Friends, I am Jim Brettell, Pastor of TCWOLC and President of ARPN. I have allotted myself approximately 20 minutes for my message, and I will follow my notes to stay on time. I want to focus on the second bullet-point in ARPN’S Mission Statement.
Our mission is to be a voice for Truth and an advocate for Pastors in the Public Square by providing Bible-based and CONSTITUTIONALLY CONSISTENT ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON MATTERS OF PUBLIC POLICY.
As Pastors, we cannot advocate for CONSTITUTIONALLY CONSISTENT ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON MATTERS OF PUBLIC POLICY if WE do not understand our Constitution from an originalist point of view.
Three methods used today to interpret the Constitution:
WHICH IS RIGHT? Answer: Originalism!
MY MESSAGE: 3rd ARPN_MT
I am a born-again Christian with citizenship in heaven, and simultaneously, I am a natural-born citizen of the United States of America, and these two citizenships CANNOT be separated legitimately, and I have a biblical responsibility to both – and if you’re a born-again Christian and an American citizen, you also have these same responsibilities.
Romans 12:2 addresses our moral responsibility as a citizen of heaven:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.”
Luke 20:25 addresses our civil responsibility as a citizen of the USA:
“And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”
These two REPSONSIBILITIES, moral and civil, are two-sides of the same coin, and that coin can be labelled RESPONSIBILTIES. These two responsibilities, legitimately, cannot and should not be divorced from one-another. We as Christians have a responsibility to God the Father who guides us spiritually and morally via the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God; and we have a responsibility to our nation that guides us via the US Constitution that was given to us by our Founding Fathers whose basis for ratifying this great document is the moral and civil codes contained in the Judeo-Christian scriptures. To ignore our civil responsibility to our nation is to contribute to the loss of personal freedom that is required to carry out the divinely decreed Christian responsibilities assigned to us by God our heavenly Father.
I am not intending to elevate SAVING AMERICA above our responsibility to SAVE SOULS; however, if we as Christians SILENTLY permit the federal government to continue the overreach of its enumerated powers, our personal freedom that is a RIGHT, not a privilege, but a RIGHT granted to us by God the Father, a RIGHT that is acknowledged in our Federal Constitution, our SILENCE will contribute to the destruction of our freedom to WORSHIP as we desire, our SILENCE will contribute to the destruction of our freedom to EVANGELIZE the lost, our SILENCE will contribute to the destruction of our freedom to SEND OUT MISSIONARIES, and our SILENCE will contribute to the destruction of our freedom to be a FRIEND OF ISRAEL – brethren, ALL WILL BE GONE.
Case in point: While the usurpation of our personal freedoms did not begin here, I want to point to the 1954 Johnson Amendment (prepared by Lyndon Johnson) that Congress passed, which said that non-profit organizations (eventually including churches as an unintended consequence) – that we from our pulpits cannot speak in favor of political candidates.
In short, this is the government overreach telling “we the people” what we can and can’t do. This has reversed the role of government as intended by our Founding Fathers and it violates our 1st Amendment rights.
And can I mention the unconstitutional 14th Amendment, and the distorted interpretation of the General Welfare Clause, and the distorted interpretation of the Commerce Clause, and the distortion of the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the implementation of the Doctrine of Selective Incorporation, all of which are used to violate the FREEDOMS of “we the people” – which includes we as Christians.
Where Is My Loyalty?
As a born-again Christian, my allegiance is first to the Christian Godhead:
God the Father: the Author of the Plan
God the Son: the Executor of the Plan
God the Holy Spirit: the Revealer and Restorer to the Plan
Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
As a Christian, it is evident, or at least it should be, that we are in a spiritual battle for the survival of BIBLIC AL Christianity in our country.
As an American citizen, it is evident, or at least it should be, that we are in a battle for the survival of our INALIENABLE RIGHTS granted to us by our God, and recognized by our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence, our US Constitution, our Bill of Rights – and recognized in the Declaration of Rights in our own Arkansas State Constitution.
