Tea Party for Christians http://teapartyforchristians.com Building the faithful resistance Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:05:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 The REBELLION Is Here http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/07/04/the-rebellion-is-here/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/07/04/the-rebellion-is-here/#comments Fri, 04 Jul 2014 13:00:02 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1107 Liberty_Rebellion_Cover

238 years ago, Americans rebelled against an out-of-control government, declaring their independence from England. Today, many Americans are also rebelling against an out-of-control government often perpetrating similar abuses upon them. But, fortunately, the situation is different this time.

As written in THE LIBERTY REBELLION:

Be encouraged. While the Founding Rebels—after patiently petitioning the British government for a long time—ultimately were forced into a brutal war to end their oppression, we’re not in that situation. We still have a voice today and can effectively use the government the Founders sacrificed so much to implement to prevent further governmental abuse. Our rebellion occurs in the halls of Congress and state legislatures, in school board meetings, and in the hearts and minds of reasonable people across America. Our rebellion is orderly, peaceful, and lawful. In fact, it is the [Big-Government Disciples] who are acting unlawfully, ignoring America’s ultimate authority—the Constitution—as well as many existing laws.

We are lawfully rebelling against the unlawful.

We have the moral high ground.

THE LIBERTY REBELLION released today on Amazon, marking the 238th anniversary of America’s declaring her independence. Here is a description of the e-book:

Life is getting scary for young Americans. They suffer under high unemployment, a stagnant economy, and an incomprehensibly large national debt that will ultimately fall on their shoulders, potentially decimating their future opportunities and freedom. Both major political parties are to blame and must be stopped before they do even more damage. While most young Americans aren’t yet aware of the coming challenges they will face, many other Americans are and have united to rescue the rising generations from a future of high unemployment and taxes, low wages, and a debt they can’t possibly repay. THE LIBERTY REBELLION is an essay describing the principles driving this movement to fight the status quo and makes a compelling and heartfelt appeal to young Americans, explaining why they should not only join but help lead the charge to re-liberate America from government control. Young people will be inspired to unite with Americans of all ages and be equipped to use their passion to help create a boundless future where all can be free again.

You can purchase this 8,000-word essay for a mere .99 on Amazon. Don’t have a Kindle device? No problem. You can download a Kindle app for any device or your computer to read Kindle e-books. You can also gift the book to the young person in your life (child, niece, nephew, friend, etc.) who needs a better understanding of the principles of liberty to be inspired to stand up against Big-Government control.

If you’re a young American, I hope you find what I wrote informative, compelling, and inspirational. More importantly, I hope it shows you how to fight the status quo and free your future.

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The Rebellion Is Coming: Independence Day, 2014 http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/06/28/the-rebellion-is-coming-independence-day-2014/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/06/28/the-rebellion-is-coming-independence-day-2014/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 22:14:56 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1100 On July 4th, 2014, my new book releases on Amazon in Kindle format:

Liberty_Rebellion_Cover

Here’s the blurb:

Life is getting scary for young Americans. They suffer under high unemployment, a stagnant economy, and an incomprehensibly large national debt that will ultimately fall on their shoulders, potentially decimating their future opportunities and freedom. Both major political parties are to blame and must be stopped before they do even more damage. While most young Americans aren’t yet aware of the coming challenges they will face, many other Americans are and have united to rescue the rising generations from a future of high unemployment and taxes, low wages, and a debt they can’t possibly repay. THE LIBERTY REBELLION is an essay describing the principles driving this movement to fight the status quo and makes a compelling and heartfelt appeal to young Americans, explaining why they should not only join but help lead the charge to re-liberate America from government control. Young people will be inspired to unite with Americans of all ages and be equipped to use their passion to help create a boundless future where all can be free again.

Since I joined the Tea Party movement, I’ve maintained a passion for reaching out to young people with the message of liberty; not just for their own sake, but for everyone’s, as the future of America is, of course, in their hands. The book opens with this personal note from me:

The following essay is a heartfelt appeal to every American under the age of thirty (or so). May your eyes be opened to the damage politicians from both major political parties have done to your future and how to repair the damage, so that you—and those who follow you—will be free.

At approximately 8,000 words, THE LIBERTY REBELLION is a quick read, and at $.99 I am making it the lowest possible price on Amazon to reach as many young people (or anyone else) as possible with the message of freedom. If you’re not a young American, though, I’m confident you will also find the book interesting, informative, and inspirational. Better yet, you may know a young person (a child, niece, nephew, friend, etc.) who might benefit from a straightforward, compelling, and sometimes humorous presentation of the principles of liberty. One of the great things about Kindle books is that they can be gifted, and most young people have Kindle e-reader capabilities.

The book is not available for preorder, but it will release on July 4th and be ready for purchase. I will post again when that happens. I hope you’ll consider checking it out yourself and be thinking about others you can give it to. The more young people are on board with rolling back centralized government control, the likelier we are to survive our current crises and ultimately thrive again as a nation.

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How a Harrowing Adoption Experience Saved My Family http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/06/28/how-a-harrowing-adoption-experience-saved-my-family/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/06/28/how-a-harrowing-adoption-experience-saved-my-family/#comments Sat, 28 Jun 2014 21:53:10 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1097 Below is an article I wrote for “The Christian Post” on their “Bindings” blog.

