Earlier this month, a successful entrepreneur with an incredible personal story and a likeable persona announced his intentions to devote his company’s resources to aiding in the current crisis facing our nation…

And, he was hated for it.

The talking heads and the liberal media vilified this patriotic American, Mike Lindell (aka “the My Pillow guy”), because he dared to use his platform to talk about his faith, to thank the Lord for President Trump, and to call for spiritual renewal. Quickly, he became the target of the never-ending supply of venom from the Left.

We see it all the time, though, right?

President Trump himself was quite popular with the media while he was a playboy, entertainer, and mogul. Then, he became a pro-life, pro-freedom candidate and leader. And, now they hate him – despite his stellar leadership of our nation to new heights and then through this horrible crisis.

We see it time and again. Those – even those doing great things from a secular perspective – become hated for standing for Christ.

So, how should we view this?

First, we shouldn’t be surprised. Matthew 10:22 promises that we will be hated for Christ’s sake, knowing that persecution comes from being different than the world. Second, we should live with love, knowing that our persecution isn’t being directed because of something inherent about us – instead it comes because of He who is being shown through us. And third, we should be comforted to know that going out-of-our-way to avoid the hatred will only result in denying what makes us worth hating: Christ.

If even a man providing aid during a time of crisis is hated because he wears his love for Jesus on his sleeve, we should feel emboldened to let our light shine. If you live out your faith, there is nothing you can do to make the world not hate you. So, embrace that fact. Live in love, kindness, and compassion, but let your light shine in the knowledge that the promised persecution is a sign of your faithfulness.

As we enter this election season, we are looking for candidates willing to be hated for the right reasons – willing to be hated for His name’s sake.

Please keep our state and national leaders in your prayers. Our President and Vice President, Representative Cheney and Senators Enzi and Barrasso as well as many of our state leaders are leading us incredibly well despite the venom being thrown their way. Please keep our organization in your prayers as our stand for Life, Religious Freedom and Families will bring forth hostility from those opposed to these core American values. And, please keep great Americans like Mike Lindell in your prayers as these leaders form the backbone of our society while also bringing glory to Him.

Sincerely,

Nathan Winters
Executive Director

Often I’ll email you about something urgent – a call to pray, act, vote, or donate. Today, I’m asking you to intentionally engage in a long-term strategy.

All-too-often, I hear Christians vilify the media, big business, the entertainment industry, the education system – foundations of culture that, admittedly, are increasingly against us.

My call is for you – and all believers – to redirect away from complaining and instead commit to taking over these institutions, even if it takes the next generation to do it.

In case you missed it, a company often heralded by Christians, Chick-fil-a, backed away last week from financially supporting faithful ministries that uphold a biblical worldview of sexuality. It stung.

Yet, as my Facebook and Twitter feeds quickly filled up with criticisms over the capitulation of the chicken sandwich masters, it struck me that it stings so thoroughly because we’ve been asleep at the wheel. We’ve allowed Chick fil a to become one of the few remaining visible companies that are welcoming to people of faith.

Far more egregious than Chick-fil-a’s retreat, an unprecedented degree of corporate wickedness also may have caught your attention last week – a 90 second internet ad for Sprite that celebrates parents who endorse their children’s transition to a transgender lifestyle. This horrifying production bends to an agenda that will do great harm to Sprite’s customers, yet the Coca Cola owned soft drink remains committed to the campaign.

Where are the Christian companies pointing to a better way? Where are the media outlets that should be crying out in horror over a corporation endorsing an anti-science lifestyle that leads to depression, pain, and, sadly, often suicide?

The silence is deafening because Christians, largely, have retreated from the arena, and it is my hope to see this change.

I’ve seen the profoundly positive impact that the Christian business community can and does have. I’ve seen what can happen when Christian media personalities, sports stars, or entertainment celebrities speak out. I’ve also experienced what can happen when you have a Bible-believing professor willing to encourage students to think about issues in a different way.

So, why are we, as biblical citizens and biblical parents, not intentionally seeking to raise up a generation capable of taking over these spheres of influence?

