Comm #20: Why Do We Sit Here?
Updated: Jul 21, 2021
Warmest greetings to our esteemed pastors and ministry leaders all around the country. Joan here, and we want you to be assured our little coalition of four prays for you so very often, and that we hear from you all constantly, too.
And ow, yikes, many of you are not liking what’s happening in our country. We’re hearing a firm unity of views, and we are with you in those concerns.
Dazzling it is! The sheer number of concerns.
Also dazzling- the sheer number of you who are out of your chairs and saying something.
I’ve heard for years that when a company gets a personal letter or call, it’s impactful. Same thing with elected leaders. Calls, letters, visits really are noted. For example, Chad wrote a thank you letter to Senator Manchin for standing firm on keeping the filibuster. Signed by hundreds of pastors!
Thank you’s are as powerful as notes that confront.
Because it’s true that YOU are the most important voice in America. Wow - there’s a sweeping statement, and I mean it. The Church ... our body of believers... is massive and our country’s Constitution taken straight from the Bible those same believers follow. That means your voice is not just respected - though it is that - but required.
2 Kings 7:3 is a great response to a siege situation, “Why do we sit here until we die?”.
Sit-eth not-eth!! We’re not supposed to, but are to speak up firmly but lovingly.
The Bible directs us to engage.
Here’s amazing news from Chad Connelly about engagement going on right now:
It doesn't take much reading of the Word of God to recognize that we have a Biblical obligation to be salt and light and to engage EVERY aspect of our lives with our faith.
Too many people, and even some pastors, have been misinformed, and even lied to, in an effort to silence the Church and Christians. I love the name our team chose-- "The Church Finds its Voice..." What if we really did??
Well, it's not just about voting or conducting voter registration in your church. Those are easy, legal, non-partisan-- and let's face it-- the more we teach those things, the harder it will be for someone to argue that they're "political." No, those are spiritual activities that fall in line with our Biblical worldview, but they may indeed have a political impact and boy, do we Christians need to make an impact these days!
In West Virginia, we have 100's of churches passing around a "Thank You" note that I wrote to Senator Joe Manchin, one of two US Senators in the state of West Virginia. He's a democrat who might not vote conservatively on many occasions, but I felt the need to thank him for his previous statements that he would never vote to end the filibuster rule in the US Senate. As most of you know, if the filibuster rule is ended, not only does it end LONG-TIME Senate tradition, it allows for the passage of some of the most evil and anti-Biblical legislation in American history. Our plan is to deliver 1000's of signatures of West Virginia believers to Senator Manchin in the next week or two, not to beat him up, but to thank him for his own words on keeping an invaluable United States institution intact.
We're also actively engaged in several other states-- getting church members to run for local and state offices, teaching pastors how to conduct voter registration drives, and doing smaller meetings with other pastors to expand the reach. One state in particular where we’ve worked extensively this year is Virginia. That state is only one of two with 2021 statewide elections. Our pastors there wanted to get heavily involved so our team led 100's of churches to register for the State's party conventions. We're still tabulating numbers, but can absolutely say that we had almost 600 Christians from those churches- in 45 counties across the state- ACTUALLY participate in an unassembled convention on May 8th. We obviously didn't tell them who to vote for, but they held zoom interviews of the candidates and made their choices based on those interviews. The really amazing thing-- the last time the state of Virginia held their convention, only 2 of those nearly 600 Christians participated!
I have said this over and over, but ANY candidate, elected official or movement conservative organization who ignores or takes the faith vote for granted--given today's cultural environment, WILL LOSE. We need to get involved and we need to get informed.
On the information side, Faith Wins will be hosting, along with our "Church Finds its Voice" partners and with America's greatest historian, David Barton of Wallbuilders, an American Restoration tour later this summer and fall. Pastors across the nation will be invited to listen to David, get the best history lessons ever, and fellowship with other pastors getting prepared to really make a difference in the 2022 elections and beyond! Stay connected with us and we'll make sure you're invited too!
God Bless you!
And now thoughts on what we can do to continue speaking truth and making an impact - from Coalition member Brad Dacus, President of the Pacific Justice Institute;
Why are things going downhill so fast?
Nothing is more painfully obvious to a pastor than what the result will be when stubborn and selfish men and women are left to their own ideas and desires. Now it is becoming obvious to our country what happens when stubborn and selfish politicians are completely in control of making policy decisions with no regard to whom it hurts or how it affects future generations. Most of the growing number of problems we are facing right now can be directly attributed to a ruling class who cares only about benefiting themselves. They will say anything and do anything to keep or obtain more power. There is no true respect for our Constitution or for our founding/guiding principles. No, just a love for self that drives an insatiable desire for control and complete conquest at any cost.
Where to go from here?
The United States Constitution gives us our best and only option for addressing the disaster we are in as a country. The first three words of the constitution are famously, "We the people". These three words ultimately threaten many of our corrupt politicians the most. They know that if the majority in our country ever became united around common values and principles they would immediately lose their power.
All throughout the Old Testament, we are given examples of prophets, priests, and common people standing up and confronting the kings and rulers of their day. Standing for Godly values in our cities, states, and nation is not just a good thing to do, it is a divinely appointed responsibility that we must embrace and steward.
National patriotism of course does not replace or overshadow our heavenly mission and eternal focus, but it is absolutely biblical to actively stand for the principles and the values that we hold dear. Far too many pastors have hidden behind the seemingly noble effort to not be "sidetracked" by a "lesser" message, meanwhile the freedom (that was a gift from God) to be able to proclaim the gospel is needlessly fading right before our eyes. The U.S. is the final beacon of hope and light in our world, and we are quickly giving that light away...watching the influence with which God has blessed our country rapidly decrease. Pastors can no longer be passive and timid about speaking truth. The Bible speaks volumes regarding every key issue that we are facing as a country today and silence from the pulpit during the greatest moral shift in the last three decades is absolutely unacceptable.
