Lee Greenwood’s song, I’m proud to be an American, was originally released in 1984, but again during the Gulf War. My chest goes out when I hear the words: “I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free, and I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. ‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land! God bless the U.S.A.”
During my years in the Air Force and later as an Army Chaplain I wore my uniform proudly. My eyes get teary listening to our National Anthem and thinking about the flag draped coffins I saw of military men and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. During my six combat tours I was a part of over 50 memorial ceremonies honoring the lives of those who had given their all.
Jonah was a prophet of the Old Testament nation of Israel. He prophesied that there would be nationalistic expansion, which happened. Jonah was a patriot and passionately supported his country. God gave an assignment to Jonah to be His voice to the Ninevites, a hated enemy of Israel. Jonah received the assignment from God and instead of going to Nineveh, he ran away in the opposite direction, getting on a boat to go to the furthest known point in the world at that time.
You know the story. Jonah ends up in a big fish, he prays, and God rescues Jonah from the fish. God continued to want to use Jonah as His voice of judgment for the Ninevites. As a result of Jonah’s words, Nineveh repented, and God relented from the judgement.
Instead of marveling in God’s compassion, Jonah was angry and felt that God was very wrong. You see, Jonah had his modifiers in the wrong order. Instead of being a patriotic God follower, Jonah was a God following patriot. He allowed his patriotism to affect how he followed God.
Today it is easy to really dislike (dare I say hate) those who are on the opposite side of the current cultural divide in our nation. Like Jonah, many want nothing to do with our “enemies.” Still God desires all to follow Him, on both sides of the political divide.
As Patriotic Christians our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). Like the “commander of the army of the Lord that Joshua confronted with the question, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” we should embrace the same answer, “Neither!” (Joshua 5:13-14). We need to stand firm on our Biblical values, but we are called to love our enemies with the same sacrificial love that Jesus gives to us.
Both sides of the political and cultural divide in our nation need Jesus.
Can we begin to reach out with the love of Jesus with a civility of respect that listens deeply seeking to understand even when we don’t agree?
Perhaps, as Patriotic Christians, the next time someone calls us a “hater” we can respond with, “I hear what you said, and it hurts since I don’t think that I hate. Could we start a conversation over a cup of coffee to listen to each other? I promise that I will listen to you.” Perhaps, nothing will change. But perhaps, one life at a time could change. And perhaps the life that changes will be our own.
Church Ambassador Network of Kansas
This week, I was blessed to join pastors from across the country in Washington D.C. for CURE’s National Policy Summit. CURE is a non-profit think tank founded by Star Parker with a mission to fight poverty and restore dignity through the message of faith, freedom, and personal responsibility.
The theme of this year’s summit was “Rise Again”—an encouragement to pastors to speak up and serve as the voices of clarity and truth in our culture. As we all know, biblical Christian truths are under constant attack and if the Church does not engage, we will lose the culture war in America.
Come 2020, we will need to “Rise Again” in New Mexico to push back against the radical, progressive agenda of the far-left. We know their intentions—abortion up-to-birth, infanticide, assisted suicide, the sexualization of our children, and the erosion of our First Amendment rights. Without question, 2020 will be a pivotal year for our state and you will again play a critical role in what we can accomplish.
I know you may not think of yourself as being on the “front lines” of this battle, but you are. We all have a part to play, and every prayer, phone call, email, social media post, financial gift, conversation, and vote will help us advance our vision, bit by bit.
Are you ready to “Rise Again”?
Together, let’s take back our Land of Enchantment in 2020!
President and Executive Director
On Saturday, our nation was rocked by not one, but two mass shootings that claimed the lives of at least 31 people. Within seconds, the finger pointing began as citizens and politicians rushed to social media to share their condolences coupled with thinly veiled political rhetoric.
As I scanned my feeds, I could not help but lament the impact of politics on our grieving. Sadly, political expediency has largely desensitized us to the loss of human life, evidenced by our obsession with the evil perpetrators versus the victims. Was the perp conservative or liberal? Was he white, black, or brown? Does he support Republicans or Democrats? These are the questions so many disingenuously ask in order to advance their political agenda. The result—exploitation and straw man accusations from many on the left, and soft-peddling and faulty comparisons from many on the right.
