Prayer Targets: Freedom and Duty; For the Sake of America; Free VVS Videos; Kavanaugh; Rosenstein
September 26, 2018
There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. (Proverbs 6:16-20)
Dear Praying Friends,
Dr. Wayne Grudem is Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary. He studied at Harvard (B.A.), Westminster Seminary (M.Div., D.D), and the University of Cambridge (Ph.D.). He has published over 20 books and was General Editor of the ESV Study Bible. These excerpts are from Politics According to the Bible:
If we look beyond historical examples to biblical principles regarding government and the nature of human beings, a rather strong biblical argument can be made in support of the idea that some form of government chosen by the people is preferable to other kinds of government...
Several concepts taught in Scripture support this idea:
(1) The first support for democracy is the concept of the equality of all people in the image of God." ... Far from endorsing anything like a "divine right of kings," ... this foundational principle taught in the first chapter of the Bible is one of equality of all human beings descended from Adam and Eve, equality in the image of God. The rejection of any hereditary right of any "royal family" to rule over others was the background that led to the statement in the second paragraph of the US Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...
(2) The accountability of rulers to the people helps prevent a misuse of their power... If there is a separation of powers in government, it tends to prevent abuse. Perhaps the most effective is the separation between the power given to government and the power reserved for the people, which is evident in free elections. The need to gain and maintain consent from those who are governed, through elections at periodic intervals, is probably the single greatest protection against the abuse of power and the single greatest guarantee of accountability on the part of rulers. Rulers who become corrupt and abuse their power regularly abolish free elections, imprison or murder political opponents, intimidate voters, and rig elections so that they "win." ... ("Elections" in Russia, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela are notorious examples...)
(3) The purpose of government also argues for democracy. If government is to serve to benefit the people (to be "God's servant for your good," Rom. 13:4), [then] the government does not exist ultimately for the good of the king [or other rulers] but for the good of the people themselves...
Who is best suited to decide what is best for the people? Shouldn't the people have the right to decide what kind of leaders best advance the good of the people and the good of the nation? Of course, the people can make mistakes... But ultimately the people who are supposed to benefit from the rule of government are the ones who can best decide what is actually for their benefit and what is not...
(4) A number examples in Scripture indicate that government seems to work best with the consent of those who are governed. Moses was appointed by God, but he sought the assent of the elders and people of Israel (Exod. 4:29-31), as did Samuel when he stood before the people as judge (1 Sam. 7:5-6), and Saul after he had been anointed as king (1 Sam. 10:24).
When David became king, he gained the public consent of all the people: "The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah" (2 Sam. 2:4). When Zadok the priest anointed Solomon as king, "All the people said, 'Long live King Solomon!'" (1 Kings 1:39; 12:1).
In the New Testament, the apostles asked for the consent of the congregation in selecting leaders to oversee the distribution of food to the needy: "Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty" (Acts 6:3).
By contrast, there are many negative examples in Scripture where tyrants did not gain the consent of the people but ruled harshly in opposition to the people's consent. "So the king [Rehoboam] did not listen to the people" (1 Kings 12:15), and as a result the ten northern tribes rebelled against the king (v. 16). Israel was divided into the northern and southern kingdoms from that day onward.
In a similar way, the Old Testament contains several examples of oppressive rulers who subjected the people of Israel to slavery and who certainly did not rule by the consent of those over whom they ruled, whether Pharaoh (Exod. 3:9-10), the Philistines (Judg. 14:4) Nebuchadnezzar, or other foreign kings who conquered and eventually carried the people off into exile (2 Kings 25:1-21). These events are all viewed negatively in the biblical narrative.
There is, however, one King for whom the Bible gives unlimited approval, and that is Jesus Christ, who will one day return to the earth to reign as "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:16). There will be no injustice or abuse of power in his domain, for he will reign in perfect righteousness. But until Christ returns to reign, some form of democracy seems to be the best form of government.
When people today complain to me that they don't want to get involved in politics because they think that politicians are too corrupt (or arrogant, greedy, power-hungry, or otherwise "unspiritual"), I want to remind them that although democracy is messy, it still works quite well, and all the alternative forms of government are far worse. We should be thankful for those who are willing to be involved in it, often at great personal sacrifice. (Dr. Wayne Grudem, Politics According to The Bible, pp. 201-208)
Friends, as people who live in the freest, most wisely organized, and most blessed form of government instituted since the Hebrew Republic, if we were to fail to do our homework as Christian citizens and use our voices as salt and light to preserve and enlighten our nation at this critical moment in history, we would deserve whatever negative consequences would follow. But we have an opportunity to turn the tide this November. This election gives God's people and all Americans a choice: greater liberty and blessing -- or more undesirable government control and immoral laws.
