Saturday, October 27, 2012

WE NEED BETTER AMERICANS




Sow to yourselves in righteousness,
reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for
IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD
Till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

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Good Morning Friends of FCC,

Two weeks from today Americans will head to the polls to elect a President, 33 senators, and 435 members of the House of Representatives.  Here in Missouri we will be choosing a Governor, a Secretary of State, and a host of representatives.

When asked by pollsters about the direction of our nation, most citizens believe that America is on the wrong track.  We could not agree more. 

Poverty is stubbornly high.  Violence is rampant.  Drug (illegal and prescription) and alcohol abuse is epidemic.  Child abuse is sickening.  Nearly every cultural indicator is negative.  Church attendance is down 50% from a few decades ago.  Marriage is on the decline.  Sexual immorality is pervasive.  Pornography is ubiquitous. Almost half of the children born in our nation are born into single parent families. Student scores are too low. Suicide rates are on the rise. Corporate and individual greed is unchecked. We are a nation adrift.

All of this has come at great cost to society and to the public treasury.  Our Federal Government borrows 40 cents of every dollar they spend.  Our national debt is $16,000,000,000,000.00 and climbing at a rate of $3,800,000,000.00 a day. From 1776 to 2008, the total debt grew to $9.86 trillion dollars.  From 2008 to 2012 it has grown another $5 trillion. 

There is a practical, workable, sound, tried, tested, and sure way to resolve these problems. 

ALL THAT WE NEED TO HAVE A BETTER AMERICA IS BETTER AMERICANS!

So long as we are not what we ought to be, our nation will not be what it ought to be. 

Because we are a representative democracy, we are the government. Our leaders reflect who we are.

Because we have capitalistic free-markets, we are the producers and owners of the means of production—we are the businessmen, we are the managers, and we are the workers.

Because our laws were written to guarantee the greatest degree of liberty to the greatest number of citizens, our ideal is a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”  We have never fully realized our ideal, yet we are sure that our constitutional government has secured the God given rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” to more citizens in our United States of America than any other government or form of government has secured in the history of the world.

Who are these “Better Americans?” 
The question itself implies that there are some Americans who are not “better.”  Indeed. Some are better than others.  Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” 

Better Americans are not of a particular race. 
Better Americans are not of a particular cultural heritage.
Better Americans are not of a particular economic class. 
Better Americans are not of a particular region in the nation. 
Better Americans are not of a particular denomination, political party, or organizational affiliation.

Better Americans are better because they think prudently—they look ahead.
Better Americans are better because they act with temperance—they are disciplined and work hard.
Better Americans are better because they uphold justice—with “liberty and justice for all.”
Better Americans are better because they are courageous—who “more than self their country love, and mercy more than life.”

Better Americans are inspired by faith in the God of our Fathers, encouraged by hope, and motivated by self-less love.

Better Americans are moral—they want to think right.
Better Americans are ethical—they want to act right.
Better Americans are virtuous—they want to be right.

Better Americans are known by the content of the character.

To what standard do these “Better Americans” ascribe?
Better Americans honor the previous generation.
Better Americans respect life as God-given.
Better Americans are moral in their relationships.
Better Americans are respectful.
Better Americans are truthful.
Better Americans are not greedy.

I would like to think that I discovered these principles, but God revealed them to Moses 3,400 years ago. Think how different our nation would be if Americans would follow the 10 Commandments. 

Better Americans honor the previous generation.
HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER

Better Americans respect life as God-given.
THOU SHALT NOT KILL.

Better Americans are moral and sexually disciplined in their relationships.
THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.

Better Americans are respectful of other people and their property.
THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.

Better Americans are truthful.
THOU SHALT NOT LIE.

Better Americans are not greedy.
THOU SHALT NOT COVET.

These principles are so foundational to peace and societal happiness that nearly every major world religion espouses them.  But recognizing the rectitude and necessity of these principles is not the same as possessing them. 

How are “Better Americans” made?
Better Americans are made when their minds are serious about the first four of the Ten Commandments.

THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.

THOU SHALT NOT MAKE UNTO THEE ANY GRAVEN IMAGE.

THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN.

REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY AND KEEP IT HOLY.

And better Americans are made when their hearts are transformed by Christ.  “Ye must be born again.” (John 3:3) Christians, called to “salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,” (2 Thessalonians 2:13) are the salt and light that is so essential to making our nation a better nation.

For most of our nation’s history, Americans admired and desired Christianity.  There were no laws that demanded that citizens be Christians.  There was no formal constitutional or legislative directive that our nation be designated a Christian nation.  Yet as David Aikman observed in the Wall Street Journal “America was Christian in the values and morality that most people wanted to observe.” 