As Christians, however, we need not participate in the pandering and grandstanding. When tragedy strikes, it is our faith—not our politics—that should dictate our reaction and response. And our faith tells us that we should:
- Weep with those who weep. (Romans 12:15)
- Love our neighbors as ourselves. (Mark 12:31)
- Bear one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
- Serve those in need. (Hebrews 13:16)
- Seek and promote justice. (Isaiah 1:17)
- And share the good news of the Gospel. (Mark 16:15)
While others point the finger at one another, we have an opportunity to point others to Jesus Christ—and not simply through our thoughts and prayers, but through our actions and reactions.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me.’” -Matthew 25:40
In His Service,
President and Executive Director
Early voting is underway across New Mexico and it is very important that you (1) get out and vote as soon as possible and (2) encourage your family and friends to do the same. Many people plan to vote on Election Day—Tuesday, November 6—but then it rains, or the car breaks down, or a child gets sick, and, sadly, they never vote. So don’t delay! Vote early!
I also want to encourage you to vote Christian. As I have been speaking at events and churches recently, I have described this election as the “most important election in my lifetime.” Why? Because I believe our state is at a crossroads and that the future of family, life, and religious freedom is genuinely at stake. Gone are the days when biblical values were embraced by our culture, and, quite frankly, we are now living in culture that does not even allow us to agree to disagree on these issues. More and more, Christians are being told that we must not only tolerate but accept and even celebrate the sins of contemporary culture, or risk facing the wrath of an angry mob and an increasingly hostile government.
But, we can do something about this! We can PRAY and we can VOTE! Prayer is the language that moves heaven. Voting is the language that will change New Mexico. So before you head to the polls this week, please PRAY for this election and our state, then VOTE Christian by casting your ballot for those men and women who will support and defend Biblical truths.
For information about early voting in your area, you can look up early voting locations here or you can call your county clerk. Additional election-related information is also available on our website.
Thank you for exercising your civic responsibility and for standing with us!
“Therefore…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)
Together in Christ,
President and Executive Director
Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico
“Why are Christians giving the President a pass?”
“Why do evangelicals excuse the Presidents questionable actions?”
“Why aren’t people of faith speaking out against the President’s moral flaws?”
If you watch the mainstream media or if you have recently participated in a political discussion about faith and politics, perhaps you have heard questions like this. In light of this matter, our Family Policy Alliance President and CEO, Paul Weber recently penned a great article titled, “Perfect Values & Imperfect Leaders,” and, this week, I would like to share some of the highlights with you.
In the article, Paul notes that the 2016 Presidential Election largely came down to this – “a morally flawed candidate [in Donald Trump] who made promises that largely aligned with our values” versus “a morally flawed candidate [in Hillary Clinton] who made promises that absolutely violated our values.” We all know the outcome – given these choices, the majority of evangelical Christians went with Trump.
Fast-forward to the present, and as a Christian ministry working in the public square, Family Policy Alliance now finds itself often “advocating for the pro-family policies we support, advanced by a leader whose behavior we do not.”
As Paul states: “…we cheer when President Trump promises to end tax payer funding for abortion (we’re still waiting Mr. President), nominates Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and advocates for more like him, appoints Cabinet members that affirm Christian values, and implements fiscal policy that helps strengthen the family. But we groan in frustration with his tweets, his schoolyard bullying, and reject his deplorable behavior with and toward women.”
So, are Christians giving the President a pass? I don’t believe so. In fact, I believe most Christians lament and reject his immoral words and actions. At the same time, we should celebrate his accomplishments, particularly when they relate to issues of faith, family, life, and religious freedom.
But most important, we should be praying for our President. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
So, if President Trump is not on your prayer list, please add him and join me in praying for him this week, in accordance with this passage – that he would (1) lead a peaceful and quiet life, (2) be godly and dignified in every way, and (3) that he would come to the knowledge of the truth.
God bless you and have a wonderful week!
President and Executive Director
To read Paul Weber’s article, “Perfect Values & Imperfect Leaders,” in its entirety, please click here.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” –John 5:14-16 (ESV)
I was updating my Facebook profile recently and came to a question asking about my “political views.” Without much thought, I immediately typed in the word “conservative” and moved on. Later that day, however, I began thinking about how public perception of the “conservative” designation has changed over the years. It is quite amazing that a word once associated with religious affiliation and faith-based conviction is now tied to perceptions of hypocrisy, self-righteousness, hate, and bigotry.
In the wake of President Trump’s victory in 2016, it was not uncommon to see the words “conservative evangelical” in media headlines across our nation. And for many years, I would have boldly and unashamedly accepted that designation as an accurate descriptor of my beliefs. However, as I mentioned, things have drastically changed, which has prompted me to be weary of any label that distracts from or mischaracterizes the mission of the Christian Church.
