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Old 01-07-15, 14:27   #1
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Default Prayer Targets: Martin Luther; Church Debate; Pastors Speaking Out; Censoring Marriag

And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. Acts 4:18-19


Martin Luther (1483-1546) was born in Eisleben, Germany, the son of a copper miner. In 1505 he abruptly abandoned his university studies to enter an Augustinian monastery and was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1507. After earning a doctorate in 1512, he was given the chair of biblical theology at University of Wittenberg. Wholly persuaded that Christians could not be saved through their own efforts but only the free gift of God's grace, through faith, he posted his "Ninety-Five Theses" on the door of his Wittenberg church in 1517. His public protest to the sale of "indulgences" (i.e., pardon of sins through the payment of money) ultimately led to his excommunication from the Church. Luther initiated the Protestant Reformation, which revolutionized Christianity and the Western World. His words were reportedly these:

"Since your majesty and your lordships desire a simple reply, I will answer without horns and without teeth. Unless I am convicted by scripture and plain reason--I do not accept the authority of popes and councils for they have contradicted each other--my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen"

Dan Graves writes:

Perhaps the most notable words spoken in the Reformation, this according to early printed reports, was Luther's reply at Worms when urged to recant. He uttered the memorable lines in German on this day, April 18, 1521, and then, upon request, repeated their gist in Latin for those who did not understand his native tongue. He was sweating, said witnesses. With a victory gesture he slipped out of the room…

Luther did not leave Worms at once. For several days a committee reasoned with him, begging him not to rend the church in two. They pointed out that war would surely come to Germany. Melanchthon, his beloved associate, might be killed. Luther could not help but be moved, but his determination held. God's word must be followed whatever the cost. To this confrontation his stand against indulgences had finally brought him... When Luther left Worms, the Reformation was irrevocable.


Martin Luther was at his noblest at Worms. His bold words have stirred men's imagination through subsequent centuries, for they have the same ring to them as Peter's famous defiance of the Sanhedrin. "Judge for yourselves whether we ought to obey God or men" (Acts 4:19) (Dan Graves, MSL, Martin Luther's Most Noble Words Christianity.com).

Tony Perkins has called the U.S. Supreme Court ruling an "Acts 4:19 moment" for American Christians. The Court has drawn a line in the sand, and, in effect, opened the door for legal persecution. We have passed the moment about which the Apostle Paul spoke in 2 Tim 4:1-5. We must faithfully stand on God's word and make every effort to preserve constitutional religious liberty. Yet just as the early Church stood boldly for Christ when Rome demanded they confess: "Caesar is Lord," we too must respond: "Jesus is Lord!" As Luther stood on biblical conviction at Worms, we must stand. Urge your pastor to sign the "Marriage Pledge."

Church House Debate --The High Court illegitimately redefined "marriage" and mandated that all 50 states accept their redefinition. But, under God, the Church may not and must not succumb to it. Indeed, each of us, at some point, will have to face this issue personally. Will we confess Jesus and His word as preeminent, or will we succumb to lawlessness and tyranny? If the Court can redefine marriage, it can and will do anything else it wants -- without any regard for the Constitution. Chief Justice John Roberts said, "Who do we think we are? … In one day the court … transformed the societal institution that has held together humanity for millennia… [The Constitution] had nothing to do with it."

Roberts warned of the fallout on religious liberty:

Many good and decent people oppose same-sex marriage as a tenet of faith, and their freedom to exercise religion is—unlike the right imagined by the majority—actually spelled out in the Constitution. Respect for sincere religious conviction has led voters and legislators in every State that has adopted same-sex marriage democratically to include accommodations for religious practice. The majority's decision imposing same-sex marriage cannot, of course, create any such accommodations. The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to "advocate" and "teach" their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to "exercise" religion.


The fallout of this decision in every sphere of society is so far reaching that very few have really considered it. Yet it is the damage to the First Amendment guarantee of religious liberty which is at the forefront. And without religious liberty there is no liberty at all. Sexual activists, armed with this new ruling will police the Christian community. They will seek out bakers, florists, photographers, marriage venue operators, etc. and demand that they submit or suffer punishment via discrimination lawsuits andbankrupting complaints, just as they have in New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and elsewhere. (Roberts Quotes; Dissenting Justices Sound the Alarm; FreetoBelieve.com).

