Category Archives: Faith and Politics
(Austin, Texas) Texas is a very large powerful state so at least the broad strokes of what is going on here should be of interest all over the country. The new Texas Freedom Caucus formed by a dozen members of the Texas Legislature definitely fit in the category of things worth watching nationally.
The Texas Freedom Caucus’ mission is to amplify the voice of liberty-minded grassroots Texans who want bold action to protect life, strengthen families, defend the bill of rights, restrain government and revitalize personal and economic freedoms in Texas.
The Texas Freedom Caucus (TFC) will be focused on first principles that are the hallmark of liberty-minded Texans. The policies supported by the TFC will be developed thru collaboration with grassroots leaders to identify priorities that are often dismissed in Austin.
“Go five blocks in any direction from the Texas Capitol, and you will see what interests are hard wired into the Austin establishment,” Caucus Chairman Rep. Matt Schaefer (Tyler) said. “The mission of the Texas Freedom Caucus will be to hard wire liberty-minded grassroots into policy making in Austin.”
The TFC will engage grassroots Texans on matters before session, during session, and long after session when policies are implemented at the agency level. The caucus is committed to restoring first principles – the right to life, liberty and property that are at the core of the freedom of America and the exceptionalism of Texas. The caucus will outline a set of legislative priorities after it holds a series of discussions with grassroots representatives from all across Texas. Thereafter, the TFC will support or oppose legislation in accordance with those principles.
“We don’t want our priorities to be determined from Austin down, but from the grassroots up. That includes taking things like the Texas Republican Party platform seriously,” said Schaefer. “There are thousands of people too busy working and raising their families to embed themselves in the legislative process. Their voices matter too, and we want to make sure they are heard, and their efforts are multiplied.”
The Texas Freedom Caucus will share many policy goals with other existing conservative organizations and caucuses, and it will buttress and complement rather than compete with those groups. The TFC will distinguish itself by providing a specific focal point for grassroots Texans interested in conservative policy-making in Austin.
The Vice Chair of the Caucus will be Rep. Bill Zedler (Arlington). The Policy Director will be Rep. Jeff Leach (Plano), the caucus Grassroots Liaison will be Rep. Matt Shaheen (Plano) and the Secretary-Treasurer will be Rep. Tony Tinderholt (Arlington). Other members include representatives Kyle Biedermann (New Braunfels), Briscoe Cain (Houston), Matt Krause (Fort Worth), Mike Lang (Granbury), Rep. Matt Rinaldi (Irving), Jonathan Stickland (Bedford) and Valoree Swanson (Spring).
James Bernsen will serve as Executive Director for the Texas Freedom Caucus.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 5, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — The D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship, a Christian ministry to legislators and staffers on Capitol Hill, has appointed the Honorable John N. Hostettler as its new Director.
Hostettler, who served in the House of Representatives from 1995 – 2007, was inspired by minister and evangelical leader, D. James Kennedy. Hostettler will use his considerable experience in the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to minister to Members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill through the Center.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have John Hostettler as the new director of The Center for Christian Statesmanship,” said Dr. John B. Sorensen, president of Evangelism Explosion International. The Center is a ministry training outreach of Evangelism Explosion International. “As the recipient of The Center’s respected Distinguished Christian Statesman Award in 2004, John Hostettler understands the vital role Christian statesmen play in our nation, and is uniquely suited to help lift up that standard and train new leaders to live that out for the enrichment of our nation.”
Hostettler succeeds the past director of The Center, Dr. George Roller. Dr. Roller began with the Center in 2003, and has served with distinction for 12 years, following Dr. Frank Wright, the Centers Founder. Roller will continue to serve The Center in the new post of Ambassador.
Founded in 1995 by the late D. James Kennedy, the Center for Christian Statesmanship has impacted thousands of lives by bringing a gospel witness, Christian discipleship, and a vision for Christian statesmanship to leaders in Washington, D.C..
Evangelism Explosion International is an evangelism equipping ministry which saw, by God’s grace, more than eight million professions of faith in Christ worldwide in 2014. The ministry, founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy, was started in 1962 and has planted the Gospel in every nation of the world.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Christian leaders have come together under the banner of American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI) in order to unite their voices in support of Israel, thereby having far greater impact than any one organization. Their first initiative addresses the Iran Agreement, an issue affecting both Israel and the United States.
