News reports out of Washington, D. C. today are recounting the sad story of the death of Christopher Barry, the 36-year-old son of the late former D. C. mayor, Marion Barry. It is just another reminder that politicians face the same day-to-day responsibilities you and I do, like parenting. But unlike us, they have to face them in a fish bowl with 24/7 media coverage.


Christopher Barry

The reports are saying that Christopher Barry died of a drug overdose. His father, Marion, who died in 2014, struggled with drugs also, even spending some time in federal prison for drug possession. Legal problems dogged Marion Barry in his time as mayor and councilman, with charges ranging from tax evasion to perjury to unpaid speeding and parking tickets. My point is not to speculate on the spiritual condition of either of these men, but simply to say that children watch parents and when there is an unstable role model, the results can be catastrophic. We should all stop to pray for comfort for the Barry family.

The Bible isn’t without stories of governmental leaders who failed in the area of parenting. Kings David and Solomon are well-known examples of domestic disasters, so much so that the nation of Israel was divided in half by the time Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, reigned. But one example that may not come to mind as quickly came 300 years after David: King Manassah and his son, Amon.

2 Chronicles 33 tells the story of the beginning of Manassah’s administration. He did evil early on, refusing to listen to the Lord, but came to a crossroads when he was carried away to Babylon in chains by the king of Assyria. Then a switch occurred:

And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God. 2 Chronicles 33:12, 13

Manassah’s son Amon watched all this. Manassah ruled for over 50 years leaving a negative, then a positive model. When he died, his son chose which one to follow.

And he [Amon] did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. Amon sacrificed to all the images that Manasseh his father had made, and served them. And he did not humble himself before the Lord, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself, but this Amon incurred guilt more and more. And his servants conspired against him and put him to death in his house. 2 Chronicles 33:22-24

As you pray for those in authority, pray for their home life. Pray they will exhibit the humility Manassah did, early and often, so that their children will receive the good influences of God-infused priorities. Pray that they will understand the importance of the legacy they will leave for their children and that their children will choose paths that honor God, not lead to the tragedy of self-destruction.

It’s always so enlightening when people who have totally rejected God feel the need to tell people of faith how to act. The latest advice came from The New York Daily News after the shootings nydn
and murder in San Bernardino, California. Apparently, according to Rich Shapiro and any who agrees with him, prayer doesn’t work and God refuses to do what they want Him to do. Any one who says they are praying for the victims of a tragedy are wasting their time and should get off their couch and actually DO something.

What’s funny is, any of the candidates cited for praying for the victims actually HAVE ideas for combating violence in America. I guarantee it. Guess what, Mr. Shapiro and any one who agrees with him – you can do both. You can pray, believing God works in our society and still create laws to protect ourselves, which is the main purpose of government.

for he (civil government) is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:4  

Our unbelieving world needs to understand that Christians feel deep heartbreak when calamity strikes. Like David, we weep at the violence and injustice around us. And, like David, our faith and dependence on God is questioned.

My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”  Psalm 42:3

Here are a few thoughts for you, Mr. Shapiro and any one who agrees with him – you have no idea what tragedies have been withheld from us because of the righteous prayers of faithful people. Prayer is not passive – it is a first-resort activity for those whose faith tells them God is intimately involved with His creation and hears the prayers of those who desire Him. He may not choose to stop all bullets, even though we want that. But that’s where trust takes over, a trust in His wisdom that is far beyond ours. So get over your delusion that you understand who is actually in ultimate control of our world’s circumstances. Hint: it’s not you or any other human.

Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:2, 3

Second, the problem is not guns or our policies about them. The problem is not waiting periods. The problem is not automatic versus semi-automatic. The problem is the heart of people, many of whom have been told their whole lives that God should be marginalized or removed from the public square altogether. We have made policies that discourage prayer. We punish a coach because he prays with his team. For Mr. Shapiro and any one who agrees with him, it may seem like too many people pray during times of hardship, but they can not deny that our nation has systematically shut down the idea of prayer for years. If there has been an escalation of violence recently, what does that tell you?

America has rejected God for decades and the consequences we are reaping are not due to an indifferent or absent God. The consequences we reap, that we weep over, that we tire of hearing about day after day are solely due to our country’s rejection of God and devaluing of life. You simply cannot sanction killing millions of innocent babies, mainly for convenience and sexual freedom, and float along happily without paying the consequences. You cannot limit the freedom of people to worship and express their faith without paying the consequences. You cannot enslave the poor in a failing system and not pay the consequences.

And what about the day when some in America realize maybe they got this whole thing wrong about prayer and try to turn to God? It may be too late at that point.

