No More Prayer In School Debates Please
This is a touchy topic to many Christians and from a Sovereign perspective I believe misguided.
This is a touchy topic to many Christians and from a Sovereign perspective I believe misguided. Before I continue let me add that any differences should be handles with respect and for the good of the people.
So, I urge that as Christians we remember:
· That Titus 1 calls us to be:- above reproach, as Stewards of God. (In other words Paul goes on to describe traits of goodness)
- and his children are believers[b] (That tells me something about prayer in schools)
- not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. (Which reminds Christians to be obedient – not causing riots in public or in our schools)
- and as Christians Paul calls us also to rebuke those who contradict it.
- Romans 13 Reminds us to - Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.
· Hebrews 13 - Obey your leaders and submit to them.
Likewise – When People or even Government officials jump right to how praying is unconstitutional I ask where it says that - - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.
Or when some argue that if we allowed prayer for one religion we would need to allow it for all.
- Even if that were true– the Government is a representation of the people – and a democracy of the masses.
- Although there has been a slight decline in America – the most recent Pew Research Poll that I reviewed showed that still more than 70% of America professes to be Christian.
Let’s be clear – Govt. does not force or endorse any religion – but Despite the Atheist agenda led be communist, activist Madalyn Murray O'Hair for decades, clearly, we see prayer in the white house today, on our money, and federal buildings.
Why? because God is not confined to religion or school - God is Sovereign.
Regardless of any outcome or debates – God is everywhere.
- In fact a compelling argument should be recognized that…
“as I Christian, I don’t want to force anyone to practicing or teaching the faith. I do not want atheist attempting to lead my child in any prayer”
- John F. Kennedy – echoed this position – stating that “the easy solution is for families to pray regularly and attend religious assembly with Fidelity.”
I. So, Regardless of what conversations people share today – or what laws are Established, upheld, or overturns – God is Sovereign and He is in charge.
· The Bible says that God is the Great “I am” – the beginning and the end – the Alpha and Omega.
- He created the universe when there was nothing
- He said let there be light and there was
- He created you and me in is image
- he know the number of every hair on our heads
- He is before all things and through HIM – all things are held together.
- He is the creator and He is our Heavenly father.
II. Our Founding Fathers recognized this Divinity as well.
· In 1776 The Declaration of Independence said - “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
- Thomas Jefferson and our Founding Fathers were clear that - What God has given to man - no government. Can Take Away.
- God in his Providence knew that in time men would grow distant.
· The entire Old Testament describes one exodus and reunion after another.
· The Bible also reveals a God who, even before it occurs to us to look to him, takes the initiative, and He seeks out us - for His Glory.
- All Other belief systems position man as the initiator who seeks to gain a response from God.
- But, Christianity at its core reveals a God who initiates - and man who responds.
· In Communion…IN PRAYER.
· Our Statue of Liberty – stands tall today – an example of our humble beginning. Engraved on her reads:
- “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
· This quote reflects the desire of our Fathers to live in a land that mirrors the love of our creator.
· Jesus himself said in the 8 beatitudes of how to live with our brethren:
· Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
· Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
· At our core – We are nation of love – of diversity
· We are a nation that yearns to live out mercy for the tired and hungry
· We are a nation that reflects hope for the oppressed
· & We are the home for those who are yearning to – breathe free.
III. The Prayer Debate is just a symptom of the Times - The Real Problem In Our Country Is This:
o As a nation we face a problem today that is responsible for more death and despair than any epidemic in history.
· That epidemic is = Tolerance (at least as we see it today)
· Tolerance, as we use the term today, is a serial killer disguised in a smile –
· Tolerance is a disease that attacks truth and the victim is our very souls.
· Tolerance is deceiving us into believing that diversity is the same as love – and everyone should get a trophy.
Tolerance – properly understood is biblical
· We see in the Bible that Jesus cam to save ALL men not some –
· Jesus the
· n calls all believers to “Go-forth” and share the good-news with every nation and every tribe.
· C. But the greatest lie of this generation is the lie that tolerance is the same as truth.
· Jesus warns us that the gate to life and truth is narrow – and few will find it.
· But the gate that leads to death and destruction – opens its arms wide to the tolerance lie.
· D. But here’s the fullness of the problem - If we expand the walls of truth to include tolerance we have become propagators of deception and the very civility of our nation is compromised.
We are not God – and we therefore can not create our own truth.
· The word of God tells us that if anyone adds to his truth, He will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
· and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. (Rev 22:18)
· 2 Tim 4:3 in the ESV says it like this- For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.
When we define truth ourselves - we limit God in our lives to the capacity of our minds.
· When we say “what is good for you is good for you,” and what is good for me is good for me” we have made our perspective the standard for the entire human race.
Ironically – the desire to accept others as they are is the very delusion that leads to death or despair. Absent of a full acceptance of God- as the moral authority that He is – we are left to find hope, peace, and mercy in ourselves – and inevitably come up short.