—-

“I feel like I’m slowly drowning,” I told my friend two and a half years ago.

“Don’t say that,” he said. “God’s got you.”

I wanted to believe that so badly, but everything in my life screamed the opposite. Several years earlier my wife, Mary Ann, and I had felt led to begin the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia. We expected it would stretch our family (we already had two biological boys) in unexpected ways, but nothing could have prepared us for what God had planned.

After about a year into the process, He seemed to be hitting us with everything at once. It was taking a really long time. The adoption fees kept piling up, while we began to struggle financially. My salary was decreasing and couldn’t match our monthly bills, let alone the shockingly high cost of international adoption. Mary Ann had developed health problems and was physically unable to work. She suffered severe fatigue and frequent migraines that would often send her to bed for a day or two at a time. Our house and my car were falling apart, as we could not afford to repair them. I would have searched for a new job, but that might have even further delayed our adoption. So I stayed where I was, trusting God to ultimately work it all out, including our finances and Mary Ann’s health.

We waited some more and then were finally matched with a little boy. We were thrilled to be moving on and could hardly wait to travel to Ethiopia and meet him.

But something went wrong and the match fell through. We had to start over and wait for another match.

Meanwhile, our financial burdens grew and Mary Ann’s health continued to struggle. We still trusted that God had called us to adopt, but we began to wonder how much more our family could endure.

Several months later we were matched with a precious little girl. Everything seemed perfect. Mary Ann was thrilled to finally add some female reinforcements to our male-dominated family (even our dog is a boy). She ordered a black American Girl doll for our soon-to-be daughter. Our finances and her health were still questionable, but we believed this was the child God had planned for us all along. We were days from traveling to meet and adopt her.

Then that fell through as well.

After spending more than two years and much of our savings on this adoption God had led us to, we felt like we had gotten nowhere. The next day the doll Mary Ann ordered arrived.

We were devastated. I’ll never forget lying in bed with her that night as she said amidst tears, “I had forgotten how it felt to have a broken heart.” That was it; we couldn’t continue. Emotionally drained, we made the agonizing decision to finally give up and move on.

But move on to what? We had given every piece of our lives to this adoption, convinced it was of God. Had we been fools the entire time, draining our savings and upending our entire family for nothing?

With Mary Ann’s health and our financial situation still failing, I couldn’t see a way out of our situation. That’s when I told my friend I was drowning; I truly had no idea how to pick up and move on. But all earthly logic dictated we do just that, as did most people we spoke with.

Except God.

A few days after we had decided to quit, our hearts and minds began to change. We looked back over the process and could see where God had sent us little affirmations to keep going. Just keep going. So despite all we had been through, we didn’t end up quitting.

Soon thereafter, we were matched with a boy. We guarded our hearts more this time, knowing anything could happen. We also knew this was it; we would not try again if this match fell through.

It didn’t fall through.

In May of 2012 we flew to Ethiopia and adopted our son, Amare. He was tiny, having been severely malnourished before arriving at his orphanage. I felt overwhelmed by the task God had called me to in becoming this fragile boy’s father—especially in light of Mary Ann’s continued health problems and my salary’s not matching our monthly bills. But we just trusted that somehow God would make a way, even though we couldn’t see it.

Following the Ethiopian procedure for international adoption, we flew home without Amare, giving the U.S. Embassy several months to stamp their approval on the adoption. We would return later to bring our son home to America.

Before we did, though, my company laid me off.

Now—this may sound weird, but that was the first moment I felt a glimmer of real hope. I was planning on leaving the job anyway, but because I had been with my company so long I was entitled to a large severance package. I just had to stay on through the end of 2012.

So I did exactly that. In the meantime, we brought Amare home to join our family in August that year. He fit in immediately. His older brothers embraced him and he embraced them, as if they’d always been family. In the orphanage, he had been so subdued, never speaking to anyone. Once he joined our family, though, he awoke, running around, having a blast, picking up English quickly and speaking nonstop. He is eating well and, slowly but surely, growing taller and bigger. It’s been truly amazing to watch.

Around the same time Amare came home, Mary Ann’s health actually started to improve, bit by bit. I finished my job and collected the full severance. And through a series of surprising but clearly providential events (that’s an entirely separate article), I took a new job I never would have expected, starting just two weeks later. It’s a much better job and completely meets our family’s financial needs. The most incredible part, though, is that the severance I drew combined with the federal tax credit retroactively paid for the entire adoption. Almost to the penny.

Looking back, it’s staggering to think that we were an inch away from giving up. Had we done so, I would have left my previous job and not gotten the severance package or the job I have now. So while the adoption was adding to our financial struggles and forcing me to stay in a job that didn’t meet our needs, if the process hadn’t taken so long, I would have left that job early and received nothing.

More than a year later, I love my new job, Mary Ann is feeling better than I’ve seen in years (though she still has a ways to go), and our family is stronger and closer than ever with Amare’s being part of us. We were and are blown away by the grace God poured on us through this adoption, even when we wavered. Our faith grew exponentially as He forced us to surrender all and depend fully on Him. In the darkness, He was all we had. In our emptiness, we found His fullness. And now we live with more peace in our hearts than we have ever known.