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66:1

So, Mr. Shapiro and any one who agrees with him, beg for God’s mercy. He will hear you and forgive if you truly repent of unbelief. Be glad there are people left who acknowledge Him and believe in the power of prayer. Realize the heart of people is the problem and no human or political action can change that. Exchange your puny, pathetic, anti-God, anti-faith, anti-prayer, anti-life worldview, which by the way, hasn’t produced any earth-shattering solutions to our problems, for the freeing gospel of Christ before it’s too late.

You want the problems of our world fixed? As long as men reject God, it won’t and can’t be. But there is a time coming when all will be made right. Not because people fixed it, but because the God all nations should seek will do it. In His time, in His way, without our help. Until then, we mourn and pray. We enact laws that protect our innocent. We punish wrongdoers. But above all, we should humble ourselves before and obey the One who controls all things for His glory. The stakes aren’t just dealing with the next instance of terror – the stakes are eternal.

navy yard shootingIt happened again. Someone with a deranged way of looking at the world has killed more innocent people – this time at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. A dozen people didn’t come home yesterday. Many others will have a traumatic memory they didn’t want or ask for. But it happened again.

What is sad is that it will happen again. And again. If we see the world as it really is, we know evil exists and people suffer. How do we as believers face this kind of challenge? How can we send our kids out the door every day, knowing that our communities are not completely safe?

The title for this entry might be impossible. Evil like this is illogical and doesn’t make sense. But we need to acknowledge some things from God’s Word, our unchanging source of answers, even in the most confusing times.

First, whether we can see it or not, God is in control of everything. Can he stop evil things from happening? Yes. For his purposes, he does it all the time. We might be shocked how often he restrains evil around us. But sometimes he doesn’t and when that happens, he still has his reasons.

Think about it. What was the greatest crime of all time? What was the most unfair miscarriage of justice and cruel treatment of an innocent man? The crucifixion of Jesus. And here’s what the Bible tells us about that evil act – “for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,  to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” Acts 4:27, 28

God has his reasons for allowing evil to get the upper hand sometimes, but he is still in control. Second, because of this, we can trust him. Paul dealt with all kinds of evil every day, sometimes to the point of death, and how did he look at it? “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God…” 2 Corinthians 1:8, 9

Third, we know this world is temporary. We shake our heads often and wonder how people could be so heartless and violent. I saw a Facebook comment today about the shooting that just said, ”When will this stop?” According to Scripture, not until Jesus comes to be the final Judge and make everything right. In the meantime, here’s a great attitude to adopt: “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion (or possession, inheritance) forever.Psalm 73:25, 26

So, on days such as these, we grieve. Our hearts break because of the effects of sin on our society. We brace ourselves for what will be on the news tomorrow that we can’t know now. But God is already there, controlling it within his plan and timing. With faith in that, I’m fine to send my daughter to school tomorrow.

good and evilSeveral days ago, after the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing were hunted down, I shared these verses as a Facebook status:

Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval,  for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.    Romans 13:2-4

One comment a friend made under the status wondered what happens when the government and people of a nation call evil good and good evil. It’s the natural question that is begged when we read these verses. Things clearly do not always play out as they should.

The reason I shared the verses that day was because there had been a criminal act committed and as the suspects were being chased, more criminal acts were layered on top. The governing authorities had to use deadly force to deal with the suspects, killing one and severely injuring another who was eventually arrested. This was an example of God-granted governmental authority to “bear the sword” to bring judgment to those who do wrong. Simple as that. We should be grateful for law enforcement officials who carry weapons, sometimes actually using them to maintain safety and peace for our society to operate as it should.

But what about laws and leaders that do not reward good behavior, but elevate evil as something that is right? The verses from Romans 13 paint a picture of civil government as it ought to be, not as it always will be. In this passage, Paul calls on all to submit to governments, since they are God’s servants for our good. This is written by a man who lived under Roman as well as Jewish rulership in the first century, which would ultimately give him a death sentence for spreading the gospel of Christ. Not all decisions by government will fulfill God’s intended role of upholding right and punishing evil. After all, governments are composed of humans. Sinful humans who are in need of God’s wisdom and guidance. Wisdom and guidance that are often rejected.

A glaring example of this is from today’s headlines – President Obama’s speech this morning at Planned Parenthood’s 75th anniversary gala. Our government in America has sanctioned the destruction of millions of lives, many snuffed out by this organization. Not only do we have laws that allow this killing of innocent life, but we pay for it – our tax dollars funded Planned Parenthood with $542,000,000 in 2012 (that’s $61,836 an hour 24/7/365). Not only do we fund it but our president proudly promotes the mission of Planned Parenthood, which performs 320,000 abortions a year, by giving a speech of appreciation and encouragement to continue the job.

