On this week’s program, I feel compelled to speak to you in my ministry as a “watchman on the wall.” In ancient times, the watchmen stood atop the walls of the city. From that vantage point, they scoured the horizon for approaching danger. If they spotted something or someone approaching that implied a threat to the city, they loudly shouted the warnings. The defenders of the city then sprang into action to repel the invader or handle the danger.
In just as vital a capacity, the prophets in the Old Testament were also “watchmen” who warned the leaders and the people of what they saw coming upon them as the Lord revealed it to them. They were often the conscience of the nation. They chastised, warned, and corrected leaders and kings. God used them to speak His will to the nation.
In much the same way, today’s church and her ministers of the Gospel should be the conscience of our nation. But, in ways incremental and unnoticeable on the one hand, and fast and furious on the other, that role is being limited and may soon be completely suppressed.
In past shows during the 16 years this program has been on the air (originally as “The International Intelligence Briefing” on TBN), I’ve warned of threats to the church and its “watchman” role posed by the moral and spiritual deterioration of our society. Today, however, I see dangers even more ominous.
As President Obama’s administration finds itself engulfed in multiplying — and ever-widening — scandals, it’s alarming how many of them involve the restriction of our rights as citizens, the destruction of institutions and liberties vital to our national freedom, and the suppression of any opposition — especially the church and her ministers — that is perceived as a threat to the administration’s intentions.
Folks, I believe we are at a crossroads. If we turn a blind eye to the cynical and callous actions of some of our elected and appointed leaders, we will regret it sooner rather than later. Don’t be misled by the still-sleeping (or brain-dead) mainstream media, the goal of the “operations” that are now being exposed is the total control of our society and its citizens.
Here are just a few of the scandals that are in the news today: the IRS targeting of conservative and religious groups; the Justice Department crusades against the Associated Press and Fox News (the two that we know about so far); the cover-up of the lethal al Qaeda-led attack on our compound in Benghazi in which our Ambassador and three others died; the attacks on the rights of Christians in the armed services; the EPA’s prejudicial treatment of non-liberal organizations; “Fast and Furious”; the across-the-board suppression of any information or policy that exposes the true intentions of Islamists in America; the almost-fanatical push to promote same-sex marriage and the abortion agenda; and the mounting revelations of “unintended consequences” in the implementation of Obamacare.
The net result of the success of even a few of these efforts will be the curtailment of our rights as Americans and Christians.
I know whereof I speak. Over the last couple of years, my ministry (and this television program) has been under unusually close scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service. Because of your willingness to stand with me in intercessory prayer for God’s protection and also because of the personal integrity and diligence of some of the IRS employees who handled our case, we’ve made it through okay, thus far.
But I have to admit that I was stunned by the interpretation applied by the IRS as to what constitutes a “church” or a “minister.” Under those definitions, the Apostle Paul couldn’t have qualified for a 501(c)3! I believe there is a movement afoot to eliminate what the Bible defines as “apostolic” ministry — where a minister is appointed and gifted to speak to the whole church. That could, in effect, eliminate many non-pastoral or parachurch ministries.
Indeed, I know also that there is coming a push to require churches — which are and have always been, by their nature, “tax exempt” without having to “qualify” with a government agency — to apply for status as 501(c)3 organizations to maintain the tax-exempt status they already have! You can see where that’s going. The IRS would be the government bureau that decides if your church is qualified to be a church and if your pastor is qualified to be a minister. If that happens, that means the IRS will be the official interpreter of what the Bible teaches. (It’s already designated to be the “enforcer” of Obamacare!)
Is that what we want? If the government controls us, then it can effectively mute the voice of God to the people and to the leadership. It can silence the church by starving it and even confining its leaders if they transgress the will of the State.
Well, I suppose you’ve guessed by now what I’ll be discussing on this week’s “Report.” Tune in and encourage your family, friends, neighbors, and fellow church members to do the same. This is a time when we all need to be informed and united as never before!
Please join me to pray for those in Moore, Oklahoma, and other communities that have suffered devastating tornadoes over the last few days. There’s nothing like the power and swiftness of these kinds of natural disasters to remind us how small and helpless we are in the greater scheme of things — and how important it is to trust God and always be spiritually ready for the moment this life ends. If you’re not ready for that moment, simply confess your sin; ask Jesus to forgive you and cleanse you; then trust Him to do that and accept the free gift of pardon He died on Calvary to purchase for you. You’ve just changed your eternal destiny!
Also, please have a safe and memorable Memorial Day weekend. Take some time to thank God for the men and women who gave their all to defend America’s — and the world’s — freedom. Thank Him, too, and pray for the brave ones who daily place their lives on the line to protect our nation and defend liberty around the world. We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never begin to repay. God bless them and God bless our beloved country.
mail: HLMM, P.O. Box 470470, Tulsa, OK 74147