Pray that the American people will wake up quickly as the fallout from this decision becomes more apparent. May Americans reject the idea that five unelected Justices have power to redefine marriage in the same way the Court found a right to abortion in the "penumbras" of the Constitution over 40 years ago! (Pr 24:21; 22:8; 28:4; Is 5:20; 10:1; Dan 7:25; Eph 4:6-16)

Pastors and Christian Leaders Speaking Out -- During oral arguments before the Supreme Court, President Obama's Solicitor General Donald Verrilli made it clear that the decision could impact the tax exempt status of Christian Schools. That was a signal that every parachurch ministry that rejects same-sex "marriage" in any manner -- doctrine, hiring, benefits -- will face retribution. Many are waking up to the realization that the end-game for activists will be the church. If some pastors were worried before, will they be stirred to valor now? Many are speaking out and boldly. I wrote about SBC President and Pastor Ronnie Floyd and his bold stand among Southern Baptists. But Franklin Graham, Calvary Chapel Pastor Greg Laurie, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference President Samuel Rodriguez, Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas; Southern Baptist Seminary President, Dr. Albert Mohler, Reformed Pastor and Theologian, Dr. John Piper; Focus on the Family's Jim Daly, Vision America's Rick Scarborough, FRC's Tony Perkins, and many others are courageously standing in opposition to this unthinkable ruling. But churches are being sifted. Pastors' fidelity to Scripture and Christ and their personal courage will be tested in the weeks and months ahead. Scripturewarns, "Strike the Shepherd and the Sheep will Scatter" (Zech 13:7; Mt 26:31) and we can be sure that pastors have been targeted by the spiritual powers that are behind this travesty of justice (Seven Well-known Pastors, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Verrilli & Tax Exemption).

Pray that pastors and Christian organizations will stand up to protect our religious liberties now, while we have the opportunity to do so (Lev 25; Mt 10:16-20; Mk 13:9; Gal 5:1; 2 Tim 4:1-5).

Censorship of All Dissent --While the activist community preaches tolerance, they are anything but tolerant. The Court decision has greatlyemboldened such activists to now make every effort to silence the church and all who speak out on the Bible message that challenges their lifestyles. Groups like Media Matters, Right Wing Watch, The Southern Poverty Law Center and scores of lesser known groups are not satisfied with homosexual "marriage." They must silence those who preach the truth at any cost. In fact, FRC has been subject to numerous campaigns by these groups to stop the TV networks from giving Tony Perkins and our other experts opportunities to voice our values. Some cite the wealthy Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which has long declared FRC to be a "hate group." The SPLC refuses to cease and desist despite being connected to the first ever domestic terrorism conviction in the District of Columbia, involving a pro-homosexual activist's armed attack against FRC. The group even identified Dr. Ben Carson as an "extremist" and are also working to silence those who speak out against radical Islam. We will see a significant increase in orchestrated efforts to silence those who remain faithful to speak the truth.

Pray that activist groups will find themselves defeated in their effort to silence the truth of God and the social science facts that expose the folly of their cause. Pray that God's people will be all-the-more vocal in speaking truth, but seasoned with the grace, love and kindness of the Gospel message! (Jn 8:31-32; Acts 4:19-20; 24-31; 1 Cor 6:9-11; 1 Pet 3:12-17; Jude 1:17-25)

Finally, Thanks to all who took part in the Call2Fall either in your church or at home. Please take the time to go to Call2Fall and click "I'm In" if you participated but did not sign up beforehand. If you have any pictures of the Call2Fall observance at your church, your home group or family, please send me a copy (address below). Also, if you are on Facebook, please take time to "Like" us and to post your reflections, prayers, reports about what happened at your church (give your church name, city and state)! And as always, thank you for praying!

Sincerely,

Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain & National Prayer Director
__________________
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4
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