Tag: church

How Do Pastors Pick Their Fights?

We need men who know how to disagree without creating division. We need pastors and elders who have enough self-control to avoid needless controversy, and enough courage to move gently and steadily toward conflict.

Not a brawler. The 400-year-old King James Version (KJV) translates 1 Timothy 3:2–3 with surprising timelessness. Of the full list of fifteen, this qualification for pastor-elder in the church is one of just five negative traits. Modern translations say “not quarrelsome” (ESV and NIV) or “not . . . pugnacious” (NASB), but here the language of the KJV has endured. Indeed, we know who the brawlers are today, and it doesn’t take much foresight to recognize what a problem it could be to have one as a pastor.

However, a nuance that “not a brawler” may lack is distinguishing between the physical or verbal nature of combat. This is the upside of “not quarrelsome.” In 1 Timothy 3, the physical already has been covered: “not violent but gentle.” What’s left is the temperamental, and especially verbal.

We all know too well, by the war within us, how the flesh of man finds itself relentlessly at odds with the Spirit of God. We want to quarrel when we should make peace, and not ruffle feathers when we should speak up. And in a day in which so many are prone to sharpness online, and niceness face to face, we need leaders who are “not quarrelsome,” and also not afraid to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). We need men who “contend for the faith” (Jude 3) without being contentious. We need pastors who are not brawlers — and yet know when (and how) to say the needful hard word.

Men Who Make Peace

The flip side of the negative “not quarrelsome” is the positive “peaceable.” Titus 3:2 is the only other New Testament use of the word we translate “not quarrelsome”: “Remind [the church] . . . to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:1–2). James 3, which warns leaders, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness” (James 3:1), also directs us to “the wisdom from above”:

The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:17–18)

Healthy pastors are peacemakers at heart, not pugilists. They don’t fight for sport; they fight to protect and promote peace. They know first and foremost — as a divine representative to their people — that our God is “the God of peace” (Romans 15:33); our message, “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15); our Lord Jesus himself made peace (Ephesians 2:15Colossians 1:20) and “is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14), preaching “peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:17).

And making peace is not unique to Christian leaders. Rather, we insist on it in our leaders so that they model and encourage peacemaking for the whole church. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” said our Lord, “for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). “Let us pursue what makes for peace” (Romans 14:19). “Strive for peace with everyone” (Hebrews 12:14). “If possible, so far as it depends on you” — all of you who are members of the body of Christ — “live peaceably with all” (Romans 12:18).

This kind of peacemaking not only means leading our flocks in preserving and enjoying peace, but also in making peace that requires confrontation. Some controversies cannot be avoided — and we engage not because we simply want to fight (or win), but because we want to win those being deceived. God means for leaders in his church to have the kind of spiritual magnanimity to rise above the allure of petty disputes, and to press valiantly for peace and Christ-exalting harmony in the places angels might fear to tread.

What Brawlers Fail to Do

Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus are particularly helpful, as the veteran apostle gives his counsel to younger leaders in the thick of church conflict. Perhaps no single passage is more perceptive for leaders in times of conflict than 2 Timothy 2:24–26. More than any others, these verses expand what it means for pastors to be “not quarrelsome.” It may be one of the most important words in all the Bible for church leaders:

The Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Here Paul fleshes out the negative “not quarrelsome” with four great, positive charges (Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 535). First is “kind to everyone.” The presence of conflict doesn’t excuse a lack of kindness. How pastors carry themselves in conflict is as important as picking the right battles. And the Lord calls his servants not just to be kind to the sheep, while treating the wolves like trash, but to be “kind to everyone” — to the faithful and to our opponents.

Then comes “able to teach” (or better, “skillful in teaching”), which appears earlier in the elder qualifications (1 Timothy 3:2) and is the main trait that distinguishes pastor-elders (1 Timothy 3:1–7) from deacons (1 Timothy 3:8–13). In the previous verse (2 Timothy 2:23), Paul refers to “foolish, ignorant controversies” — literally, “untaught” or “uneducated.” How many conflicts in the church begin in honest ignorance, and need pastors to come in, with kindness (not with guns blazing), to provide sober-minded clarity from God’s word? In the New Testament, pastors are fundamentally teachers, and Christ, the great Teacher, doesn’t mean for his undershepherds to put aside their primary calling when conflict arises.

