Tuesday, July 20, 2010

C3 Report: Volume 3 Issue VII (July 2010)


  • No July or August C3 Lunch Meetings!
  • Activities or Actions Worth Pursuing (Selected)
  • “The One-Two Punch We Need” Good News Etc. Article for July
  • “Patriotic Worship” Commentary for July
  • Minute Ministry Tip #4 Voter Registration
  • General Interest: Books Read In June (Hannity & Morris)
  • Information – Assistance Offer
  • Contact information

A warm welcome to new subscribers to the C3 Report: Cheri, Evie, Jeni, Matt, Don, Lynn, Paul, Melody and Ryan.

No July or August C3 Lunch Meetings!

  • There will be no C3 lunch meetings in either July or August.  These summer months tend to be slow, and it’s a good opportunity to get refreshed as we face the politically charged months that follow.

Activities or Actions Worth Pursuing (Selected)

20 July (Tuesday): First night of a 6 week class entitled: Dual Citizenship: Christ Honoring Stewardship of our American Experience” at Rancho Del Rey Christian Church, 1740 La Costa Meadows Drive, San Marcos.  Contact Christopher White (saltnlightministry.rdr@gmail.com) for more information

24 July: Salt and Light Training.  Contact Dran Reese at dran@saltandlightcouncil.org.  For info about Salt and Light go to: http://saltandlightcouncil.org/

Ongoing: “CPEDG”.  I conduct a small “Cultural and Political Engagement Discussion Group” at Grace Bible Church the 1st & 3rd Saturdays at 0900 am, and the 2nd & 4th Sundays at 12:15 pm.  If you’d like to attend, contact me (frankkacer@hotmail.com) for information.  Next lesson: Correctly Framing Issues

Tea Parties in the Area:

  • Escondido:
  • Poway: teapartypatriots.org/Group/Liberty_Tree_Patriots-Poway

Mentoring Opportunity (Excerpt from Article Below):  I’ve been working on a course to mentor young men and women to engage the political landscape with a Biblical undergirding.  If you’d like more detail on these plans, or would like to participate – let me know (frankkacer@hotmail.com).

My Recent Good News Etc. Articles (July):

The second article below was published before the 4th of July but it still has relevance when considering the months and years of political turmoil that are ahead of us and the reminders we need to have that our God reigns.

“The One-Two Punch We Need”

I’ve participated in many elections by: praying; donating; writing; organizing; distributing information; and even walking precincts.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I was discouraged many times at the results.  Frequently, good candidates only receive microscopic numbers of votes, while deep pocket “conservatives-in-name-only” walked away with the election.  Or a Proposition taking the moral high ground looses because of opponents with slick advertisements using extremely rare, emotional situations to gain sympathy.  It seems the enemy uses tactics and treasures much more effectively than those who want to uphold righteousness in the public square.  Don’t get me wrong, God is still glorified by our faithful labors, since He is the one that brings forth any fruit, not us.  Experience, however, tells me there are at least two major tactical changes we can make to be better equipped for future battles in this long campaign.  

First, we generally have a poor understanding of the need to engage the wider voting public with a compelling story.  It’s one thing to operate within our own circle of networked friends.  It’s quite another to develop and use the skills and resources needed to sway the greater voting public to our way of thinking.  Remember, many elections are decided by a few percentage points.  If the Biblical path of morality, justice, and individual character and accountability is sound (which I believe it is), why haven’t we boldly articulated these truths, and the consequences of their rejection, to the world around us?  We seem to have lost the ability to take timeless Biblical truths and relate them to society in a manner they can understand.  Obviously, we’re concerned about a person’s spiritual condition, but shouldn’t we also be able to effectively communicate truths that could transform both them and society?  Without a compelling argument and ability to translate God’s truths and implications outside our faith circles, why would voting patterns ever shift in the right direction?  It’s time to question why so few Sunday school classes educate and invigorate Christians to engage the world.  Where are the sermons to exhort our involvement in the Public Square, or apologetics classes to defend truth?  As long as our horizon of influence is our faith community, we can expect little change at the polls.

Secondly, we tend to have a “fire-and-forget” mentality.  Christians are famous for becoming energized over an issue or candidate, then after the dust settles retreat to their own interests.  If “our guy” wins, we’re excited, then forget to hold them up in prayer, meet to encourage them, give them advice, and even correct when needed.  Constant attention will help them do their job and hold them accountable.  If “the bad guy” wins, we also walk away instead of working to influence them to do what’s right for the entire electorate.  But even more problematic, we’ve not filling the pipeline by discipling the next generation of leaders from amongst our own ranks for public leadership.  Where are we targeting the bright, committed, and Biblically grounded young men and women in our churches to prepare them for public service for the common good?  Church leadership tends to clone themselves and produce more pastors – this is good, but is an extremely narrow understanding of our broader salt and light mandate.  Parents want their offspring to be doctors, attorneys, engineers, but a politician?  By default, we’ve ceded the entire political profession to those that typically don’t hold our values.  Is it any wonder the general quality of leaders we have is so low?

Even though God’s word doesn’t change, the language of sin in each generation does.  Our challenge is to adapt and engage God’s truths without compromising (1 Cor 9:19-23), and grow the next generation of godly leaders (Prov 22:6).  If you’re up to it, I’ve been working on a course to mentor young men and women to engage the political landscape with a Biblical undergirding. If you’d like more detail on these plans, or would like to participate – let me know.