The bombing at the Boston Marathon displayed sin, evil, the intentional taking of innocent human life and a despicable devaluing of personhood. These very words may even show up in media reports as they describe the atrocity and follow-up on the victims’ stories. But what we won’t hear are the same words used to describe the work of Planned Parenthood and other abortion doctors who deserve to be characterized the exact same way. And we’ll never hear a follow-up on the victims.

What are we to do and how do we look at Romans 13? Prayer for the spiritual awakening of our leaders and nation is always the first step (1 Timothy 2:1-4). We should also pray for, work for and vote for people who know what good really is and what evil really is. Government cannot and will not carry out true justice until we have leaders who can tell the difference.

President Barak Obama

Yesterday President Obama and Vice President Biden came to Beckley (the town I was born in) to eulogize at a memorial service for 29 West Virginia coal miners who died three weeks ago in an explosion.  I’m told my great-grandfather worked that mine many years ago and I have closely followed the developments there since the disaster occurred. 

There are times when community tragedies are bigger news than others.  There may be bigger issues to consider, such as mine safety, that work their way into the overall story.  When we, as a nation, see the images and feel the loss and pain of a town full of strangers, we grieve along with them.  That’s our national conscience at work. 

And it’s our national conscience that needs the words of our leaders to comfort at times like this.  Our president and vice president were present to express the nation’s sorrow and bring some sympathy to this hard-hit community.  It was the right thing. 

The texts of the remarks of Obama and Biden are inspirational, respectful, somber yet hopeful.  Biden, who has experienced the personal loss of a wife and daughter in an accident, had great credibility and ethos in his speech.  Their words let the miners’ families know how most of us in America felt. 

But the remarks also reminded me again that we must pray for our leaders according to 1 Timothy 2.  Not only are we told in this passage to pray “for kings and all those in high positions” (verse 2), we are also told why.  “God our Savior desires all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (verse 3b, 4). 

When leaders address a memorial service or prayer breakfast, sometimes even a floor speech or national address, they may include spiritual themes.  The danger is that what they say is believed to be true by many undiscerning hearers, even if their words are not biblical.  We shouldn’t wish for our leaders to leave God out of their public speeches (although some in America would love that), but when God is invoked we should pray that true things are said about Him as He has revealed Himself in the Bible.  

It matters what we say and believe about God and our leaders can play a crucial didactic role for the country when they refer to God and spiritual matters. 

Examples from Sunday’s service in Beckley include this comment by President Obama: “We cannot bring back the 29 men we lost. They are with the Lord now.”  This feeds the idea that we are all God’s children (another common belief) and simply by the fact that we are created, live and die that we all go to heaven.  That has no support from the Scriptures.  The fact is that we don’t know if all of the 29 miners are with the Lord, but those of us remaining here have a choice left as to what we will do with Jesus and His gospel of salvation – a fact the president can’t say out loud in our pluralistic structure. 

Vice President Joe Biden

Biden stepped over the line when he said, “To paraphrase a communion hymn in my church, I have a wish for all of you, all of your families:  May He raise you up on eagle’s wings and bear you on the breadth of dawn, and make the sun to shine upon you.  And until you’re reunited with those you lost, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.  For you know this band of 29 roughneck angels watching over you are doing that just now, as they sit at the right hand of the Lord today — and they’re wondering, is all that fuss about me?  (Applause.) ” 

Anyone grounded in the Scriptures will see several red flags of error in that paragraph.  There may or may not be a reunion with these family members in eternity.  We don’t become angels when we die and we most certainly won’t sit at the right hand of the Lord.  Those are just three of several flags.  These comments simply are not grounded in the truth of the Bible.  They may sound good to our world that grasps for purpose and meaning in a time of grief, but how helpful is it to reinforce unbiblical notions?  

An example of an appropriate spiritual thought at this time was made by Obama:  “If any comfort can be found, it can, perhaps, be found by seeking the face of God, who quiets our troubled minds, a God who mends our broken hearts, a God who eases our mourning souls.”  Seeking God at a time of mourning is right and good, but it cannot be a God of our making and our mental comfort level. 

One of the main reasons the Church is in this world is to teach.  If God desires all to be saved and know the truth, His didactic plan is through the Church.  

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) 

We should pray for a day when a leader hands a speech back to a speechwriter for a revision for the only reason of removing an unbiblical thought, or better, change the thought to a biblical one.  How is that going to happen?  Only by the church taking our Bibles and running toward our culture with the truth, sharing the gospel in all of its fullness and power.

