Category Archives: Take action in politics

International Day (Week) of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

If you have not heard of Pastor Saeed Abedini, I’d like to introduce you to a pastor who needs your prayer.  He also needs us to apply pressure to American authorities for his speedy release.  I hope you’ll click through the link I’ve provided.

Here’s an excerpt from Jordan Sekulow in the Washington Post:

In a disturbing turn of events, an American Pastor imprisoned in Iran has been transferred to one of the deadliest prisons in the world, placing this U.S. citizen’s life in grave danger.

We have written before about the plight of Pastor Saeed Abedini who has been sentence to eight years in prison because of his Christian faith. The ACLJ represents the Abedini family in the U.S.

For more than a year, the 33-year-old pastor, husband and father of two has been incarcerated in Evin Prison, one of the worst prisons in the world.  He has endured mental and physical torment – including beatings at the hands of his captors that resulted in internal bleeding and other serious injuries.

I’ve heard that others have come to faith in Christ through Pastor Saeed’s testimony in Evin.

Here’s the words of Paul to the Philippians when he was in prison:

Philippians 1:12-14  I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel,  13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.  14 And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.

Three action points:

1) Pray.  Ask the sovereign God to influence the rulers of Iran to free Pastor Saeed

2) Tell others.  Use this post or the link to share on Facebook, Twitter or other social media.

3) Contact a representative or congressional leader.  Ask them to act on his behalf.

Grace and peace,

Tim

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-faith/wp/2013/11/06/pastor-saeed-abedini-faces-grave-new-danger/

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by | November 6, 2013 · 6:56 pm

HHS Mandate and Civil Liberties

Obama’s HHS Mandate

On January 20th, 2012, President Obama and the Department of  Health and Human Services (HHS) informed the Roman Catholic church that they would be forced to provide sterilization, contraception, and various abortifacient drugs as part of their state-mandated insurance to their employees (Obamacare).  The problem is that this requires a religious institution (the church) to violate it’s conscience thus ceasing the religious liberties it is granted by God.

The Catholic church’s response was clear and firm.  They will not cave in and act contrary to their own conscience.  The response of Bishops has been rapid and well organized.  As as of Saturday morning https://www.stophhs.com/ has already garnered 41,000 petitions to send to the President.

An Inadequate Response

Under the pressure from the public outcry of concerned citizens, faithful believers and even Republican candidates President Obama attempted to quell the fury by holding a press conference on Friday.  There he announced that he has found a solution whereby the employees of the church could be guaranteed health care that includes sterilization, contraception and abortifacient drugs and church based employers would be off the hook.  In his words, “religious liberty will be protected, and a law that requires free preventive care will not discriminate against women.”

Well, Mr. President not exactly.  This still has many problems and complexities that cannot be removed with pleasant platitudes.  A few points should be considered.

As Al Kresta writes, “It is important to remember that a press conference is not a policy. The best that we can say is that the President is now reopening the discussion and he seems to show a willingness to make some accommodations. Nevertheless, again, a press conference is not policy. He shows no awareness of the conscience problems faced by Catholic businessmen, religious organizations that self-insure, or American citizens who, for reasons of conscience, do not want to participate in insurance plans that offer contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs.”

Jesus said “wisdom is proved right by her actions” (Matthew 11:19). Consider the fact that President Obama at his speech at Notre Dame said, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion and draft a sensible conscience clause.” – Barack Obama May 17, 2009.  He has not kept his word at a public address in 2009, we should only believe it when enacted with real policy change.

Civil Liberties and Civil Disobedience

This is more than partisan warfare, what we are upset about is that this is undermining civil liberties.  America was founded on the self-evident principles that “all men are endowned by their creator with certain unalienable rights, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  That a religious institution should receive a mandate from the state is not just an over-reach of public policy it is contrary to religious liberty entirely.  The view of the church is that the church is an institution ordained by God through Christ who does not answer to the state but to the only head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Al Kresta emphasizes,

“The most distressing aspect of this debate is that we are having it at all. Religious liberty is not a gift of the state that is graciously bestowed on us by our political leaders. Religious liberty is what we posses by virtue of our creation in the image and likeness of God.  We will persevere in this fight until everybody’s freedom of conscience is protected.”

Chuck Colson agrees.  His Two-Minute warning this week is worth viewing in totality.  He says that when he and other Christians penned the Manhattan Declaration, he thought that Civil Disobedience was a possible reality on the distant horizon.  Amazingly, through the HHS Mandate, such statist over-reach into the church is already upon our doorstep.  There may be a time (sooner that expected) where Christians must obey God rather than men.  A threat to liberty anywhere is a threat to liberty everywhere.  You should be prepared by having a biblical view of church and state (e.g. Kuyper’s Sphere Sovereignty) and clear convictions ready to speak the truth in love to others and even disobey man if obedience to God requires.

Hypocrites and Hippocrates

Dr. Nigel Cameron, author of The New Medicine, demonstrates that the original creed of medicine, the Hippocratic Oath included the very important phrases,

I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.

I will not give a lethal drug to anyone if I am asked, nor will I advise such a plan; and similarly I will not give a woman a pessary to cause an abortion.

But I will preserve the purity of my life and my arts.

Our modern medicine would do well to return to the principles of Hippocrates.  DO NO HARM!  We have not advanced beyond pagan fore-fathers of medicine.  Unfortunately we have regressed.

You can take action by learning more from the links in this blog post and by signing a petition at

www.stophhs.com or

http://manhattandeclaration.org/

God bless you for learning, taking action, and for praying for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Tim

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