The independence from excessive rule by the British monarchy we celebrated this week came at the high cost of commitment and personal sacrifice. The freedom we have been blessed to enjoy and share has never been as fully experienced by any other nation. We are about to lose our independence to dependence on an all-powerful, all-consuming nanny state. Where are the prophets and pastors who will point us to the Good Shepherd, who will lead our nation back to still waters and green pasture?
The prophet Isaiah opens his book referencing the nation of Israel as weighed down with iniquity—an offspring of evildoers who have abandoned the Lord and turned away from Him. The verses revealed the “head is sick” (a reference to leadership) and the “heart is faint” (a reference to relationship, especially with God).The productive fields have been devoured, and devastation is prevailing, which is an indication of economic decline. The only hope remains for a remnant to lead the necessary return to God.
God says to His people, when they multiply their prayers, “He will not listen because your hands are covered with blood.” In verses that follow He promises forgiveness and grace so mighty that even “scarlet sins become white as snow and those that are red like crimson become like wool.” There is reassurance that God will bless His people and even indicates what every Old Testament prophet promised: If we will return to God, He will forgive us and restore the years of productivity. As Joel said, He will make up for the years the devouring locusts have eaten. Isaiah said, “If you return, you will eat the good fruit of the land.” God is anxious to bless us. This is the reason He led Israel from Egyptian bondage into the Promised Land that was flowing with milk and honey, along with bountiful fruitfulness.
God has always wanted a family of faith to bless in order that through them, He could bless the nations of the world. He also made it clear in the Old and New Testament, and confirmed by Jesus Christ, that we would witness kingdoms in conflict. We are to represent the kingdom of light, love and truth, and we are to do so faithfully and fearlessly, continuing the emphasis of Isaiah and the theme carried by all the prophets. Isaiah, beholding the Lord, began the spiritual renewal and awakening by saying, “Woe is me!” (not “Woe are all the others!”). He dealt with his own need and then answered with a clear commitment, “Here am I, send me.”
God told him that the journey would be tough and the majority of people would not listen. This was reaffirmed when Jesus said, “Broad is the way that leads to destruction, and narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.” The fact that people clench their fists in the face of a holy God or turn from God to trust in another source like Pharaoh, Caesar, or our own federal government does not lessen our responsibility to lift up a standard.
I find myself asking often, “Where are the prophets and shepherds who will stand and proclaim God’s uncompromising truth in His abounding love? Where are the shepherds who will gladly lay down their lives for the sheep? As the Old Testament prophets said, the shepherds have been replaced by hirelings. Isaiah even made the statement that they are “dumb dogs unable to bark.”1 Jeremiah rebuked the shepherds for offering false peace and healing brokenness superficially so there is no repentance and real peace. Isaiah again re-emphasized why prayers are not answered. In the 59th chapter, he said our iniquities have separated us from our God and hidden His face from us. Our hands are defiled with blood—fingers with iniquity and lips speaking falsehood. He went on to say the people’s feet run to evil—they hasten to shed innocent blood.
In our nation over 50 million babies have been aborted in the wombs of their mothers. Even now, national laws are being passed not only to condone same-sex marriage, but to penalize you if you don’t make abortion and early-abortion pills available, which will be funded by the American people.
I admire every pastor and priest who is standing up and speaking out. Our close friend Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, joined other pastors and leaders—along with many in the black community—to protest same-sex marriage, which our nation’s leader said he endorses because of the Golden Rule passage found in Matthew 19: “Treat others the way you’d want to be treated.”
Evans told National Public Radio after the president made his public statement, “The Bible is clear…Sexual relationships are to be between men and women within the context of marriage. That’s not only related to the issue of homosexuality, but adultery, or fornication or bestiality. All of that is proscribed in the Bible.”
Tony Evans boldly holds up the kingdom of God as our present-day agenda. We are not to compromise that commission for any political party, candidate, or person. This compassionate pastor is a bridge-builder, and at the same time, he’s raising up the dikes necessary to stop the furious flood of evil threatening to destroy our nation.
Another one of my friends whom I greatly admire made bold statements this week at Irving Bible Church here in the DFW Metroplex. As he preached about “kingdoms clashing,” Pastor Andy McQuitty stated in reference to the evil agenda prevailing in the kingdom of this present world:
“One of the most pernicious of those agendas is the devaluation of the sanctity of human life through abortion on demand and the diminishment of the church’s ability to defend unborn human life in the womb. Most people don’t know it yet, but that evil agenda is built in to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which…was declared constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and is thus the law of our land.
“Did you know that under PP-ACA children get free sex counseling, contraceptives, and abortion pills without parental consent?” McQuitty asked.
“…that you must pay for life-saving drugs, but life-ending drugs like abortion-inducing pills and contraceptives are free?
“…that this law was crafted with the help of Planned Parenthood and contains a gag rule forbidding insurance companies and employers from revealing if health plans include an abortion premium until you enroll?
“…that this law doesn’t just cover abortion-inducing drugs in most states—but all elective abortions?
“…that some plans under this law take money straight out of your paycheck and put it in an abortion-on-demand fund that could fund 2 million abortions a year? And that fines will be directly assessed when you file your tax returns if you refuse to comply?2
Pastor McQuitty continued: “Nancy Pelosi famously said we needed to pass this law so we could find out what’s in it. Well, now we know. In the Trojan horse of health care is the evil agenda of death for millions of unborn children. PP-ACA is a law that takes America from the already terrible reality of allowing and accepting the killing of our unborn children to the horrible reality of taxing every citizen to finance the killing of our unborn children.”
Thank God for pastors and shepherds like Andy McQuitty. He not only won a recent battle against deadly Stage 4 cancer, but he’s trying to help us win the battle against the very soul of our nation. In San Diego, Skyline Church pastor Jim Garlow’s wife is fighting cancer, and at the same time he has been fighting for the future of our great nation. Thank God there are many other preachers and priests, such as Cardinal Dolan and Father Jonathan Morris, along with teachers like Ravi Zacharias, who with the late Chuck Colson and other diverse faith leaders helped inspire the desire to write and sign the Manhattan Declaration. Betty and I continually praise God for our fearless, Spirit-filled pastor at Gateway Church, Robert Morris.
All of the speakers and those who will lead in prayer at the DFW “Under God: INDIVISIBLE” conference are standing boldly against the rising tide of evil and excessive intrusive federal government. The meeting will be held on Friday, July 27, at High Point Church in Arlington, Texas. Please make plans to join us. You can register now at dfw.undergodindivisible.org.
The enemy of faith and freedom has viciously attacked all attempts to unite the family of faith. If he succeeds, he will win the battle for the future of this nation, and we will lose the blessed freedoms we have enjoyed as the direct result of our very diverse founders coming together in pursuit of God and in supernatural harmony to give us a great foundation. Let’s not lose the blessings our freedom has made possible and that our armed service members are even today giving their lives to protect and preserve.
Remember, the fact is, it’s not merely liberal or conservative; Democrat or Republican; left or right. It has now often boiled down to right or wrong. May God forgive us and raise up prophets, preachers and shepherds today who will take a stand. I am praying for the day when people of faith, along with concerned Americans, will again declare our independence and stand together, united by the principles we all know in our hearts are right and true: “That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”
1Is. 56:10, NAS
2For more details about ObamaCare and its mandates, visit www.alliancedefensefund.org/obamacare.