It’s easy – and, yes, important – to talk about the need for Christians to run for office, and we all know that we need strong leaders in ministry and in the pulpit. Yet, just as important, we need Christians to run and lead businesses, to exert influence in their community, and to operate their business in a way that glorifies God. Just as important, we need Christians to reach high levels in media companies and in the entertainment industry and to exert their influence for truth. Moreover, it’s just as important that Christians gain control of university system and academia to educate the next generation in a way that cares for facts more than an agenda.

The Left has intentionally infiltrated and dominated spheres of influence, but I believe that a biblical work ethic and the Christian remnant can take it back. Will you join in this commitment? It’ll take time, but I believe its imperative that we use the talents the Lord has given people of faith to take over the institutions that define culture.

For Christian Leadership,

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

P.S. Are you a Christian business leader? Professor? Involved in the entertainment industry or in media and using your influence for Christ? If so, THANK YOU! I’d love to hear from you and would enjoy the opportunity to dialogue on how we can reclaim our culture, together.

 

There’s no question that the usage of hymns in worship, though employed and beloved by the faithful for centuries, has been in sharp decline for decades. The Hymn Society wants that to change—so they are offering a new hymnal with a twist.

The new hymnal, Songs for the Holy Other: Hymns Affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ Community, promises “queer hymns—hymns by, for, or about the LGBTQIA2S+ community.”

The collection includes nearly fifty hymns with titles like “The Kingdom of God is the Queerest of Nations,” “Quirky, Queer and Wonderful,” and “God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces.” The Episcopal Church in the US and the Anglican Church of Canada have both publicized the hymnal.

The hymns offer worshippers a dangerous theology that flies in the face of Scriptural truths about God, sin, gender, and sexual ethics.

One hymn gives “thanks to God for grave disorder,” in direct contradiction to the divinely revealed truth that “God is not a God of disorder but of peace” (1 Corinthians 14:33). In a ploy to defend gender-bending as godly, another hymn refers to God as “our Father, Mother, Parent,” despite God’s revealed insistence that we call Him “Father.”

Many of the hymns—including “God Calls You Good” and “A Hymn for Self-Acceptance”—promote the heretical belief that God’s love for us means we don’t need to repent and turn from our sins. Instead of being redeemed and transformed by God’s grace, we just need to “accept” ourselves and celebrate those harmful desires and activities which God calls sinful.

What a stark contrast with the hope proclaimed at the Changed Movement event that took place in Washington, DC, last week, when 18 individuals who formerly identified as LGBT met with legislators to share their testimonies of how God transformed their lives by His grace.

Many states have banned counseling that helps individuals with unwanted same-sex attraction and gender dysphoria. A bill that would ban these therapies nationwide is now being considered in the US House of Representatives. Efforts to ban so-called “conversion” or “reparative” therapy in Idaho have failed so far.

Without access to the help and tools counseling provides, the “formers,” as they call themselves, don’t think they would have found liberation from their destructive lifestyles.

These brave men and women are walking monuments to the transforming power of God. “Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral… nor men who practice homosexuality… will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

Instead of condoning our sin, God promises to regenerate us. He sanctifies us in His Truth and calls us into righteousness.

That is good news for all of us. In Christ Jesus, there is hope, redemption, and deliverance. And that is a message and power worth singing hymns about.

Standing for hope,

Blaine Conzatti
Director of Advocacy

 

P.S. Have you downloaded the Parent Resource Guide: Understanding the Transgender Issue? It’s a free resource designed to equip parents with the tools they need to navigate the transgender issue. We pray it will be helpful for you and your family!

 

I don’t want to get political on Easter, but the Lord has put something on my heart that I feel compelled to share.

In recent days, we have seen numerous political figures diminish the work of Christ on the cross by claiming salvation yet clinging to sin. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, notably, has leveraged his homosexuality to force a one-sided fight with Vice President Pence in an effort to elevate his profile. Blaming God for his sinful lifestyle and arguing that his gay marriage brings him closer to the Lord have become cornerstones of his ascendant campaign.

Closer to home, Stacey Abrams continues to wage war on the values found in Scripture, the guiding text of the faith she claims. For years, she’s attacked the notion that our First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion should be protected, she’s promoted the radical LGBT agenda – even saying that schools should be used to affirm “gender identity,” and she recently called our pro-life “Heartbeat Bill” evil.