Example of Blurring Truth.
If I throw one of every book into a pile, including the Bible, and then point to the pile and say – Look – truth is in that pile. I would be correct. Would I not?
However – that does not mean that the entire pile is truth.
In its fullness and diversity – It has also become a Heap of mostly lies blending all fiction with non-fiction.
IV. But don’t be alarmed – Jesus told us that in the END TIMES this would happen.
- & In the Gospel of Mathew Jesus said,
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. … and Nation will rise against nation” (Matthew 24:6-7).
Around the Globe we see:
· Conflict with the Taliban in Afghanistan
· an ISIS civil war in Syria
· Counter-terrorism in Yemen and Somalia
· & Ongoing Muslim conflicts throughout Africa – to name a few.
· Over 1.1 million American men and woman have been killed defending our freedom throughout these conflicts
· and according to the Global-peace-index – there are now just 10 countries out of 195 in the entire world which can be considered completely free from conflict.
In Matthew 24:10 Jesus continues by saying – “many (believers) will fall away and – betray one another and – hate one another.
· According to the latest Happiness Index (Measuring – substance abuse, obesity, & depression among other socio-economic factors) America continues to fall further down on the list
· Nearly 20,000 are murdered every year
· And every 98 seconds a woman is sexually assaulted or raped that we know about.
· Matt 24: 12 also tells us why – saying that “many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.”
· Today there are over 4,200 recognized religions in the world today
· And get this- am article reads “The 11 new religions to consider in 2015” – WHAT?
Matt 24:12 concludes by saying – And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.”
· According to the Economist Online – Suicide rates have climbed by 25% since 1999
· Drug related deaths have DOUBLED in the last decade to 72,000 deaths last year alone according to National Inst. For Drug Abuse.
· According to American Addiction Centers 1 in 8 Americans – and almost every family in the Nation – is affected by someone with alcoholism.
We are more connected then ever – we have more children in classrooms then ever and yet they feel all lone.
- Leading to masses of sick – and self medicated young adults.
- Thorough wrote in “Walden” – “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
- Yet God himself tells us in Proverbs 18:1 – Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; & breaks out against all sound judgment.
- and 1 Cor 15:33 reads – “Bad company ruins good morals.”
This story isn’t new however – We find the battle for truth in Jesus’s own life.
When Jesus stood on trial in the Gospel of John He stood as the persecuted minority and said: “I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice,”
Pontius Pilate, his earthy judge, comes back asking him: “What is truth?”
Man has been questioning the authority of an absolute, Divine, truth from the beginning.
And Pilot is often believed like Judas who turned on God – to have committed suicide.
V. There will always be opponents to a Biblical World View
The world would have us be content with pointing our fingers at everything but the problem.
– We are told that our financial hardships should be pinned on political leaders
– We are led to believe that war and strife is because of other world leaders
– We are told that many of our health problems are the result of bad medicine, engineered food, or pollution.
– When we are depressed – we are told we need to take a pill.
– When we are scared or lonely – we are told there’s a pill for that too – or many turn to drugs or alcohol. (I know I did once)
You know – When times are tough in our country – we actually see more money spent at the bars.
- Think about this – During the great depression – alcohol skyrocketed – yet there was no money to buy food for many.
- It’s typically people with the least – that spend the most on seeking to fill the pain and the void in their life with chemicals and other worldly distractions.
But (John 10:10) warns us that “The thief (those seeking to steal our relationship with God) come only to steal and kill and destroy; (while) Jesus came that we may have life and have it abundantly.”
We all come up empty -
- We all have a void in our heart – that feels empty. A place that the world cant fill – a place that hungers to be complete in the perfect work of Jesus Christ.
- The Psalmist in the Bible put it this way: “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:2).
- The problem is that instead of turning to God and letting Him fill our souls, we turn to other things — pleasure, fame, money, sex, or drugs and alcohol.
- We seek to fill our woes with the world instead of the word of God.
These are the lies from a fallen World:
- For a time, we think we have found what we were looking for, but in the end, we end up just as empty as we ever were and tragically,
o many will discover that they’ve almost destroyed their lives because of these lies.
- Only God can satisfy our inner hunger, and He will, as we turn to Him and by faith open our hearts and lives to Christ’s transforming power.
- God doesn’t want us to wander through life, constantly wondering who we are or why we’re here but he loves us enough to give us freedom to choose.
- Instead, Christ came into the world to bring us back to God, and He will, as we commit our lives to Him – That commitment on our end – to walk in a way that reflects his Glory on earth.
- That most certainly has something to do with raising our children up with a natural respect for their parents, and their Heavenly Father.
Proverbs 22:6 says it this way - 6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
We must train our children wright – we must teach them to seek solutions in God – we must model for them healthy solutions in prayer – not social media, drugs, or other drastic attempts to medicate.
God is everywhere – Our Response is not “Prayer in Schools” its prayer in each of us. Our Children need to grow in that faith and our country needs to grow in that Truth.