Today, this network sent a petition to the White House, copied to Congressional leaders, against any agreement that does not dismantle Iran’s nuclear program. Some 650 Pastors and Christian leaders representing tens of millions of grassroots Americans have signed onto that letter found at www.aclforisrael.com/iran-statement. The list of signers is found here.
“Through this joint initiative, we want to demonstrate that this is not a partisan issue, nor a Jewish issue, nor only an Israel issue, but it is an American issue, and millions of grassroots Americans are opposed to this disastrous deal,” stated Susan Michael, U.S. Director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). ACLI is a project of the U.S. Branch of ICEJ.
“This network of Christian leaders in support of Israel is unprecedented,” added Michael, “and reflects the gravity of the situation. We are asking all members of Congress to set aside partisan issues and vote against the agreement.”
In addition to signing the petition, many of these leaders have made statements and efforts of their own in opposition to the proposed agreement. Together they have issued millions of emails, spoken to vast audiences on-air, generated tens of thousands of emails and phone calls to members of Congress, and have informed their constituencies on the contents and problems of the agreement.
“CUFI Action Fund sent more than 1.1 million emails to grassroots activists in addition to launching a six-figure media campaign.” — Gary Bauer, Washington Director, CUFI Action Fund
“This deal is not only bad; it is very dangerous. It falls woefully short of what both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have said is acceptable. We lead an evangelical Hispanic community which represents more than 40,000 Hispanic churches across America. We are asking Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to oppose this deal.” — Mario Bramnick, President, the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition, subsidiary of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
“Christian Coalition sent emails to some 3 million people and organized lobbying appointments for their state directors as well as on Capitol Hill.” — Roberta Combs, President and CEO, Christian Coalition of America
“Like it or not, the weak leaders of the West concluded a weak deal with Iran…Obama’s legacy may prove to be more explosive than he ever imagined.” — Earl Cox, Broadcaster and Journalist, Israel Always
“AGLOW’s call at this urgent moment in history is an Esther call. Just as God empowered Moses and Esther to speak to their ancient leaders, I’m now calling on the men and women of Aglow to follow our biblical role models and talk to our modern leaders.” — Jane Hansen Hoyt, President and CEO, Aglow International
“First and foremost, this deal should be rejected on the fundamental grounds that Iran continues to unjustly and brutally detain American citizens, including Pastor Saeed Abedini,… Moreover, this agreement puts Israel, America’s steadfast Middle East ally, at great risk and … demands the rejection of this proposed nuclear agreement with Iran.” — Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO, the National Religious Broadcasters
“Traditional Values Coalition has been aggressive in its opposition to the Iran Deal, mobilizing millions of Christians represented by our network of 43,000 churches, ministries and grassroots activists, lobbying members of Congress sitting on the fence that a wide bi-partisan opposition to the Iran Deal exists, and arguing forcefully that the alternative to this bad deal is not war — it’s a better deal.” — Andrea Lafferty, President, Traditional Values Coalition
“The ICEJ, with branches in 80 countries, obtained 90,000 signatures on two petitions: 60,000 of them in the U.S. addressing their concerns to the White House and Congressional leaders, while 30,000 outside the U.S. were sent to the other P5+1 leaders.” — Susan Michael, U.S. Director, International Christian Embassy Jerusalem
“This deal with Iran is a bad deal for the U.S., our ally Israel, and the four American hostages who were left behind. No deal is better than a bad deal that locks in the negative consequences currently incorporated. CWALAC activated our half-a-million members, particularly focused on a number of key states, and also organized a lobbying day on Capitol Hill to express our opposition to the deal.” — Penny Nance, CEO and President, Concerned Women for America
“It’s not just the American people and the Israeli people that need American leadership now. … Who will be the voice for freedom and civility in the world if not America? … Our national anthem says that America is the ‘land of the free and the home of the brave.’ Free and brave people don’t do deals like this.” — Star Parker, Founder and President, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education
“The Board of Directors of the National Religious Broadcasters, which represents outlets reaching 60 million viewers and listeners, earlier this year unanimously approved a formal Resolution calling ‘on the United States to continue to stand steadfast by Israel in its time of need.’ This agreement falls dangerously short of that position.” — Linda Smith, COO & EVP, the National Religious Broadcasters
“The IRD spoke out against the letter in favor of the Iran Agreement that had been organized by the Friends Committee on National Legislation and National Council of Churches saying it continues a longtime religiously utopian tradition of addressing the world as it wishes it to be instead of reality.” — Mark Tooley, Executive Director, The Institute for Religion and Democracy
About American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI)
On behalf of the tens of millions of American Christians that we collectively represent, we the members of ACLI seek to provide a unified voice of truth to the American public in support of Israel and the Jewish people. American Christian Leaders for Israel is a project of the U.S. Branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. Learn more at aclforisrael.com.