Next is “patiently enduring evil.” Rarely do serious conflicts resolve as quickly as we would like. And whether evil is afoot, or it’s just an honest difference of opinions, pastors should lead the way in patience. That doesn’t mean resigning ourselves to inaction, or letting conflict carry on needlessly without attention and next steps, but patiently walking the path of a process — not standing still and not bull-rushing every issue at once, but faithfully and patiently approaching the conflict one step at a time.

Our Great Hope in Conflict

The fourth and final charge from 2 Timothy 2 is “correcting his opponents with gentleness.” In commending kindness, teaching, and patience, Paul doesn’t leave aside correction. God calls pastors, at heart, to rightly handle his word (2 Timothy 2:15), which is profitable not only for teaching, but for correction (2 Timothy 3:16). The goal is restoration “in a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1).

The pastor’s heart for peace, not mere polemics, comes out in the kind of heart that endures in needful conflict: we pray that “God may perhaps grant them repentance.” We long for restoration, not revenge (Romans 12:19). We pray first for repentance, not retribution.

And we remember that the real war is not against flesh and blood — especially within the household of faith. Our true enemy is Satan, not our human “opponents.” We long for them to come to repentance — to “come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil” — through kindness, humble teaching, patience, and gentle correction — remembering that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). We do not want to be rid of our opponents; we want to win them back from Satan’s sway.

Hardest on Ourselves

How, then, do pastors pick their battles? What foolish controversies do we wisely avoid, and what conflicts require our courage to address kindly, patiently, and gently with humble teaching?

First of all, note that pastors never work solo in the New Testament. Christ not only put teachers in charge of his churches, but a plurality of teachers. And he intends for countless wisdom issues in pastoral work to be worked out in the context of a team of sober-minded, self-controlled, self-sacrificial leaders, who see one another’s blind spots and shore up one another’s weaknesses. Together, such men learn over time to be hardest on themselves, not their flock.

The heart of Christian leadership is not taking up privileges, but laying down our lives; not gravitating toward the easy work, but gladly crucifying personal comfort and ease to do the hard work to serve others; not domineering over those in our charge, but being examples of Christlike self-sacrifice for them (1 Peter 5:3). A pastor learns to contend well, without being contentious, writes Tom Ascol, “by seriously applying the word of God to himself before he applies it to others.” When trying to discern between controversies to avoid and conflicts to engage with courage, we ask,

  • Is this about me — my ego, my preference, my threatened illusion of control — or about my Lord, his gospel, and his church? Am I remembering that my greatest enemy is not others, or even Satan, but my own indwelling sin?
  • What is the tenor of my ministry? Is it one fight after another? Are there seasons of peace? Am I engaging conflict as an end in itself, or is preserving and securing Christian peace clearly the goal?
  • Am I going with or against my flesh, which inclines me to fight when I shouldn’t, and back down when I should kindly, patiently, gently fight? As the “servant” of the Lord, not self, am I avoiding petty causes that an unholy part of me wants to pursue, while taking on the difficult, painful, and righteous causes that an unholy part of me wants to flee?
  • Am I simply angry at my opponents, desiring to show them up or expose them, or am I sad for them — better, compassionate for them — genuinely praying that God would free them from deception and grant them repentance? Am I more inclined to anger against them or tears for them?

God means for his ministers to strike the balance, together, by his Spirit. We can learn to avoid foolish controversies and move wisely toward genuine conflicts. We can be unafraid of disagreements, while not creating divisions. In a world of haters, trolls, and brawlers, we can be men, set apart by Christ to lead his church, who fight well, in love, for peace.

Courtesy of https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/how-do-pastors-pick-their-fights

 

Federal agencies raid Christian ministry

By Brian Fitzpatrick
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Two federal agencies, backed up by state and local police, have swooped down on a peaceful Portsmouth, R.I., ministry like Eliot Ness busting up one of Al Capone’s Prohibition-era breweries.

“They came in screaming and hollering, ‘This is a raid, hands up.’ I saw a gun in my face,” said Jim Feijo, founder of Daniel Chapter One, a ministry that supports itself in part by providing health counseling and nutritional supplements. Feijo also provides nutritional counseling to world-class athletes.

The raid was spearheaded by the FDA and the IRS, Feijo told WND. Feijo has no idea why the government raided his offices, but he noted that the raid came Sept. 22, a week after a federal judge refused to allow the FTC to levy a massive fine against Daniel Chapter One for refusing to send a letter to customers saying in effect that their products were worthless.

