Staying Informed Regarding Our Fight for Freedom
The concept of government is from God. He told Adam to govern the earth for Him. Both Hebrew words used for ruling and dominion in Genesis 1:26-28, mashal and radah contain the concept of governing. If we were still in an unfallen world, governed by unfallen people, all government/authority would be characterized by a serving heart. Jesus demonstrated this pattern when He was on earth. As one not fallen, carrying more authority than any other human, He was also the ultimate servant of humankind. Loving parents govern their homes, yet are the ultimate servants of their children. This is what God had in mind.
However, those in government with unredeemed hearts, and/or who are not controlled by the nature of Jesus, often become defiled by a political spirit (compromising, divisive, lust for power) and also by a spirit of control. They “use” rather than serve, “take” versus give. Welcome to Washington DC. One only need look at the national debt (over $20 trillion now), and the “pork” in the recent, laughably named “Covid Relief Bill” (only 9% of the $1.9 trillion is actually for Covid relief). These two outrageous figures have been produced primarily because of politicians’ cravings to stay in power.
America’s only hope for righteous government is a sweeping revival that releases the spirit of Christ back into our nation, including those in authority. We, the church, must become active in the governmental process, yes, but we must also use our spiritual authority to pray righteous government back into America.
When our Founding Fathers were forming our Constitution, one of the greatest struggles - almost keeping the United States from moving forward - was the battle over individual state’s rights. Many of them were concerned that more densely populated cities and states could control everyone else. This is why they insisted on the Electoral College (versus total number of votes) for the Presidency, and insisted that every state have 2 Senators, regardless of its size or population. They didn’t want smaller, less populated states to be controlled by the others. They also did not want a bunch of centralized bureaucrats in Washington, DC, to tell them how to live their lives. So they insisted on fair representation and certain state rights. Now we can see why.
The United States of America is in a quiet revolution between those state rights and federal powers. We are tracking more and more legislation at the state level, specifically designed to protect the citizenry of the states from federal overreach. Bear in mind that state laws are subject to The U.S. Constitution, federal laws, and federal treaties under The Supremacy Clause in Article IV of the U.S. Constitution. However, they are not necessarily subject to Executive Orders, which define the way laws are interpreted and carried out. It is appropriate for states to fire back at Executive Orders with lawsuits challenging their constitutionality, and/or to counter them with state-level legislation.
It is different in rural America than it is in big cities. What works for New York doesn’t work for South Dakota. That is one of the reasons it is better for power to be disseminated to the individual states versus concentrated at the federal level. The composition of the states is diverse. Mindsets vary by location, and states offer laws that are particularly attractive to its citizens in accordance with those mindsets.
This is not the first time we have brought these state matters to you for prayer. We have focused in the past month or so on a number of pro-life issues. Today, we want to take a look at a few actions states are taking to keep the federal government from pushing unrighteous directives and far-left agendas into their lives. Some states, knowingly or not, are positioning themselves for a run to the Supreme Court.
Texas is working hard to institute safeguards for religious freedom, despite federal action to the contrary. On Monday, March 8th, the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee heard public testimony on the Freedom to Worship Act, SB 26, sponsored by Senator Angela Paxton. The bill, which has been named a priority bill by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, makes it clear that no government official can close churches or any place of worship during a pandemic. This is especially true when other businesses and establishments are allowed the right to remain open. This is a push-back against other states’ policies instituted last year where churches across the country were told to close, while grocery stores, liquor stores, strip clubs, and even casinos were allowed to remain open. See the full text of the bill here.
Two other hearings were held Monday on the same topic. One was SB 247, sponsored by Senator Charles Perry is a bill protecting the religious liberty and freedom of association rights of attorneys. In other words, an attorney cannot be disbarred due to their deeply held religious beliefs. It literally reinforces a state bar member’s free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and membership in a religious organization. It is hard to believe such laws are necessary when our U.S. Constitution protects such rights. These pieces of state legislation are indicative of the times in which we live.
In Arizona people are pushing back against corruption and wicked federal mandates. Here are a few examples:
AZ is a state where election investigations are still ongoing. You might remember hearing in the news a few weeks ago, the AZ Senate subpoenaed Maricopa County ballots and voting machines in order to conduct the most detailed election audit in the nation. Maricopa County officials refused - so their Senate sued them. The Maricopa County Superior Court agreed with the Senate and that audit will now be conducted. Pray for the most integrous audit firm to be chosen and it will be the most comprehensive and transparent election audit ever completed, with everything hidden being revealed.
Life in the womb is being protected in Arizona. Valuing all human life and despite strong opposition, the Arizona Senate passed SB1457 to prohibit abortions based on the preborn baby’s diagnosis of a genetic abnormality like Down Syndrome. This bill would also ensure the abortion pill can no longer be sent through the mail, ignoring many safety precautions (including doctor visits) and placing women at risk. Pray for its swift passage by the House.
Young children’s innocence is being protected. Currently, sex education is being taught to kindergarteners through 4th graders in 23 of Arizona’s school districts. In a major breakthrough, SB1456 was introduced by Sen. Nancy Barto of Phoenix to stop sex-ed from being taught before 5th grade. It requires parental opt-in for instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, and would ensure parents have reasonable access to the sex-ed curricula in grades 5-12. It narrowly passed in the AZ Senate and is a huge win—both for protecting children from oversexualization, and putting parents back in the driver seat regarding the sensitive subject of sexuality. The bill now proceeds to the House.
This state is actively standing against the expansion of transgenderism in the state. Last week, the Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act was passed in the AL Senate. This bill will criminalize the performing of gender transition surgery and hormone therapy on minors to delay puberty or alter their sexual identity. It now goes to the House, and they are ready for it. They have already passed a similar bill making it a felony for doctors to perform sex change surgeries on minors or provide hormone treatments to them. They have also introduced HB 391 in the House, which will keep biological males from participating in women’s sporting events.1
Have you heard of sanctuary cities? Georgia is looking to make itself the first sanctuary state—specifically to protect religious freedom and people of faith from religious persecution.
OTHER STATES’ CONCERNS:
I won’t take the time right now to go over all the other actions other states are taking, but as examples, Florida is looking at legislation to protect 2nd amendment gun ownership rights, which the Biden administration is stating they plan to tighten. And 12 states are working together to combat Executive Orders on climate change, which are bringing devastating economic effects.
God is the author of Freedom. We must pray and act to ensure that federal overreach through unrighteous federal laws and Executive Orders is stopped.
"For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory." (Deuteronomy 20:4 NIV)
Pray with me:
Lord, we thank You for righteous leaders in states who are actively standing against ungodly legislation and mandates coming from the federal government. We invite You - the author of government - into these situations where our constitutional rights are being threatened. Protect them, Lord. We ask for You to intervene.
We pray in accordance with your word that truth would be revealed. We agree together now that truth cannot be concealed! We decree Luke 8:17 which says, “Nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light” (NKJV).
We lift before You our state legislators, city council members, school board members, and all who are serving You in the governments of our states. We pray that they will not become discouraged by the daunting tasks they face. Cause them to mount up with wings as eagles, to run and not be weary, and to walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31). Remind us, their constituents, to pray for them daily. We pray with boldness and expectation for a wind of refreshing from Your Holy Spirit to empower these public servants for their ministry of reformation! Give them the tools they need in order to carry out Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
We declare that grace and wisdom is being released to the state and local government leaders in order to fight for our freedoms.