About International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ)
The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was established in 1980 in recognition of the biblical significance of all of Jerusalem, and its unique connection with the Jewish people of Israel. Today it represents millions of Christians, churches and denominations to the nation and people. Our work with its head office in Jerusalem reaches more than 140 countries with branch offices in over 80 nations. Learn more at us.icej.org.
WASHINGTON, April 21, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — On Wednesday evening April 29, members of Congress will honor the 226th inaugural anniversary of President George Washington with ceremonies in prestigious Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. Honorary hosts for the gala are Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma and Representative Randy Forbes of Virginia. House Speaker John Boehner will begin the evening with a welcome and members will be led in prayer for the nation by Chaplains of the House and Senate Fr. Patrick Conroy and Rev. Dr. Barry Black.
Special patriotic and spiritual musical presentations will be performed by Steve Amerson, Keith and Kristyn Getty, and members of The National Christian Choir. Emcees for the evening are pastors Dr. Jim Garlow and Rev. Dan Cummins. A special blessing for the nation will be given by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn.
The ceremony honoring the 226th inaugural anniversary of President George Washington will be broadcast globally by the Daystar Television Network at 8:30pm-10:00pm EST.
Though the event is exclusively for members of Congress, churches around the world will be able to join the celebration that Wednesday evening during their midweek services via a WND.com webcast. Churches are encouraged to register online to host the historic webcast during their midweek services at www.WashingtonAManOfPrayer.com.
In its fourth consecutive year, Washington A Man of Prayer 2015 commemorates the events of April 30, 1789, when after being sworn in at Federal Hall President Washington along with Congress proceeded to St. Paul’s Chapel where as its first official act offered dedicatory prayers to God on America’s behalf.
Rev. Dan Cummins, the events originator, gives the historic significance of the event stating, “On April 30, 1789, the world saw more than just the inauguration of the president of a new nation; it witnessed a watershed moment in world history – the birth of the American Republic and a functioning Constitution.” He also notes, “Could the ideals penned on parchment at Philadelphia’s Continental Congress preserve in ink what sword and patriots’ blood inscribed on the field of battle? The pen indeed has been mightier than the sword as today we celebrate 226 triumphant years of the American Experiment and the exceptional man who most embodied the dream of all men – the freedom to self-govern.”
Statuary Hall or as it is often referred to as The Old House Chamber was the location of weekly Christian church services from 1800 to 1869. It was the largest church on the east coast with as many as 2000 in attendance – in the Capitol. The American Christian church has deep roots and significant historic ties to Statuary Hall.
By Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield
Scripture tells us that no man is perfect. From this we know that no creation of man is perfect, therefore no nation is perfect. Even so many Christians find themselves very proud of their country. Many born elsewhere have feelings of pride about both their nation of birth, and their new homeland. What does the Bible say about these feelings of patriotism, and what should our reaction be ?
First let us consider the words of Ezra 7:26 “ And whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily on him, whether it be to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment.”(KJV) So here we see that our obligation to God and our obligation to country are linked. Now combine that with what Christ said at Mark 12:17 “ And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marveled at him.”(KJV) At the time Jesus was speaking directly about taxes. But notice he didn’t say pay your taxes, or give him his money. He said “things.” By speaking in the plural he tells us that he is answering more than the immediate, specific question. He is in fact saying much like Ezra 7 that we cannot be obedient followers of God and not be concerned about duty to our nation. We see the same idea yet again at Romans 13 :1 “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” (NLT) If God is the source of authority, how can we as Christians turn a blind eye to how it is being used. We as people of God must be watchful over that which he has established. This is particularly true in democratic societies such as here in the United States. So we see from these verses that we cannot totally separate our duty to God, and our duty to country. More than mere patriotism we owe an active responsibility to those God has placed in authority.