Two years ago, I thought I was drowning. But it turns out that what I thought was sinking my family was actually saving it. And, of course, my friend was 100% right.

God had me. Always.

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#NoNotAllWomen http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/06/02/nonotallwomen/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/06/02/nonotallwomen/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 15:13:14 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1094 As I was listening to the news the other day I continued to hear stories about the Rodger’s killing spree in California and the expected fallout. The feminists are out in droves screaming that “misogyny kills” and it’s time for women and men alike to recognize this and demand that it stop. Now, as a woman, I will not argue that misogyny is a good thing or even an ok thing. But there is one piece by Jessica Valenti of the Guardian UK that caught my attention. She asks “When will we admit that our society is misogynist?” And Valenti goes on to tells us in this piece that since this shooting women all over the world have come out to tell their story which has resulted in the viral #YesAllWomen social media campaign.

Well, I won’t admit I live in a misogynist society simply because I don’t. That is why I responded, #NoNotAllWomen. I once heard Maya Angelou say in an interview “Believe someone when they tell you something about themselves,” and I have never forgotten that. This statement coupled with the idea of what I’ve heard referred to as “projection” (I have no idea what the clinical term is), where an individual sees life through the lens of their own experience and assumes everyone else has the same experience, is VERY telling. What Jessica Valenti and feminists everywhere are telling us about themselves is that their lives are very unhappy untrusting places. They possess a dangerous level of arrogance in assuming that all looks in their direction from men are evil. That every accidental brush against them is an attempt to sexually harass them. Ever been on a crowded train, bus or elevator? Sometimes that hand that just brushed you no more wanted to touch you than you wished it to, it was simply an accident. When I see a man looking at me, I do not automatically jump to the conclusion that he is a misogynist or has deviant thoughts about me. Maybe I remind him of his sister, his best friend, his first girlfriend or a litany of other people that he holds dear to his heart. Scientific reasoning states that the simplest answer is usually the best. Perhaps instead of dreaming up wild conspiracies about every man who has ever made eye contact with you or bumped into you on the street, maybe we should consider the obvious, it was an accident. But maybe a man is admiring something about me, my hair color, my eyes, my smile and here is a piece of information that feminists clearly have had no experience with… Men ARE capable of admiring beauty in a woman without any sexual feelings or desire being attached. It’s true. It is entirely possible for men to look at women and see her beauty without being overcome with an animal lust for her. Maybe, just maybe, all these men whose looks are making Ms. Valenti so uncomfortable are innocently admiring her beauty, an attribute I can only assume she aspires to as in her picture she is wearing makeup and bright red lipstick. Otherwise, why bother with makeup if you don’t want to look pretty? It makes no sense to want to look pretty then become infuriated when people notice. Should we just make men wear blinders?

This is not to say that incidents of less than honorable intention don’t happen, they do. And I have had my share of unwanted attention and even worse, but I will not get into my own very personal experiences here. I will not argue that sexism played a part in this particular crime, which is what seems to be the central issue here. Feminists want everyone to admit that sexism was the cause of this crime. But upon deeper inspection, we must ask, “Why did Rodgers feel entitled to be sexually active and why was it so devastating to him that he wasn’t?” And the answer I come up with will anger feminist progressives everywhere.

Elliot Rodgers felt entitled to be sexually active with women because he was listening to them, the feminists. For the past 50 years the feminist movement, yes their very own movement, has shoved their views of sexual freedom down our throats (excuse the pun). It is the feminists who have insisted that sex is for everyone and on any occasion. It is the feminists who have insisted on giving away birth control and making abortion accessible (albeit not necessarily safe) so that women have “the right” to be sexually active with whomever and whenever they please without the “punishment” of having a baby. It is these same feminists who have insisted that modest dress for women is outdated and repressive, as is saving sex for marriage. So, let me get this straight, over the past 50 years a movement that claims it is acting in my best interest has managed to objectify women on a scale never before seen despite their stated claims that it is this very objectification which they fight? Seems curious to me how they claim to fight this in one breath while applauding and encouraging this same objectification in the next. I agree that the objectification of women is awful and getting worse, not better, but feminists have only themselves to blame. No wonder this kid thought he was entitled, every billboard, magazine rack and t.v. channel carries ads and/or stories of women who have found “sexual freedom”. We glorify casual sex and ridicule the virgin. This is also why he was devastated by the rejection. He was told (like all of us are) that you are a loser extraordinaire if you aren’t sleeping around. And then there’s just the reality (which I know is a commodity that progressives and feminists do not deal in) that rejection sucks for everyone….that and it is a part of life. Which leads me to the other part of my conclusion. Everybody has been rejected by someone before and some have been rejected repeatedly. Which shows it wasn’t the rejection, it wasn’t his “virgin”status, it wasn’t misogyny, it was just him. This very troubled person was ill-equipped to deal with rejection. Why was he so ill-equipped to deal with this devastating blow? Again, the culprit is progressive thinking. Rodgers was brought up in a world where hurting someone’s feelings borders on the criminal, competition is taboo and self-esteem is the center of the universe. No wonder he was crushed. Rodgers had never likely been taught that he was going to feel bad at times in his life. Repeatedly. For the rest of his life. And that this is not only normal, but actually can make you a better stronger person if you will allow it.

