In Wyoming, we are surrounded by glorious mountains and vast plains. Such beauty that when witnessed over a century ago caused Katherine Lee Bates to write, “purple mountain majesties, above a fruited plain.” What she didn’t do is turn around to take a selfie!
Bates was not of our narcissistic age. She wasn’t driven by “self,” trying to show the world that she had been “there.” She wrote of a dream far bigger than herself. She wrote, “America, America! God shed his grace on thee. And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!”
Theologian Dallas Willard once remarked “you cannot stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and shout, I am awesome!” When confronted with vastness and beauty of such enormity, it should cause us to see ourselves as we truly are, “one out of many.” God’s humble creation. Only then can we finally understand the dream of America, “out of many one” e pluribus Unum.
This merits some explaining. E Pluribus Unum does not mean that we are Marxist masses deriving our rights from government. No, our rights are God-given. What makes us one is a shared dream of America. “One out of many” is not in the sense of those who preach the secular doctrine of radical autonomy apart from God-given morality, where “every man does what is right in his own eyes.” Such “oneness” is driven by self.
True liberty is neither anarchy nor tyranny, it is seeing ourselves and our fellow man as God sees us. This liberty loves God with an entire “heart, soul, mind and strength and loves neighbor as self.” Such a vision is what drives our motto of “Advancing Biblical Citizenship.”
Biblical Citizenship works to protect life, to ensure human dignity, to ensure that Wyomingites are free to express themselves at home, online, at work, at church, and on campus. It seeks to protect families, build strong marriages, and protect the minds bodies and relationships of children.
Biblical Citizenship happens when men and women see themselves as part of God’s Creation and know that they will answer Him for how they live their lives. A wonderful sense of hope arises from knowing that God is with us as we stand together for Him!
Please help us by giving a gift of any amount to help us meet our goal of matching the Challenge grant of $70,000 by this year’s end. This gift will help us train and elect new men and women to serve God and their neighbors in the arena of public policy in 2022.
On our letterhead, we use the phrase, “Advancing Biblical Citizenship.” But what does that mean?
Biblical citizenship can apply to many aspects of the political process: from lobbying to letter writing, from “get out the vote” campaigns to voting for God-fearing men and women. With elections just around the corner, let’s talk about voting.
There are two important aspects to consider about a candidate for office: their personal character and their policies. Both are typically indicators of what will happen if the person is elected.
On the character side, we all want someone who exhibits Christ-like servanthood, but who can also take strong unbending stands on moral issues when needed. Someone who uses the Bible as the standard for their actions and doesn’t merely pay lip service to the Scriptures and its teachings. A person who truly wants to pursue biblical solutions to tough problems.
Is there a perfect candidate on the character side of things? Not a chance. Some may be closer to this ideal than others, but nobody meets these criteria to the extent they should, and that includes both of our current presidential candidates. I’m sure there are also candidates running for office here in our state that miss the mark to one extent or another.
All I can say is, let’s give a little grace on these character flaws. That’s not the same as giving politicians a pass – they should be held accountable for what they say and do. However, always keep in mind that you and I are just as flawed as the next person. Someone once told me, “we’re all broken, some of us just show the cracks sooner than others”.
On the policy side, there can often be substantial differences between candidates. At Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming, we focus on issues that fall under our umbrella of “family policy”, so here are some of the biblical issues I would consider for candidates at all levels.
Abortion: Does the candidate plan to enact policies that protects innocent life from conception to natural death?
Religious Liberty: Is the free expression of religious beliefs something the candidate will protect, consistent with the First Amendment? This applies to individuals, businesses, elected officials, and others.
Education: Does the candidate uphold and protect the primary rights of parents to determine and guide the education of their children?
Marriage/Family: Does the candidate define marriage as being between one man and one woman and is this marriage the nucleus of a healthy family? Does the candidate view men and women as biologically distinct from birth?
While both personal character and policies are important when choosing a candidate, the difference is that policies live on and shape our country long after the elected official fades into history. Some of the greatest presidents this country experienced over the years had spotted character attributes but did amazing things for the advancement of our nation and ensured we held to the fundamentals upon which this country was founded.
Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® is nonpartisan, and we want to keep it that way. We want you to vote your conscience and vote your values on the types of issues highlighted above. If you do that, you are exercising your biblical citizenship and one of your most privileged freedoms. Do not waste it.
“(The Lord) said to Moses: ‘Count all the Israelites. List the name of each man with
his family and his family group.’” ~Numbers 1:1b-2
It’s 2020, a year ending in a zero, and the U.S. Census is underway.
Counting the people of a nation stretches back through human history, including the Lord’s command to Moses in the book of Numbers to count the Israelites, listing each man with his family and family group.
