John Newton and William Wilberforce have always amazed me for their part in the battle to end slavery. Newton was an example of authentic grace and transformation that can take place in the human heart – that is, from the “inside-out.” And, Wilberforce was tireless and persistent in his work to end slavery legislatively, that is from the “outside-in.” They made a good team in 18th century Great Britain and that two-pronged approach could be the key towards solving many social challenges in America today.
For John Newton, it took a change of heart to alter his life. We all know him as the author of one of the best-known and most loved hymns of the last two centuries, “Amazing Grace.” Estimates suggest that the song is played 10 million times each year and has appeared on over 11,000 albums. It had a surge of popularity during two of our nation’s greatest crises: the Civil War and the Vietnam War. Churches everywhere still sing it today. Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and Elvis are among the many artists who recorded the song. Even former President Obama spontaneously sang it a few years ago during a memorial service for Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a victim of a church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.
It is amazing that this hymn has become closely associated with the African American community when you consider that the author, John Newton was a former slave trader until God’s ‘Amazing Grace’ changed his heart. It is a testament to the transformative work of Christ. Newton later became a pastor and preacher changing people’s attitudes about race and slavery by changing their heart, from the ‘inside-out.’
Wilberforce, on the other hand, was a politician and a wealthy philanthropist. He gave away one-quarter of his annual income to the poor. He fought on behalf of chimney sweeps, single mothers, orphans, and juvenile delinquents. When he was a child, Newton was his pastor. As he grew older, Wilberforce wanted to leave working in government for the ministry. Instead, Newton encouraged him to stay in politics, convincing him of the need to end slavery legally – from the “outside-in.”
The story of “Amazing Grace” offers a powerful lesson for us today: change the heart of the nation and its laws will follow. The work of churches today is similar to the work of John Newton as they preach the Gospel that transforms lives from the “inside-out.” And the work of Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming is like the work of Wilberforce and countless other Christian policymakers, taking the policy and legislative approach and effecting change from the “outside-in.”
Our mission statement is very clear. We exist to make Wyoming a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
If you want to partner with us to bring change to policy (or find out how we can help you change hearts), here are two steps to consider:
- Want help changing the culture from the inside out? I welcome the opportunity to speak at your church or small group. You can contact me here.
- Please consider making a monthly donation so we can continue to make a difference in Wyoming. We are grateful for your partnership!
On Sunday morning, believers across our nation – and around the world – will join in proclaiming: “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”
In that call & response is the summation of our joy. As Christ-followers, we share the certainty that Jesus is alive, His sacrifice atones for all our sins and He has gone to prepare a place for us… to live with Him forever!
…and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:8-9)
As followers of Jesus, we call sin for what it is. First, within the family of believers and then within the culture around us. We do so not to be judgmental or “holier than thou,” or as “haters” as the world tries to label us.
We do so out of love as our Lord commanded and as He, Himself demonstrated. We stand for the values that promote love, and stand opposed to sin that destroys lives forever.
In other words, Family Policy Alliance stands on behalf of the family in the world of politics because we want others to know the joy that comes from knowing our risen Savior who bore our sin on His cross so that we could trade our destruction for His abundant life (John 10:10).
As a result:
We work to enact policies that protect life from conception to natural death – out of love for our neighbor and respect for all human beings who are made in God’s image.
We honor marriage between one man and one woman, and for children to be raised in a home with a mother and father– because this is God’s best for men, women, children, the family and society.
We fight to protect parents’ right to raise and train their children according to their values, rather than the government imposing its views, because God called upon parents to carry this honor and responsibility.
And, perhaps most importantly, we protect and advance the freedom to proclaim the Name above all names in the public square – because not doing so violates our very faith and prevents our neighbor from hearing about the Savior who gives us our joy
May the joy we have in our risen Savior never be confined to only Easter Sunday. John 3:16 makes clear that God gave His only Son for the world. So, as we rightly rejoice with our family of believers this Sunday, let us also renew our commitment to carry the joy of the Gospel to our work, our communities, our families…and, yes, even to the way we do government and politics!
The joy of Easter is for all of us!
Rejoicing with you,
Paul Weber, President & CEO
“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
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” –Psalm 139:13-14
Welcome to the conclusion of our four-part series highlighting our vision – a state where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we believe that life is a precious gift from God and that it should be protected from fertilization to natural death. Unfortunately, this is not the case in New Mexico, particularly when it comes to offering protection to the most vulnerable among us: our preborn children.
Regrettably, the Land of Enchantment’s history with abortion is anything but enchanting. As a state that frequently boasts of having some of the least restrictions on abortion in the nation, we have become an infamous lure for those wishing to terminate pregnancies. In fact, Albuquerque is often heralded as the “Late-Term Abortion Capital of the Country” for attracting women who cannot legally have late-term abortions in other states.
DID YOU KNOW that New Mexico is one of only a few remaining states that allow abortion to be performed at any stage during the pregnancy? That’s right, folks. In New Mexico, a preborn child can be aborted up to the day of birth, and it’s happening in our own backyard.
Southwestern Women’s Options in Albuquerque, led by abortionist Curtis Boyd, is the nation’s largest abortion facility conducting elective abortions through the third trimester. In 2009, Boyd gave a startling television interview in which he openly provided the following admission regarding his practice: “Am I killing? Yes, I am. I know that.”
