Monday, December 18, 2006


This was a very big week for my wife, Cheryl and me personally. Our home church voted to sever ties with its denomination, and that’s never an easy thing.

You may have seen the news reports on the seven (more correctly, eight) churches that discontinued their affiliation with the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States (PECUSA). Yes, you may be surprised; Cheryl and I have attended an Episcopal Church for the last eight years. That may come as a shock to some, but let me tell you the story:

As you probably know, I have been in itinerant preaching ministry for 25 years. On average, I preach in a different church somewhere in the country about every other week. That means I don’t see my own church very much. And, I can’t really get very involved in my own church’s activities because of the all-consuming demands of my own evangelistic ministry on Capitol Hill and elsewhere in the US and around the world. (It’s funny; I remember being told years ago that Billy Graham didn’t attend a church on Sundays when he was home because he could never get settled into one. His wife Ruth has been a life-long Presbyterian, and decided to stay so even though Dr. Graham is a life-long Baptist. She just wasn’t going to let his crazy life affect her routine. Now I understand those things.)

Anyway, eight years ago Cheryl and I came to the same conclusion as the Grahams. I maintain my membership in two fellowships: The Evangelical Church Alliance (America’s oldest association of Evangelical clergy) and the old line Gospel-preaching, Bible-teaching, holiness Methodist Episcopal Church USA. (Not affiliated in any way with the liberal United Methodist or Episcopal churches.) Because I am gone so much and can’t be involved in a local home church, Cheryl and I prayerfully decided that because she can and is always deeply involved in our home church, she would make the pick. She found Christ the Redeemer, a biblically faithful, soul-saving, Gospel-centered Episcopal congregation meeting right in the very school where Cheryl practices as an occupational therapist for disabled children.

“CTR,” as the church is affectionately known, is a mission congregation of the historic Truro Church in nearby Fairfax, Virginia, a leader among Evangelical Anglican congregations. Truro is famous for two things: Its Gospel-centered life and ministry—and one of its past vestrymen (or board members): none other than our first president, George Washington! Truro and its pastor, newly consecrated Anglican Bishop Martyn Minns, has led the way in severing ties with the apostate and ultra-liberal Episcopal Church. The process was accelerated after the so-called consecration of an actively homosexual Episcopal bishop a few years ago. Truro voted to break ties with the Episcopal Church this week. With them went Falls Church, another great Bible-preaching and teaching congregation pastored by the well-known Evangelical preacher John Yates. (Together, these two churches represent about 4000 attendees.) A number of smaller churches, like my own, rounded out the eight who decided to stand with the historic Gospel and reject the New Age heresy adopted by the PECUSA.

Yesterday I released a statement commending the eight churches that severed their ties with PECUSA. (You can read it at Scroll to Sunday, 12-17 releases.) In it, I pointed out that both the ordained and lay leaders of these churches have exhibited extraordinary spiritual courage and integrity, largely because they put at serious risk their properties (worth millions of dollars) and, even more so, their reputations. This is Christ-like leadership. Remember, Jesus emptied himself of everything to obey God’s will.

Most of these eight churches will now align themselves with the biblically faithful Anglican Church of Nigeria, through its American missionary presence called the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). Yes, I said “missionary presence.” It’s ironic that America, once the greatest force for missions on the planet, now needs missionaries from Africa! (I remember years ago when the Koreans began sending missionaries here. I thought then, ‘this is a picture of our future if we continue to abandon our rich Christian history!’)

The liberal Episcopal bishop of Virginia, Peter Lee, has vowed to wage war against these dissenting churches. He has threatened to take their properties and other assets to punish them. Lee says that what has happened amounts to “Nigerian churches occupying Episcopal buildings.” How ironic—the liberal US church that for decades touted itself as a champion of people of color and of poor developing countries is preparing to now evict them from what the American liberals view as belonging to their rich, white denomination! (I’ve always appreciated how God makes the machinations of those who resist Him look so foolish!)

O to God that we would have more faithful churches like these eight that would put aside concerns about denominational ties and building titles in favor of remaining true to God’s Word! The days ahead won’t be easy for any of these churches or pastors; the assault will be tremendous. But when it’s all over—that is, when they stand before God in heaven—they will know they did the right thing.

