Prayer Targets: Christian Influence; Watchmen Webcast Tonight; SPLC; IG Report; Illegal Immigrants
June 20, 2018
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. (John 17:14-16, esp. v. 15)
Dear Praying Friend,
Tony Perkins (bio), a Marine veteran and former police officer, was elected in 1996 and served eight years in the Louisiana Legislature. Known nationally as a leader and tireless pro-life and pro-family public policy advocate, he was asked in 2003 to serve as President of Family Research Council. Tony soon launched FRC's Watchmen on the Wall program to help pastors and churches defend and advance faith, family, and freedom in our culture and public policy. Since then, nearly 15,000 pastors have pledged to be "Watchmen Pastors." Many have established "Culture Impact Teams" that are making an enormous difference in their communities and states. He and his wife, Lawana, married 32 years, have five children. Every Christian needs to understand these truths:
Recently there was an effort to rescind the invitation for Vice President Mike Pence to speak at this year's gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) held in Dallas. About two-thirds of those present voted overwhelmingly to defeat the effort, according to reports from the parliamentarian. The vice president came and gave a well-received message that underscored the unique and essential role of pastors in America.
"The truth is no podium that President Trump and I will ever stand behind will be of greater consequence than the pulpits you stand behind every Sunday morning," Pence said. "No policy we enact will ever be more meaningful than the ministries you lead. And no action we take will ever be more powerful than your prayers."
The vice president's words were a subtle but profound recognition of the temporal influence of government versus the enduring power of the church. I applaud the leadership of outgoing SBC President Dr. Steve Gaines for inviting Vice President Pence and not giving in to those who would like to see the SBC, and Christians in general, take a monastic view of political and cultural engagement. The Bible provides a clear outline of Christian citizenship.
As Jesus made clear in John 17, as his followers we are to be in this world, but not of this world. We are not called to be political or cultural isolationists, nor are we called to be amalgamated into the world in which we live.
Our mission is to influence without being influenced. Such an assignment is not easy. The key to the success of this mission of affecting the world around us without being controlled or manipulated by the influences of this world, is being spiritually -- but not physically -- set apart through our allegiance and submission to the Word of God.
Those who advocate for political disengagement for fear of the "church" being influenced have no reason to fear being manipulated by the political powers or cultural influences of the day if they are anchored to the truth of God's Word.
We have an unprecedented opportunity to not only take the Gospel to almost every corner of the world -- under the policies of the current administration -- but we also have the chance to live out the Gospel in every realm of our society without fear of government reprisal.
I did not say without opposition. The cultural elite in the media and Hollywood are working overtime to shame Christians who dare to stand with, support or commend this administration for its work on behalf of religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the promotion through public policy of traditional or biblical values.
The political left would desire nothing more than Christians to voluntarily remove themselves from positions of influence in this world and go into spiritual ghettos where they can easily be isolated, ignored and robbed of their influence.
As Christians, we can't influence from a place of isolation. Our influence comes from our engagement. Our separation or distinction comes from the presence of unyielding devotion to the unchanging truth of God's Word. (Tony Perkins, "Christians can Influence the World without Being Influenced")
Wanted: Watchmen Pastors -- Sunday, July 1 is Call2Fall, and the first day of a new fiscal year for FRC. We reconcile our books and establish a new budget (limited by the revenues from the previous fiscal year -- consider my appeal). FRC never spends what we do not have. So, if we do not meet budget, the work we do is hampered.
One continuing goal of our Church Ministries division is to grow the number of Watchmen pastors in our network -- that is, recruit pastors who pledge to 1) Pray and teach their church how to pray; 2) Preach the word as it applies to the key cultural issues being debated in our nation, and; 3) Partner with other Watchmen pastors who are committed to stand together when their spiritual and moral leadership are needed in their community's public square.
Long-Term Goal -- Tony's long-term goal is to enroll 10 percent of the pastors of America's 400,000 churches as Watchmen pastors. He believes that 40,000 pastors praying, preaching, and standing together to transform American culture via the gospel and a biblical worldview will allow God to keep His hand of blessing upon America. Like ancient Israel, God has graciously treated America like a son, disciplining us as a nation but not forsaking us. While we have tested Him sorely, He has extended mercy again and again, sending revivals, awakenings, and spiritual refreshings that have turned us back from the precipice. We are seeking that mercy!
Prayer Appeal -- Presently, FRC's Church Ministries division need 317 new Watchmen pastors to meet our goal by fiscal year-end, less than two weeks away. I am asking for prayer warriors who will take on prayer for our Watchmen Ministry as a permanent mission in your prayer ministry, partnering with us to pray over our solemn short and long-term goals. Our nation needs spiritual leadership now. Pray for the pastors in our network. Pray that God will supernaturally grow the network (317 new Watchmen pastors) by fiscal year end and continue until we have reached the goal that Tony Perkins feels God has set -- 40,000 pastors. Talk to your pastor about becoming a Watchman pastor (he will find everything he needs to pray about this HERE).
- Father, you have commanded us to "Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature" and to teach all nations to believe, be baptized, and "observe all things whatsoever [You] have commanded [us]." Help us to be about your business! Would you raise up an army of prayer warriors to undergird FRC's Watchmen ministry to pastors and churches. Lord, do a mighty work during this two-week window. Draw pastors who aspire to become true biblical watchmen to join us in this mission (Eze 3:17; Mt 28:18-20; Mk 16:15-20; Lk 2:49).
Churches that Stand Firm Webcast Tonight -- FRC's live "Culture Impact Team" Training Event will be webcast live tonight, Wednesday, June 20 at 7 PM EDT. The fast-moving event is for pastors, churches, families, individual believers, and prayer warriors who desire to see the people of God's light to shine brightly and their salt to be salty to bring spiritual light and to preserve all that is good and right in their churches, communities, states, and nation. FRC will be introducing its new "Standing Firm" phone app. Originating from Indian Trail, North Carolina, the webcast is available to anyone who has a computer or handheld phone with internet access. Among the speakers and panel participants are Tony Perkins, Elizabeth Johnston (the Activist Mommy), David and Jason Benham, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army Ret.), and leading pastors from across America (see schedule).
- Lord, your people "perish for lack of knowledge." How critical it is in this hour, that your people, like the sons of Issachar, have "understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do." Draw people, including those who know how to pray, to view the webcast and pray and multiply the event's reach and effectiveness. Lord, help us to work, "while it is day" (1 Chr 12:32; Hos 4:6; Mt 5:6, 13-16; Jn 9:4; 2 Tim 3:16-17).
Finally, Please listen to Tony Perkins' Washington Watch radio program from Tuesday, June 19. Each interview highlights a critical issue that requires prayer, but those who pray need the insights from these interviews: 1) House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Member Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) updates us on the DOJ Inspector General's testimony before Congress. 2) Attorney General Jeff Sessions talks to Tony about his meeting with evangelical leaders earlier in the day and the children whose parents illegally crossed the border and have been detained -- grossly distorted by the "mainstream" press. 3) Tony and Gen. Boykin discuss the recent $3.3 million settlement that the Southern Poverty Law Center had to pay to settle a lawsuit by a Muslim group wrongly labeled as Muslim "extremists." The SPLC has similarly labeled dozens of Christian and conservative groups as "hate groups."
As always, thank you for praying!