Boyd simply shed light on what we already know to be true in light of Scripture and science. Even liberal comedian Bill Maher would agree. In Maher’s words, “You don’t have to be religious to be against abortion. I mean you see the little picture of the kid in there. At some point… it is kind of wrong to kill it.”
This may be the only time I agree with both Boyd and Maher. We agree that abortion kills.
And sadly, New Mexico approves.
Friends – it is time to restore a culture of life in our state! Every person has been created in the Image of God as a unique and priceless being with inherent dignity and rights – chief among them, the right to live! This includes those with terminal diagnoses and those with disabilities; the preborn and those facing the end of life; and those at every age, status or capability in between.
Our vision is a New Mexico where life is cherished, and we want you to join us in this effort! Daniel 11:32 says, “…the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” Simply put, it’s not enough to stand for what we believe – we must also act. At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we call this “unleashing citizenship,” and we are counting on your help to unleash a movement of change across our state. I know we can count on your prayers. Can we count on your support as well?
Together, let’s turn New Mexico around for the glory of our God!
President and Executive Director
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being…” –Ephesians 3:14-16
“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.” These are the words of the great Winston Churchill, spoken following the birth of Prince Charles in 1948. And although spoken nearly 70 years ago, these words remain true today. In short, family matters!
Welcome to part three of our four-part series highlighting the vision of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico. Today, we look at the third part of our vision – a New Mexico where families thrive.
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we believe that God’s timeless design for the family is the strongest foundation for any free and successful society. Not only is the family the single best institution for the creation, protection, provision, and training of children, whether biological or adoptive – it is also the most beneficial establishment for the honoring and caring for elderly, and for the fulfillment of all human needs. As such, thriving families have the power to lessen the need for government intervention and should serve as an important check on the scope of our government.
For too long, New Mexico families have been mired by the paralyzing effect of government dependency and an entitlement system that disincentivizes the traditional family unit. Our current welfare system not only discourages marriage, but also actively penalizes those who do get married – particularly low-income parents. For example, a single mother in New Mexico with two children, earning $20,000 per year, is eligible to receive almost $3,600 per year in food stamp benefits. However, if she were to marry the father, who earns the same as she does, that family would no longer qualify for any assistance.
Now I don’t know about you, but I believe we should be in the business of encouraging and empowering families. This includes supporting state policies and programs that encourage parents to stay together and raise their children; empowering parents to assume control of their children’s education; highlighting the uniquely beneficial roles that men and women, fathers and mothers, bring to the family; and offering appropriate support to our single parents, guardians, relatives raising children, foster parents, and those wishing to adopt.
Some say, “It takes a village.” At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we say, “It takes a family.”
Our vision is a New Mexico where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, and families thrive, and we want you to play a part in this! You can do that right now by visiting our Action Center, reviewing our current action items, and adding your name to the growing number of concerned citizens who are speaking up and standing for families.
Thank you for your prayers and support!
President and Executive Director
“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge,” -Acts 4:19
In 2006, Elaine Huguenin, an Albuquerque wedding photographer, respectfully declined a request to photograph a same-sex ceremony on the basis that her participation would violate her deeply held religious beliefs regarding marriage. Although the same-sex couple was able to find another photographer, they nonetheless filed a complaint against Elaine with the Human Rights Commission, commencing years of legal action that would ultimately make it to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
In August 2013, the New Mexico Supreme Court unanimously ruled against Elaine in one of the most unusual and unprecedented rejections of religious freedom to date. In a special concurring opinion, Supreme Court Justice Richard Bosson conceded that the Court’s decision would have sobering results for people of faith, noting that Elaine and her husband were now “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” Even so, Justice Bosson concurred with the Court’s decision, concluding that this compulsory compromise was “the price of citizenship” in New Mexico.
Welcome to part two of our four-part series highlighting the vision of Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico. Today, we look at the second part of our vision – a New Mexico where religious freedom flourishes.
To say I simply disagree with Justice Bosson and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Elaine’s case is an understatement. At best, the Court’s ruling was an ill-fated misinterpretation of our state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. At worst, it was a blatant attack against the religious freedom guaranteed to us by our U.S. and State Constitutions.
Yes, this is happening, and, yes, we must do something about it!
At Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico, we are dedicated to preserving our freedom to believe and live out our faith. We do this by promoting public policy that protects and enhances this freedom for individuals, families, churches, organizations, and companies. At the same time, we defend against policies that would erode constitutional protections for people of faith and the entities they operate.
Friends – our founders recognized the freedom of religion to be so fundamental that they preserved it as our first freedom in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment – protecting not only the freedom to believe, but also the freedom to freely exercise our beliefs.
Do you agree with the founders? Do you share our passion for protecting religious freedom?
If so, please continue to pray for Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico and spread the word about our ministry. You can help right now by forwarding this message to 5 friends and asking them to subscribe to our email list.
Picture this – a New Mexico where God is honored and religious freedom flourishes. Together, let’s “unleash citizenship” and transform this picture into reality!
Standing for religious freedom and the family of believers,
President and Executive Director