“If they can do this to us, they can do this to anybody,” said Feijo. “We haven’t had due process, we thought we were innocent until proven guilty.”

“They patted Jim down and removed him from the office. They didn’t show me a warrant. They came in very aggressively, that was needless,” said Tricia Feijo, Jim’s wife and partner and a trained homeopath.

“They locked us out of the building and for the next four hours they went through everything. They took personal correspondence, they took phone records. It’s so over the top that they’re going through personal e-mail to see if I told a friend how to use a certain product, or told somebody what they could do for an illness.”

“We’ve developed a series of products based on Biblical principles,” said Feijo. “We’ve never had a complaint, never harmed anyone, and thousands of people have told us they’ve been helped by our products. We’ve never had a lawsuit.”

“They’re making it sound like it’s an urgent matter to protect the public, yet they’ve had our client list for six months and haven’t contacted them,” Feijo told WND.

The raid is the latest development in a three-year legal battle between the Federal Trade Commission and Daniel Chapter One, which sells products intended to promote natural healing without the use of prescription drugs.

“The position for the FDA is only drugs can treat illness. We believe drugs don’t treat anything. Fifteen years on the radio, no one’s ever complained, no one’s ever been harmed, we haven’t been sued, but 106 000 people will die this year from FDA-approved drugs,” said Jim Feijo.

The FTC alleges that Daniel Chapter One falsely claims its products can cure cancer.

“We never said that,” said Tricia Feijo. “They took a few words from one paragraph, some words from another paragraph, put them together, and said we implied we could cure cancer… their biggest complaint was testimonies of people saying they were healed of cancer.”

The conflict began with a Federal Trade Commission Internet sting operation against companies that claimed they could cure cancer. According to the Feijos, 130 health products companies were targeted, and all but Daniel Chapter One reached agreements with the government.

“They ordered [us] to tell our customers there is no science behind our products, that only conventional medical treatment has been proven safe and effective in humans. We know from experience that chemotherapy and radiation are not safe,” said Jim Feijo.

“We told them we can’t comply, because there is scientific evidence in favor of our products. They wanted us to give in to their position of scientism and deny our religion of faith in the Lord Jesus.

“They acknowledged that we are a ministry, but then they denied all our rights as a ministry, all our constitutional rights,” Feijo added. “We are a corporate soul, a 508 corporate soul. We have same legal status as the Roman Catholic and Mormon churches.

“We told the IRS during the raid they have no legal right to do what they did because of our 508 status. We’re immune to filing papers and so forth because we’re a 508 corporate soul. They’ve gone against their own laws.”

At an FTC hearing in April, the Feijos presented five experts to testify to the scientific evidence supporting their products, but they failed to sway the FTC judge. The FTC will only accept double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, according to the Feijos, and small organizations like theirs cannot afford to conduct such expensive research.

Courtesy of http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=213517

Evangelical Church Wins Long-Running Land Use Battle with Boulder County, Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Christian Church of Niwot, Colorado won a major victory today in federal appeals court in Denver. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held in a unanimous opinion that Boulder County violated the Church’s rights under federal civil rights law, rejecting the County’s appeal from a jury verdict in favor of the church.

The non-denominational evangelical Christian church wanted to expand its campus in exurban Niwot, five miles northeast of the city of Boulder. Boulder County refused to approve the permits to make the $30 million expansion, citing what it called the rural nature of the area.  In 2006, the Church challenged that decision under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), a federal civil rights law which protects churches from unfair, unreasonable and burdensome land use regulations.  

In 2008, a federal jury found that Bounder County violated the Church’s rights under RLUIPA by treating it on less than equal terms with secular land users, imposing unreasonable limitations on churches in the county, and placing a substantial burden on its religious exercise.  Today, the Tenth Circuit upheld that verdict, finding that the jury’s verdict was reasonable and upholding the district court’s order that the church should be permitted to build its expansion. The lower court has also approved more than $1 million in attorneys’ fees and costs that the County will have to pay to the church.

“Boulder County is learning the hard way that churches have rights too. Federal civil rights law protects churches from unfair and arbitrary treatment by local governments, and there are real consequences for ignoring those laws” said Eric Rassbach, National Litigation Director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represented Rocky Mountain Christian Church in the case.