Our own U.S. Constitution directs Congress to number the people, one of the relatively few powers specifically delegated to the federal government. Yet the Census has become controversial and polarizing in our country, with many questioning whether they should participate or how the results could impact them—presumably negatively.
You might be wondering the same thing, which is why I want to encourage you that participating in the census is as much a part of biblical citizenship as voting or serving on a jury.
As Americans, we have inherited a birthright of freedom and self-government, both of which depend upon our active and ongoing engagement. In fact, there are many positive and truly critical aspects of the census—ones that the family of believers in America should not ignore:
- Every vote counts: One of the most significant aspects of the census is that it is used to redistribute Congressional seats between the states based on population—and as we’ve learned in recent presidential elections, that representation also determines the number of Electoral College votes each state has. We know the Electoral College is critical for ensuring smaller and more rural states are not just “flyover country.”
- Every person counts: Another extremely important aspect of the census is that state and federal legislative districts will be re-drawn based on where populations are located within each state. We know elections have consequences, and the state legislators who are elected this November will use the Census data to redraw legislative districts that will impact election outcomes for the next decade. If areas with lots of conservative, pro-family people are under-represented because of low Census participation, that will likely mean other areas get more legislators—who in turn will be less likely to hold pro-family values.
- Every dollar counts: The census is also used to determine where over $675 billion in federal funding—for services such as schools, hospitals and fire departments—will be allocated. Funding for rural areas is especially dependent on accurate Census data.
Please engage in our system of government in this year’s Census—as a reflection of your faith, as a good citizen and as someone who loves your neighbors as yourself. Our participation will affect our ability to influence elections and, therefore, the policies advanced or opposed as a result of those elections.
For better or worse, our families and our values will be impacted by this Census—so let’s unleash our biblical citizenship so that we can ensure that impact is for the better, for a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
Standing for the family of believers,
Chief Operating Officer
What is biblical citizenship?
To answer that, we need look no further than the prophet Daniel, who when given a vision by God of future times proclaimed, “the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Dan. 11:32).
Consider that for a moment…God gave Daniel a glimpse of the battles ahead and there, in the midst of the struggle, we see God’s people—not only present, but standing firm.
Today, the battle against God’s truth (Jn. 14:6) is growing more intense, but just like in the days of Daniel, God’s people are present and actively working to proclaim the Gospel in its fullness.
What is special and true about these people? They know their God and He knows them. They know and trust Him because they rely on His living Word (Ps. 119:11, Acts 17:11); pray through the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26); and fellowship together for discipleship, encouragement, and accountability (Heb. 10:24).
As a result of knowing their God, they stand firm, resolutely proclaiming the truth of Scripture, standing together side by side, committed to endure through whatever may come, and whatever the consequences—out of love and obedience to Christ , genuine love for their neighbors as themselves (Mt. 22:39) and the desire to “seek the welfare of the city” (Jer. 29:7) in which the Lord has placed them.
From that love, the people who know their God will stand firm and take action. Love of neighbor demands action—action in ways that point neighbors to the cross and then to living life in abundance (Jn. 10:10) through obedience to His Word (Rom. 6:16).
Biblical citizens understand this is not our home (Phil. 3:20). We are merely stewards with a God-given mission to fulfill. It requires us to know, live, and proclaim the entire Word (2 Tim. 3:16) and act in ways that bring transformation to the communities, societies, nations, and world in which we live.
In the United States of America, we have already been given unique rights and responsibilities that allow us to engage in our culture and system of government—which is how Christians can take action to “seek the welfare” of the nation in which we live.
“the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action” (Dan. 11:32).
If this prophecy were first given today, would you be counted as part of the people? Do you know God? Do you know God enough to discern evil from good and stand firm? If so, are you willing to take action?
Every generation is required to make this choice.
We at Family Policy Alliance are called to stand firm and take action for a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished. We accomplish this vision by advancing biblical citizenship in the Church and culture, equipping and electing statesmen, promoting policy and serving an effective alliance all committed to a common vision.
Will you join us?
President & CEO
Moving closer to the edge of the cliff
2016 will be a critical year for your family and your faith. In so many ways, our nation is moving ever closer to the edge of the cliff – a cultural, political and spiritual cliff.
As followers of Christ, it’s our duty to trust in our Lord, remain faithful and engage in our system of government – to ensure pro-family Americans seize the opportunity to back away from that cliff. We need to band together with like-minded believers to protect our loved ones, our religious freedom and the sanctity of life – for ourselves and our families. We can do that in legislatures across the country and at the ballot box throughout the year.
Eli is a Christian school teacher who had never voted. Never, that is, until he attended an event sponsored by the Montana Family Foundation. He heard CitizenLink’s President and CEO Paul Weber talk about the importance of “unleashing biblical citizenship.” Now Eli is a registered voter!
Your partnership with CitizenLink makes stories like Eli’s possible. Visit www.citizenlink.com/donate to stand with us!