Summary: America is in moral, financial, religious, and ethical trouble. The answer to her problems is not found in political manuevering but in God's word.
1. IRS Threat to Churches – “No politicking or we take your tax-exempt status.” They define their threat in that churches are not to be political action committees if they:
a. Have a “substantial” part of their activities in trying to influence legislation;
b. Having its main or primary objective attained only by the passage or defeat of proposed legislation and it advocates or campaigns for the attainment of the objective, as distinguished from engaging in non-partisan analysis, study, or research, making those results available to the public;
c. Participating or intervening, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office;
d. What the Government knows is that most churches are compliant and unwilling to get involved in the filth of politics – this is what happens when Christian people abandon our duty – bad replaces good in vacuum of leadership (demon came back with 7 others – Matthew 12.44-45)
2. Johnson Amendment, 1954
House Resolution 235 was designed to revise the IRS code to remove restrictions placed on churches and non-profit organizations in 1954 by then-Senator Lyndon Johnson. Prior to 1954, churches and non-profit organizations had no such restrictions on their freedom of speech or their right to speak out in favor or against political issues or candidates.
The history of Johnson’s IRS gag order is instructive. It began with what some historians believe to be a fraudulent election of Johnson to the Senate in 1948. It has been maintained by both conservative and liberal historians that Lyndon Johnson’s election to the Senate in 1948 was won by massive voter fraud. Known as “Landslide Lyndon,” this aspiring politician was “elected” by only 87 votes. His challenger, Coke Stevenson, challenged his election and presented credible evidence that hundreds of votes for Johnson had been faked. Johnson, however, was successful in blocking Stevenson’s effort by the clever use of “cooperative” court injunctions.
In 1954, Johnson was facing re-election to the Senate and was being aggressively opposed by two non-profit anti-Communist groups that were attacking Johnson’s liberal agenda. In retaliation, Johnson inserted language into the IRS code that prohibited non-profits, including churches, from endorsing or opposing candidates for political office. In effect, Senator Johnson used the power of the go-along Congress and the IRS to silence his opposition.
3. Thomas Jefferson and Separation of Church and State
4. First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
a. Freedom of press; assembly; speech; religion (i.e., Christianity) – key to our nation
5. We are in a mess as a nation!
a. We have forgotten our roots – today people are seeking Freedom FROM Religion (God); not Freedom to Practice Religion
b. Founding Fathers Pointed to the Providence of God in establishing the nation
[Long Island; Battle of Trenton; Yorktown; Constitution
c. “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams
d. G. Washington: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens."
e. Today: Children cannot pray in most schools [story of teacher who observed some boys on knees in back of classroom; What are you doing? Rolling dice; O good, for a minute I thought you were praying.] Can’t bring bibles; Not allowed to post 10 Commandments; can’t speak of Yeshua (Jesus) at work; can’t speak openly, only with PC language; can’t oppose abortion on demand; can’t endorse traditional (biblical) marriage; hate speech retribution is near;
6. How can we get out? NOT by political maneuvering – by the grace of God – 2 Chronicles 7.14
4 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
I. God’s People
A. Sin Is Real
1. We aren’t surprised at the sin of the pagans
2. The surprise is that God’s people have become apathetic to sin – theirs and ours
a. Salt and Light
b. Cannot hold on to sin – If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened. Psalm 66.18
c. [I read that Bathtubs became popular in the 1840’s and were considered by many, not only a luxury but vanity. Some cities, such as Philadelphia and Boston would only permit the sale of the tubs if a Doctor had prescribed them.