For the Sake of America, Take the Pledge to Pray, Vote, and Stand -- The Values Voter Summit (VVS) was awesome. There, Tony Perkins announced the publication of the online Prayer Guide he personally authored to accompany our "Pledge to Pray, Vote, and Stand (for your biblical values)." The prayer vigil officially started on Sunday. Tony's simple prayer guide will be published in installments -- one page per week through November 10. Please join us in taking The Pledge, then catch up with the prayers for this week Saturday, November 10. You will be praying together daily with thousands of believers across America over the election. The focus will be on how the election will affect (and how Americans are affected by) the seven primary spheres of culture: 1) the Family, 2) the Church, 3) Businesses, 4) Education, 5) Entertainment, 6) the Media, and 7) Government. Each week, a prayer guide with Scripture references will be provided for all who take the pledge (the first week's guide can be found here).The prayer targets are short and to the point. God knows what is happening in our nation. And He will hear our prayers offered (even if we spend just a few minutes each day) and will join them in unity with others across the land. Please join us in taking these simple steps. Our united prayers and follow through can have a profound impact on our nation and the American people.
- Lord, thank You for allowing us to be citizens in this free land, with a government of, by, and for the people. It is up to us to keep our nation One Nation under God. Hear our prayers and help us to do our duty to vote (intelligently, having done our homework to be sure we vote for those who will most closely lead in line with biblical values). Grant us the courage to stand for our biblical values amid a culture that seems increasingly to hate You! Help us to count the cost and to stand. May we recruit others, who will in turn recruit others, and so on. By your Spirit, work miracles during the next 41 days -- for Your Glory and for the sake of our country. May a million or more people take the Pledge to pray, vote, and stand for their biblical values. In Jesus' Name, Amen! (Ex 18:21; 1 Sam 17:29; Ps 33:12; 94:15-17; 2 Cor 3:17; Eph 6:13; 1 Th 5:21; 2 Tim 2:2; Heb 2:3-4)
Values Voter Summit -- You may have missed VVS in person, but it's not too late for you to view the free videos of the event. Incredible speakers delivered inspiring messages to an audience of over 2,000 "SAGE Cons" (Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives). Be sure to view these videos to load up with the information and inspiration you need to encourage your friends, family, and fellow believers to be salt and light during the next 40 days to help preserve and restore our Republic. Just a few extra votes (in some jurisdictions just a single vote) could ensure that more (rather than fewer) God-fearing men and women will be elected to school boards, county and city councils, state legislatures, governorships, and Congress. Your vote and the votes of those you influence could make an enormous difference. Can you imagine being ruled by an angry mob? Some who are in the political heat of our day are openly advocating for the very things God hates (see Pr 6:16-20)!
Is there not a cause (1 Sam 17:29)? For the sake of America, for the sake of our children and grandchildren, for the sake of the nations, we who believe must take our role as salt and light seriously. The VVS messages will help all who listen with ears to hear. Visit the 2018 Values Voter Summit Archive and view these videos as soon as you can!
- Father, thank you for FRC, FRC Action, and the other Christian pro-life, pro-family, pro-religious liberty organizations that helped put this event together (American Family Association Action, AFA Action, American Values, Christian Healthcare Ministries, Inspire Investing, United in Purpose). May the impact of their labors, together with labors of churches, organizations, families, and individuals who love You across our land bear much fruit. May Your people be bold to speak truth in love in this hour of decision, and may none of us shrink from our duty. May we be like Zebulun and Naphtali in Deborah's day (Jdg 5:18) and not like Reuben, Gilead, Dan, and Asher who for whatever reason were unable or unwilling to stand (Jdg 5:15b-17; Read all of Judges 4 & 5) .
Finally, please add these matters to your prayer list: 1) Brett Kavanaugh asks nothing but a fair hearing, amid 11th hour accusations. And yet more accusations are on the way. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has scheduled an interview with Kavanaugh's chief accuser for Friday, then a Committee vote (hear Tony Perkins and Sen. Lindsay Graham discuss the matter); 2) Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will meet with President Trump tomorrow amid speculation he will be fired or quit. Rosenstein, who appointed Robert Mueller to lead the investigation into "Trump/Russia Collusion," reportedly broached the idea with fellow officials some time ago of wearing a secret wire to tape President Trump (Rosenstein says it was in jest). Congressional conservatives want an investigation.
As always, thank you for praying!