Nehemiah was cup bearer to the king (Neh. 1:11).
This understated description of Nehemiah’s role, found at the end of Chapter 1 in the book that bears his name, sets the stage for an amazing God-given assignment: to rebuild the broken-down wall and the burned-out gates of Jerusalem, which left the Israelites unprotected, exposed and at the mercy of local despots.
Because of his proximity to, and his favor with king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah was given permission by the king to leave his service, return to the land of his ancestors and lead the project to rebuild the wall. No doubt, you know the rest of the story of Nehemiah’s wise leadership to rally the downtrodden Israelites to the difficult work. “Each labored on the work with one hand and held his weapon with the other” (Neh. 4:17)—to build their assigned section and, at the same time, defend against marauders who would destroy their effort.
To achieve his mission, Nehemiah had to build a first wall. A wall before any stone was ever laid. That first wall… was the people themselves!
Nehemiah understood well that in order for the job to be completed, the people themselves would first need to stand firm against the opposition and take action to restore the wall and their freedom.
Can we draw a parallel to our times today? Of course, we can.
If we want to restore our nation to one where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished, the people who know their God must stand firm and take action today (Dan. 11:32)!
We must be the first wall!
Unfortunately, cracks in our own wall are evident today. Two recent and personal examples give evidence to this:
First, a ministry partner from a heartland state reached out to us to launch an effective state-based organization to advance family values, stand firm against the progressive agenda and allow the Gospel to be proclaimed. To this end, he wanted to host an informational event in a room at his church and have me come to speak about cultural issues and their impact on the family. When he sought permission, the church administration told us, “We choose not to allow our building to be used for any activity or event that is construed as political.”
When we explained we were only going to speak on the issues found in God’s Word, we received no further response to our request. Instead, we must hold the event at a local restaurant and invite the same people.
In other words, this evangelical church silenced biblical speech on the issues impacting their own people in their own community! This is the same treatment many students face at universities when a conservative is invited to campus to speak on the issues.
A second example has to do with a Christian movie we were promoting across our alliance of now 40+ states. Through a friend, I had the opportunity to connect with a Christian actor from the movie and ask if they would be willing to do a short video to engage our ministry friends about a policy issue tied to what was depicted in the movie—which would have promoted the movie itself even more. Initially, the actor agreed to do it. Yet after several delays and repeated inquiries, the actor finally responded that, “they had a long discussion with their agent” and they “feel it is not in their career’s best interest to be tie[d] to politics.”
Our own wall is in need of repair.
I was recently asked by a friend, “what’s the biggest challenge you face in your role in promoting family values across the nation?” My response was straightforward: “fear, apathy and lack of biblical understanding in the church.” I can understand the apprehensions that many of us feel when we engage on issues that are misunderstood or even seen as divisive. But as Christ-followers, we are called to do nothing less. We must speak out in grace and truth.
That’s why Family Policy Alliance must unleash biblical citizenship within the church in order to be effective in training and electing Statesmen, engaging in elections nationwide, building a strong state-based alliance and promoting pro-family policy. We must rebuild the first wall…the wall called the Church in order to rebuild the wall in the law and our culture.
Your continued support helps your Family Policy Alliance and our state-allies to engage their local Christian community with sound biblical Truth on the issues as well as promote biblical ways to stand firm and act. Thank you for allowing us to stand as Nehemiah did…to rally the church to be the first wall.
Standing, as part of the wall, with the family of believers,
President & CEO