Tom Macdonald of Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti, LLP of Denver, and Kevin Baine and Curtis Mahoney of Williams & Connolly, a Washington, D.C. law firm also represented the Church, with Baine arguing the appeal.  Boulder County fought the case vigorously, hiring Robinson & Cole, a Boston land use law firm, and Professor Marci Hamilton of Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law in New York City to defend its appeal.  

Becket Fund attorneys are the nation’s leading experts on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its successor, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000. Both acts enforce constitutional principles derived from the First and Fourteenth Amendments and enjoy broad bipartisan support. In addition to conducting extensive litigation under the Act, they have written scholarly works concerning the Act and maintain a website dedicated to the Act, www.rluipa.org.

Based in Washington, D.C., The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions. The Becket Fund has a 15-year history of defending religious liberty for people of all faiths.

Courtesy of http://www.becketfund.org/index.php/article/1314.html

Churches’ duty to single moms

By Julia Duin

With Mother’s Day looming this weekend, I’ve found an unlikely advocate for single moms, a neglected population in the world of religion.

She is Ann Kiemel Anderson, whose popular titles like “I’m Out to Change My World” (1974) and “I Love the Word Impossible” (1976) were meditations about Jesus in freestyle verse.

Her 1982 book, “I Gave God Time,” was a bible to a generation of evangelical women who breathlessly followed the author’s decision to wait on God for a mate. That ended in her romantic 1981 marriage — at the age of 35 — to Will Anderson, an Idaho potato farmer and entrepreneur.

“Here I had written this raging best-seller,” she told me last week, “and flight attendants would come up to my seat and whisper, ‘I have this in my purse,’ and it was my book. Several million men and women were holding on to hope because of this book.”

It was years before she would write about her seven miscarriages, a hysterectomy, then addiction to pain pills.

She and her husband adopted four boys, but their marriage went sour. She fled, leaving her sons with her sister while she entered a detox unit. The couple eventually reconciled, but Mr. Anderson died of cancer in 2000, leaving his wife with thousands of dollars in unpaid bills.

Her children were ages 10 to 14. As her savings disappeared, they lived off Social Security and contributions from friends and relatives.

“I lost everything,” said the author, now preparing a book on her new platform: single motherhood. “There were days I didn’t have enough money to buy a gallon of milk for four boys.

“People with money would pat me on the back and say, ‘How are you doing?’ and ‘God bless you,’ and walk off. But people without those kind of resources would put a $50 bill in front of me and say, ‘It must be hard.’ ”

As she and her boys made do with an old car for transport and free clinics for their medical care, the once-wealthy author saw how many one-parent families live.

“Single mothers today are harried and desperate,” she said. “They come home and they are exhausted. People are willing to pat you on the shoulder but they’re not willing to help you. That is major.

“And most single mothers don’t have a minute to themselves. I see these weary, weary single mothers everywhere. Churches today need to open up their eyes and include single-parent families. Everyone is on overload, but who can’t scoop up the single parent and family and bring them into the circle? I think most churches are blind to us.”

Instead of holding them at arm’s length, “The church world should be waking up to how single parents need encouragement,” she added. “People in church don’t spend enough time in the world getting to know the broken people around them.”

I remarked that widows like her are accorded much higher status in the typical church than are the divorced, the never-married or single adoptive moms.

“I had some advantages in that people know who I was,” she said. “My message for single parents is that God will not forsake them, God will not betray them. I raised four children through adolescence on my own and God was faithful.”

Maybe hearing Ann Kiemel Anderson’s voice raised in defense of single moms will encourage churches to be faithful as well.

Courtesy of http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/06/churches-duty-to-single-moms/

Are We as A Nation Forgetting About God?

A nation facing problems of biblical proportions appears to be looking less and less to religion for answers. According to a new NEWSWEEK Poll, the percentage of Americans who think faith will help answer all or most of the country’s current problems dipped to a historic low of 48 percent, down from 64 percent in 1994.

The poll also shows changing perceptions about the religious makeup of the United States and its politics. Since Barack Obama took office earlier this year, the number of people who consider the U.S. a Christian nation has fallen to 62 percent, down from higher numbers during the Bush administration (69 percent last year and 71 percent in 2005).

Last summer, when George W. Bush was still in office, one third of Americans thought that religion played too big a role in U.S. politics, compared to 25 percent who said it had too little influence. The numbers have switched in the new Obama era. Now, 26 percent think religion is too influential, compared to 31 percent who say faith doesn’t carry enough weight in the political system.