And the hypocrisy in this #YesAllWomen campaign is not only overwhelming but genuinely deadly for some women. As I write, this there is a woman, Meriam Ibrahim, who sits in a Sudanese jail because she was turned in by someone claiming to be her brother for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. She is 27 years old and an American citizen through marriage. And the most appalling part? Her toddler and 5 day old (yes, she gave birth in prison) are there with her. Where are you Sandra Fluke? Where is your outrage Jessica Valenti? Your silence betrays your truth and that is that you believe in 2 classes of citizens, those you agree with and those you disagree with. And those you disagree with aren’t worthy of your voice. They are not deemed worthy of the fight to relieve very real oppression vs. your imagined oppression of too costly birth control, not having on-demand abortion and heaven forbid, the excruciating experience of having a male notice that you look pretty.

I contemplated this woman’s plight last night as I rocked my baby boy to sleep, and I broke down in tears, for many reasons. I cannot imagine the despair this woman feels, not least of all due to this administrations’ outright ignoring this story. This same administration who can convene a panel on the safety of helmets in football is too busy to pick up the phone and demand a citizen’s release from an unjust arrest. This speaks both to the impotence and apathy of this administration. The Bible says we will know Jesus’ disciples by their fruit. Right now, it breaks my heart to say that we are living in the shadow a fruitless tree.

I urge anyone who reads this to call their Congressman and ask them to join Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) resolution calling on the administration to act. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA.) has also added his voice and is calling on the President to offer her a “safe haven.” Also sign the White House petition from Family Research Council to pressure the administration to act.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/act-case-meriam-ibrahim-sudan-and-her-baby-and-toddler-prison/D1x1q4VG

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak.Not to act is to act.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffe

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Hey Democrats: Now’s Your Chance to Get Rid of Eric Cantor http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/05/19/hey-democrats-nows-your-chance-to-get-rid-of-eric-cantor/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/05/19/hey-democrats-nows-your-chance-to-get-rid-of-eric-cantor/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 00:03:18 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1080 Cantor_Empty_Chair

Let me get this out of the way first: I’m a Tea Party guy.

I know—as a Democrat, you now have zero interest in what comes next (if you’re even still reading). But give me a chance to surprise you. I have what I think will be an interesting proposition for you as a faithful Democrat and concerned citizen of America.

An opportunity like this likely won’t come again. Now is your best—and probably last—chance to finally rid Congress and America of one of the most self-serving politicians in the nation, someone who represents all that is wrong with American politics today, a man your party loves to hate.

I’m referring, of course, to U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

I’m not a Democrat, so I won’t insult you by pretending to speak as one. I’m also not a Republican. I am an independent disgusted with both political parties, especially their leadership. And I have dedicated much of my life to freeing America from politicians who serve themselves instead of those they claim to represent.

Starting with Rep. Cantor.

You and I will obviously disagree on much politically, but I do believe we can unite on the simple principle that Majority Leader Cantor is an absolute disaster for America. We may not agree on all the reasons, but let’s not squabble when our ultimate goal is the same. I’m asking for just a few more minutes of your time to see if I can convince you to take this opportunity to help me remove a politician you and I can’t stand.

You with me?

If so, here are the key factors of this year’s election for Virginia’s 7th District congressional seat that may resonate with you:

1)      No Democrat is running. Which basically means the winner of the Republican primary is the overall winner and will be sworn in next year. Which also means that, even as a Democrat, the only way you can have a say in this race is to swallow the bile in your throat and vote in the Republican primary. Though I’m an independent and don’t concern myself much with party politics, I normally wouldn’t like the idea of one party’s members voting in another party’s primary to choose their candidate. This race, however, is different, as your only true voting option is the Republican primary. And because Virginia is an open primary state, you don’t have to waste your time (and wound your conscience) by registering as a Republican. Anyone already registered to vote can vote in any primary just by showing up.

2)      If Eric Cantor wins, he will likely become Speaker of the House (and 2nd in line for the presidency) someday—possibly very soon—and virtually unbeatable in a future election. Let that one sink in and freeze your spine for a few moments. As powerful as you think he is now, it only expands from here.

3)      He has a strong challenger in Dr. Dave Brat (a college professor) who is quickly gaining momentum and could defeat Cantor. I’m not going try to mislead you (after all, I’m not Eric Cantor) and tell you Dave Brat is a liberal and you’ll like the way he votes. Despite Cantor’s repeatedly calling him a liberal for working on the Virginia budget under Governor Kaine, I don’t believe Dr. Brat actually is one and I’d be surprised if you ended up liking how he votes in Congress. But as a single and freshman House member, he would wield barley a tiny fraction of the power House Majority Leader Cantor currently wields (corruptly). And then two years from now, your party could run someone against Dr. Brat instead of an untouchable (and possibly Speaker of the House) Eric Cantor.

4)      It would simply warm your heart for weeks and months—possibly years—to participate in helping remove Rep. Cantor from public office.

