The Shepherd of Hope blog is here to serve you, to help you know Jesus better and to find hope in Him. This blog relies on the Spirit of God using the word of God to build people of God. All material has been prayerfully submitted for your encouragement and spiritual edification. Your questions and comments are welcome.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Word On Politics

November 2nd, 2010 will be one of the most important days in the history of our nation. This day is Election Day. The choices made on this day may well determine the future of our nation and the rapidity with which it declines or experiences the hope for revival. I do not believe that politics holds the hope for our nation, but having said that, I also do not believe we should ignore or disassociate ourselves from the political process entirely.

Romans 13 calls every Christian to be a good citizen in the governmental system in which God sovereignly places them. For us, that is a democracy and in a democracy good citizens vote and are involved in the process. There are flaws and opportunities for corruption in democracies like there are in any and all other systems which involve sinful human beings. But God calls believers to act redemptively in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit to be salt and light wherever they are and in whatever political or governmental system they live in (Matthew 5:13-16). Nowhere in scripture are Christians instructed to simply throw up their hands and give in to evil and darkness. We are called to go on the offensive and storm the gates of hell wherever we find them (Matthew 16:18). That is why I am encouraging you to be fervent in your prayers for our nation and its leadership and to get involved in some way to be salt and light.

One practical way to serve in this regard is to PRAY, that is our most basic and indeed, most powerful form of involvement (1 Timothy 2:1-8). We need to be in prayer for all governmental representatives. For some we need to pray that the conviction of the Spirit descends upon them to call them to repent. Others we need to pray that they will be encouraged and not give up. For all we should be praying that they bow their knees before the Father in humility and dependence.

As good citizens it is also important to KEEP INFORMED and be able to answer intelligently in the Spirit those who support candidates who are less than righteous and even evil in nature. Pray the Lord open the door to witness in such political conversation because the salvation of humanity is our top priority.

REMEMBER, THERE ARE NO PERFECT CANDIDATES! Candidates are human beings and human beings are not perfect. But there are candidates chosen by God (Daniel 2:20-22). There are candidates who are anti-Christ in nature (Psalm 94:20; Proverbs 14:34; 16:12; 1 John 2:18; 4:1-4). You can determine chosen candidates by holding them up to the standard of God's word and seeing which one best fits the mold of God's word. You must do this prayerfully because one of the characteristics of politics is deception and manipulation. Ask the Lord to reveal His truth to you and to help you discern who He would have you vote for. Ask God to expose falsehoods and lies and exalt the truth.

It should also be noted that candidates considered for our righteous support are not limited to the male gender. While the Bible does prohibit women serving in the church as pastors (1 Timothy 2:12-14), there is no such prohibition against a woman's eligibility in secular areas of service. So if you see a godly righteous woman candidate, give her all your support!

Lastly, we should GIVE monetarily to righteous groups and causes. The political process in our day and age is fueled by money. That is a political reality. Jesus spoke a great deal about finances and money. While the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (1 Timothy 6:10), money itself is not evil. The word "Money" occurs 148 times in the Bible; the word "give" 865 times. Money is an important topic in God's word and Jesus spoke a great deal about it (see Matthew 6). Our monetary income comes from the Lord and He wants us to use the money or finances He provides us in a righteous way according to His will (1 Samuel 2:7; Philippians 4:19; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; James 1:17). Money is a neutral entity that can be used for good or evil, to support good candidates or to support bad, evil or wrong candidates. Money exerts a powerful influence (Proverbs 22:7; 1 Timothy 6:17-19) and therefore we, as good stewards of God's provisions, should ask God to show us when and where He would have us exert money's influence for His glory.

If you can’t afford to give monetarily, see if there is some way you could serve in helping a righteous candidate or group. Some group resources you should consider looking into for further information are:

• American Family Association –
• Family Research Council –
• Citizen Link -
• Newyorkers for Constitutional Freedoms -

Our ultimate goal is not merely the election or reelection of certain representatives, but the SPIRITUAL REVIVAL of our nation. The questions you should be asking are Which candidate best aligns with God's truth and will as revealed in His word? Which candidate would God prefer to lead a nation with Kingdom values? Which candidate would God have me support? God bless you all and prayerfully be salt and light.

