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Understandably people weary of election season political discourse and perhaps even grow to resent or be turned off by the feisty Facebook/Twitter updates of friends like me who like and post on politics (but mostly faith) more than we like or post on football, fishing, fashion or concerts. Lincoln saw law and constitutional government as a gift from God. It affects everything so I hope you’ll rethink your desire to disengage or despise. You can give it a rest in November.

The Bible is 29% about your individual life, though listening to many pastors today you’d think it was just a big fat self-help book. In reality, 71% of it pertains to laws for healthy societies, good and bad national leaders, foreign and domestic policy. Moses was a governor as was Nehemiah, Abraham the father of nations, the prophets were all national prophets, David and Solomon were kings and Jesus’ kingdom may not have been of this world but it is certainly IN it and increasing until the governments rest on his shoulders.  Jesus said pay your taxes, influence and permeate the whole loaf of society with kingdom leaven, he called Herod a fox, and John the Baptist was beheaded for pointing out adultery in Herod’s household.

The Bible has a lot to say about the treatment of the poor, the elderly, and the immigrant. It talks about social order and lawlessness, morality, economies, about lender and borrower nations, and about devalued currency. It even rebukes the entitlement mentality and says volumes about healthcare – how not to get sick, how to eat, self-control, gluttony, sloth, stress, worry and fear. If America lived by the Bible and abstained from excess in eating, alcohol and immorality, we’d save gazillions in health care costs. Do we or do we not believe the Bible speaks to all of life and society? I know I’m a bit of a broken record but nows the time to engage.

There is spin on both sides but facts are facts so know them. The truth IS out there so don’t be lazy, search it out. The fact check groups are skewed too and they don’t publish public corrections when they are found to be spewing things false. Obama didn’t save the auto industry – so says even the Chicago Tribune. GM still owes 30 of the 50 billion it received – the government (aka the taxpaying public) will lose 25 billion more on the auto industry bailout. The Chevy Volt makes no money and costs the taxpayer hundreds of thousands of dollars per car. And let’s talk about all the businesses that didn’t get bailed out.

Obama didn’t save auto industry jobs as Bill Clinton said. Clinton lied to his wife and was impeached for lying to the American people and though he gave a great speech he’s still not telling the truth. Michelle Obama didn’t grow up poor though she should get an Emmy for her performance the other night portraying the part. Her father made over 50k year in the 1960s. That’s like a $250K salary now.

Obama won by 10 million votes in 2008, 30 million evangelicals didn’t even vote. But we sure love Tim Tebow!!!  You get my point.

I’ll try to not spend the next sixty days bashing the left, I’m not lock in step with the right either. I know polite people know to not talk about religion and politics. I joke that expecting me to be quiet is asking a lot because as a pastor and a legislator I’m physically the embodiment of both these cultural taboos. I’m watching irony, I have a funny bone for sarcasm, critical thinking and being winsome in conversation/debate and articulating traditional values is both an art and takes skill, and as a wordsmith the rhetoric is enjoyable to me. But in relation to the message series I’m starting this weekend I want to make sure I’m speaking blessings over this nation and our government. Most times I don’t stoop to cursing (I’m not referring swear words).

Curses are real- life and death is in the power of the tongue! Here’s the verse that has brought some conviction and correction to me; Proverbs 11:11… “by the BLESSING of the upright the city (or nation) is exalted but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.” Are we speaking blessings over America and our government or are we speaking curses? We may not see ourselves as wicked, after all we are Christians. But our words can be wicked when we say things about our great nation the devil agrees with. So, let’s champion America and call her back to her best! This nation definitely has long history in God and a great destiny in God. Let’s raise our kids to love the country not despise it. We want them to one day lead it.

Another thing. Prayer works and this nation needs to pray the fog of deception lifts. Pray for truth to come forth on both sides. Ask God to expose corruption in a timely way. Just yesterday I prayed God would dispatch angels to come against the thuggery of Obama’s strongman David Axelrod who sent Justice Dept hit men to resurrect an old previously dropped and discarded lawsuit against Gallop when they reported poll numbers not in Obama’s favor. In my view these are crimes against America.

Today we read the EU and the Federal Reserve are making moves to artificially improve the economy. If they proceed, and they will, I consider it the greatest campaign donation in the history of America and of course it benefits Obama. And of course, it comes directly from the dollars being further devalued in your pocket. Pray the moneychangers have the tables turned on them.

And yet another thing… look for God in all of this… he’s there and he has his people there, praying. Even three loud voice votes/boos intended to boot God and Jerusalem from the convention floor didn’t keep him from placing Cardinal Timothy Dolan in place to end the DNC evening with a strong benediction that slammed abortion and upheld moral law. That was awesome.

Good satire is something I very much appreciate and this is about as good as it gets – and, it touches key areas of interest and involvement for me – Scripture and Society, Politics and Eschatology. Today Gerard Baker put forth this piece in the London Times. I’ll also paste it below. We are living in very interesting times and those who are in “watch and pray” mode are being given much to mull over. Your thoughts and comments on this are very welcome.