So how about it, my Democratic friend? Have I convinced you to vote for Dr. Brat? The primary is on June 10th—less than a month away. I believe Dr. Brat, while fighting an uphill battle against the excessively funded political machine, has a real chance of winning. Even the Washington Post agrees. And that chance would be greatly amplified if even just a small percentage of the Democrats in VA’s 7th district decided to show up and productively express their displeasure with their current representative in the most powerful way possible, by voting against him in what could be the last, best hope for removing him.

Voter turnout is low in primaries. Your vote will make a difference. And so will the votes of your Democratic friends. I’m not going to go overboard and ask you to donate money to Dr. Brat (if you want to, though, here’s the place), but if any of what I have written resonates with you, would you be so kind as to (a) seriously consider my proposition, and (b) forward it to all your Democratic friends, especially those in VA’s 7th District?

And together let’s achieve our shared dream of a Cantor-free U.S. Government.

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My National Day of Prayer Speech http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/05/07/my-national-day-of-prayer-speech/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/05/07/my-national-day-of-prayer-speech/#comments Wed, 07 May 2014 14:23:32 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1075 Last week, I had the privilege and honor of speaking at the JoyGlobal National Day of Prayer event in Abingdon, VA. Below is a copy of the speech I delivered (as prepared).

—-

I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to share with you what God has laid on my heart on as we gather on this national day of prayer, seeking God’s wisdom and guidance in challenging times. He has impressed upon me two things.

One: our nation is in crisis. I don’t think I’m shocking anyone here with that statement. More and more every day, our national leaders – and many of our fellow Americans – grow disconnected from God and lead our nation down a treacherous path. Right is wrong, up is down, and some of the worst people in society are in authority over us.

Two. There is no crisis bigger than God. No matter what challenges we face, no matter how immoral our society becomes, no matter how hopeless our situation appears – God never changes. And he—and only he—has the power to revive our nation.

Our job is to let him.

So how do we do that? The answer, of course, is in Scripture, where we find the model for revival of God’s people.

If you compare the history of the Israelites to the history of America, the parallels are overwhelming. God miraculously delivered the Israelites from an oppressive ruler in Egypt – Pharaoh – and into freedom. And he miraculously delivered the American colonists from an oppressive ruler in England and into freedom. It’s impossible to study the revolutionary war and not see the hand of God enabling a ragtag group of farmers to defeat the most powerful military force on the plant. Despite what any secularist may tell you today, God did establish this nation, using his faithful followers to write our Declaration of Independence and Constitution in a way that would secure the blessings of liberty for its people. Just like the Israelites, we were a free nation under God, picking our own leaders to represent us.

But quickly things stared to go south for Israel, and they got stuck in a cycle of blessing and judgment, depending on their collective relationship with God at any given time. It went something like this. When they were connected, humbly worshiping him, following his commands, they were blessed and free. Then they would grow complacent, forgetting his Word and the source of their blessings, worshiping idols, and judgment would come as their enemies would rule over them. Eventually, they would suffer enough and cry out in repentant humility for to God to deliver them. And he would, setting them free and connected to him again. And the cycle would repeat.

So—do you see this cycle playing out in America? I do. I don’t think it takes a lot of imagination to see it. The question then becomes, where are we in the cycle? If you ask me, I would say we’ve disconnected from God and his Word, forgetting where our freedom and blessings come from, have trusted in our own work and understanding, worshiped idols, and are speeding toward judgment.

Now let me read some Scripture to you. Deuteronomy chapter eight. I’m going to read the whole thing, because I think it’s all important. See if you notice anything that can apply to us today.

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors.Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.

Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.

Is that not exactly where we find ourselves today? God’s words to his people thousands of years ago are screaming to his people again right now.

Now—let me be clear on one critical point. His Word then and now are directed at his people. It’s easy to place the blame for America’s problems on nonbelievers, but I want us to resist that temptation. In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul tells us not to judge those outside the church, but those inside. Nonbelievers—or the world—do what they do. We should not expect them to yield to the Word of a God they don’t even believe in. We should, however, expect every Christian to yield to that Word.

Otherwise, judgment comes. As it did for Israel, eventually ending up in a brutal exile to foreign lands.

Have you ever noticed that nonbelievers are blessed or cursed by the strength or weakness of believers around them? God promised to spare all of Sodom—a terribly sinful place—if enough righteous people were found. Of course, you know the end of that story. God didn’t find enough righteous, and he torched the entire nation. Now think of Jonah. He was running from God, and the sailors on the ship he was on experienced God’s wrath when he brought the storm to get Jonah’s attention because of his disobedience. And now on the positive side, the entire Western world has been infinitely blessed by freedom when God’s people sacrificed everything to secure it, based on his Word. Atheists enjoy total freedom of thought and expression today because of the sacrifices of the Christians they often love to criticize.

So, with that principle in mind, that a group of people—or a nation—is blessed based on the actions of its believers, where should Christians focus their energy when trying to revive a nation in crisis?

