A Time to Stand July 4th 2016, By Mario Murillo
They had money, education and prestige so why would they sign a letter that promised to turn them into hunted animals for the rest of their lives? Five of them were captured and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the war; another two had sons captured. Nine died from wounds in battle.
I am talking about the 56 men who signed the Declaration of Independence. They signed it because, while they valued their homes, their businesses and their prestige, they valued liberty even more. But did you know that nearly half of the pastors in America today would not have supported the Declaration of Independence? Think of it, if it had rested with these modern preachers there would be no United States today. Wait until you hear why.
This letter has two burning goals. The first is to clear the air about why I speak out against our president and our congress and the second is to call for a general resistance by the preachers in America to the policies that are destroying the nation.
These 56 were godly, successful, and wise men were driven to an inescapable conclusion and it is urgent that we realize that history is repeating itself. “When in the Course of human events” The word WHEN is the key word in the opening phrase of the Declaration of Independence. The entire document rests on that single word. It means that something changed so drastically that they broke with deep connections and long standing traditions. It means that after agonizing prayer and deliberation their course of action became undeniable and inescapable.
The Church in America has just had her WHEN moment:
-When the president becomes lawless and the Congress becomes clueless, when unstoppable crime and poverty are the direct result of government gridlock, when the church and law-abiding citizens are targeted by the FBI, the IRS and the NSA for their religious or political beliefs.
-When Americans owe 60 trillion dollars in personal debt which means we are literally living on borrowed time. When the middle class is 25% of what it was in the 1950s, and about to vanish. When even youth, Obama’s last bastion of support have awakened to him and rejected him.
-When they are calling him out for his disastrous plunge into socialism and removing their medical rights, violating their privacy and stealing their future.
-When our borders are broken down and when the world has become dangerous because our foreign policy is in shambles and when the destruction of the Republic is at hand, then it is time for the Church to intervene and stand with the Bible first and then the Constitution.
Listen to further words from the Declaration: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
This is exactly where we are right now. Half of all of our pastors would not have supported the Declaration of Independence? How is this possible? It is possible because a noxious wind of doctrine is blowing through the church that cheapens words like Grace, Honor and Love and engenders complacency. Many leaders even now openly teach that repentance is unnecessary and that confronting government is never right.
We have seen this all before. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German pastor and theologian was asked in 1943 how it was possible for the church to sit back and let Hitler seize absolute power. His answer was very direct; he said “it was the teaching of cheap grace.”
Is it just a coincidence that the same spiritual emphasis that lulled Lutherans to sleep has reappeared at the time when our freedom is in mortal danger? No it is not a coincidence, it is Satan. For the devil, this doctrine of passivity could not have come at a better time.
Consider what a satanic masterstroke it is to prevent us from doing two things:
1. Provoke us to silence at the very moment that the nation needs to hear righteous voices.
2. Downplay the need for repentance when repentance is most urgently required.
When asked why pastors don’t speak out Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church Dallas said, “I think one reason is a lot of Christian leaders have the wrong idea about Jesus,” Jeffress replied “They see Jesus as this little, wimpy guy who walked around plucking daisies and eating birdseed and saying nice things, but never doing anything controversial. The fact is, Jesus did confront his culture with truth — and he ended up being crucified because of it.” “I believe it’s time for pastors to say, you know, I don’t care about controversy, I don’t care whether I’m going to lose church members, I don’t care about building a big church. I’m going to stand for truth regardless of what happens.”
Here are the two portions of scripture that are often misused to silence the church:
1. Matthew 7: 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
2. Romans 13:1 “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not terrors to good works, but to evil.”
The signers of the Declaration of Independence knew the Bible better than 90% of our ordained ministers today. They grappled with the same issues we face today and asked the same questions we ask today. Twenty four of them were lawyers and jurists and almost half had been to Bible school or seminary. In the process, they must have confronted those two portions of scripture. They also prayed fervently and believed that they had heard from God. Years later Benjamin Franklin when they were working on the Constitution reminded them of their daily prayer for wisdom on the Declaration: “In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered.”
This is what I believe they concluded:
1. Matthew 7: 1 When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn’t at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people “pigs” and “dogs” (Matt 7:6) and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” (7:15). … What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another’s eye – which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.
2. Romans 13:1-2 Many Christians interpret this passage of Scripture to mean that we should offer unquestioning obedience to government, even if it’s an evil and corrupt government. This is simply not true. Most people fail to consider verse 3, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil.” Clearly, God is speaking about GOOD government in Romans 13… Because they are a terror to evil works, i.e., crimes.