Pastor Tim Webster and the folks at Uniontown Bible Church in Union Bridge were the first church in Maryland to financially support us as missionaries to politicians with Capitol Commission.  What a great church they are with vision, authenticity and dedication under the strong leadership of godly elders. 

Tim, Lara, Rebekah, Nathan and Mark Webster

On February 5, Pastor Tim’s wife, Lara, went home to heaven after her cancer diagnosis about a year ago.  Through her illness, she kept a blog letting us know of her battle and keeping us well-informed with prayer requests.  It was an honor to lift up this dear family during that time.  Her sweet spirit and care for her family was evident in her testimony of grace during difficult days.  She encouraged me to trust Jesus more.

You can see this family’s testimony for yourself here.

On Sunday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. there will be a service celebrating Lara’s life at Westminster High School.  Would you pray for this church?  Pray for Tim and the kids – Rebekah, Nathan and Mark.  Pray in the weeks and months to come for their adjustment, for their faith, hope and love to deepen.

These words by the nineteenth-century pastor Octavius Winslow are a comfort:

It is solemnly true that there is a “time to die.” Ah! affecting thought- a “time to die!” A time when this mortal conflict will be over- when this heart will cease to feel, alike insensible to joy or sorrow- when this head will ache and these eyes will weep no more- best and holiest of all- a time “when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality,” and we shall “see Christ as He is, and be like Him.” If this be so, then, O Christian, why this anxious, trembling fear? Your time of death, with all its attendant circumstances, is in the Lord’s hand. All is appointed and arranged by Him who loves you, and who redeemed you- infinite goodness, wisdom, and faithfulness consulting your highest happiness in each circumstance of your departure. The final sickness cannot come, the “last enemy” cannot strike, until He bids it. All is in His hand. Then calmly, confidingly, leave life’s closing scene with Him. You cannot die away from Jesus. Whether your spirit wings its flight at home or abroad, amid strangers or friends, by a lingering process or by a sudden stroke, in brightness or in gloom, Jesus will be with you; and, upheld by His grace, and cheered with His presence, you shall triumphantly exclaim, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me: your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” bearing your dying testimony to the faithfulness of God, and the preciousness of His promises. My time to die is in Your hand, O Lord, and there I calmly leave it.

Senator Ted Kennedy (1932-2009)

Senator Ted Kennedy (1932-2009)

The news is full of remembrances of Senator Edward Kennedy, who died yesterday of a brain tumor.  As I listened to dozens of politicians, friends, media members and others share their recollections of “The Lion of the Senate”, one in particular stood out.  It was from Cal Thomas, the syndicated columnist.

Thomas, who was a polar opposite from Kennedy on most political issues, had fascinating things to say and write about his decades-old relationship with the senator.  On his website, he writes: “Over the years, I came to see Sen. Kennedy not as a symbol, but as a fellow human being who did not get up each morning seeking ways to harm the country. I know of things he did for the poor and homeless on his own time and in his own way without a press release or a desire for public approval. I know of other hurts and concerns he shared with the very few he could trust about which I would never speak.”  (Read the full article here)

Cal Thomas

Cal Thomas

On a sidebar of the same homepage, Thomas added, “I wonder how many Christian conservatives took the time to pray for Ted Kennedy.” This isn’t just a casual thought by Thomas.  I had the chance earlier this year to have breakfast with Cal at an Arlington, Virginia diner.  Over omelets, he told of his testimony of faith in Christ and the opportunities he has had through the years to share it with many in the political and media spheres.  Some of the people he mentioned are hated by political conservatives (some of whom are Christians).  So when Cal Thomas says he wonders who prayed for Senator Kennedy, he means it and he’s not being hypocritical.

Let Kennedy’s passing remind us all to pray “for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:2-4).  Let us also pray that other leaders will consider their own mortality, realizing that “it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).

police tapeYesterday’s murder of the controversial Dr. George Tiller, notorious for his prolofic abortion activity, will no doubt be written and spoken about much in the next few days.  The vigilante nature of the murderer’s  act is obviously immoral and unjustified.  It made me question, though: does the Paphos Paradigm shed any light on confronting evil in the political arena?  I believe it does because Paul and Barnabas came across an obstacle in the capital of Cyprus.  

6 When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they found a magician, a Jewish false prophet whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.  8 But Elymas the magician (for so his name is translated) was opposing them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.  9 But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?  11 Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand.  (Acts 13:6-11)

Several principles can be observed from Acts 13 in relation to responding to those with opposing priorities.  First of all, I think we can agree that opposition will occur in this world and we shouldn’t be surprised or intimidated when it does.  Especially in the political sphere we tend to take great offense that others don’t share our point of view when this is one inescapable reality.

