Carry the Banner

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Cheryl Grayson

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Flag with Bible
Many
Christians don’t sense the need to get involved in the political
process. But your opinions matter, and your voice needs to be heard.

We
are living in an unprecedented period of our nation’s history. Anyone
with spiritual discernment would have to say that we are on the cusp of a
national crisis.

Clearly,
it is time for those with true godly wisdom to stand up, reclaim their
voices and bring a resolve to the life or death decisions of our beloved
America (see Prov. 8).

Today
we are at the crossroads where we must choose whether we will be a
Christian nation or go our own way. But how can the average American
Christian actually give voice to his or her faith and convictions in the
midst of what appears to be an avalanche of propaganda and disapproval?


Every
day, the proponents of secular news media use all available means in
their effort to persuade Americans to embrace an agenda of tolerance.
Homosexuality and abortion are made to appear right and acceptable when,
according to Scripture, they are sinful and wrong.

Our
Christian beliefs are under greater attack than ever. Powerful
organizations are committed to the removal of every public expression of
God or Christianity.

We
must be prepared to fight in order to exercise our rights to display the
Ten Commandments or the cross. And though they were once taken for
granted in years past, today, references to God in the pledge of
allegiance or on our national currency are subject to legal challenges
as to their constitutionality.

WHAT WE ARE FACING

Anti-Christ rhetoric is spewed like a fountain in media and
entertainment. As a result of such masterful indoctrination, it seems as
though a large portion of the Christian community has been convinced
that we are outnumbered and, therefore, rendered powerless.


On
many fronts, the widespread criticism and name-calling have succeeded
in silencing our voices. We dare not express our opinions for fear of
being labeled as ignorant, uneducated, outdated and even dangerous to
society.

It is this fear of
retaliation that has led us to back away from the political arena, which
is the vehicle whereby we can have a voice in deciding the direction of
our nation.

Generally
speaking, as Christians, we have embraced the notion of the separation
of church and state. This false agenda has been taught for almost a full
generation in our public school systems. It teaches there should be no
mixing of politics and religion—that they are two separate issues.

This
is wrong on two accounts: First of all, the Bible clearly shows us that
God has always spoken into governments through His prophets, telling us
not to separate the kingdoms of this world from the kingdom of God,
upon whose shoulder, ultimately, government should rest (see Is. 9:6)


In
addition, the “separation of church and state” concept was to be
applied initially as a means of preventing the encroachment of
government into the affairs of religion. This is the opposite of how it
is interpreted today.

In our
current practice, we are overlooking a scriptural principle and
disregarding the fact that when our ancestors founded this new nation,
they were searching for a place not only to establish a government, but
also one in which they could enjoy religious freedom. Freedom, as it was
understood, would ensure the right for us to worship God without
government restrictions or control.

PASSIVE PROTESTS

Ours is a nation founded on the fear and reverence of the one true
living God and the truth of the Holy Scriptures. But over time, we have
gradually opened the door to allow the dismantling of many of the things
upon which our nation was built. And, too often, Christians have stood
by silently.

The doors in
this nation were opened for an unrighteous takeover by anti-God forces
with the introduction of the Humanist Manifesto in 1933. This new
religion denied any and all existence of the supernatural (meaning God)
and taught instead that man is the one for whom life and pleasure are
created. According to humanists, there are no absolutes—no right or
wrong. There is only man who (as god) controls the world and his own
destiny. As this doctrine began taking root in our nation, many in the
church were in a state of apathy or slumber.


In
1963 one woman, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, was successful in having prayer
removed from our schools. This move helped to set the stage for the
rebellion of the 1960s and 1970s, which in turn contributed to the
breakdown of the family structure and society as a whole.

In
1973, the landmark court case Roe v. Wade brought about the
legalization of a murderous holocaust against the unborn. Many in the
church stood silently, or worse, we chose to take a religious posture,
in which we believed that if we didn’t acknowledge the issues, God would
make them go away.

During
all of these changes, we wanted the kingdom of God to come, but failed
to understand that we had a part to play in bringing it about. We lost
sight of key scriptural principles having to do with spiritual
warfare—binding and loosing and opening and closing. Perhaps, for a
time, we forgot that we are God’s agents in the land (see Matt. 16:19;
Rev. 3:7).