But these 56 men are also proof of the power of God to help us right now! I am speaking out because I know that we still have time for a miracle. Here is my 5 declarations to you:
1. We must rise up as an outspoken unified, cross denominational firewall against the destruction of America. Whether you believe in tongues or not; whether you believe in total immersion baptism or spot removing, regardless of your view of how the world will end we must find common ground at the foot of the Cross. When it comes to the preservation of our liberty our doctrinal nuances must take a backseat to unified action.
2. We must not think that telling the truth is unloving. Paul said, “Love does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth.” We must sacrifice short-term acceptance for long-term results. In the long run, when the nation is spared the masses will see that repentance and prayer saved the day… and that my friend is real love. Politicians must feel the force of our convictions. We must, in no uncertain terms, remind the denizens on both sides of the aisle of the Washington swamp that they work for us or we will fire them.
3. Let your convictions rule you and not theological trends. Find your assignment and vow to execute it. Listen to me! Servant of God:your best friend is your destiny and your mortal enemy is the intoxication of prevailing opinion.
4. Preach Bible truth from the pulpit. Let me put it to you plainly: It all starts with the preaching. If American preaching returns to the Bible and our sermons are thundered from burning hearts full of the Holy Spirit we have more than a good chance to save America. If preaching stays as is, there is no chance…period. Pastors were dispensing new age goobly gook when they should have been training the people in biblical morality. This is one big reason that 6 million Christians voted for their pocketbooks instead their convictions. Remember the words of Dr. Jeffress “I’m going to lose church members; I don’t care about building a big church. I’m going to stand for truth regardless of what happens.”
5. Let us pray! Call that fellow minister that you haven’t spoken to in 20 years. Meet for prayer, not mystical prayer, not tepid prayer, and not complicated prayer just heart felt prayer. Pray like those 56 men prayed in Independence Hall. Pray Psalm 119:126 “It is time for You oh God to act for they have nullified Your law.”
We will never speak out against the government unless the Holy Spirit prompts us. And it will never be something we do instead of the Gospel but because of it. Those who believe we should remain silent will get a lot more silence than they bargained for if we lose our freedom of speech. To say that will never happen is to forget all of the things that have happened in 6 years that we never thought could happen. Moreover, we’ve always had a prophetic calling to warn the nation.
It only seems like we have changed but it is the White House that has changed. It actively opposes the Gospel. One of the campaign officials even boasted that in winning the election, “we defeated Christianity.” Let me ask you one final question: If not now, at what point will it feel right for the ministers of America to drop their petty disagreements and provide a unified opposition to the destruction of our Constitution, our Judeo Christian traditions, marriage and the future of our children? Many ministers lash out at those who out speak against the president.
This is so strange! No pastors ever questioned us when were outspoken about the damage that heroin, crack cocaine or gang violence did to inner city neighborhoods. But now that the government has become the most dangerous gang in the hood and government dependency has become the most addictive drug we supposed to remain silent? However, I am overcome by hope for America and here is why:
It was 1972. I stood in the rain outside Pauley Ballroom on the Berkeley Campus. Inside, Jane Fonda led a loud chorus of obscenities. A thousand students were cursing God and America. Instinctively, I raised my Bible it pointed it at the hall. I confessed that one day I would lead a bigger and louder crowd in shouts of praise to God and blessing to America. That miracle came to pass in vivid detail in less than three years. 1,200 students raised a deafening shout of praise to God and blessing to America and as a part of the larger Jesus Movement it changed the mood of the nation.
I stand in awe of the towering miracle that is the Declaration of Independence. I weep because I know that I am not worthy of its courage and truth. It haunts me. It stalks me. It exposes me, and it comforts me. It is the quintessential moral compass of a nation that has lost its way. I feel my knees buckling beneath me in prayer for I feel that evil has touched something precious to Jesus. This grand document proves God’s amazing ways and that He is waiting in the wings to answer prayer and heal the land. Admit it! We don’t know what to do but we know who does know what to do. If they could, those 56 men would say it with all of their strength: A MIRACLE IS COMING IF WE PRAY AND THEN OBEY.
It would be a thrill for me to hear from those of you who are taking a stand with us against the demise of our nation and believe ministers should not be silent as America is destroyed. I value your comments and support.