Citizenship and the Coming of Christ

"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake.6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing.7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. 8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. 11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." - Romans 13:1-14

Romans 13 is in the practical or application section of the book of Romans (i.e. Romans 12-16). In Romans 12 Paul exhorts us to present ourselves to God as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God because that is the only reasonable response to all God in His grace has done for us (see Romans 1-11). Romans 12 goes on to describe how the Christian is to live in church body settings. In Romans 13 and following we are instructed on how to live in society or the world.

The times we are living in are filled with tension, uncertainty, danger and darkness. How should a Christian respond and live in such times. The following is a brief synopsis of what it means to be a good Christian citizen in times such as these.

1. Respect your government understanding that God has allowed it to be established - 13:1. Pray for your government officials - 1 Timothy 2:1-8.
2. If you resist government understand you may be resisting God's ordained authority - 13:2; Daniel 4:17. Remember, Paul wrote this under Roman rule! But also understand that the Christian's priority is to God over men - Acts 5:29; Daniel 3:16-18; 6:10ff.
3. Government is designed by God to resist evil - 13:3-4.
4. Let God guide your conscience toward government - 13:5.
5. The purpose of government is to minister or serve - 13:6.
6. It is God's will that we pay taxes to financially support government - 13:6-7.
7. Christian citizens are to act in love - 13:8-10; Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 13.
8. Christians are to live as good citizens in an awareness of the return of Jesus - 13:11-14.

a. A good Christian citizen is awake spiritually and alert to the prophetic times in which they live - 13:11.
b. A good Christian citizen works to "cast off the works of darkness" -13:12a.
c. A good Christian citizen puts on the armor of light, shines the light of God's truth against the darkness around them - 13:12b.
d. A good Christian citizen walks properly, under the control of the Spirit, not in the drunken lewdness, strife and envy of the world - 13:13
e. A good Christian citizen puts on Jesus, walks in the Spirit and does not live in their flesh or own strength and understanding - 13:14.

Let’s pray that we and our fellow Christians are good citizens as we watch for the return of our Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s join together and prayerfully seek the Lord's help and leading to be a good citizen and ambassador of Jesus Christ in the country and political system He sovereignly chose to place us.

Did You Know?

As you walk up the steps to the building which houses the U.S. Supreme Court you can see near the top of the building a row of the world's law givers and each one is facing one in the middle who is facing forward with a full frontal view ... it is Moses and he is holding the Ten Commandments!

As you enter the Supreme Court courtroom, the two huge oak doors have the Ten Commandments engraved on each lower portion of each door.

As you sit inside the courtroom, you can see the wall, right above where the Supreme Court judges sit, a display of the Ten Commandments!

There are Bible verses etched in stone all over the Federal Buildings and Monuments in Washington, D.C.

James Madison, the fourth president, known as "The Father of Our Constitution" made the following statement: "We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Patrick Henry, that patriot and Founding Father of our country said: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ".

Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher, whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.

Fifty-two of the 55 founders of the Constitution were members of the established orthodox churches in the colonies.

Thomas Jefferson worried that the Courts would overstep their authority and instead of interpreting the law would begin making law ... an oligarchy ... the rule of few over many.

The very first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said: "Americans should select and prefer Christians as their rulers." How, then, have we gotten to the point that everything we have done for 220 years in this country is now suddenly wrong and unconstitutional?

Did you also know that 52 of the 55 signers of the Declaration of Independence were orthodox, deeply committed Christians? The other three believed in the Bible as the divine truth, in the God of Scripture, in His personal intervention.

Immediately after creating the Declaration of Independence, the Continental Congress voted to purchase and import 20,000 copies of the Scripture for the people of this nation.

Patrick Henry is still remembered for his words, "Give me liberty or give me death." But in current textbooks the context of these words are deleted. Here is what he actually said:

"An appeal to arms and the God of hosts is all that is left us. But we shall not fight our battle alone. There is a just God that presides over the destinies of nations. The battle sir, is not to the strong alone, is life so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

These sentences have been erased from our textbooks. The following year, 1776, Henry wrote this: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded the freedom of worship here."