But what of the argument that we should be in this world, but not of this world based on Romans 12:2 which says “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” This verse does not mean we should be separate from the affairs of our nation. What it means that our involvement in affairs of state should not be our focus, but that our focus should be on God. We should not draw upon political debate for wisdom and knowledge, but on God’s word. In fact it tells us that we and our knowledge of God’s word should shape the political debate, not the other way around.
How then do we serve God, through our duty to our nation. Our most important duty is found in 1 Timothy 2:2 where it says that we should pray “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.” (KJV) However God can not bless the fruits of our prayers, unless they are paired with action. As Mark 12 tells us we should pay our taxes. We should also vote, attend government meetings etc. Most importantly as Christians we are the advocates for God’s word in every sphere of society. Probably no other sphere depends so heavily on that advocacy than the governing of our nation !
WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — Conservative religious voters made up as big a percentage of the electorate as ever, backing Republicans at least as strongly as ever in the midterm election according to exit polls released following Tuesday’s voting.
White evangelicals were 26 percent of the electorate this year, 78 percent voting Republican, up from 2010, when they were 25 percent of the electorate and 77 percent voted Republican, and 2006, when they were 24 percent of the electorate and 70 percent voted Republican.
White Catholics were similarly unchanged: they made up 19 percent of the electorate this year, 60 percent of whom voted Republican, whereas in 2010 they were 17 percent of the electorate, 59 percent of whom voted Republican, and in 2006 they were 20 percent of the electorate, 49 percent of whom supported Republicans.
People who attend religious services weekly made up 40 percent of 2014 voters and 58 percent of them supported Republicans. In 2006, they made up 45 percent of the voters, and 55 percent backed Republicans. People who never attend church made up 18 percent of this year’s electorate, and only 36 percent of them favored Republicans, up from 30 percent in 2006, when they were 15 percent of voters.
Republican support among all Protestants was 61 percent this year, when they were 53 percent of the electorate; 59 percent in 2010, when they were 55 percent of voters; and 54 percent in 2006, when they were again 55 percent of voters.
IRD President Mark Tooley commented:
“It is often claimed that conservative religious voters, especially white evangelicals, are going the way of the dinosaur, consigned to demographic irrelevance. But they were a key component of the Republicans’ 2014 midterm victories.
“White evangelicals have remained a steady percentage of the electorate for a decade or more, even as whites overall have been a shrinking share of the population. As white Mainline Protestants continue to decline, it appears Republicans are making some gains among ethnic Protestants, whose numbers are growing.
“The 26 percent of the 2014 electorate who were white evangelicals, according to exit polls, is higher than the 23 percent of 2004, when evangelicals were lionized as an imposing electoral force.
“Wherever demographic trends lead in the future, conservative Christians were decisive in the 2014 election, and their percentage of the electorate has not declined.”
HOUSTON, TEXAS., October 28, 2014 — On Sunday, November 2, Family Research Council (FRC) will host a nationwide, live simulcast event from Grace Community Church in Houston, Texas. Called “I Stand Sunday,” the simulcast will reach into over 2,500 churches and home groups nationwide. “I Stand Sunday” will provide churches across the nation the opportunity to stand with the pastors and churches in Houston, Texas who have been targeted and harassed by the city’s Mayor because they publicly challenged her efforts to advance policies that are in direct conflict with biblical morality.
FRC President Tony Perkins will serve as host for the simulcast which will also feature former Governor Mike Huckabee, Duck Dynasty’s Phil and Al Robertson, the five Houston pastors who have been targeted by the Mayor’s subpoenas, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, who serves as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, along with many other national and local Christian leaders.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments regarding the Mayor’s announcement today and Sunday’s “I Stand Sunday” simulcast:
“Standing together across the nation, Christians have sent a strong message to Mayor Parker. While we are encouraged by this evidence that the Mayor is responding to pressure and withdrawing her unconstitutional subpoenas, this is about far more than subpoenas. As we have stated since the beginning of this intrusion into the private affairs of Houston churches; this is not about subpoenas, this is not about sermons, it is not even about biblical teaching on sexual immorality, it is about political intimidation and the bullying by Mayor Parker that continues.
