Tag Archives: Supreme Court

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Battle for the Bride

‘Can we recognize the diabolical coup at work here? Think for a moment with the mind of the enemy. If the purpose of our creation as male and female and the call to become one flesh is to point us to heaven, and if there’s an enemy who wants to keep us from heaven, where is he going to aim his most potent arrows?’Christopher West

Nothing short of hell is breaking out. As I left for Europe to enter new church doors to proclaim Jesus’ all-sufficient love for the sexually broken, Annette and I faced unprecedented enemy attack. Our Supreme Court refused to uphold the rights of states to define marriage and 11 states entered the ‘gay marriage’ zone, a staff member fell seriously ill, a good friend accused us falsely, Annette dueled myriad domestic woes and I faced every travel obstacle imaginable.

By the time I reached Paris, I could only surrender to the One who loves me. Then I laughed at the devil. In truth, he has no power to stop God’s bride from becoming beautiful. She will emerge radiant in mercy, humble in truth. Broken by sin but not destroyed, perplexed by dark powers but not cast down, we arise: man for woman and woman for man, serving each other and declaring the One who called us out of darkness and into His glorious light.

Nothing could stop us! We gathered in a huge church in central Paris where an amazing priest spoke of how Jesus looks at us–and how we can look at each other–in a way that confirms our true personhood. Using my own story I shared how Jesus restores persons with same-sex attraction through His beautiful bride. Through worshipping the One, idolaters resume the dance of genuine self-giving.

How beautiful she was that night! A team had decorated the sanctuary richly and hoisted up the Divine Mercy image, while another team led us in exquisite praise. We could not help but bow facedown before the One who looks at us with such tender all-knowing love that we cannot help but surrender to His wholeness. In the light of His gaze, we become who we are.

Broken by the new ‘gay marriage’ laws in France, many persons wondered how to best love persons with same-gender attraction. Among them were the homosexually wounded who asked: ‘Will you love me in all my messiness and contradictions? Will you stand with me as I learn to worship this Jesus in His house and leave the old behind?’

Toward the end of the evening I looked behind me and saw that the pastor had opened wide the huge Baroque doors. From the sanctuary thick with broken people and the Presence of God, I could see streams of Parisians racing home. Might we His bride open wide the door of our hearts and invite in all who search of the living God? As we do, we shall face serious demonic resistance. More than that, we partake in the Father’s joy of many sons and daughter coming home. In doing our part for such glorious reunions, we crush the work of the enemy.

Please join us this Wednesday the 15th for ‘Pierced for the Bride’: the first of 40 days of prayer and fasting for the Bride. Join the staff every day at 3pm cst as we pray through the daily blog together. Now is the time to fight on our knees!

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Gift of Tears

“A large number of people followed Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him. Jesus turned and said to them: ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me; weep for yourselves and for your children.’ ” (LK 23: 27, 28)

Last year during Holy Week, I witnessed a bitter fruit of our nation’s idolatry. ‘Gay marriage’ advocates outnumbered us on the Mall in Washington DC while the Supreme Court gave every indication that marriage could and would be defined by any consumer-group (in this case, gay activists) that wanted it.

Nothing sacred about sex or the covenant that gives kids a chance for stability: since last April, the Supreme Court struck down Prop. 8 and DOMA and our nation followed suit. Sociologists claim that US public opinion on homosexuality has shifted faster than any other social issue. Ever. Nearly every protection for marriage and the freedom to define homosexual identity and practice as morally wrong has been burned in the fire of our idolatry.

We cry peace when there is none; we have been duped by the persuasive charms of those so intent on deconstructing gender that we are now considered bigots for clarifying the goal of human sexuality. On the altar of our nation we now worship a libidinous, transgender icon. We are sacrificing our children upon it. Weep over our national wound.

‘Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people? Oh that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the slain of my people.’ (Jer. 8:22-9:1)

When we honor sexual unions that cannot engender life and that confuse the gender of both parties, we welcome the spirit of death. Through ‘gay marriage,’ ‘Death has entered in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off our children from the streets and our young men from the public squares.’ (Jer. 9: 21)

As we follow Jesus to Calvary, we can and must weep for what has overtaken us. We have brought it on ourselves. We have committed idolatry and our wound is grave. Our hope now rests not in the government or the counsels of deceived prophets and pastors. Our hope lies in recognizing the trouble we are in—the wages of sin and death—and placing our hope wholly in the One who turns death around.

As a staff we are praying for all intercessors to weep and so inspire tears in the hearts of all who have a conscience. ‘Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes flow with tears and water streams from our eyelids.’ (Jer. 9: 17, 18)

We ask those gifted with tears to release that gift in us. Weeping over our idolatry seems the only apt response to the mess we have made. Through Your Cross, might you, O Jesus, assume our suffering and transform it into a gift of Life?