The psalmist
wrote: “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that
you visit him?” (Ps. 8:4, NKJV). This verse expresses a truth we need
to understand: Man is central to the plan of God in the earth..


SINS OF OMISSION

God has placed us here to make a difference and to actively work to
stem the tide of the nation’s spiritual drift away from righteousness.
It is now time for Christians to take a stand and give voice to their
convictions. No longer can we allow the sin of our silence and
complacency to continue to hold the door open in this nation to curses
and judgment.

We will see
the tide turn in our nation if we are willing to engage our hearts and
minds in becoming God’s change agents. The process must begin with every
individual. Each of us must allow the Spirit of God to search us and
set us on the right path of taking responsibility for what He has
entrusted to us.

When
passivity is expressed in any form in society, it will breed the
downfall of civilization and allow sin to enter into a nation. A
scriptural example is found in Elijah on Mount Carmel, when the nation
of Israel was at a similar crossroad of choosing whom they would serve.

Jezebel
symbolized sin, paganism and everything that was anti-God. But she was
not the one who was summoned to the mountain by the prophet of God.
Instead, it was the passive Ahab, who chose to keep silent and to lay
down his authority, who refused to exercise his responsibility to stand
for righteousness and godliness in his nation (see 1 Kin. 18).


As
Americans, we must acknowledge our passive behavior and repent. This
not only means that we ask forgiveness from our heavenly Father, it also
means that we turn around and walk a different way.

We
must hold ourselves accountable when we choose to disobey the Word of
God, but we must also take a serious look at what we choose not to do.
These acts are called sins of omission. They imply a failure to do
something one can and should do. This was Ahab’s transgression. Being
passive when he should have taken a stand made him guilty of the sin of
omission.

As believers, we
have backed off too long under the guise of not being offensive or
overly argumentative. We have tried so hard not to offend with the truth
of the gospel, that we have surrendered our nation into the hands of
the enemies of God. But we must always be willing to stand against
compromising biblical principles.

In
the beginning, God gave Adam the task of attending to the garden (see
Gen. 1:26-28; 2:15). He was to be a watchman, standing guard over the
affairs of the creation and the creatures. But Adam failed in that he
allowed the serpent entrance into the garden in the first place.


Adam’s
transgression was not a sin of commission, as many believe. Rather, it
was a sin of omission. His silence opened the door—much like our silence
does today—and once inside, the serpent’s deception and lying led to
man’s downfall.

RAISING THE STANDARD

Whatever your reasons have been for holding back and failing to take a
stand for righteousness in our land, know that today you can make a
change. You can turn about, find your voice and begin to make an impact.

We must make known our
Christian values before we lose more ground. And God has provided a way
in our nation, whereby every believer may have a voice. It’s called
voting; and I believe it is more than merely a patriotic thing to do.

When
Election Day comes, I firmly believe it is our Christian duty, before
God, to go to the polls and vote for the best candidates we can find.
Vote for those who stand for what God is for; and vote against those who
stand for all that God is against.


We
must raise the banner of righteousness and actively support the
campaigns of godly men and women, whose voting records attest to their
priorities and their integrity. In this way, we will let our political
leaders know that there are many individuals in their constituency to
whom biblical family values are important, and that we want our nation
to return to its Christian roots.

As
a woman of God and a mother, I can’t help but concern myself with the
legacy I want to leave for my children, grandchildren and generations to
come. When I think of America’s future, I imagine what it can be if we
begin putting feet and legs to our prayers and voicing our convictions.

I
believe that if we will break our silence, we can actually be the means
that God will use to reclaim territory and reverse decisions that are
now pending in the legislative halls of our government. This nation can
and will be changed by the power of God through His people.

We
must pray and then put action to our prayers by supporting and voting
for candidates who share our belief that, “Righteousness exalts a
nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).


Remember that the outcome of an election can be determined by a single vote. That vote could be yours!

Read a companion devotional.

Cheryl Grayson
is president of Cheryl Grayson Ministries. She has ministered to
thousands at churches and conferences across the nation. She formerly
served as the conference director at Brownsville Assembly of God in
Pensacola, Florida, and was a vital part of the revival there and the
move of God that literally touched the world. Grayson lives in Lakeland,
Fla., with her family.


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