Check out our website this week—there’s lots of new things going on here. If nothing else, please read my article on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. I think you’ll agree with me that Christians ought to be celebrating this feast as much as Jews.

Back with you later . . .

Monday, December 11, 2006

The wind is kicking up!

I received a call early this morning from our ministry team member on the ground in New Jersey. I’ve been telling you about our state-by-state strategy for taking a prophetic witness of biblical Truth to the nation’s state supreme courts. New Jersey is an example of why this strategy is so badly needed. The highest court there has ordered—yes, I said ordered—the legislature to accommodate same-sex couplings.

As an illustration of the egregious violation of the separation of powers—that is, checks and balances—New Jersey’s judicial branch has just plain bullied the state’s legislative branch. Think about that: The judges have instructed the representatives of the people to pass law that the people do not want. What?

While I’d have to dismiss any notion that immoral law is bad law (which, of course, I strongly believe), I could still get around to understanding the courts striking down an existing law as unconstitutional and letting the legislature—that is the people—wrestle with how to resolve it. But ORDER the duly elected representatives of the people to create new law that no one asked to create? It’s nothing short of tyranny.

I can’t help but think it was for less than this that we staged a revolutionary war against Britain. I’m not calling for another revolution like that one, but I do think it’s time we use every lawful option to clean up the cesspool. The judiciary has become inebriated with power, and, sad to say, weak legislators are all too happy to comply and pass the buck: “I wudda’ done the right thing, ya’ know? But the judge ordered it and wattya’ gonna do?”

Try standing up for the Constitution—even if it is the state constitution! (Incidentally, for good or for bad, it is “settled law” now that the Bill of Rights applies to the states.) This is why constitutions exist. They are a rigid framework that doesn’t allow despotic impulse and fancy to overrule the law.

Well, now that I have that off my chest, I can tell you about some other kinder and gentler things:

We are, of course, entering that wonderful season of the year called Christmas. We’re doing all we can to positively exploit it for the advance of the Gospel—which is what the Christmas story is all about. We put up our Christmas Advent scripture banner at the beginning of this month. It’s Micah 3:1, “Behold, He is coming.”

Advent, of course, means “to come.” So, the verse fits. Christmas celebrates the first coming of Christ in the form of the Suffering Savior. The Second Advent will celebrate his arrival as King. Christmas looks back at the First Coming and forward to the Second Coming. But Christmas isn’t the only holiday to be celebrated at this time of the year. There’s another “Festival of Lights” (more correctly, “Feast of Dedication”) that is lesser known, but was part of Jesus’ life and ministry, and, I believe, ought to be part of our own. For the sake of intrigue, I’ll leave it a mystery for now, but tell you I’ll talk about it this Wednesday on my live missionary field report. (Every Wednesday, 12:00 noon EST, on, but you can link at the top left corner of our website, Tell your family, friends and fellow church members to listen in! You’ll be surprised to learn how relevant this obscure holiday is to the struggle that every Christian is engaged in, at least in the West.

One final word, this on the continuing Rick Warren / Barack Obama flap: I hope you saw my full statement. My criticism for Rick’s invitation to share his pulpit with the rabidly pro-abortion senator must be taken into context. You can read it on our website. The brouhaha hasn’t abated yet. Apparently, Newsweek Magazine’s website published an interview with Rick Warren’s wife, Kay, who is the driving force behind the Purpose Driven couple’s laudable AIDS relief work. When asked specifically if my criticism was a surprise to her, she said, “A bit.” I’m not surprised that she was surprised, even if it was just a bit. I guess I’m more disappointed. She said maybe she was a bit naïve. I guess I am, too. I thought that the Warrens of the world would be better informed.

That revelation of Kay Warren’s naivety, coupled with a conversation last night among members of my wife Cheryl’s and my regular home group (a Bible study, prayer and discussion group that meets in our family room every other Friday), left me resolved to do something more substantial about all this. A woman we know and admire greatly said she saw Obama in the Saddleback pulpit and thought, “Finally, a good Democrat we can get behind.” Egad! Couldn’t be less true!

Watch in the days ahead for more about Sen. Obama and his religious history, philosophy and company he keeps. While he’s been detailed to court the Evangelicals especially, and perhaps hoodwink all Christians of conscience in this country, he is anything but a biblically faithful believer!