‘The fact that the Savior bore our sin, sorrow and death does not mean that we bear none of them; rather, it means that we are invited into that place (the Cross) where suffering is transfigured. We (the Church) are His Body. As such we share in His suffering for the life of the world.’ Thomas Howard

PRAYER for Maundy Thursday, April 17th: ‘Who is like You who washes the feet of His betrayers? We have betrayed You with our cowardly indifference. Wash us afresh. May Your mercy prime us and teach us to weep.’

PRAYER for Good Friday, April 18th: ‘Teach us to abide with You at Your Cross. Release water from our stony hearts. Make our hearts tender and our eyes wet with tears. You gave all to gain us.’

PRAYER for Holy Saturday, April 19th: ‘Teach us to linger with tears. Help us to wait, trusting that You will transform our suffering into Life for the world.’

Prayer for Easter, April 20th: ‘May new life spring forth from us as surely as You sprang forth from the tomb. Break chains with cords of compassion. Turn our mourning into dancing, our sorrow to joy. As we break fast, may feasting break out as we join in glorious celebration that You the abandoned are now reconciled to Your Father. And so are we, Your beloved brothers and sisters, united in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

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Mercy 5: Waking Up, Mercifully

‘I will rouse your sons, O Zion, and make them like a warrior’s sword.’ (Zech. 9: 13)

mercy 5 ReworkRouse thyself! May one glimpse of the world’s rendering of gender and sexuality provoke godly zeal in you. May zeal for His image consume us.

In October, California lawmakers gave K-12 students the state the choice to decide which bathroom to use and which team to play on based on their inner sense of gender. Biology no longer determines male and female. Blind guides have handed the reins to confounded children, who now lead the state into gender oblivion.

Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), the only governor in the Northeast to buck ‘gay marriage’, threw in the towel when gay couples mobilized with activist judges to appeal the state law denying ‘gay marriage’; the state high court sided with them. The same strategy between gay couples, activist judges, and sympathetic Supreme Courts is underway in over 20 states.

The church seems paralyzed by this breath-taking redefinition of gender, sexuality, and marriage. A pastor whose church ranks as the most ‘successful’ in his denomination recently stated that within his rather elite set of mega-church pastors he is the only one willing to even address the homosexual ‘issue.’

Our lack of wisdom and foresight is grave. Gender confusion is not born; it is a product of a chaotic, confounding world. And the afflicting power of sin knows only one antidote: the transforming love of Jesus, both preached and practiced.

Anne Paulk told me that at RHN she is receiving a new wave of requests for help from young people who are crying out for mercy amid all these confounding liberties. A generation weaned on freedom from gender constraints is waking up. They are no longer looking for a pass to be broken; they want restoration.

I just received a report from a 4-year-old boy I ministered to who wanted to be a girl. His parents reported gratefully that their now 17-year-old son is a blessedly grounded male.

Though some churches slumber, others are provoked. She is mobilizing for mercy. We at DSM are receiving requests to equip churches in far flung places. Pastors are asking: ‘What can we do? How do we extend mercy that restores broken humanity?’ I recently met with a high-ranking church official who wants to open doors of hope for the sexually broken. He is provoked: absurd and arbitrary ‘justice’ that enshrines gender brokenness has fired his zeal for the real thing.

Let it be so, O God. Open our eyes to enslaving liberties and the only One who can set us free from them.

‘We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the anti-Christ…it must be a trial that the Church takes up and faces courageously. We must be prepared to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up our own life, a total dedication to Christ and for Christ.’ John Paul ll

Prayer Points for November 10th:

    • Desert Stream/Living Waters: Rocky Mountains: Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Cindy Del Hierro, Regional Coordinator. Please pray for those interested in starting a group in Kalispell, MT.
    • Restored Hope Network: Hope2TurnMinistry, Rockford, Il. Eric Lundstrom, Director. Specialty: working with men and families.
      Reconciliation Ministries, Roseville, MI (nr Detroit) Dan Hitz, Director. Specialty: Dan, a licensed counselor, works with men, women and youth, runs Living Waters, is a gifted speaker and prayer warrior.
    • Courage: Healing and conversion for those in the gay community or who identify as gay.
    • Cor Project: Spiritual protection in the implementation of our programs.
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Courage and Conflict

New life is always under threat. The devourer prowls around cracked doors, hungry. Mary’s ‘yes’ to bear Christ may evoke consoling images of Mother and Child but also invites profound struggle. Mary’s ‘yes’ was a battle cry.

