Monday, August 31, 2015

Don't Give Up; Stand Up

If you are a person who has biblical values, you may sometimes feel like you are on the losing side. From an out-of-control Supreme Court to a politically correct social media culture that demonizes anyone who doesn’t worship Caitlyn Jenner, this world seems to stand in stark contrast to our deeply held Christian convictions.

That’s why I was encouraged by two events this past weekend. The first was the We Stand With God Pro-Life Rally at the Statehouse in Columbia on Saturday. The Facebook event page had 535 confirmed people for attendance, but when we arrived we were blown away by the more than 10,000 who showed up. With Bibles and lawn chairs in hand, we sat in the South Carolina heat in the hottest part of the day, standing occasionally for ovations. A choir of more than a thousand voices, along with a Southern Gospel quartet led the outdoor congregation in worship. Speakers like former Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and our own Senator Tim Scott made impassioned pleas for us to stand up for our First Amendment rights.

The emphasis on the rally was that God, not the Supreme Court, defines marriage. To quote Senator Cruz, “Caesar has no authority over the pulpit,” and the government cannot penalize people of faith for following the free exercise of our religion. Senator Scott pointed out that, “the solution will not be found in Washington, but in 66 books, woven together, called the Bible.” Governor Perry referenced Alexis de Tocqueville, reminding us that in every other country government and religion run in opposite directions, and America was strong because our government once ran in conjunction with the church.

On Sunday the Carolina Pregnancy Center put together The Prayer Launch at the Upward Star Center in Spartanburg, where more than a thousand people came together to simply pray for the ending of abortion, as well as those who have been affected by abortion. A massive orchestra divided the congregation from a choir that had to be close to 500 members, and their music was awe-inspiring. The event was totally pastor-led, with no introductions of speakers so that only Jesus would be lifted up; the only non-pastor to speak was South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy, who broke down II Chronicles 7:14 as if he were a seasoned pastor, challenging us as “My people” to do our job. The verse, he said, doesn’t call on Congress, the school board, or Washington, but on God’s people called by His name.

Trey Gowdy did not say a word about Benghazi.
Ted Cruz never mentioned defunding Obamacare.
Rick Perry didn’t bring up running Texas’ economy.
Tim Scott did not give his thoughts on Guantanamo Bay.

They just preached the Gospel and encouraged believers keep standing up for their faith, as thousands of people stood to their feet and cheered. It was a great reminder that we are not alone—there are countless other believers who have not conceded to the enemy. Don’t give up, but stand up.  

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