Tag archives: Faith

Praying for Our Leaders

by Peyton Holliday

March 12, 2019

Here at Family Research Council, we have been reading through Carter Conlon’s book It’s Time to Pray. Prayer has been a focus at FRC since the beginning, but we are renewing that focus this year. In Conlon’s book, he highlights stories of how people’s lives have been changed by prayer. He shows us how people live out the verse in James: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (5:16).

We as Christians in the United States should be praying for our leaders in authority over us. In the book of 1 Timothy, we are told to pray for our leaders: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” We need to pray that our leaders will have wisdom (Proverbs 3:13) and will surround themselves with counsellors (Proverbs 15:22). Here are some great scripture passages to pray over our leaders from the book of Proverbs:

  1. Lord, may our leaders guide our nation in what is right, just, and fair (1:3).
  2. May they understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God (2:5).
  3. Above all, may our leaders trust in God with all their heart and not lean on their own understanding (3:5).
  4. As they interact with those around them, may they avoid all perverse talk and a deceitful mouth (4:24).
  5. Lord, may our leaders not be afraid of sudden disaster (3:25) and make wise decisions in the face of a disaster.
  6. As our leaders make both life and political decisions, may they ponder the path of their feet (4:26).
  7. I pray that our leaders will not be wise in their own eyes, but fear the Lord and turn away from evil (3:7).
  8. Lord, may they find favor and understanding in the sight of God and man (3:4).
  9. As our leaders make national and local decisions, may they listen to wisdom and be secure without fear of evil (1:33).
  10. May our leaders do their work pure and right (20:11).
  11. Thank you, Father for those that you have placed in authority over us. May you remind us to pray for them and never give up remembering that our leader’s hearts are turned by you and you turn them however you please (21:1). Amen.

It is our duty as Christians to respect the authority over us (Romans 13:1-7). I think we would have an easier time respecting those in authority if we prayed for our leaders on a daily basis. Prayer, as small of a task and as insignificant as many think it to be, can change the world. If more Christians would daily, hourly, and without ceasing pray for our leaders, our nation and the world would be a different place.

Peyton Holliday is an intern at Family Research Council.

In the Face of ISIS Aggression: Trusting an Unknown Future to A Known God

by Joshua Denton

May 1, 2015

Not more than 24 hours ago ISIS released a shocking new photo that is of an entirely different nature than any previously released.

ISIS has largely waged its war on the West with an eerie online presence, by taping and capturing videos of massacres of Christians, numerous beheadings, burnings, stonings, etc. These images, which once shocked us and filled us with horror, have become almost mundane. We turn our heads and forget because it does not have a direct impact on us. Yet.

Since many Americans have largely closed their eyes to the brutality that defines ISIS, the terrorist group may be trying a new method to strike fear into the hearts of those whom it opposes. 

The picture recently released is of a very young infant sleeping peacefully with a handgun placed on the one side of the child, and a grenade on the other.

It is very tragic to think of the violence and destruction that this child will experience. Undeniably, this child will grow up in an environment surrounded by unspeakable brutality – and never know that there is anything different. Yes, this is heart wrenching to think of.

The intentions of the photo are unmistakable. And their implications should send a shiver down our spine as we sit comfortably in front of our laptops or electronic devices viewing from a safe distance. Clearly, ISIS intended this photo to say “We mean business. We aren’t going away anytime soon. We may die, but our children will follow in our footsteps. The plans we fail to accomplish, those who come behind us will achieve.”

If this isn’t disconcerting to you there is a problem.

Although ISIS undeniably poses a potential threat to our security as a nation, this picture didn’t cause me to advocate for a declared U.S. government disapprobation of ISIS – although that certainly is in order. Instead, this image motivates me to follow the principles of Scripture and be an intergenerational influence for the sake of Jesus Christ. Viewing our service to God in this manner isn’t an option, it’s a command.

My complete and committed life purpose is to be a positive, animated influence on families - inspiring them to motivate others, thereby creating an explosive, multi-generational chain reaction - that encourages individuals to stand strong and courageous for Jesus Christ! 

Eph. 6:12 (KJV) reminds us: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

We will always have adversaries to contest in both the physical and spiritual realms, and we can’t be certain what we may face in the days ahead. But as long as I am faithfully following God and assisting others to do the same, I can have full confidence in what is forthcoming – no matter what the outcome.

Corrie Ten Boom put it so aptly when she said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

Keep Calm and Don’t Carry On: On Being Joyful in the Battle

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 24, 2014

Don’t carry on, that is, in the sense of panicking over what seems to be the moral collapse of the universe, or at least of our country.

