to give up. Why? First, God's word calls Christians to be faithful to Him and His word. Not when it's easy or when we roll from victory to victory. All the time, without exception.
He is the source of human dignity, which means we cannot abandon our divinely given and constitutionally ensured right to live out our faith. He is the creator of the family, of the institution of one-man, one-woman marriage. To abandon the battle when it gets tough is appealing, yes. But it's also to walk away from God and our calling to be witnesses to His truth.
Second, we still have legal and political tools to advance a compassionate, socially necessary, and indisputably biblical agenda. Laying them down and walking away would be to leave those who desperately need our help vulnerable to the left's dangerous program of cultural deconstruction. Of dehumanization. Of broken families. Of growing suppression of the liberties, we cherish. We must keep an eternal perspective, knowing that Jesus warned His followers that in this world we would have tribulation, but we can take courage and comfort in the fact that He has overcome the world.
Our mission and purpose are to stand for truth, so that others will experience freedom as they come to know the truth. How do we continue to stand in these challenging times? As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, we must find our strength in the Lord and in the power of His might. (From Tony Perkins, "This Equality's all an Act," edited for length)
- God, please stir Your people as You did with the defense of human life, to embrace Your definition of sex as an assignment to pray -- until You and Your created order are honored again in America! (Lev 19:15; Dt 10:20, 16:19; 1Kings 3:9; 2 Chr 1:10, 19:6; Pr 6:16-19, 9:10, 17:15; Is 5:18-20, 28:6; Amos 5:7; Rom 13:4; 1 Pet 2:13-17)
The Bostock Ruling Will Not be the Last Word -- Our rapidly changing moral landscape presents a daunting challenge for Christians committed to biblical sexual ethics. Secular and progressive elites are increasingly forcing the issue, insisting everyone embrace their worldview and the full spectrum of LGBT policy positions or face social ostracizing, public shaming, loss of jobs, or other increasingly dire consequences. This was evident in the U.S. Senate as Democrats argued for the immediate passage of the Equality Act, legislation that represents one of the greatest threats to religious liberty ever introduced in Congress. It would gut our nation's flagship religious liberty law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was passed nearly unanimously by Democrats and Republicans alike.
The consequences of the Bostock decision will play out for many years. In the immediate future, there are significant questions about how the ruling will affect religious liberty. Can religious institutions such as colleges and seminaries continue to have sex-separated dormitories and housing... bathrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities? Will women athletes be forced to compete against biological males? Will employers be forced to cover treatments and surgeries that are not medically necessary in opposition to their religious beliefs on human embodiment?
Christians, especially pastors, will continue to face mounting pressure to compromise the Bible's teaching on marriage and sexuality. While the Court's decision is deeply discouraging, we do not give up. We know that we are advocating and fighting for timeless truths revealed to us in Scripture. (Read all of David Closson's pience,Why Bostock Will Never Have the Final Word On Human Sexuality)
- Lord, it is time for You to act! Your law is being broken. Cause Your people to understand the many implications of this evil ruling. By Your mercy and grace may we fight and by Your strength and mercy, may Your truth, righteousness, and justice prevail. (Ps 89:14; 119:126)
Gender and Sexuality in the 2020 Election -- In November, voters will elect a new Congress and weigh in on dozens of state amendments and referendums. Thirty-five U.S. Senate seats, all 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and ten gubernatorial races are on the ballot. But most importantly, voters will decide whether President Donald J. Trump has earned a second term, or whether former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, will become the next president.
A wide range of issues -- such as the economy, health care, trade, immigration, and national security -- will be affected by the election's outcome.
Despite past ambivalence toward subjects of great concern to conservative Christians, President Trump's administration has repeatedly prioritized life, family, and religious liberty issues. In addition, the administration has implemented an originalist interpretation of the Constitution, which does not read social policy preferences into the law but allows for an interpretation of the plain text to arrive at legal conclusions
Joe Biden is running for president on a platform committed to advancing LGBT rights. The centerpiece of his officially released plan is the passage of the Equality Act. The act undermines religious protections currently in place by stripping individuals of a Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA) claim or defense.
Christians everywhere should commit to praying for politicians in both parties and every candidate appearing on the November ballot. Moreover, they should vote based on biblical principles. Regardless of the outcome of the election, Christians should continue praying for their elected leaders (1 Tim. 2:2). (Excerpts from David Closson, Gender and Sexuality in the 2020 Election)
- Father, we pray for the remaining Primary and General Elections, that you will raise up men and women who will hold to the eternal word of God and be advocates for truth and liberty in these matters. Please protect our children's and grandchildren's purity. (Ex 18:21; 1 Sam16:7; Ps 78:70-72; Pr 14:34, 20:28, 29:2, 31:8-9; Mk 10:42-45; Lk 22:25-26; Rom 13:1-4; 1 Tim 2:2, 3:1-4, 4:12; 2 Tim 2:15)
Serious prayer concerns! Thank you for praying!
Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain & National Prayer Director
Family Research Council
801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001