There is no contradiction between the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God and our Federal Constitution as given to us by our Founding Fathers.
There are NO contradictions between the Bible and our founding documents except in the minds of carnal Christians and/or those in the political arena whose power lust and greed have distorted the Bible and/or the Constitution of the USA.
One of the difficulties for serious Pastors and church leaders today is trying not to cross over the 1954 Johnson Amendment’s 501(c)(3) line that threatens a church’s tax exempt status and tax deductible contributions. I have a question. Is tax exempt status and tax deductible contributions the basis upon which a Christian should determine to give or not give. Has the Johnson Amendment so hamstrung us that we fear saying anything of a political nature from our pulpits?
When biblical truth is KNOWN, and biblical truth is UNDERSTOOD, and biblical truth is ACCEPTED, the conclusion can be drawn that we as Bible believing Christians are in a battle for the very survival of our spiritual way of life, BUT we are having to fight the battle on terms assigned to us by the enemy – that is, IF we believe the lie that is being presented to us. We are told by Justices, Judges, Attorneys, and often times honest and sincere, but misinformed or uninformed politicians that the 1st Amendment demands that religion has no place in the political arena. Brethren, that’s foolishness, and just the opposite is true. Government has NO place in the religious arena! PERIOD!
In a secular humanistic society that DENIES us the RIGHT to appeal to the Bible, we’re still armed with American history that has recorded the thinking of the framers of our founding documents.
Isn’t it interesting, that the very concept of FREEDOM, a RIGHT granted to us by God the Father, that even God the Father PERMITS the unbelieving enemy to live within the camp of our nation, and when the bad guys outnumber the good guys, it may appear as though the good guys have lost the battle – but I don’t buy that!
However, if the good guys – that’s us — will recognize that we do not stand alone . . .
Romans 8:31 “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?”
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Let me be clear. We have no right to separate the Bible from our Constitution or the Constitution from our Bible. In addition, we have no right to separate our thinking from the thinking of the framers of our founding documents, as their thinking is found in the annals of American history. However, a dumbed-down society has been duped by Justices, Judges, attorneys, many elected officials, and even many Pastors.
It’s now time to TAKE A STAND to retake our nation morally and civilly so as to enable the Body of Christ to . . .
Worship as we see fit.
Evangelize the lost.
Send out missionaries.
Be a friend of Israel.
In the words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:14, I am going to say to Americans, and especially to we as Arkansans, “Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead” — before it’s too late – and it is we, as Pastors, who are responsible to preach a biblical worldview from our pulpits so that our disciples can become salt and light and have spiritual impact in the public square.
Listen to our just some of our Founders:
John Adams in a speech to the military in 1798 warned his fellow countrymen by stating:
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
1) [James Wilson 1804, (Signer both the Declaration of Independence & the Constitution, and a U.S. Supreme Court Justice)]
“All (laws), however, may be arranged in two different classes. 1) Divine. 2) Human…But it should always be remembered that this law, natural or revealed, made for men or for nations, flows from the same Divine source: it is the law of God…Human law must rest its authority ultimately upon the authority of that law which is Divine.”
2) [Alexander Hamilton Feb 23, 1775]
“The law…dictated by God Himself is, of course, superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times. No human laws are of any validity if contrary to this.”
3) [Noah Webster (America’s school master, Author of 1st American English Dictionary, authored Art. 1 Section 8 of U.S. Constitution.)]
“[The] ‘Law of nature’ is a rule of conduct arising out of the natural relations of human beings established by the Creator and existing prior to any positive precept (human law)…these…have been established by the Creator and are, with a peculiar felicity of expression, denominated in Scripture, “ordinances of heaven.”
4) [Noah Webster]
“Our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible,…particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.”
5) [Patrick Henry (5 time Governor of Virginia)]
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”
6) [George Washington’s Farewell Address 1796]
“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. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
Brethren, it’s time for us to reach out and encourage every Pastor in Arkansas to STAND IN THE GAP FOR TRUTH with ARPN.
May God bless each of us, our churches, our legislators, and may God bless America!