Followers of FRC know that we believe we must advance and defend religious liberty, the sanctity of life, the sacredness of marriage, the centrality of the family, and the dignity of the person strategically (we want to win) and faithfully (regardless of any political outcomes). The battles in which we are engaged are intense. Their number is increasing. And the stakes, for the future of the nation we love, are accruing at an alarming rate.

But in the midst of our efforts, we need to remember a few basic things:

(1) While being burdened by and pained for all that’s wrong and for all who are being hurt by it, whether born or unborn, we should never lose sight of the fact that Christ’s ultimate victory in time and eternity cannot be deterred. As John the apostle records in Scripture’s final chapter, “He (Jesus) Who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ Then He said to me, ‘It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end’.” “It is done:” He will do what He has said, and in the framework of eternity already has won the victory.

(2) God never promised His people an easy path. Consider Paul’s words to the church in Corinth: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (4:8-11). There has never been a time when parts of the Body of Christ haven’t suffered somewhere. The believing slaves of pre-Civil War American could’ve spoken to that, for example. But through our suffering from without and the war against sin within, “the life of Jesus” is “manifested in our mortal flesh.” The fragrance of a rose is most acute when the flower is crushed. We should never invite such crushing – that’s masochism, not martyrdom – but let’s not ignore the opportunities nascent repression at home and active persecution abroad give all who love God (I write that humbly; I’m in no way comparing the current dangers to the American church to those being murdered and brutalized for their faith in places like North Korea, Iraq and Nigeria; may we all pray for them with vigilance and energy, as they are daily enduring unspeakable, horrific things).

(3) In America, we have it in our power to use legal means to stand firmly against social and political wrong. Through elections, petitions, protests, legal action, public awareness campaigns, advertisements, the media and other means, we can make our arguments and work to influence public judgment and enact sound public policies. Of course, each of us must count the cost: Political and cultural engagement involves time and money, stress and aggravation, unfairness and misrepresentation, some victories and some defeats. Just remember that not to engage is to engage; you’re simply opting for passivity in the face of evil, which is acceptance thereof – a form of engagement. That’s not an option the God of justice and righteousness gives those who have come to know Him through His Son Jesus Christ.

Christian joy comes through faith, obedience, and wisdom, whether you’re working to defend an unborn child and her mother at a pregnancy care center, standing in a voting booth, working in a hostile work environment, or just mowing your lawn. Keep calm. Don’t panic. Life is a vapor, one which, for Christians, is swallowed-up in victory.

The Real Issues

by Family Research Council

October 12, 2012

In a recent article called Unapologetic: Evangelical Christian, Pro-Life and Democrat, Jo Kadlecek, writing for The Huffington Post, makes some strong statements regarding Christianity and a whole life ethic. She states that as a young Christian woman she was drawn to the Democratic platform because to her being pro-life is more than trying to save innocent babies. It is to be pro-opportunities…pro-jobs and pro-education and pro-immigrant and pro-art. She supports natural marriage but she bemoans the lack of concern that she perceives in her Republican neighbors for the poor and downtrodden. She states that Republicans dont seem to care about anything except fighting big government, abortion and homosexuality… and keeping their guns.

When working through policy issues with my interns, I often remind them to make sure they know the real principles guiding any discussion. Being pro-life is about valuing life because it is God-given and necessary for all other human experience on earth. It is NOT about being pro-opportunities and pro jobs or any other such thing. No dead people have jobs, enjoy art, or get a good education. Being pro-life means you dont want innocent people to be murdered. A little state charity doesnt make a platform of murder more palatable. If a man ran for office, ended all poverty, gave everyone an ideal education, but every day stood outside the White House and presided over the legal killing of innocent Americans, no one would vote for him. That is what happens in America, only it is labeled choice. Innocent people are killed and not a single one of them gets a good education or a chance to have a good life. It is the first liberty without which the others cant be exercised.

When the author says that Republicans dont care about the poor, she means that many of them dont think the government is the means to solve these problems. The real question is not who cares about the poor but how should we help the poor. The author implies that government welfare carries more weight than life itself. I believe Christians should work, love, and give more than anyone because of what Christ gave for us. We love because He loved us. Modern liberalism is built on smoke. It says abortion is about privacy, big government is about poverty, homosexuality is about equality, and guns are about violence. These are all not the real issues. Fighting big government is about freedom. Fighting abortion is about life. Fighting for marriage is about righteousness and a healthy nation. Fighting for guns is about self-defense.