Right. Ourselves. Forget about the world. With three-fourths of America still identifying as Christians, yet most of them behaving no differently from nonbelievers in how they talk, think, act, treat other people, what they watch, eat, the idols they worship, and so on, we have grown completely disconnected from the God who blessed us with this great nation. And just like the Israelites, he is placing us increasingly under rulers who become bolder and more ruthless by the day. Just how far away are we from open oppression? I don’t know. Maybe a ways, but I suspect we’re closer than many people think.

Now, I’m not here to scare you. Christians should not live in fear. So far I’ve focused mostly on my first point, that our nation is in crisis. But now I’m moving to the second—and much better— point, that God is bigger than our crises. And he can revive.

We often make the concept of revival complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. Sometimes we tend to focus too much on what we have to do to bring revival. If we listen to powerful messages, get fired up for God, and try to live better lives, revival will come. But, in the end, that leads only to disappointment. You know why? Because those actions are of our own effort. Revival will never come by human effort. It instead is a result of an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit upon a people, humbling them, driving them to their knees to cry out in repentance and for his mercy.

We all have things to repent of. If you are in tune with God’s Word, you know exactly what sins you struggle with. I intimately know mine and pray about them every day. And that is key, right? Prayer. Which is fitting, on this national day of prayer.

To illustrate this, go back to the Revolutionary War for a moment. There was no way America could win. The British had all the money, all the men, all the guns, all the power. A bunch of lowly farmers stood no chance. But George Washington was a deeply humble man of faith and prayer, and he prayed his soldiers through miracle after miracle, ultimately defeating the British in the biggest military upset in human history.

But it wasn’t an upset, was it? Because God did the work. He doesn’t need big numbers to deliver a victory. When his people humble themselves and rely completely on him, that is when he shows up and shows off. And he’ll do the same thing with us today.

Let me read to you about a dramatic revival of his people from Scripture. 2 Kings 22:11-20. This is before the exile, but in a time of idol worship and when God has promised that judgment is coming. A new king named Josiah takes over and finds the Book of the Law. This is what happened:

When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”

I won’t read the rest, but Josiah goes on to destroy the idols they were worshiping, and the Israelites restore their covenant with God.

It’s so simple. His people had fallen away from his Word, but just upon hearing it again, they humbled themselves in repentance before God, and total revival broke out. Immediately. And God did not bring the judgment he threatened upon that generation.

I believe many Christians today don’t look very different from the world because they have lost connection with God’s Word. Few people study it or know what it says, yet they claim to be Christians.

There’s nothing we can do to force other people—or even ourselves—to be interested in studying God’s word. Again, it is only by his Holy Spirit moving within the hearts of people that will draw them to it. But, on this day of prayer, let us take heart that we can pray for the moving of that Spirit. Again, God doesn’t need big numbers. He will hear the cries of the righteous.

How many righteous people did he say he wanted in order to spare Sodom? Ten. Just ten. We have that many righteous standing right here, right now. Revival starts with us. We must pray continuously for humility in our own lives and for God to pour his Spirit out on this land and drive more people into humble prayer.

And what does that look like? Let me show you the spirit of two prayers from the Old Testament, spoken by Ezra and Nehemiah. This is after the exile when the Israelites wanted to return home and rebuild.

Listen to these selected verses from Ezra 9:

Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the Lord my God and prayed:

“I am too ashamed and disgraced, my God, to lift up my face to you, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens. From the days of our ancestors until now, our guilt has been great. Because of our sins, we and our kings and our priests have been subjected to the sword and captivity, to pillage and humiliation at the hand of foreign kings, as it is today.

“But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves, our God has not forsaken us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem. …

“What has happened to us is a result of our evil deeds and our great guilt, and yet, our God, you have punished us less than our sins deserved and have given us a remnant like this. Shall we then break your commands again and intermarry with the peoples who commit such detestable practices? Would you not be angry enough with us to destroy us, leaving us no remnant or survivor? Lord, the God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence.”

The humility in this prayer is staggering.

And now from Nehemiah 1:

“Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

“They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

Same thing. With deep humility, Ezra and Nehemiah confess themselves and on behalf of their people and their need for God. We need to do the same. Not just today. Every day. We need to study God’s Word and live according to it by his power, focusing on reviving the church and not the world. And you know what? Then the world might start to want to participate in our revival. The strongest witness you can ever offer to nonbelievers is to live a humble life, according to God’s Word, harnessing his power.

So on this national day of prayer, I take heart that you all came to humble yourselves before God with me, seek his forgiveness and wisdom. And I think about all the other faithful Americans who are doing the same thing across our entire nation today. In cities and towns everywhere, people are gathering, kneeling, bowing, humbling themselves before the Lord, confessing, asking for his guidance, protection, and power. It fills me with hope. Sodom just needed ten. We already have millions.

Revival can come to America. Starting with us. And, like God’s people under Josiah’s reign, we can avoid judgment and return to being a blessed nation, living free under God again.

Let’s pray.

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I Share Sonnie Johnson’s Reaction About Obamacare Advocates Doing “God’s Work” http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/03/03/i-share-sonnie-johnsons-reaction-about-obamacare-advocates-doing-gods-work/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/03/03/i-share-sonnie-johnsons-reaction-about-obamacare-advocates-doing-gods-work/#comments Mon, 03 Mar 2014 20:27:32 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1055 Recently, President Obama told his supporters advancing the cause of Obamacare that they are doing “God’s work.” It will surprise exactly zero of you that I wholeheartedly disagree that a government program eliminating health care options for struggling Americans, dramatically increasing their costs, reducing wages and the workforce, and forcing more people to depend on government instead of God as their Provider and Great Physician is somehow doing “God’s work.”