“It has to do with the context of the White House,” says Larry Hugick, chairman of Princeton Survey Research Associates, the firm that conducted the poll. “When you talk about religion in politics, it usually has to do with the role of evangelicals. Bush was an evangelical, but Obama isn’t, so people see the leadership of the country differently now.”

Sixty-eight percent said religion is losing influence on American life, up from 58 percent in 2000, 39 percent in 1984 and 32 percent in 1962. Previous periods where more than 60 percent thought religion was losing influence included 1994 and 1968.

When asked about their attitudes on social issues, survey respondents revealed a continued shift toward liberalism. One quarter of those surveyed say school boards should be able to fire homosexual teachers, down from 51 percent in a 1987 poll. Those who claim to have “old-fashioned values about family and marriage” has also decreased 13 points in that time, to a current 74 percent.

Still, Americans’ personal beliefs about religion haven’t changed much in the last 20 years. The number of Americans with faith in a spiritual being—nearly nine in 10—has not changed much over the past two decades, according to historical polling. Seventy-eight percent said prayer was an important part of daily life, an increase of 2 points since 1987. Eighty-five percent said religion is “very important” or “fairly important” in their own lives—a number that hasn’t changed much since 1992. Nearly half (48 percent) described themselves as both “religious and spiritual,” while another 30 percent said they were “spiritual but not religious.” Only 9 percent said they were neither religious nor spiritual.

An interesting measurement of the poll looked at the number of people who leave one faith for another. The percentage of Americans who identify as non-evangelical Protestant (25 percent) is 5 points lower than the number who said they were raised that way. While 22 percent of respondents said they were Roman Catholic, 26 percent said they were born into Catholic families. The faith groups with net gains in believers were evangelical Protestants (29 percent compared to 25 percent who were brought up in the faith) and people who are agnostic, atheist or report no religion (also called “seculars”), up 3 points to 11 percent.

The pursuit of both religious and secular voters in the 2008 presidential race required candidates to walk a middle line, as it appears voters are evenly split on whether faith dictates their politics. The new poll measured that 51 percent of those surveyed, the vast majority of them evangelical Protestants, said their religion can have an impact on their personal politics. A bit less, 46 percent, reported that their faith is much less likely to affect how they vote on a candidate or an issue.

Measuring party identification by religion is not predicted as intuitively, but the poll shows that the GOP has lost ground to Democrats among all measured faith groups. The number of religious respondents who identify with the Republican Party has fallen nearly 10 percent among non-evangelicals and Roman Catholics. Often viewed as a Republican stronghold, more evangelicals now identify as Democrats (35 percent) than Republicans (34 percent). And other religions contain bigger divides. Among Catholics, the spread was the biggest—50 percent Democrats to 17 percent Republicans. Seculars also include a higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans (35 percent to 13 percent), but the majority (44 percent) of seculars identify as independents.

The survey was conducted among 1,003 adults, age 18 and over, on April 1 and 2, 2009. The margin of sampling error is 3.5 percentage points for results based on total adults. In addition to common sampling error, the practical problems of conducting surveys can also introduce error or bias into polls.

// Find this article at http://www.newsweek.com/id/192915

Heal the Nation? Heal the Church First!

By R.L. David Jolly 

Many people and organizations including our own are calling for a political revival back to the form of government that our Founding Fathers established.  However, when examining the history of God’s people in His Word, it has become clearly obvious that before we can ask God to heal our land that we first need to heal the Church.

By Church, I am referring to the 77% of Americans that identified themselves as Christians in a Gallup Poll released April 10, 2009.  (Sadly, that figure has dropped from the 91% in 1948.)  If the three-fourths of the American population actually lived a true Christian life, our nation would not be suffering the wrath of God that we are currently under.  If these Christians lived their lives like 77% of Muslims or Buddhists, or Sikhs, or other religions do, we would still be the Christian nation that our Founders established it to be.

Unfortunately, the Church in America has been silent and inactive in the political arena for the past 60 years.  Its silence has allowed the vocal minorities to be heard and push through legislation after legislation that has undermined and replaced the Word of God with the immoral and hedonistic desires of a godless few.

In addition to allowing this godless minority to take control of our nation, now we have a leadership that is not only ignoring the words, writings and intent of our Founding Fathers, but is looking to other nations that do not have the same Christian foundation that America has, to be our examples to follow and this is not the first time in history this has happened.  In 2 Kings 17:15 we read, They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them.