Proverbs says Open your mouth for the dumb [voiceless] in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. I will open my mouth for the voiceless unborn, and I will not support those who advocate murder. My friend, Rob Schwarzwalder, says it best when he urges Christians to consider the weightier matters. The blood of millions of innocent children cries loudly from the grave. This is a weighty matter. Will you speak for them?

Why Is God Such a Big Deal?

by Family Research Council

September 21, 2012

There has been much talk regarding the use of God in the major party platforms. One simple word contributed to a major firestorm at the Democratic convention. In a recent column Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar, said he wished for a more humble expression of faith and less use of God as a prop. He calls our Constitution godless, in support of His argument that God should not be in the party platforms.

So is he right? Well perhaps partly in that we should not use God as a prop for anything but as the foundation for everything. To call our Constitution godless simply because God is not mentioned would be like calling the Book of Esther in the Scriptures godless because God is not mentioned. Principles come from somewhere. From whom did the Founders think we receive the blessings of liberty? If being godly meant simply referring to God, then we are indeed a very godly nation. But I think we all know it goes a lot deeper.

No matter how hard one tries to remain secular, God seems to come up in American culture. From health care to football (courtesy of Tim Tebow) God pops up in discussion. Recognizing that we are subject to the will and Laws of Nature and Natures God is a very humble position to take. It is not merely using God as a prop but recognizing that He is the foundation of all order in the Universe. If our rights and potential come from God then we have immense value. If they come from government they can be ignored and destroyed. If they come from God they should be recognized and protected. God must be recognized or all we have held dear for so long inAmericais potentially up for debate. If the Declaration was incorrect in saying the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are self-evident rights from God endowed on every man, then much is at stake. What, you ask? Lets look.

If God is taken out of the equation then one could make a utilitarian argument for killing those who were disabled or simply unproductive. Instead of debating how to help the poor and infirm, we could be debating how to dispose of them because of cost and inconvenience. One could limit the pursuit of happiness by restricting religious liberty and dictating to people what they should believe and how to apply that belief. Even career choice could be limited, as could the type of car, or the size of the soda.

And lest you doubt that God plays the critical role in these things or that they could not occur in a modern society, I offer some thoughts. In the debate over abortion, those who dont answer the fundamental question, when does life begin? are left to talk about the cost to the mother of raising an unwanted baby, of a womans choice, or of privacy. Of course, these all become secondary concerns if God grants a baby a right to life from conception and it is an inalienable right. In godless regimes such asNorth KoreaandChinayou have the untold slaughter of many through forced abortions, prison camp killings, and general government purges. All of this in the name of some greater good espoused by the ruler or ruling party. In this country, people like Margaret Sanger argued that some should be forcibly sterilized if they had bad blood lines. If God doesnt grant liberty then people are bound to be ruled by the government and the changing views its members espouse. The recent health care law passed by Congress and the President told many organizations who believe that abortion and contraception are wrong that they had to believe something else because the government said so. Cases have come up repeatedly about whether prayers and religious symbols should be allowed in the public square. Even the definition of marriage can be changed by a few members of a court.

Why is government so important when it comes to the rights of man? Because of a less quoted phrase in the Declaration after the statements on inalienable rights, That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men. The government exists to protect us from those who would infringe on our God-given rights and to promote a culture that praises good things. Im thankful we still care about having God in our party platforms, but even more importantly may He be at the heart of our great Republic and the policies we promote. The moment a government forgets God is the moment it becomes god. And that is a scary thought.

Grieving for Aurora

by Rob Schwarzwalder

July 20, 2012

The existence of God, or rather, of a God Who is personal, sovereign, omniscient, and kind, is the only context in which any of us can make sense of the Colorado shootings.

Why He allowed these killings, why He has allowed and continues to allow so much suffering and violence in our world, remains a mystery. Yet He did, and does. And this is where faith, faith of a specific type, comes in.

It must not be a slushy faith in which platitudes and cliches substitute for hard truths. Nor can it be a severe faith, one that angrily tells us to accept what is and move on, unquestioningly. Such a faith induces not trust but the repression of the spirit, the hardening of the soul.

True, biblical faith reposes in the God Who claims to be intimate yet omnipotent, knowing the number of the hairs on our heads while keeping the inaccessible vastness of the universe in constant animation. He indwells those Who know His Son as their Savior, yet Scripture tells us that the world cannot contain Him.

Such a God is worthy of awe, not only because of His character and nature, but because He chooses not to disclose the how and why of things fully to us. We want explanations; He offers Himself, Who He is and what, in Christ, He has done for us. We can only bow humbly before One Who weaves uncounted and often invisible threads of life and movement and being so intricately, so finely, so mysteriously.