I’m not the only one who thinks this.

At a fifth anniversary celebration of the Tea Party, Breitbart’s Sonnie Johnson offered her perspective in an emotional and moving speech. You should watch the entire speech (included at the bottom of this post) in which she said,

My enemy is not a man. My enemy is any philosophy that is shaped by or exalts the teachings of Karl Marx. Karl Marx had two main goals: to destroy capitalism and to dethrone God. …

See, you don’t have to pray for sustenance in Jesus’ name, because government gives you food and housing. You don’t have to pray for health in Jesus’ name, because government gives you Obamacare. You don’t have to pray for morality in Jesus’ name, because a progressive will tell you what’s right and wrong. … You no longer have to pray in Jesus’ name, because now you have government.

And, consequently, government has you.

A while back, I wrote an article titled “The Progressive Left’s Secular Theocracy,” which echoes Johnson’s sentiment. From the article:

In a town hall meeting in 2010, Representative Pete Stark (D-CA) said that the federal government “can do most anything in this country.” In other words, it is Almighty.

This basic view of government—that it should wield unlimited power over every aspect of its citizens’ lives—is the opposite of the Founders’ intention for We the People to largely self-govern as free individuals. But the left brazenly advances the Almighty version instead, wanting and expecting government to address all societal ills (both real and imagined), acting as America’s Provider, Comforter, Father, Hope, Foundation, Great Physician, Owner of All Things, Judge, One and Only Savior, and Ruler, who is the Beginning of All Wisdom and Worthy of All Praise. …

[T]hey are erecting a kind of secular theocracy in which government is god, ascribing to it all the attributes listed above that typically are used to describe the True God.

So what happens if the Big-Government Disciples ultimately get their way?  What does it mean for the rest of society if the government succeeds in a taking over of every aspect of our lives and fully controlling, for example, the distribution of health care and energy (a goal that is dangerously close to being met)?

Easy: we become their servants.

Freedom of choice, thought, and expression will vanish completely.  We will all be forced to worship at the altar of their secular theocracy, serving it in the manner it commands—or suffer its wrath.

Sonnie Johnson ended her powerful speech with a prayer on the Tea Party in Jesus’—not government’s—name. Again, I echo her sentiment, ending this post with the final sentence from my other article:

May freedom-lovers everywhere unite to defeat the Big-Government Disciples and dismantle their secular theocracy before they grow powerful enough to execute a Judgment Day on us all.

 

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My Interview on “The Exceptional Conservative Show” http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/02/21/my-interview-on-the-exceptional-conservative-show/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/02/21/my-interview-on-the-exceptional-conservative-show/#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 00:47:27 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1048 Last night, Ken McClenton interviewed me on “The Exceptional Conservative Show.” As always, we had a lively discussion, and I appreciated the opportunity to ramble about my passions. We mainly focused the recent article I wrote about my experience as part of a transracial family in America since adopting a child from Ethiopia, but, of course, some politics found their way into the mix as well. Click below if you want to listen.

Current Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with TheExceptionalConservativeShow on BlogTalkRadio
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A Creative Comparison http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/02/18/a-creative-comparison/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/02/18/a-creative-comparison/#comments Wed, 19 Feb 2014 02:45:18 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1038 As a Christian with a degree in Biology, the debate on intelligent design has always fascinated me. And in light of this debate grabbing so many headlines recently — driven by Ken Ham and Bill Nye’s face-off — I thought I would post a simple article I wrote some time ago about this topic. Check it out below.

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As my airplane lifted off from the Richmond International Airport, I surveyed from above the complex system of human design spread across the earth beneath me. Carefully built houses lined a network of streets. Cars, vans, and trucks navigated those streets, controlled by strategically placed stoplights. A parking lot painted with rows of parallel white stripes waited for some of those vehicles to drive in and stop for the day.

In gazing at the individual constructs, I was struck by the amount of coordination and planning that must have gone into achieving the overall design. Every piece was engineered with a specific purpose in mind, all working together to help the world run more efficiently.

But the complexity didn’t end at the overhead view. If my plane had suddenly landed so I could have walked among the streets, cars, and houses, I would have found an equally complex sub-design. Vehicles possess engines to power them. Houses are compartmentalized into different rooms, each carrying a distinct purpose. Stoplights are programmed to remain red, yellow, or green for a specified period of time or to automatically react to a vehicle’s tripping a sensor.

We can go deeper still. What is an engine? It’s also composed of individual parts—such as pistons, a crankshaft, a valve train—each with a purpose of its own.

Even deeper, what is a valve train? A composition of valves, rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, and the camshaft, all working together for a common goal.

Drilling down like this, one begins to get a glimpse at how complex human design is and how carefully it has been thought out. Staring down from my window on the airplane, I couldn’t help but marvel at what we have the ability to collectively create.