Let me begin by saying that much like the word “evangelical,” I believe the word “conservative” has become a misnomer, and not merely because of its association with hate and bigotry, which the vast majority of all conservatives absolutely loathe. I believe the semantics alone are reason for concern, particularly when it comes to our mission as Christians. In his book, The Church at the End of the 20th Century, the great Dr. Francis Schaeffer wrote, “One of the greatest injustices we do to our young people is to ask them to be conservative. Christianity today is not conservative, but revolutionary.”
Friends – we are living in a day and age where Christianity is anything but conservative. In reality, it is both radical and revolutionary, which is consistent with the actions and experiences of the early church and Jesus’ own earthy ministry. Sure, there was a time in our nation when Christians conservatism was slightly more popular, but I think we can all agree that time has passed. As Dr. Schaeffer further expounds, “To be conservative today is to miss the whole point, for conservatism means standing in the flow of the status quo, and the status quo no longer belongs to us.”
I do not quote Senator Bernie Sanders often, but the truth is, “We need a revolution!” However, unlike Senator Sanders, I am not just talking about the need for political reform – I’m talking about the need for spiritual revival. As the Church, our calling was never to be a “Moral Majority” – but, rather, to be a faithful and missional minority. This is not to say that we should abandon our moral, biblical values. We must, however, recognize the fact that they are no longer in line with mainstream American culture, which means that if we want to preserve any remnant of God-honoring values in our culture, we must engage! In Dr. Schaefer’s words, we need to be revolutionaries!
Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico exists to revolutionize our state for God’s glory and our good, and with your continued prayers and support, I believe we can live to witness dramatic change in the “Land of Enchantment.” Until such time, thank you for joining us on our mission to make our vision a reality – a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
President and Executive Director
They’re helping Texas families after Hurricane Harvey, but FEMA will not help them. Why? Because of their faith.
So now, three churches are going to court with the help of our friends at Becket.
Autumn Leva, our Director of Policy and Communications, explains why churches and other Christian non-profits should be treated the same as anybody else who was impacted by the storm. In fact, the key legal question has already been decided by the Supreme Court.
Last Saturday, a man participating in a “rally” in Charlottesville, Virginia, drove his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, injuring 19 and killing one. The suspect has been arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including murder.
The driver was participating in a “rally” organized by white nationalists. He was photographed standing with other protestors carrying a shield bearing one group’s logo. To be clear, these are groups that claim America is an exclusively a white nation and that people with “white blood” have a special bond with American soil.
All these many miles away in Idaho, we witnessed evil that showed utter contempt for the Creator. We are all created in God’s image. In Idaho, we ache for our fellow Americans so far away. In Idaho, we wonder what is happening to us as a country.
This incident has stirred a national conversation about race and racism in America. For Christians, the central question is, “What does the Bible have to say about this?” The answer is straightforward:
You can be a follower of Christ or a white supremacist, but you can’t be both.
The dignity of every human life is a tenet of Christian faith. It is derived from the belief that God creates every person “in His image” (Gen. 1:27). Therefore, as Image Bearers, every person has inherent dignity, is precious, and has unalienable rights worthy of the protection of our laws.
One biblical application of this principle is opposition to abortion. Unborn babies are created in God’s image, therefore we work to protect them from being killed. The same principle rejects racism, because people of every race, color and ethnicity are created in the Image of God. Each person is an irreplaceable piece in God’s tapestry.
A claim of superiority by any group is evil and a rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
To reject a person because of their race is a rejection of God’s way, but it is also means missing out on a gift that God has given us: In our differences, we see a fuller portrait of Him.
The Gospel speaks truth into the cultural issues of our time. The church…we…need to become more fluent in applying biblical principles to life in 21st century America.
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville attack, many expressed hope that pastors would speak to this same truth from their pulpit. The Gospel has something to say to racism, just as it has something to say about abortion, sexual sin, and more.
Rick Hogaboam, Pastor at Sovereign Grace Fellowship in Nampa wrote this, “Racial tribalists and ethno-nationalists hate the Gospel of a crucified, Jewish Messiah offering salvation to all people. I love this Gospel, which is why I absolutely hate racism and find deplorable any teaching that subordinates blacks or any people group based on their skin color. ‘For God so loved the world.'”
Did your pastor say anything? If so, would you email me and tell me about it? Family Policy Alliance of Idaho wants to connect with church leaders who understand this responsibility.