Consider these words Thomas Jefferson wrote in the front of his well worn Bible: "I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator." Jefferson was also the chairman of the American Bible Society, which he considered his highest and most important role.

On July 4, 1821, President John Adams said, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of government with the principles of Christianity."

Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President, reaffirmed this truth when he wrote, "The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith in these teachings would cease to be practically in our country."

In 1782 Congress voted this resolution: "The Congress of the United States recommends and approves the Holy Bible for use in all schools."

William Holmes McGuffey, author of the McGuffey Reader used in our public schools until 1963, said: "The Christian religion is the religion of our country. From it are derived our notions on the character of God, on the great moral Governor of the universe. On its doctrines are founded the peculiarities of our free institutions. From no other source has the author drawn more conspicuously than from the sacred Scriptures. From these extracts from the Bible I make no apology."

Of the first 108 universities founded in America, 106 were distinctly Christian, including the first, Harvard University, chartered in 1636. In the original Harvard Student Handbook, rule No.1 was students seeking entrance must know Latin and Greek so they can study the Scriptures: "Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life, John 17:3; and therefore to lay Jesus Christ as the only foundation for our children to follow the moral principles of the Ten Commandments."

We ask God to bless America, especially as we remember the horrific tragedy of 9-11. But how can He bless a nation that has departed so far from Him?

Prior to Sept. 11, God wasn't truly welcome in America, was He?
Is He yet? Certainly that's arguable, with godless federal judges declaring the Ten Commandments inappropriate for public display after ruling our Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because it mentions God.

It truly is a shame most of what you read in this message has been erased from public school textbooks by revisionists intend on removing the Truth about our nation's Christian roots. What is the Truth? Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth and the life."

Pass this along to others so the Truth of our nation's history will be told. Share this patriotic message with everyone you know so the Lord, who has faithfully and lovingly watched over our nation all these years, may touch hardened hearts and inspire closed minds to His Truth -- that America still is one nation under God!

Make your stand for the Truth by signing a petition challenging today's Congress to reign in rogue judges so our Constitution again is interpreted in keeping with our forefathers' intent. Here's where to stand up for America's Godly heritage:

Can America be Revived?

We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. - Abraham Lincoln

I believe as the West goes, so goes the world. And as America goes, so goes the West. And as the Church goes, so goes America. And as believers fast and pray, so goes the Church. - Adrian Rogers

The only thing that is going to stop the onslaught of God's judgment in America is a genuine revival in the Church. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

God does not judge a nation simply because of the wickedness of the ungodly. He judges a nation because of the sin and the disobedience of His own people. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

The problem with American Christianity is that we want to control God instead of letting God control us. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

There came a time when God withdrew His glory and departed, leaving Israel without hope against her enemies. If America's Christians do not repent of their sins, I fear that He will do the same to us. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

Before we can hope to see any significant change in American Christianity, we must have more true prophets of God willing to call us back to holiness--the only acceptable standard for serving God. We need men and women who are willing to let God have absolute authority in their lives. Only then will we be able to witness the powerful influence of lives totally dedicated to the kingdom of God and to the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

We have grown so accustomed to the darkness that we have forgotten the light. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

I am often asked, 'What will it take for revival to come to America?' I believe that it will take a complete willingness on the part of God's people to bow the knee to Christ as Lord and to His Word as the absolute authority for our lives. When we do, in His timing and good pleasure, He will send revival to His church and through us, immeasurable blessing to the world. - Del Fehsenfeld Jr.