Well, that’s all for now. I do realize there is a lot more to write you about, so I may begin posting more often. This is an emerging communication medium for me, so please bear with me as I learn the ropes.

Oops, the final final: Congress has finally left town. Washington is always a windy place, but it was particularly gusty as members carried out a whirlwind of last-minute debates, delivered speeches and passed legislation—then bolted. (As a spooky reminder they were leaving, a fierce Nor’easter blew by our building, snapping the bolts that held our Christmas banner on our building! We’re replacing them now.)

In my final analysis, this Republican led Congress of the last 12 years has accomplished things no other Congress would have even attempted, but it fell far short of what they should have done. With virtually all three branches in the hands of Republicans, we all rightfully expected to be much further down the road toward reclaiming moral sanity. That failure is inexcusable: “To whom much is given, much will be required.” (Luke 12:48)

I will give kudos to the Senate: They confirmed two of the best justices we have had since Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas were seated. (Those are relative kudos to be sure.) The new Senate, especially with Sen. Patrick Leahy as chair of the Judiciary Committee, will not do that again. We must pray!

Be back later . . .

Monday, December 04, 2006


Ever since that stunning reversal by the Federal District of Columbia on their order for us to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the front of our ministry house here on Capitol Hill, I’ve wondered what I should write about in this blog.

My original intent in starting “The Ten Commandments on Capitol Hill” was to keep you informed on the battle so you could pray and act with us until we achieved victory. As I’ve said countless times, I wish I were always God’s Man of Faith and Power for the Hour, but I’m not. I thought we’d have a very long, complicated and expensive fight in front of us—but, praise God, I was wrong! When the DC legal department rendered its official opinion that we could keep the display-- just three weeks after they threatened us with $300 per day fines and possible forced sale of our property--I wasn’t sure what to do with this forum!

As you’ve picked up, I’ve played around with various issues of the day. Now, though, I’ve settled what to do with “The Ten Commandments on Capitol Hill.” I’ll use this space to fill you in on everything else that goes on around here. In other words, there is plenty of ministry work, prayer, controversies, developments, interesting people, and events connected with our missionary outreach to elected and appointed officials that never makes it into an E-mail, a newsletter or the media. You’ll never see a headline on any of this, but it is all as important as anything else we do.

So, beginning this week, each Monday I’ll post these “happenings” here. Sometimes, they will be as juicy as any scuttlebutt coming out of this town; other times it will be as boring as paperwork in a cubicle. But it will always give you the complete picture of what it takes to keep a strong Gospel witness of Biblical Truth flowing among the most powerful people in the most powerful city of the most powerful country on earth.

What I do hope and pray is that this blog will be a forum for us to communicate back and forth with each other. I admit it will take some reorientation and discipline for me, but beginning this week, I commit to reading everything you write back to me at this space. So, please WRITE BACK! Even if it’s just a one-liner—or even a one-worder!

If you’ve followed this site at all, you know for a period of time I had only one writer—and he wasn’t terrible friendly! (I’ve got to tell you though, I’ve come to appreciate Jeff Wismer of Beltway Atheists. He’s been by our ministry house and he’s actually quite a nice and enjoyable guy. I’m praying that he has one of those life-changing lapses when he doubts for just a moment his otherwise smug self-confidence! All said with great affection, Jeff!)

Today I’m headed to a meeting of Evangelical chaplain endorsers for the military. These are the people that the Department of Defense (DOD) looks to for certification that a minister is fit for service to our military men and women. As you know, there’s been quite a controversy over military chaplains ending their prayers in the name of Jesus. This particular group of chaplain endorsers (made up of civilian church leaders) has worked prayerfully and wisely behind-the-scenes to deal with this intolerable restriction on Christian chaplains. (As far as anyone knows, no other religious group has been forbidden from invoking the name of their respective deities.) While other chaplain endorsers have caved in to the politically correct spirit at the DOD (even large Evangelical organizations and denominations have cowed to the intimidation), this group has remained quietly resolute. I’ll be pleased to be with them.

I expect too, that today I’ll still be dealing with more ruckus over my criticism of Rick Warren’s hosting of rabidly pro-abortion senator Barack Obama. If you haven’t read my statements on this, please do so. They can all be found at either our website, our sister site or It’s important to note that my criticism was never aimed directly at Rick or the great work he has done and is doing. The media wanted it to appear that way, but it was never the case. I have only criticized Rick’s choice of Obama. Why not a pro-life Democrat? (There are actually a few!)