Simeon prophesied to Mary as she cradled the Babe: ‘a sword shall pierce your heart too.’ (Lk 2: 35) He referred to the suffering that Mary and all who lined up with Christ would face. Simeon planted a Cross right in the middle of the crib. From the onset of God’s entry on earth, the battle between good and evil manifested itself.

Last week, Annette and I faced spiritual warfare of unprecedented proportions. As I prepared for a ministry trip, everything that could go wrong did. The convergence of minor hardships inflamed our weaknesses and fears. When I arrived at the airport, I was exhausted beyond rest. Only then could I apprehend what was happening. The enemy sought to wear me out before I had even advanced.

At that I laughed. I am at my best when face down, relying only on the Word that comes in quiet surrender with my comrades.

In France, my beloved colleague Werner mirrored to me the weariness he and his friends have faced since gay advocates have targeted Living Waters there. Several healers have dropped out, and those that remain are shaken. That is precisely the enemy’s point: wear them out with relentless opposition.

God has a whole different plan for the battle we face. He wants us to disengage from the irrational buzz and press into Life. Our simple ‘yes’ combined with prayerful encouragement and solidarity among our fellows is all it takes. Amid the unraveling of God’s image in our land, God speaks through the Word of our pretty good lives, we once barren and impotent, now rendered virgin and fruitful.

So we decide. Does resistance dull or sharpen us? Do we face the bullets head-down or dodge them by opting for false peace with friends, families, governments?

Annette and I have come too far to dodge. Jesus did not convert us into pious liars. He called us into a new life together forged by fire. That is precisely how we become like Him—not by creating alternate worlds that distance us from the flames, but by looking to Him through the battle, trusting that He is forging something precious for Himself.

We just discovered that the Supreme Court will decide once and for all next year on Prop. 8, the victory He gave us four years ago when the people of CA voted down ‘gay marriage’. It has been tied up by Appeals Courts ever since. We fight on, confident that the truth housed in faithful ones will endure and bear fruit.

Admittedly, the true way is the hard one and at times we feel the burn. Lately we have been asking Him for more grace to endure what He asks of us. His strength married to our ‘yes’ makes that possible. We pray the same for you.

‘Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution, He will come to save you” ‘(Is 35: 3, 4).

 

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Authority to Name

Creation of Adam and Eve, stained glass window in the church of Dinant, Belgium, created in 1821.

A federal appeal court ruled yesterdaythat Prop. 8–our voter-approved definition of real marriage–violated the US Constitution. Fear not: this is but the latest of numerous efforts to overturn the people’s will concerning marriage. Tuesday’s decision will be appealed and most likely ‘fast tracked’ to the US Supreme Court who will decide once and for all the definition of marriage for the USA. (In the meantime, we trust that no ‘gay marriages’ will be allowed in CA.)

Join us at DSM to pray for the high court to quickly and justly uphold what marriage is. As we await that decision, let us overcome our fears of defining marriage rightly. Our authority lies in our capacity to see and say the truth about marriage, for all to hear.

Authority to Name

In the beginning, God gave humanity the authority to name reality; one of Adam’s first tasks was to define the animals. Men and women, created in God’s image, have the unique, inspired capacity to know the truth and to name it. That is precisely what distinguishes us from the rest of creation, and frees us from being tyrannized by false definitions. We represent Him in naming reality.

That is our authority as human beings. And when we rightly name reality, we extend the rule and reign of the Creator. And wrest reality from those who distort reality by misnaming it.  That is precisely what is at stake in the efforts of gay activists to redefine marriage. Consider their efforts to rename reality. And its implications.

Is the sexual union of two men or two women really ‘a marriage’? Can two members of the same gender create the whole that creates and stabilizes life?

Can two same-gendered persons who for myriad reasons refuse the opposite gender as a worthy counterpart help secure little ones in their security as male or female? How can a ‘gay marriage’ prepare them for a life that their two mommies and daddies have actively defied?

Consider the naming of a fetus. Is that growing cluster of cells ‘a life’? The refusal to name a conceived life is what is at stake in abortion. Non-lives can be treated as so much refuse. Will ‘marriage’ meet the same fate in the USA? Will we allow others to take what is true and real and rename it? Renaming marriage as a same gender reality fundamentally distorts its original meaning and intention.

I just returned from a prayer meeting in Washington State where our Living Waters leaders gathered. We asked the Creator to restore our authority as citizens to name reality for Washington, a state poised to become the eighth in the USA to legislate ‘gay marriage.’

Many confessed to having conceded their voice, their naming power, to the drone of activists. They admitted the temptation to not heed their still small voice for fear of being judged as haters or bigots. We repented.

God is restoring our voices, our naming power. May we speak before it is too late.

‘If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve Me; If you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be My spokespeople.’ ( Jeremiah 15:19)

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