But, while Buttigieg, Abrams, and the like claim “Christianity” – their opposing views are an affront to that faith.

1 Corinthians 6:11 points to the power of salvation – the ability of the work of Jesus to lead to a radical transformation, a marked difference of who we once were. Those who claim faith yet deny the power of the Lord’s work, the authority of His Word, and the need for repentance are undermining the wonder that we celebrate this Easter weekend.

My friends, we serve a powerful and loving King. He saves sinners and heaven is filled with the undeserving. But, He has saved us to something better. He calls us to better, more joy-filled living and adherence to His design and purpose. That’s why, as Christians, we cannot sit on our hands and simply talk about the next life. He has intentions for us in THIS one!

As we celebrate Easter 2019, let’s embrace the call to be different and be better than our sin nature otherwise dictates. Let’s labor to impact our culture and to reclaim our churches. In far too many pulpits, there is an absence of this call, paving the way for those like Buttigieg and Abrams to take positions entirely inconsistent with Scripture. We MUST, as Christians, speak to these issues with clarity and conviction.

Our Lord did a great and mighty work for us. He saved sinners like you and me, and it is a beautiful thing. May you and your family have a blessed day remembering that Christ the King has conquered the grave, set you free, and saved your soul for something better!

Wishing you and yours a Blessed Easter,

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

 

 

…and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.” Revelation 1:13-16
I love the Christmas season. Like you, I relish the extra time with family, cherish all that the holiday means, and praise the Lord for sending his son to this earth. It is an event unique to history, unique from all other religions, and one — God becoming man — that made possible the sacrifice that saved wretched sinners like me.

But, for the Church, this can be a dangerous time of year. Though the holiday helps fill our sanctuaries and affords great opportunity for advancing the Gospel, there is a great risk when we emphasize the babe in the manger at the expense of Christ the King.

You see, the babe in the manger makes for a nice cartoon, a heartwarming nativity scene, or cute children’s Christmas play, however He is essential for the rest of the Gospel to unfold. But, alone, the babe in the manger does not save sinners. And, that is where our churches are at great risk this season.

It is easy for pastors to talk about the precious babe, to tell the story of the poor young couple thrust into this grand picture, how they couldn’t find a place to lay their head, and how even wise men came from far away to kneel before a cute little baby. It’s a lot more palatable for those depictions of Jesus to be taught than the man who called the hypocritical Pharisees a “brood of vipers” and “whitewashed tombs.” The babe is not as controversial as the Christ who violently overturned the tables in the temple.

Kneeling before a precious baby is a lot easier than kneeling before the Christ that calls us to take up our cross and follow Him.

So, this Christmas, YES, celebrate that Christ came to earth. But, pray for the Church!

Those of us, like you and me, who see our culture in a rapid downward spiral, understand that THE solution to those woes is the Church taking its role as salt and light. I would further put forward the idea that the revival needed in the Church is not more people in the pews (though that is always welcome) but more Christ in the Christian! We are not called to be palatable, uncontroversial, or easy. We are called to be starkly different than the rest of the world!

Cultural or nominal Christianity is far more dangerous to the Church than religious persecution. You see, while anyone can say “Amen!” to the children’s play at the church; many will rise and exit the doors at not only the passionate sermon on repentance but also the life Christ calls us to lead, and the level of counter-cultural engagement we are required to wage against the world.

Does your church place too much emphasis on the babe in the manger? Are the “uncomfortable” portions of Christ’s life eschewed in favor of the easy ones? Does your pastor devote far more time to the preciousness of the baby than to what He came on the earth to conquer? Does he spend any time at all discussing the more “controversial” cultural issues that are UNAVOIDABLE in a full reading of Scripture such as of God’s valuing of the pre-born baby, His design in gender assignment, His perfect creation of the world, His institution of marriage, and the roles and responsibilities He has ordained for parents?

As we enter the Christmas season, I hope our churches offer the full Gospel, not simply the easy one.

What to pray for— Please pray for our churches and for the Body of Christ here in Georgia to be the Lord’s instruments in changing the culture of our state.

In His Service,

Cole Muzio
President and Executive Director

What if the First Amendment locked your faith inside a box? Some public officials apparently would like to keep you and your Christian ideas squirreled away where they won’t have to hear you.