In between these two biggies, I’ll meet with our staff to plan three enormously important initiatives:

1) Our imminent Christmas outreach to Congress. This year we’ll hand-deliver to all 535 members (435 representatives, 100 senators) a personal letter, a special Christmas Gospel tract, a book dealing with spiritual and moral integrity in leadership and two tickets to see the film The Nativity. (See our upcoming web article and E-Notice.) It may not look like it on the surface, but these activities require an enormous amount of work. Just imagine arranging hand-delivery of a pile of materials to 535 offices anywhere, some of them occupied by very hostile recipients. Then complicate it by a factor of 100 for the multiple layers of security in place since 9-11 and the subsequent anthrax attacks. It surely doesn’t make it any easier!

2) This Thursday we launch our second year with Operation Nativity (coordinated by my long-time friend and ministry partner, Dr. Charles Nestor of, a call for Christians in America to display nativity scenes (some prefer to call them “crèches”) on their front lawns, porches, balconies or in a prominent window for passers-by to see. We kick it off by placing our own Nativity Display on the front lawn of our ministry house across the street from the US Supreme Court, one block form the US Capitol and ten minutes from the White House. More than one senator and Supreme Court justice has been observed to stop and contemplate Jesus lying in the manger amidst Joseph, Mary, the Magi and angels! This year, we team up twice by adding another long-time friend and partner, Rev. Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, who is spearheading The Nativity Project, an effort to keep Christ in public “holiday” displays. Pat and I will hold a news conference to encourage individuals, churches and other groups to secure permits from their local and state governments for a Nativity at their town or city hall, county seat building or state capitol. Watch for more info.

3) Our upcoming National Memorial for the Pre-born and their Mothers and Fathers, January 22. (Same day as the annual March for Life. It’s timed so you can do both.) This unique gathering affirming the Sanctity of our God-given Right to Life is in its 12th year on Capitol Hill. It is a fully-dressed worship and preaching service—the only one held inside the US Capitol complex. Dozens of clergy from every major denomination participate and hundreds attend. My brother, Paul, and I started it when we first arrived. You may know the story: We held the first Memorial in a liberal church just a few blocks from where our ministry house is now located. We rented the building, but when the liberal pastor and leaders learned what we were doing they were scandalized. I was hauled in front of their board along with my ministry team members. We were excoriated for being intolerant, bigoted, and anti-woman for having a pro-life meeting in their sanctuary. The whole thing was ironic; my team was a veritable rainbow of humanity: men, women, young, old, white, black and Asian. (Not to mention my Jewish heritage!) Their side was a phalanx of middle-aged white males. Still, we got the lecture. When it was finally over, I was told by the church’s board chairman, “We are a tolerant church. We have pro-life and pro-choice people, gays and straights, liberals and conservatives. But we find your position on abortion untenable.” I responded respectfully and asked for clarification by saying, “Let me get this straight. You are so tolerant, you find us intolerable. Is that correct?” He flatly said, “That’s correct,” then told us to find another location for the next year. No kidding. Thank God he did—we’ve been inside the U.S. Capitol complex ever since!

The rest of this week will be taken up with meetings on the Hill, end-of-year communications with our support team made of up of you and people like you all over the country (we have the last of our quarterly conference calls tonight—if you want in, just make a contribution of any amount at our website and you’ll receive an invitation), and finally, a big move. We have a much larger ministry team than we had this time last year, and it means we’re going to be relocating people between our two buildings. That’s never easy. I’ll be vacating the room that I’ve worked out of for six years. I dread the breaking down and setting back up, but I’ll still have a front-window view of the Chief Justice’s chambers across the street!

Before I go—don’t forget this Wednesday: Faith and Action Live! Your live missionary field report from Capitol Hill, 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM. You can link to it from our website. (Top left hand corner of the screen.) I’ll talk more about the Saddleback Church flap and what Obama’s outreach to Evangelicals means for the ’08 presidential race.

That’s all for now—please write with your comments, questions—and, Jeff—your criticisms, accusations and insults!

Blessings for now!