In thinking about that, though, I noticed something else. All that human design sat upon something bigger and infinitely more complex: Earth. I saw trees, lakes, fields, streams, sky, birds, clouds.

You could perform the same exercise in examining the complexity of each—a bird is assembled partly of bone, muscles, feathers, and organs; muscles are made up of fibers; fibers are made up of bundles of cells; cells are made partly of a nucleus, mitochondria, chromosomes; and so on—and you will keep finding complexity upon complexity in every facet of Earth and its inhabitants. And, as with human creation, all the individual parts with their distinct functions work together for specific purposes.

My human mind cannot begin to comprehend the wisdom and the power of God—a single being who in a breath was able to create the entire universe—when I compare that to the work and preparation and coordination of millions of humans over many years to create a tiny section of roads, houses, and vehicles in a corner of Richmond, Virginia.

Nor can I comprehend how some of those who also look down from airplanes and see the same intelligently designed network of human constructs, built with obvious planning and purpose, can think that the infinitely more complex structure it rests on—the one that has managed to work perfectly to keep this Earth alive for us since the beginning of time—has somehow come together by accident, devoid of any planning and purpose.

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Jesus’ Response to Income Inequality http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/02/11/jesus-response-to-income-inequality/ http://teapartyforchristians.com/2014/02/11/jesus-response-to-income-inequality/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 02:42:15 +0000 http://teapartyforchristians.com/?p=1011 President Obama and Democrats are talking about “income inequality” a lot these days, presumably setting up the 2014 midterm elections to hinge on that issue. “Republicans are mean, want you poor, and your kids to eat cat food.” Or something like that.

Now, I’m not here to defend the Republicans (I’m not one anyway), but I am here to address the topic of income inequality as a Christian, especially as it seems many of my spiritual brethren seemed focused on this as well, expressing deep concern over the widening gap between the rich and the poor. I have many thoughts on this topic, a few of which I’ll share and none of which will be popular. But, hey, I’ve never been comfortable being a conformist.

So let’s start with this:

God is the author of income inequality.

It’s true. If you believe in the sovereign God of the Bible, then you must believe that he ultimately determines what our various incomes are to be. 1 Samuel 2:7 reads, “The LORD sends poverty and wealth” (NIV). No person owns anything—including money—that God has not first provided. And he has chosen to give some people a lot and some a little.

We are not measured by the incomes our Eternal Father gives us (though most humans, sadly, do measure themselves that way). We are measured (in part) by what we do with those incomes, for God’s glory. And one of the clear commands he gives us is to be generous in helping the needy. Jesus spoke powerfully on this when he said, “whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). In the Bible’s many directives to help the needy, God has given what our reaction to income inequality should be.

Give.

Which is the exact opposite of the solution being proposed by power-hungry politicians and some well-meaning Christians.

Take.

They believe that in order to fix wealth disparity that the government must intervene in a combination of ways, whether it’s raising the minimum wage to some new arbitrary number or through a host of programs, taxes, and regulations that redistribute wealth from one group of citizens to another. (And, by the way, only further exacerbate the very income inequality they claim to want to fix anyway. That’s another article for another time, though.)

Never forget that government at its core is force. Coercion. If you do not follow its laws, they will confiscate your property, haul you to prison, or both. So when it passes a law that takes from one group to give to another, there is no choice. There is only force.

This is wrong.

In the well-known story of the “Rich Young Ruler” (Matthew 19:16-30), Jesus famously tells him to sell all his possessions and give to the poor. The young man, of course, rejects this command and slinks away distressed, trapped in his love of money.

Jesus then says, “See, this is problem with society. The greed of the wealthiest one percent. We need Caesar take that scoundrel’s money and give it to the less fortunate. Then all things will be right in the world.”

Okay, Jesus didn’t really say that. That was instead a summary of the narrative we incessantly hear from the Big-Government Disciples ruling from Washington.

Jesus’ actual response to the young man’s actions was to deliver a lecture on the dangers of wealth. He didn’t claim that man had too much money and that the government must take it from him to give to the needy. Jesus let him keep his earthy wealth, though he remained in spiritual poverty. Jesus didn’t take away his choice.

This is the pattern throughout the Bible. Giving should be done out of a generous heart, not compulsion (2 Cor 9:7). Again, Jesus said, “whatever you did for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” He didn’t say, “whatever you did to lobby a government to pass laws to take from the wealthy to give to the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Jesus’ focus is on you. And me. Not on government.

It is our responsibility to be charitable. (Though some restrictions do apply — see 1 Tim 5:9-16 for an example.) Hearts are softened, communities are strengthened, and God is glorified when we help those truly in need. None of these is true, however, when we rely on government to be charitable on our behalf. In fact, government-forced charity breeds envy and resentment, hardening hearts, weakening communities, and glorifying no one. If our Lord were walking the Earth today, I believe he’d be appalled at how much we have outsourced our biblical mandate to a government—especially one that is corrupt, power-hungry, and increasingly secular.

You really want to respond in a biblical way to income inequality? Then expel the cold, corrupt government middle-man from the business of forcing wealth redistribution and wage hikes, fostering a society driven by envy, and instead give your time and money directly to those in need, fostering a society built on generosity.

And glorifying God.

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