“Patriotic Worship”

Though many churches have an aversion to combining patriotism with worship, the fact that Independence Day (July 4th) falls on a Sunday makes this an excellent opportunity to dust off sermons relating to citizenship responsibilities, our duty to pray for those in authority and to remember the sacrifices made for this nation and our liberties.  Another appropriate touch would be to include patriotic songs during worship or at church picnics celebrating the 4th.

Three of the most familiar patriotic songs all have overtones relating to our mighty God.  The Star Spangled Banner, mostly known for the first stanza sung at sporting events, refers to the “Power that has made and preserved us a nation” and the motto “In God is our trust” in the fourth stanza.  It culminates with powerful imagery of those serving in war.  In America the Beautiful, the reframes in each of the eight stanzas is a plea for God’s mercy and grace to create in us the character of heart and soul reflective of the natural beauty and courageous heritage of our land. 

My favorite, however, is The Battle Hymn of the Republic.  This Civil War hymn was emblematic of the war to end slavery, and by extension the spiritual battle raging around us until the Lord returns.  All six stanzas contain strong allusions to Biblical truths.  For me, stanza one glories in the second coming of Christ (Matt 16:27), His wrath poured out on the ungodly (Rev 14:19), and His mighty sword of righteousness (Rev 19:15).  The second stanza appears to acknowledge the Lord’s presence amongst His own (Matt 18:20) and the firm warnings contained in God’s word (Heb 4:12).  Stanza three mentions the gospel in the imagery of weapons of war, but balances it with warnings against revenge (Rom 12:19-21).  It also directly mentions the promise from Gen 3:15 that Jesus, born of a woman, will crush our enemy Satan.

The fourth stanza dramatically points to Christ’s triumphant return (1 Thess 4:16), the judgment that follows (2 Cor 5:10; Matt 25:31-46), and the joy we’ll have when finally with Him.  In stanza five, the author remarkably threads together the glories of Christ, His death to free us from our sin (1 Peter 3:18), and our transformation into holy creatures to faithfully serve Him (Col 1:21-23; Heb 12:14).  Finally, the last stanza once more looks to Christ’s triumphal return to rule over the earth as His footstool (Matt 5:35), with His perfect will being done into eternity (Rev 22:12).

These hymns are precious gifts.  In the uncertain times we live in, they remind us of the Lord we serve, the nation we’re to be good stewards of, and the sacrifices that allow us freedom to openly worship and pursue our mandate to evangelize and transform this land for the glory of God.  I encourage worship teams to consider including these in services on July 4th, and to remember that our nation remains “under God.”

Minute Ministry Tip #4:

Voter Registration.  Statistics after every election show a poor turnout amongst Christians.  If your church hasn’t conducted a voter registration drive, this is an excellent way to motivate leadership and members to become more engaged.  Registration drives are non-partisan (doesn’t favor one political party over another), easily done, and non-threatening.  However, they do need to be done correctly (County Registrar of Voters has instructions and forms).  Work with your pastoral leadership well in advance of the next election on how to best conduct these drives to prevent any difficulties.  Some churches use service time to stress the importance of voting, some have put registration forms in the pews, some have well marked tables near entrances.  There’s many ways to gain visibility and participation – so be creative.  There’s also a subtle message is this:
voter registration implies a need to vote Biblically.  Because Christians can be swayed by false advertising just as much as anyone else, its important to be properly equipped on how to be a good steward of our voting decisions.  This is where preaching and teaching can address the real issues involved and how the simple act of voting can honor our Lord.  

General Interest - Books Read In June:

“Conservative Victory – Defeating Obama’s Radical Agenda”: by Sean Hannity (2010) (231 pages).  This easy to read book was actually better than I had expected.  Hannity has a pleasing writing style and does an excellent job of laying out the flawed policies of the current (and preceding) administrations, while clarifying conservative principles that should be pursued.  His book is essentially an action plan and appeal for the Republican Party to return to it’s roots for strength.  His Victory List of important policy issues at the end is good but is a little uneven as to scope or specificity for each.  In general, a good read for someone that wants to go beyond Fox News and Talk Radio and gain a more comprehensive understanding of the issues and what Conservatism stands for.

“2010 Take Back America – A Battle Plan – The Stakes, The Targets, The Strategy and What You Can Do”: by Dick Morris (2010) (308 pages).  I found this latest book by Morris another screed against Obama with ponderous detail to back it up.  There’s also a detailed action plan on how Republicans should run their campaigns this fall to take back at least the House of Representatives, an analysis of vulnerable Democrats, and the reasons they’re vulnerable.   If your life consists of only a fascination with political tactics, information, analysis and talking points, this book is for you.  For me, it rapidly became tedious (and too worldly-wisdom-wise) to the point I couldn’t finish it.

Information – Assistance Offer:

Do you have a pastor or ministry leader that’s receptive to establishing a Christian Citizenship (or Salt & Light) Ministry in a legal, Christ-honoring, Biblically balanced way?  I’d love to take them to lunch to discuss how to go about it in a reasonable way.  Just let me know. 

Contact Information:

Frank Kacer
Executive Director of the Christian Citizenship Council (C3) of San Diego
C3 is a 501(c)3 organization, serving the Christian community since 2004

As always, if you wish to be taken off the distribution list, just let me know.

C3 Vision Statement

“The Christian Citizenship Council of San Diego exists to encourage and equip Churches and believers to apply biblical principles to all spheres of the culture around us, and to all of life”
(Matt 5:13-16; 16:18; 22:39; Jer 29:7)

“When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan”
(Prov 29:2)