It is time to stop criticizing America and our leaders. It's time to sit down in the presence of God and each other, to repent and weep over our sins. - Dr. Paul Cedar

Only God knows what awaits an unrepentant America. I'm hopeful we will never find out! - Luis Palau

Ultimately, common, ordinary Americans have a choice to make. We can continue down the road that leads to ruin, or we can, by faith, take the high road that leads to spiritual revival and moral renewal. The choice is ours. - Sammy Tippit

There will never be a spiritual awakening and moral renewal in the nation until we have dealt with the root problem facing this generation...a selfish spirit...We must tear down the altars of self and return to the God of our forefathers if we are to undergo a national revival. - Sammy Tippit

If revival is to come to America, then we must lay the ax to the root of selfishness that has grown up in the nation...It must begin in the church. It must begin with you and me. - Sammy Tippit

America is only as good as its inhabitants. When ordinary citizens accept moral darkness as a way of life, the future of the nation is destined for days of depravity. However, when God's people awaken to the power of God's renewal, then hope begins to shatter the darkness. - Sammy Tippit

Revival must be personal before it can become national. - Sammy Tippit

The people of God in America are doing everything today except praying! We can plan programs, promote rallies, raise money, exalt personalities, play softball, swallow goldfish, and many other 'good things' with the best of the them, but we can't get the people of God to attend real prayer meetings. - Stephen Olford

We shall never see real revival in America until God's people get serious about their prayer life! - Stephen Olford

The following article was written for a previous election, but it is just as true for the upcoming one.

M I L L I O N V O T E S U P D A T E -

You'll never again doubt that Christian voters matter after reading this - 6/17/04

Christian voters decided the 2000 election. Christian voters will decide this year's election. And I can prove it, if you will take a few minutes to read this message.

Facts about Election 2000

In 2000, the voting age population of the United States was 203 million. According to the Barna Group, 41% of adults in 2000 were born-again Christians (see note below on how Barna identifies "born-again" individuals). But since Christian voters were more likely to vote than non-Christian voters (59% to 46%), nearly half of all votes were cast by Christian Americans.

According to Barna, in the 2000 presidential election there were slightly less than 50 million Christian voters, and slightly more than 55 million non-born-again voters. That means about 48% of voters in the presidential election were born-again.

Now, other than male-female, it is difficult to identify a demographic group in a national presidential election that represents 48% of all voters. Christian voters may be the single largest demographic!

Of those 50 million Christian voters, 57% voted for George W. Bush and 42% voted for Al Gore. So while Christian voters were not a clear-cut voting block for either candidate, there was a 15-point swing. Barna estimates that the 15% margin in Bush's favor represented about 7.1 million votes in an election that was decided by just hundreds of votes in Florida and thousands of votes in other states.

From this data we can conclude:

1. Christian voters provided the margin of victory for George W. Bush.

2. Christian voter turnout was higher than the national average. If Christian voters had voted at the same rate as non-Christian voters, there would have been about 11 million fewer Christian votes, a swing of about 1.6 million votes that Bush would have lost. And Bush would likely have lost the election.

Thus, Christian voters decided the 2000 election on two fronts: by the RATE at which they voted and by THE CHOICE they made.

+ + Reversal from 1996

In fact, it can be argued that Christian voters decided the 1996 election as well. Barna says Bob Dole only had a 6 point margin over Bill Clinton in 1996 Christian votes. If Dole had secured the same percentage of Christian voters in 1996 as Bush did in 2000, it would have given him about 4 million more votes and made the 1996 election as close as the 2000 election.

Again, Christian voters made the crucial difference.

Here are three critical things we have learned:

1. Christian voters will be the largest and most important demographic in the 2010 election and will likely represent between 45% and 50% of all voters.

2. Christian voters will decide the election by their TURNOUT.

3. Christian voters will decide the election by their CHOICE.

It's that simple.

+ + Can 1,000,000 Christian voters make a difference?

+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

The CENTER FOR RECLAIMING AMERICA, now defunct, was established by Dr. D. James Kennedy, as an outreach of Coral Ridge Ministries to inform the American public and motivate Christians to defend and implement the biblical principles on which our country was founded. The CENTER provided non-partisan, non-denominational information, training, and support to all those interested in impacting the culture and renewing the vision set forth by our Founding Fathers.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks the excellent post on Christianity and politics. It was refreshingly factual and well thought out. I enjoyed the quote about American's wanting to control God instead of vice versa.