EFCA UPDATE: A Call to Fasting and Prayer

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By Kevin Kompelien
President, Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA)

In less than two weeks, citizens across our nation will head to the polls to cast their vote in what has become one of the most difficult and challenging election cycles I can remember. On November 8, our votes will shape the make-up of national, state and local government institutions for the next several years.

Events in the past months have uncovered deep wounds in our land. The words and actions of people have revealed anger and fear in the hearts of some, along with a sense of confusion and discouragement in the minds of others. As we approach November 8, what should be the focus of God’s people?

Let me begin by calling us back to what we know and need to rest in now more than ever. God is sovereign over the affairs of the nations of the world. His sovereign will and plan will ultimately prevail resulting in His glory displayed among the nations. No matter who wins the election on November 8, it is our God, the King of kings, who will ultimately be victorious.

As we look back on biblical and church history, we see how the Lord has worked through both godly and ungodly rulers and leaders to accomplish His will. Wednesday morning November 9 will not find the Lord wondering what happened. Rather, He will continue to be at work to accomplish His will to His ultimate glory. The Lord calls us to trust Him fully and follow Him completely.

In preparation for Election Day, may we prayerfully and wisely evaluate candidates for national, state and local elections considering biblical truth and the righteous character of our God. Then, graciously allow others to do the same.

Reflecting on the challenges of this election cycle and the rapid cultural change going on around us, I find myself going back to the account in 2 Chronicles chapter 20 where the people of God were up against what seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. In response, King Jehoshaphat called the people to fast as he led them in a powerful prayer extolling the sovereign power and might of the Lord, calling on God to help and ending with these powerful words in verse 12, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

In these days, my call to us as the EFCA is to come together to fast and pray for our nation. The EFCA national office staff will gather on Monday morning November 7 for a time of corporate prayer. Consider fasting for a portion of a day and gathering with other believers in your church to cry out to the Lord on behalf of America. We are in desperate need of the mercy and grace of God in our land. Will you join me in humbling yourself before the Lord to ask Him to accomplish His will in our nation to His glory?

For further reflection, please use this resource on 10 truths to consider during the election year.

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What Did We Get Ourselves Into?

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By Martin Schlomer 

In this political season, cynicism, confusion, and fear reign among people from all generations. In my personal experience, the emotions and turmoil are unprecedented. How did we get here? More importantly, how do we, whose core identity is that of citizens and representatives of our Father and His Kingdom, navigate this political season? How do we live as salt and light at this time in history? We must begin with prayer!

Pray for discernment. As Christians, we need to be brutally honest regarding how we have arrived at this place. In my observation and opinion, the evangelical Church has unwittingly embraced a watered-down and corrupted understanding of discipleship. We have embraced what Kendra Creasy Dean and others call a moralistic therapeutic deism.[1] This has left this nation with far too many “believers” who are like the adulterated salt and dim lights Jesus warns against in Matthew 5:13-16. As a result, our voice has little to no credibility in the public square. Society readily points to the American Church’s corrupt leaders and hypocritical “followers.” More recently, voices from the public square are confronting evangelical leaders for an alliance with corrupt politicians in our effort to re-enter the halls of power. They’re asking, “How can you do this? How can you live with yourselves?” More and more, I’m asking the same question.

Pray for a repentant heart. The American Church must repent of its shallow, corrupted understanding of discipleship and rediscover its Jesus mission, which is to nurture passionate disciples who love Jesus, obey His teachings, and are eager to be transformed into His image. We must pursue holiness by becoming a people who love Jesus more than anything or anyone! Then we will be compelled to repent from our sins of rebellion; moral and sexual compromise; lukewarm hearts toward our God; broken relationships that are menaced by anger, unforgiveness, and slanderous hearts toward those who are made in the image of God; sick, dysfunctional marriages in which one or both individuals blame the other and resist taking responsibility for his/her actions; racism and misogyny … need I go on? Our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and peers see all this taking place. Peter admonishes believers, “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household” (1 Peter 4:17). Repentance must begin with the family of God, of which I am a full participant. “Lord, start with me.” This may be the start of a revival that may reverberate throughout our land.

Pray for the courage to confront our leaders and would-be leaders. Instead of the evangelical Church forming an alliance with corrupt, self-seeking politicians (with the misguided hope that something good and beautiful might come out of such alliance), we must call our leaders to account. We must call our political leaders to be men and women of sound character who have a moral compass they’re committed to, because character matters a lot! We must be willing to be like Paul, who spoke to the Roman governor Felix about issues of righteousness, morality, ethics, and the coming judgment. As Paul spoke, the Holy Spirit brought such conviction and fear upon Felix that he told Paul, “That’s enough for today. I’ll call you back when it’s convenient.”[2]

Pray for the Church’s willingness to persevere if/when those in power require the Church to compromise the gospel and accommodate government mandates. As we read the news, we already see the movement among government legislators and the courts to require accommodation from the Church, especially in the areas of sexuality and gender. The Church will need great wisdom and discernment in order to navigate these moral quagmires.

Finally, on October 30, I will address the question, “How do we think biblically about the election issues that are before us in our civic life?” We must wrestle with these issues. God has given us the privilege (for the time being) of having a voice in this process. In addition, we have scheduled two opportunities to pray for our Church and our nation. On November 1 and November 8, from 6-8 a.m., Elim will be open so that you can come and pray. More information will be forthcoming.

As we move forward, pray for our Church and our nation. Secondly, rest in our Father’s sovereign grace. His purposes will be accomplished, regardless of who occupies the White House. He always has and will continue to “turn the insanity of the nations to serve his purposes.”

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/this-is-the-best-of-times-and-the-worst-of-times

 

[1] Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling Us About the American Church, Oxford University Press, 2010.

[2] Acts 24:25 in The Message

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