Obama has used the examples of Canada and Europe to help justify his efforts to turn America into a socialistic nation.  Once again, when we turn to God’s Word, we see that God even warns us about how foolish it is to look to these other nations in 1 Cor. 1:20, Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

And when our leaders ignore God’s warnings, we see that God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, (2 Thess. 2:11) and They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart, (Eph. 4:18).

The consequences of a nation turning from God to the wicked ways of man results in God’s wrath and judgment.  If you don’t believe that the United States of America is currently under God’s judgment, then I strongly urge you to read Romans 1:18-32.  Three times it says that because we do this, God turns us over to that.  My fellow American, what I read in the last half of Romans 1 describes our nation in every way.

I recently met a gentleman that had served in the U.S. Marine Corp a few years back.  He had been stationed overseas for 4 years and then returned to a duty post in the Washington D.C. area.  He told me that when he returned to the U.S. that he was shocked to see how far it had declined in morality and godliness.  He told me that we had become a nation of lust, perversion, and hedonism unlike anything he had seen overseas and it saddened him to his very heart to realize that this is what he had been defending with his life.

Psalm 11:3 tell us that if the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? I contend that our foundations are being destroyed and replaced with a godless socialist foundation that has a 100% failure rate everywhere else it has been tried in the world.  It was tried in Soviet Russia and it failed.  It was tried in China and it failed.  It was tried in Poland and it failed. It was tried in North Korea and it failed, and the list goes on.

I run into people every day that say that it is too late and that things have gone too far and that one or two people cannot change anything.  In response, I tell them that George Washington lost every battle that he fought in and lead troops in until he crossed the Delaware River and captured the Hessian troops and eventually won the Revolutionary War.  Like Winston Churchill, Washington never gave in and never gave up.

We may have lost some battles, but we have not lost the war.  However, in order to win the war to save America from the complete destruction of the current political machine, the Church or the people, need to follow the instructions of 2 Chronicles 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Humble. Pray. Seek. Turn.  Four steps to healing the Church and our nation.

Humble. Have you ever read about a small shepherd boy named David?  He wasn’t tall in stature and considered himself least among his father’s sons.  He sought not fortune or fame, but because he regularly humbled himself before God, God raised him up to be one of the greatest kings of all time.

Pray. George Müller.  If you don’t know who George Müller is, then read George Müller of Bristol by Arthur Tappan Pierson (available online at:  http://books.google.com/books?id=EFbkOf1YoJQC).  George Müller established an orphanage in England in the middle 1800’s.  Time after time, Müller would sit the children down to the table for a meal when he knew he had no food to feed them nor any funds to purchase food for them.  Never-the-less, he would sit them down and lift up a prayer to God thanking Him for their blessings and for providing for them and time and time again, by the time he finished praying, someone would be at the door of the orphanage with enough food to go around.  Müller was a true man of prayer and his biography is a testimony as to the power of prayer, especially when offered by someone that has humbled themselves before the Lord.

Seek. Jehoshaphat  did not seek out the false gods and idols of those around him, but sought after God.  In return, God blessed the kingdom of Judah under Jehoshaphat’s rule.  (2 Chron. 17:3-5)

Turn. Not long after Jesus had been crucified and had risen from the grave, a Pharisee by the name of Saul set out to find and destroy those that professed a faith in Jesus as the Messiah.  However, on the road to Damascus, Saul was blinded by a vision from God and he turned from his ways of persecution to become Paul, one of the greatest apostles of Jesus Christ.

As a people, a Church and a nation, we need to humble ourselves like David, pray like George Müller, seekafter God’s ways like Jehoshaphat and turn from our wicked ways like Paul.  Then and only then can we have any hope of God healing our land and returning it to the Christian nation of our Founding Fathers.

If we don’t humble ourselves, pray and seek after God and turn from our wicked ways, then our children will be asking us the same thing that God asked the people in the time of Jeremiah, what wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless? (Jer. 2:5)

Join us in our efforts to revive the Church and heal our great land by supporting us with your prayers and finances.  Prayer is the greatest tool that we have to use in this war to save our nation.  And unfortunately, it requires financial funding to wage this war and get the Word out to those that need to hear it.

Courtesy of http://americanvision.org/2010/post/heal-the-nation-heal-the-church-first/#more-2285