In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard explores this issue using his favorite artistic medium: cardboard and duct tape.

Revive Us Graphic

Are you feeling exhausted by the political scene? If you’re searching for some hope amid the mudslinging, you’re invited to attend a special live event October 18 in theaters nationwide.

Revive Us 2016 will feature Dr. Ben Carson, Francis Chan, Eric Metaxas and others for an empowering and interactive evening of inspiring messages, prayer and music. Tickets are on sale today.

Statesmen Academy GraphicIn the toxic world of today’s politics, the teachings of Jesus and Paul can seem oddly quaint and thoroughly misplaced. How can political opponents love one another, be gracious and even forgiving?

The fact is, all of these principles – the Golden Rule, the Second Greatest Commandment, the Fruit of the Spirit – are required in politics and they are practiced more frequently than you know, particularly when the television cameras are not rolling. The reason is that these are rules for human behavior, designed by the Creator of human behavior. They draw people together, allow them to talk through differences and to listen, really listen, to the objections of opponents.

Sometimes these principles lead to political agreement, though many times not, given the ideological chasms that divide the political parties these days. But the New Testament teachings do lead to other important outcomes – to respect, to trust and even to one of the most unlikely things in politics: to humility.

Politicians who figure all of this out often emerge as leaders. Many of them, unsurprisingly, are Christian people who have found success in politics and brought credit to the Cause of Christ.

This summer, your support will bring a half dozen of these leaders together to teach a group of the best and brightest young legislators (and those aspiring to run for office) – Christians all. This week of intense training will be our inaugural Statesmen Academy. You will be building an enduring fellowship of Christian Statesmen and women who can learn from – and lean on – one another as they stay the course and transform our system of government from the inside.

Our politics sorely need such people.

Eric Buehrer

Gateways to Better Education helps public schools teach about the important contribution the Bible and Christianity make to the world. Eric Buehrer is the president and founder.

School officials in Middleton, Wisconsin, are upset at a group of moms who are eating lunch with their high school children and their friends. Middleton High School allows students to go off campus for lunch. Since the school is next to a public park, a group of five moms started meeting their children at the park for a picnic lunch once a week. The problem? They are Christians and they dare to talk about their faith, and the group has grown to 300 or 400 students.

The school district would like the public to think that they are only concerned about the safety of the students. But, from the school principal’s remarks to local news outlets, clearly the issue is about religious expression.

Middleton High School principal Steve Plank told a local news outlet, “Some students feel excluded or left out. We have students of different faiths, Muslim students or Hindu students or Jewish students who feel like this is happening and it’s not for them.”

First of all, it’s just lunch with 3-5 minute Christian message. Second, it’s a public park (and the moms have a permit from the city to use the park). Third, students are free to eat and leave without listening to the brief thought-for-the-day. Fourth, the high school students freely choose to attend; and fifth, the 300-400 students who attend are only 15-20% of the 2,065 students at Middleton High Schools. The other 1,600-1,700+ students are eating somewhere else.

Last week, the school district posted a statement on its website that it was consulting with its legal counsel to see if it was responsible for the students attending the picnics since the district leases the park for its use (even though the park remains a public park for all to use).

What responsibility? If they are concerned about food safety, are they willing to monitor the other 1,900 students’ sack lunches in the lunch room? Are they saying no student can even go to the park when they leave campus for lunch, even if it is to eat their own lunch?

Clearly, the issue isn’t the health and safety of students; it’s about district’s concern that students may somehow be traumatized by voluntarily choosing to hear a Christian message during their free time off school property.

Predictably, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, whose offices are just down the road in Madison, Wisconsin, have now protested the students’ choice of lunch time activity. According to their press release, they offered dessert and handed out uplifting and tolerant pamphlets such as “What’s Wrong with the Ten Commandments” and “Why Women Need Freedom from Religion.”

To help the moms and students, Gateways to Better Education has offered them Free to Speak pamphlets (a joint project of Alliance Defending Freedom and Gateways to Better Education) explaining public school students’ freedom of religious expression.

What was a simple activity involving food and fellowship has now become yet another opportunity for the politically correct to claim that they are traumatized, and for activists to rail against people of faith.