“Despite the fact that the citizens of Houston gathered over 50,000 signed petitions in 30 days, which is 30,000 more than required by the city charter, the Mayor has refused to allow the people of Houston to vote on her unfair special rights ordinance that discriminates against religious freedom within the city and endangers citizens by declaring that public bathrooms can no longer be limited on the basis of a person’s actual biological sex.
“The citizens of Houston have a right to vote, and Mayor Parker has denied them that right. America must see the totalitarianism that accompanies the redefinition of marriage and human sexuality, which results in citizens being denied their most fundamental rights.
“This Sunday night, thousands of Christians from across the nation will join ‘I Stand Sunday’ to support the pastors and Christians in Houston, Texas and their fundamental rights of religious freedom, freedom of speech and the right to petition their government,” concluded Perkins
Prior to the simulcast, FRC President Tony Perkins, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Pastor Steve Riggle, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, and local church leaders will hold a 4:00 p.m. CT news conference at Grace Community Church where they will offer a preview of the event.
Former Governor Mike Huckabee
Phil Robertson, Duck Dynasty
Alan Robertson, Duck Dynasty
Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
Steve Riggle, Founding Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church, Houston, TX
Khanh Huynh, Senior Pastor, Vietnamese Baptist Church, Houston, TX
Dave Welch, Executive Director, Houston Pastors Council
Hernan Castano, Pastor, Iglesia Rios de Aceite, Houston, TX
Magda Hermida, Founder, Magda Hermida Ministries, Houston, TX
Willie Davis, Senior Pastor, MacGregor Palm Community Baptist Church in Houston, TX
Dr. Ed Young, Pastor, Second Baptist Church Houston, TX
Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President, Southern Baptist Convention
Todd Starnes, Host, Fox News and Commentary; Contributor, FOX & Friends; Author
Dr. Rick Scarborough, Founder and President, Vision America
David and Jason Benham, Benham Brothers Companies
Erik Stanley, Director of the Church Project and Pulpit Initiative, Alliance Defending Freedom
WHAT: News conference and simulcast event: “I Stand Sunday”
WHERE: Grace Community Church
14505 Gulf Freeway Houston, TX 77034
WHEN: Sunday, November 2, 2014
News Conference: 4:00 p.m. CT
Simulcast: 6:00 p.m. CT
THIS ARTICLE PROVIDES SOME INTERESTING INSIGHTS ON ISLAMIC THOUGHT GOING INTO NEXT MONTH’S ELECTIONS. NOTE THAT THE STATES POLLED ARE SIX OF OUR LARGEST ! -PASTOR CRUTCHFIELD
WASHINGTON, Oct. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today released the results of a survey indicating that 69 percent of registered Muslim voters will go to the polls on November 4 and that more than half will vote for Democratic Party candidates. Domestic issues like the economy and health care continue to top the Muslim voters’ list of priority concerns in this election. Growing Islamophobia in American ranked as the third most important issue for Muslim voters. CAIR’s poll of more than 1500 registered Muslim voters in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Virginia was conducted using an independent automated call survey provider and asked three questions:
- “Do you plan to vote in the November 4th midterm election?”
- “Which political party do you support in the upcoming election?”
- “What is the most important issue to you in this upcoming election?”
Survey Results: Do you plan to vote in the November 4th midterm election? Plan to Vote 69% No Plan to Vote 16% Decline to Answer 14% Which political party do you support in the upcoming election? Democrat 51% Republican 15% Libertarian 2% Green 5% Other 4% Decline to Answer 23% What is the most important issue to you in this upcoming election? Education 7% Civil Liberties 10% Islamophobia 15% Health Care 17% Economy 24% Foreign Affairs 5% Other 5% Decline to Answer 16% “American Muslims continue to play a key role in our nation’s elections, with 69 percent of registered Muslim voters planning to turn out in the midterm election – compared to the 37 percent of all voters who went to the polls in 2010,” said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw. “The more than half of Muslim voters who express support for Democratic candidates reflects that party’s greater openness to the Muslim community and its issues.” McCaw said Republican candidates and officials should take note of this data. CAIR will release survey results for each state beginning tomorrow. CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.