If the moral turmoil that’s emerged in this country over the past few years has taught us anything, it’s that hope for America is not found in the halls of government. Only in our churches will the heart of America be revived. And America’s pastors are the ones who will lead the way in preparing our churches to be the salt and light this country so desperately needs.
That’s why FRC is privileged to stand with many of these courageous pastors here in Washington, D.C. at the 13th Annual Watchmen on the Wall National Briefing. In a city that is often the paragon of hopelessness, the atmosphere this morning among the pastors gathered at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill was one of hope — a hope that is more powerful than the cloud of party politics that hovers here.
Pastor Carter Conlon of New York City’s Times Square Church opened the event, reminding us that, “We’re in an urgent moment today to seek the Lord. It’s an urgent time…and we don’t have five years to get this right. We either do it, or we don’t. If we (as leaders) don’t seek the Lord, you will have nothing for the people.”
Author and speaker Anne Graham Lotz spoke about the urgency to seek lost, reminding the crowd that the world only has one hope for salvation: “People out there are afraid, but they don’t know what it is…they are looking for a savior. They are looking for someone who will solve these problems. And you and I know there is only one man who is able…to solve the world’s problems, and his name is Jesus.”
Watchmen veteran Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills brought a message about the urgency to impact the culture: “Urgency means to apply pressure…Speak the truth in love, yes, but speak the truth to apply pressure to our culture.”
Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) gave the pastors an unexpected Washington perspective: “Americans are not obsessed with politics,” he said. “They know that the most important things in American life aren’t centered in this town. They’re centered in your churches and their families, and their little leagues and the places where their kids are going to develop work ethic or not develop work ethic.” The Senator went on to highlight the importance of pastors in leading congregations into truth: “…if people don’t know the basis by which they rule and the limits on their rule, you will lose your freedom.”
New York Times bestselling author Joel Rosenberg closed out the morning focusing on the burdens facing Christians in the Middle East. As 2015 was the worst year in modern history for Christian persecution and darkness is falling upon the Middle East, Rosenberg said “The church in Syria and the church in Iraq today is not simply facing persecution, it’s facing outright genocide.” And yet there is hope: “God is letting Satan rob, kill, and destroy. In the midst of that, Muslims are leaving Islam and coming to the faith of Jesus Christ.” Joel challenged pastors to “Let us not ever forget the persecuted church. Love, give, pray and go.”
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