Second, notice why Paul was stirred to action: Bar-Jesus was placing himself between Paul and the governor to block the gospel from having any effect (v. 8).  Paul wasn’t passionate about policy differences as much as he was displeased that a wall had been placed in the way of his message.  His actions clearly reflect a priority of seeing his mission through – witnessing to Sergius Paulus.  He wouldn’t let anything get in the way of that, because he knew the powerful impact the gospel has in the human heart.

Third, motivated by the right reason, Paul has sharp words for Bar-Jesus and calls him exactly what he is: an enemy of what is right.  But again, let the passage define “right”.  Bar-Jesus opposed Paul’s gospel message while his political views aren’t even mentioned (or seem to concern Paul at all).  Passion for seeing the gospel reach a leader is the issue here, not to change his mind on a policy.  When the truth of God does its work, the Church must believe that worldviews are changed and spiritually regenerated leaders can then make laws that are more moral and equitable.

Fourth, think about what isn’t recorded in this passage.  Given Paul’s pattern of ministry and his priority of proclaiming God’s truth, I believe he witnessed to Bar-Jesus (or at least spoke within his hearing) before this recorded confrontation took place.  And who knows what the result was from the combination of Paul’s teaching and Bar-Jesus’ temporary blindness?  For Sergius Paulus, it was faith in Christ.  We aren’t told what happened ultimately in the magician’s heart and maybe the author, Luke, never found out.  But from the impression left by Paul’s response to his opposition, Bar-Jesus may have believed as well.

Murdering a political opponent is never right.  With prayer and proper confrontation from the Christian community, perhaps Dr. Tiller would have drawn close to Christ.  Our concern over the negative effects of the actions of those hostile to God’s principles in Scripture must be spiritual rather than merely political or opinion-based.  It’s important to speak up for righteousness in our world, but the battle is won and lost in the hearts of people as they respond to God’s truth.

funeralA friend of mine died this week.  Rocky was a good, solid guy who loved the Lord and loved his family.  All who knew him will miss him, but we’re glad he’s with the Lord.  At his funeral, I thought about the thing I think about at every funeral:  a week ago this person was with us.  Maybe sick, maybe comatose, maybe feeling great, but they were here in this world. 

Then I wonder where I’ll be in a week.  There’s no guarantee that I will be alive – that’s the nature of an unforeseeable future.  But for the child of God, it’s not a reason to dread tomorrow or lose heart.  Faith instills assurance of heaven so that if my funeral is next week, well, I hope my family and friends give glory to the Lord and enjoy the chicken.

Funerals should serve to remind us of our mortality (something we don’t consider too much), but there’s another important lesson to relearn.  Others around us are in the same boat which, for some strange reason, doesn’t cause us to have a great sense of urgency to make sure they hear the good news that their sins can be forgiven.

One of Isaac Watts’ great hymns describes the certainty of death like this: “Time, like an ever-rolling stream, bears all its sons away”.   Or to cite more familiar words: “…it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  It’s a reality, we all know that.  But how does this truth fit into the Paphos Paradigm of ministering to leaders?

Paul lists four types of prayer for all people in 1 Timothy 2:1, then specifies these prayers should include “kings and all those in authority”.  One of these types of prayer is translated “supplication” (dee’sis) which means “an urgent request or plea for a pressing need”.  What is the urgency?  What is the need?  Is it a bill coming up for a vote on the floor?  Is it wisdom for the next multibillion dollar appropriation?  Is the need to have any given office holder reelected or booted out?

I would submit that the urgency, the reason for the plea, the pressing need is found two verses later:  “God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”  The salvation and subsequent spiritual growth in the heart of a leader is the need.  The glory of God is at stake, not the appeasement of passionate constituants.

These leaders, like you and me, aren’t guaranteed their next breath.  The Church must stop fooling itself into the false notion that the real urgency is the next election cycle.  Elections are important, but they cannot be our primary focus to impact the culture when we’ve been given such a clear mandate to evangelize and disciple leaders.  To neglect the eternal impact of sharing the gospel in order to make temporary changes in governmental structure is a redefinition of God’s priorities. 

He made it clear: 1 Timothy 2 starts with the words “First of all”.  In other words, get ready to hear My priorities.  Don’t hide your head and pay no attention to who is leading you.  And don’t give yourself primarily to grassroots movements to change the balance of human power.  Get in a closet somewhere and acknowledge Divine power and plead with urgency for the souls of those in authority.

One day, they will stand before the Lord and the only thing that will matter is what they did with Jesus.