July 25, 2008 – The Times
He ventured forth to bring light to the world
The anointed one’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action – and a blessing to all his faithful followers
Gerard Baker

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness. Read the rest of this entry »

Barack Obama says fatherhood begins at conception. Big thanks to Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council for putting on YouTube an important follow up question that the media surely won’t be asking.

This speech was given by Sen. Obama at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago. Nothing out of the ordinary there, he and Hillary Clinton are speaking in churches every weekend. Hmm. If I were to invite John McCain to speak from my pulpit how long do you suppose it would before the IRS would get complaints? That’s soon to change… September 28th here we come! It’s a new day!

Culture is downstream of politics. Politics is downstream of righteousness. Righteousness is downstream of a relationship and intimacy with God. The church is called to connect people with God and release and equip them to see to it the Kingdom leaven permeates the entire loaf of society. This is the flow, the stream, we read of in Amos 5:24 – “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” We need Amos-like prophets to rise up in America again and cry out for justice for the most vulnerable in our society – the unborn. Martin Luther King Jr. was that voice a generation ago crying for justice for those not considered “fully human” back then.

That just may be the million dollar question this fall. More on this matter over at my Voices Carry blog.

Doesn’t the Bible say we are to disciple nations? Until a hundred years ago, our nations pastors did this through a variety of means including the annual “Election Sermon” which was given the Sunday before an election. The purpose was to shed the light of God on the affairs of man and keep our nation headed on a divine course. Things have changed. America is off course. Pastors are quiet, intimidated, threatened, muzzled by fears we’d lose our sacred 501c3 status.

Enter… PULPIT FREEDOM SUNDAY, September 28, 2008. I love this headline in last weeks Wall Street Journal… Pastors May Defy IRS Gag Rule.

A conservative legal-advocacy group is enlisting ministers to use their pulpits to preach about election candidates this September, defying a tax law that bars churches from engaging in politics. Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz., nonprofit, is hoping at least one sermon will prompt the Internal Revenue Service to investigate, sparking a court battle that could get the tax provision declared unconstitutional. Alliance lawyers represent churches in disputes with the IRS over alleged partisan activity.

I thank God for my friend Gary McCaleb, Senior Counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund. Alliance Defense Fund exists to counter the dark influence of the ACLU and today is a massive and well-funded legal group solely focused on religious freedoms. I met Gary a few years ago here on the frontlines of the battle for the unborn in South Dakota. He came to our state to offer the full legal support of the ADF – at no charge to South Dakota pastors. On numerous occasions since I’ve run what I am doing here by Gary to see if I’m still “legal.” He gives me great counsel at no charge – tells me to call him on his cell phone – even on weekends he gets right back to me. The Alliance Defense Fund offers to pay the full legal expenses of any pastor who gets in trouble for being God’s voice to our culture.

Last week in DC I was excited to hear ADF is launching this “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” initiative. They are encouraging pastors all over America to exercise their First Amendment right to openly discuss the positions of political candidates and other moral and social issues from the pulpit. They hope to get some lawsuits rolling that will regain the pastors freedom to speak freely in America again. Here’s a bit more from ADF’s website or you might prefer to watch this video clip:

“Pastors have a right to speak about biblical values from the pulpit without fear of punishment. No one should be able to use the government to intimidate pastors into giving up their constitutional rights,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Erik Stanley. “The government can’t demand that a church give up its right to tax-exempt status simply because the pastor exercises his First Amendment rights in the pulpit. Groups like Americans United intentionally trigger IRS investigations that will silence churches through fear, intimidation, and disinformation.” Prior to 1954, churches were free to evaluate the positions of political candidates on moral issues without fear of the Internal Revenue Service revoking their tax-exempt status. That year, then-Senator Lyndon Johnson amended the tax code to add the threat of IRS action against churches if their pastors mentioned the positions of specific candidates from the pulpit. Citing that rule, groups like AU have repeatedly threatened to report churches to the IRS if they speak out on such issues. Many tax-exempt organizations are permitted to evaluate candidates’ positions based on the values important to those groups. Organizations which are tax-exempt but do not have the same speech restrictions the IRS places on churches include civic leagues; labor, agricultural, or horticultural associations; business leagues; chambers of commerce; real estate boards; boards of trade; professional football leagues; clubs organized for pleasure, recreation, and other nonprofit purposes; fraternal beneficiary societies; and cemeteries. “The intimidation of churches by leftist groups using the IRS has grown to a point that ADF has no choice but to respond,” said Stanley. “The number of threats being reported to ADF is growing because of the aggressive campaign to unlawfully silence the church. IRS rules don’t trump the Constitution, and the First Amendment certainly trumps the Johnson amendment.”

If we don’t use our freedom to defend our freedom we will lose our freedom. I’m excited about this. In fact, I’m going to have trouble restraining myself until September 28.

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