To bring it down to the grim, irreducible pain of the moment: The parents and loved ones of those murdered in Aurora need to know that Christ is with them in their pain, that His love can comfort only because it is real. We do not know the why; we need to know the Who. Let us pray that the families of the victims, the dozens of wounded, and the family of the gunman himself will find in Jesus, Who knew pain as no other, the hope that He alone can give.

Faith and Liberalism in the news

by Rob Schwarzwalder

August 30, 2011

There are no less than eight stories dealing with the religious beliefs of President Obama and his Republican challengers on RealClearReligion today. By historical standards, this is extraordinary: In no previous election season have the faith-related convictions of presidential candidates been so scrutinized.

The scrutiny comes primarily from a secular media mystified, and in some cases, plain disturbed, by the notion that personal faith might affect public policy decisions. In a much-discussed op-ed, New York Times Executive editor Bill Keller claims that “Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are both affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity and Rick Santorum comes out of the most conservative wing of Catholicism which has raised concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction.”

Fervid subsets?” Does Keller envision Mrs. Bachmann handling rattlers, or Gov. Perry levitating? “Raised concerns” where, and who has raised them? Certain residents of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, whose understanding of the role of faith in American life is defined not by experience but the occasional PBS documentary? Certainly, if a politician claims to hear audibly the voice of God and asserts divine direction for highly specific policies (e.g., liberal Democrat Woodrow Wilson’s astounding comment that to oppose U.S. entry into the League of Nations was to oppose God), any reasonable person - believer or non-believer - would be justified in feeling uneasy. Yet to assert, as Keller does, that the faith of a Bachmann, a Perry, or a Santorum might be “a Trojan horse for a sect that believes it has divine instructions on how we should be governed” is both to mis-comprehend orthodox Christian faith and also to disparage the beliefs of most of one’s fellow countrymen.

Perhaps Mr. Keller and his jittery colleagues in the Fourth Estate should reflect on something then-Sen. Barack Obama said in a speech in 2006:

Americans are a religious people. 90 percent of us believe in God, 70 percent affiliate themselves with an organized religion, 38 percent call themselves committed Christians … the discomfort of some progressives with any hint of religion has often prevented us from effectively addressing issues in moral terms. Some of the problem here is rhetorical if we scrub language of all religious content, we forfeit the imagery and terminology through which millions of Americans understand both their personal morality and social justice … to say that men and women should not inject their ‘personal morality’ into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.”

I agree, for the most part; however, the discomfort of liberals with religion goes beyond the scrubbing of language. It goes to the heart of one’s philosophical basis for life itself: Is there, or is there not, an infinite but personal God who has communicated truth in understandable ways to human beings? Christians say yes; the irreligious cultural elite would say, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

In 2004, then-Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent - a liberal with an honest conscience - penned these lines about the Gray Lady; they could have been written about much of the “mainstream” press and, much more so, the shrill complainers of Left-wing blog sites and editorial commentary generally: “Is the New York Times a liberal paper? Of course it is … These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed. But if you’re examining the paper’s coverage of these subjects from a perspective that is neither urban nor Northeastern nor culturally seen-it-all; if you are among the groups The Times treats as strange objects to be examined on a laboratory slide (devout Catholics, gun owners, Orthodox Jews, Texans); if your value system wouldn’t wear well on a composite New York Times journalist, then a walk through this paper can make you feel you’re traveling in a strange and forbidding world. Start with the editorial page, so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right.”

In his second inaugural address, which is more of a meditation on the sovereignty and justice of God than a political speech, Abraham Lincoln observed, “if God wills that (the Civil War) continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether’.”

In 1865, the New York Times praised Lincoln’s speech for its “calmness, its modesty, its reserve,” and said, “We have a President who will be faithful to the end.” What would Mr. Keller say of them, and of Lincoln himself, today?

The Social Conservative Review: The Insider’s Guide to Pro-Family News: September 23, 2010

by Krystle Gabele

September 23, 2010

If you are interested in subscribing to The Social Conservative Review, click here.

**Read FRC Action Board Member Rick Santorum’s remarks at the University of St. Thomas, “A Charge to Revive the Role of Faith in the Public Square.”

Educational Freedom and Reform

Environmental Issues

Faith and Policy

Health Care

Homosexuals in the Military

Judiciary

Marriage and Family

Family Economics

Marriage

Pornography

Religious Liberty

Sanctity of Life

Abortion

Adoption

Bioethics

Cloning

Stem Cell Research

Other News for Social Conservatives

In the Know…

by Krystle Gabele

November 18, 2009

Here’s some articles of interest for this afternoon.

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