Here are just some of the polls that demonstrate the result of pastors not leading/helping their flocks to understand how the truth should shape and change their lives and communities:
51% of churchgoing Americans say the Bible was written for each person to interpret as he or she chooses. (The State of American Theology, Lifeway Research, 2016)
Less than 10% of sermons preached in evangelical churches mention hell, sin, or anything "controversial". (Pew Research Center, 2019)
Only 57% of millennials believe the Declaration of Independence better "guarantees freedom and equality" over the Communist Manifesto. (YouGov, 2019)
24 out of 25 of all millennials in the U.S. say they don't have a Biblical worldview. (Worldview Measurement Project, American Culture and Faith Institute, 2017)
Over half of all Americans have never read the Bible and don't know what it says about relevant issues. (Bible Engagement in America: Biblical Literacy, American Bible Society and Barna Group, 2016)
Are Christians still the majority?
Christians are still the largest group of voters in our country despite the dip in church attendance during the pandemic and lots of posters sounding that alarm. (https://news.gallup.com/poll/341963/church-membership-falls-below-majority-first-time.aspx) If it were up to the media, they would make everyone believe that the Church is all but irrelevant and completely obsolete. The mainstream media as a whole desires to be the exclusive voice to inform Americans on how and what to think. But the Church is still the loudest voice in the hearts and lives of American children and adults. The Church cannot be duped into believing that its voice is not important or cannot have a massive impact. The majority of people in our country disagrees with the direction of our current leaders and we must let those around us know there are more that are with us then there are that are for them! Way more! So, we must speak up! We must gather together with one voice to show our support for the values that made this country great.
How to speak the truth and involve the Church?
Every time a bill is proposed or passed and/or a government official says or does something contrary to the Bible, we must lovingly point it out and share the Biblical principle that was violated. Also, we cannot wait for elections to encourage involvement in our local communities. We must elevate the importance of civic involvement and stewardship.
Here are some practical ways to involve our church in the civic process:
Attend City Council meetings and speak up for Biblical values, religious liberty and the freedom of speech.
Attend school board meetings and research the agenda that is being pushed or taught to the children in our community.
Have sign-ups for those that are willing to run for school board or for any other open positions on an upcoming ballot.
Encourage those who are retired or have a more flexible schedule to run for a local elected position.
Get a list of all the polling locations and try to have someone from your church at each location.
Keep track of all the decisions being made by state and federal elected officials and write thank you notes when something good is accomplished.
Attend county precinct meetings and be vocal about what is being placed on the platforms.
Offer to bring lunch to your mayor and city council members.
Get to know state and county officials by asking them for specific prayer requests and what your church can do to help.
Have one person in your church who is up-to-date on all of the legislation, state and federal, that is being proposed.
Encourage someone who might be interested to become a state delegate.
Call and send emails when something is being passed that does not align with biblical or constitutional values.
Develop a network of pastors in your area who are willing to stand for important local and national issues.
Have a list of verses for each relevant issue that is currently being discussed on local or national news.
Emphasize voter registration several times a year.
How can we have the greatest impact?
Recently when all of the COVID-19 lockdowns were taking place, the state of Nevada decided to open up casinos but require churches to stay closed. A group of pastors gathered together and decided to petition the governor to provide fair and equal treatment for churches. These pastors did not all believe the same and were not all of the same denomination. Many of them had never even met up until that point but they were all united around the belief that their religious liberties were being infringed. So, from all over the state of Nevada they traveled to their capital in Carson City and scheduled a meeting with each of their elected officials. They kindly but strongly made their voice heard and the result was incredible. Their governor (not a Christian or conservative) agreed to work with them, and although they weren't able to accomplish everything they had wanted, they still were able to meet with the same guidelines as were given to the casinos. When we stand together and make our voices heard there's no limit to what we can do in our cities, in our states, and in our country as a whole.
Let's begin working together and make the majority that we still have known to our leaders. THE TIME IS NOW! How much worse does it have to get before we start speaking up and working together for the sake of our country. We cannot be silent! We cannot hide the light we have been given because the darker it gets the brighter our light shines.
Hello pastors, friends...Kielle here, and honestly feeling more hopeful than I have in the past several months. We’re just back from meeting with a number of national leaders in the faith and policy arenas, and there is a general regaining of courage that’s coursing through us all right now. It seems that we collectively agree that we’ve been through the worst of it, that we’re “coming out the other side” finally...stronger, wiser and filled with a whole lot more indignation than we were a year ago. In my opinion, that’s not a bad thing...to be indignant at what’s gone on in our country, especially toward the unjust actions that have been taken against our churches and faith communities. There has been the fear of shutdown, arrest, financial penalty, and total church ruin waved in front of your faces, and in some cases around the country, those things actually happened. But you stood up, found your voice and used it to stand up for the religious freedoms that your church family and all Americans have the right to practice.
Some leaders of this nation fear the Church and the power we hold as believers - individually, but really they fear us as the immense, passionate and effectual body that they know we are, that we have been before and that we can be again if we find that courage to speak up and speak out. Now is your time to do just that. Psalm 56:11 comes roaring to mind here, “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
I’ll tell you what man can do to you...nothing that God can’t prevent, provide for, or overcome. Find your courage, friends. Trust in the Lord that He will give you the words and actions to fight this battle well, and that all we do will honor Him and His will for our lives on this earth.
God bless you! You are always in our prayers for wisdom, strength and protection,
We stand with you and are praying for you!
-Joan, Brad, Chad and Kielle - Your Church Finds Its Voice Leadership
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