Last Saturday, we saw what happens when the truth of Genesis 1:27, that God made man – all humanity – in His own image, is forgotten. There can be no equivocation, no half-statements, no second guessing what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia. Hatred of other people, merely for the color of their skin, ruled the day.
The man who drove his car into the crowd and those white supremacists he came to join showed pure and utter evil. Their hatred of the image of God should shock us all.
Let me be abundantly clear: You can be a follower of Christ or a white supremacist, but you can’t be both.
The dignity of every human life is a tenet of Christian faith. It is derived from the belief that God creates every person “in His image” (Gen. 1:27). Because of Imago Dei, every person has inherent dignity, is precious, and has rights.
But, this conversation should not begin and end when we see overt racism. It should not stay on our conscience for only as long as the memory of the young woman who lost her life is still fresh. The celebration of the Imago Dei, the cherishing of all human life, should drive our passion to eradicate eugenics-driven Planned Parenthood centers around our nation, and it should flow through our conversations as we consider genetic “screening tests” for preborn babies.
You see, as the nation was rightly riveted and outraged by the events of Charlottesville, few discussed a CBS News story that proclaimed Iceland ahead of other nations in “eradicating” Down Syndrome. The story seemed pleased that the condition was “disappearing” in the nation.
The truth, however, is that Icelanders – believing themselves genetically superior to those with Down Syndrome – are killing preborn babies based on a genetic test.
How disgusting! Yet, such attitudes toward human life are very much alive here in our nation. Preborn babies who are unwanted or somehow wrongly defined as “flawed,” the infirm, the elderly, and, yes, those of a different race, are often discarded and even hated for the diversity the Maker endowed upon them. All of them fully bear the image of God.
Man’s original sin was largely rooted in a belief in his wisdom over God’s. Shortly thereafter comes a hatred of the very image of God and a destruction of human life. How it must grieve the heart of our Lord to see hatred of His own image in our nation!
To consider oneself superior to another for any reason is to reject God; it is sin.
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville attack, some (including me) expressed hope that pastors would talk about it from their pulpits. The Gospel has something to say about racism. It has something to say about how we value human life. For victims of racism, it is a message of hope and justice; for those with racism in their hearts, the Gospel brings conviction and calls for repentance.
Did your church address what happened in Charlottesville? If not, this may be the time to politely ask your pastor, “Why not?” Ask whether your church exists to provide answers to a world in need? And, can your church glorify its King if we fail to discuss the important issues today surrounding the Imago Dei?
At Family Policy Alliance of Georgia, we will work to empower the church here to speak out, and we will work to protect the image of God, alive and well in all people, in our political and policy efforts.
Your prayers for our nation, our state, the church, for our witness, and for our efforts to honor our Savior are, as always, much appreciated.
Joining you in sorrow and in hopeful prayer,
Last Saturday, in Charlottesville, Virginia, a man drove his car into a crowd, injuring 19 and killing one person who were protesting a white supremacy march. The driver was photographed at a protest standing with members of a white supremacist group and carrying a shield bearing the group’s logo shortly before the incident. He was arrested and charged with multiple crimes, including murder.
This despicable, racist incident has stirred a national conversation about race and racism in America. People wonder if our faith has anything to say about this.
It most definitely does.
I believe that you can be a follower of Christ with a message bearing His love or you can be a white supremacist with a message of hate, but you can’t be both. The dignity of every human life is a tenet of Christian faith. It is derived from the belief that God creates every person “in His image” (Gen. 1:27). Every person has inherent dignity, is precious, and has rights.
This principle is at the center of Christian ethics. For example, unborn babies are created in God’s image, therefore we work to protect them from being killed. People who are infirm, elderly, or deemed by the elites as “not useful to society” deserve similar advocacy when faced with the growing threat of “assisted suicide.”
This belief puts racism at odds with Christianity. People of every race, color and ethnicity are created in the image of God. The Bible teaches that each person is an irreplaceable piece in God’s tapestry. To consider oneself superior to another in God’s eyes for any reason is a sin.
In the aftermath of the Charlottesville attack, some expressed hope that pastors would talk about it from their pulpit. For victims of racism, it is a message of hope and justice; for those with racism in their hearts, the Gospel brings conviction and calls for repentance. Did your church address what happened in Charlottesville? I hope so. Especially in our churches, the body of Christ, we exist to provide answers to a world in need.
Family Policy Alliance exists to give voice to biblical citizens in North Dakota and across the nation, including proclaiming Christ’s message of love for all, regardless of their race. Please join us in proclaiming this message. Let others know that we stand with those who proclaim God’s love to all!