But today’s America is increasingly secular.  We say “In God We Trust,” but according to recent surveys, more and more Americans say that they are not affiliated with any religion.  Among those who are affiliated, more and more are aberrant and non-orthodox in their doctrine.  The Apostle Paul warned of a day when people would “have a form of godliness,” “giving heed to seducing spirits,” “having their conscience seared,” and be “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God.”  We are there.

That’s why we are convinced that our nation stands in desperate need of a GREAT AWAKENING!

  1. We will be better…when we recognize that God is the ultimate moral authority.
  2. We will be better…when we acknowledge that the Bible is true—inspired and inerrant.
  3. We will be better…when we believe that Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
  4. We will be better…when we repent—humbly acknowledge our sins and turn from them.
  5. We will be better…when we decide to “pursue peace with all men and holiness without which no man will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:14).
  6. We will be better…when Christ is Lord of all—our resources, our energies, our talents, our time, our relationships, our entertainments, our adornments, our all.  If Christ is not Lord of all, He is not Lord at all.
  7. We will be better…when the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.  Jesus said that His disciples would be known not by their wealth, not by their popularity, not by their physical beauty or impressive skills, but by their love!  Love for God without a rival.  Love for one another that is sacrificial.

ELECTION DAY IS COMING
As you consider your vote in the upcoming election, I trust that you will join me in praying that those candidates that would most advance the cause of Biblical righteousness will be elected to office.

God cannot bless a nation that wantonly disregards His will.  Without God’s blessing our nation will stand unprotected, impoverished, and dissatisfied. It’s time to seek the Lord!

If we can help you in any way please let us know.  We love and appreciate you every one!

Onward!

Pastor Richard M. Jones
FAITH COMMUNITY CHURCH –  Crusaders Church USA
2969 North Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, Missouri  63074 - Telephone (314) 298-5840; Cell (314) 607-1424


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

PATRIOT PASTORS


Patriot Pastors: Bold and Unafraid


In his book, Original Intent, David Barton details the bravery of colonial pastors who spoke out against the tyranny of England and in many cases led the charge for independence.  Barton tells the story of Rev. John Peter Muhlenberg who, on January 21, 1776, preached to his Virginia congregation concerning the crisis then facing America.  He recounted to them how America had been founded in pursuit of religious and civil liberties and how they were now in danger of losing those liberties.  He concluded with these words:


In the language of the Holy Writ [Ecclesiastes 3], there [is] a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.
And then in a loud voice, he quoted from verse 8, saying:
There is a time to fight – and that time has now come!
His sermon finished, he offered the benediction, and then deliberately disrobed in front of his congregation, revealing the uniform of a military officer beneath his clerical robes.  He descended from the pulpit, marched to the back door of the church, and ordered the drums to beat for recruits.  Three hundred men joined him, and they became the Eighth Virginia Regiment.  Pastor John Peter Muhlenberg went on to become one of the highest-ranking officers in the American Revolution, attaining the rank of Major-General.
A statue of Rev. Muhlenberg removing his clerical robe to reveal a military uniform stands in statuary hall in the U.S. Capitol building.  Barton went on, quoting historian Daniel Dorchester, to detail even more exploits by America’s patriot pastors:
Of Rev. John Craighead it is said that “he fought and preached alternately.”  Rev. Dr. Cooper was captain of a military company.  Rev. John Blair Smith, president of Hampden-Sidney College, was captain of a company that rallied to support the retreating Americans after the battle of Cowpens.  Rev. James Hall commanded a company that armed against Cornwallis.  Rev. Wm. Graham rallied his own neighbors to dispute the passage of Rockfish Gap with Tarleton and his Britain dragoons.  Rev. Dr. Ashbel Green was an orderly sergeant.  Rev. Dr. Moses Hodge served in the Army of the Revolution.
These patriot pastors were bold and unafraid to act on their convictions.  Pastor, are you likewise bold and unafraid? America would be a much different place had it not been for the courageous involvement of America’s pastors in our fight for independence.  Today, independence is threatened once again and on many different levels, calling for our pastors to take a courageous stand.  One such threat is the regime of government censorship and control over what a pastor may say from the pulpit.  That’s why ADF has created the Pulpit Initiative – to restore the rich heritage of pastors speaking freely from their pulpits without fearing government censorship or control and to stop the IRS from censoring what  pastors can and cannot say from the pulpit.
America needs patriot pastors today more than ever.  If you are a pastor, would you prayerfully consider joining with us in the Pulpit Initiative?  If you know of a pastor, would you encourage them to sign up today?
James Madison said, “It is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties.”  Well, we find ourselves long past the time for alarm and well into the time for action, as the Johnson Amendment’s “experiment” on our liberties has turned into an outright denial of the Church’s liberty to speak and act in accordance with biblical principles.  Stand with us today and join the ranks of those patriot pastors who have gone before –sign up to be a part of the Pulpit Initiative.