Friday, November 18, 2011

C3 Report: Volume 4 Issue XI (November 2011)

A Word from Frank

A big thanks to all who attended one or more C3 lunch meetings this year. I know for a fact that new friendships were made, many new networking contacts were started, a lot of information and wisdom was shared, and great amounts of encouragement were always present. It's time to now concentrate on family and friends during the wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas times. There'll be much to do next year in the continual effort to be salt and light in this world, but for now, it's good to reflect on God's mercy and blessings to His people.

We'll meet again beginning in January.  However, if there's an opportunity for me to speak with any pastor or ministry leader on the church's cultural mandate and the Biblical, legal and practical means to pursue it - feel free to contact me at any time.


Yours in Christ,
Frank Kacer
Christian Citizenship Council (Since '02)
Proverbs 14:34





Welcome
   
A warm welcome to: Wayne, John, Tom, Kathy, Vern, Dan, Rod, Don, Randy, James, Gene, Michael, Dennis, Bob, Jim, Steve, Brad and Daron as new or re-subscribers to the monthly C3 Report. If you know of anyone else who could benefit from these monthlies, ask if they would like to receive them, then just let me know.




No November or December C3 Lunch Meetings!

The current plan is to begin meeting afresh in the New Year. Believe it or not, 2012 will mark the 10th year of lunch meetings. Every one of them has been different, with never the same people attending. What's striking is that people drive from as far away as Ramona, Temecula, the coast, and El Cajon. It's a level of commitment that's very energizing and rewarding. I'm already looking forward to January, and the Lord's blessing on our efforts to bring Him glory.

  • TBD January (Tuesday) - Escondido: Marie Callender's; 615 West 13th Avenue - Lunch from 11:30 to 1:00 (Library Room)
  
  • TBD January (Thursday) - San Diego: Marie Callender's; 6950 Alvarado Road - Lunch from 11:30 to 1:00 (Library Room)
   
Activities Worth Pursuing to Become Better Equipped and Engaged
Get in the Game - run for office. If you're willing to consider running for elective office, go to: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/voters/Eng/Eindex.shtml and click on the "What are my electing districts?" option. It will help you determine in which districts you're eligible to run for election.

19 November: Election Integrity Project Training. Hosted by Ramona TEA'd at the Ramona Mainstage Theatre from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. 626 Main Street, Ramona CA 92065. The Election Integrity Project is a non-partisan, educational, research and citizen action corporation with the sole and express purpose of securing FREE and FAIR elections in the state of California.

21 November: National Bible Day. For more information, go to:   

21-22 November: ASCI Convention in Anaheim. The Association of Christian Schools International convention will be at 800 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802. Speakers include representatives from the Institute for Creation Research. Go to www.acsi.or for more information or call 800.367.5391.

24 November: Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for in this nation.  Praise God for the abundant blessings he gives to us in myriad ways, for our religious freedoms, and for the opportunity to live out our Great Commission and Salt and Light Mandates.

27-30 December: San Diego Christian Film festival. This year's local Christian film festival will be hosted at the La Jolla Marriott. Plan to participate by going to: www.sdcff2011.com for more information, or contacting Richard Bagdazian, at richard@glassseaproductions.com

21 January 2012: 8th Annual Walk for Life West Coast. This event is held in San Francisco each year. For information go to: www.walkforlifewc.com

22 Jan: Sanctify of Life Sunday.   Encourage your pastor to give a Pro-Life sermon and to exhort members to become engaged in Pro-Life ministry. Four Pro-Life organizations that could use your support include:
http://www.pregnancyescondido.com Alternatives Women's Center (Escondido);
http://www.ecpcc.org/events.php East County Pregnancy Care Clinic (El Cajon);
http://www.mmpregnancy.com Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center (San Diego); http://www.ramonapregnancy.org Ramona Pregnancy Care Center (Ramona);
http://www.birthchoice.net/  BirthChoice (Oceanside, San Marcos)   

22-28 Jan 2012: National School Choice Week. For information go to: www.schoolchoiceweek.com      

Ministry Tip #18 (November 2011)
Mentoring The Next Generation of Politicians. We're all familiar with church discipleship training and mentoring of young men and women to be godly spouses, parents, neighbors and workers. We also mentor promising youth to equip them for full- or part-time ministry. Have we ever considered mentoring young men and women to prepare them for elective office or public service in the policy arena? For that matter, have we ever spent time to encourage our own sons and daughters to consider public office as a career? Politics and public policy, whether serving as an elected official or as staff to decision makers, can be incredibly demanding, complex, gratifying, and spiritually draining. And like any other legitimate profession, it will rot if Christian influence is not present.
It takes preparation, dedication, and good grounding in Biblical principles to undergird character development, and to understand the proper roles of individuals, families, the faith community and government in just law and policy development. Because of the far-reaching impact government has on our freedoms to worship, evangelize, preach the entire word of God, and to influence the culture around us, it's important we consider encouraging and preparing our best and brightest to serve us in the public domain. Creating a church ministry to do just that would be a challenge, but very rewarding.

If you have elected officials in your church, they can become a rich source of wisdom and experience to partner with your gifted Bible teachers and mentors. If you don't have any, seek them out from other fellowships to share their lives with those of promise in your own church. Not only will your youth be better equipped to handle the corrosive environment they'll encounter, but the foundation will be laid for prayer support and accountability as they strive to serve faithfully for the public good, under its watchful eye.


Books Recently Read
Leaders Who Last: by Dave Kraft (2010; 148 pages).  Like so many books on leadership training, this one lays out a structured way to focus on what's important in a person's life in order to be an effective leader, for both pastors and church members. Mnemonics are used to remember the key points (i.e. Power; Purpose; Passion; Priorities; Pacing) which are very helpful. A no-nonsense approach to evaluating your level of commitment, giftedness, calling, character and approach to inspiring others (vision) is also included.  There are lots of examples to illustrate points, and scriptural principles are scattered throughout. One major weakness I found was that the role of the family and how to balance it with what can be characterized as a driven, passionate leader was very weak, and I think shortchanged the responsibility we have to provide for our family (1 Timothy 5:8). The second weakness is a clear trivializing of a pastor's role to shepherd the flock in their needs. Counseling is presented as something that saps a pastor's energy, keeping him away from being a leader, hence he should be letting others counsel those who are hurting. This is not a good Biblical understanding of the pastor's role (Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:1-4), and could do potential harm if not handled wisely.
Don't Let The Kids Drink the Kool-Aid - Confronting the Left's Assault on our Family, Faith, and Freedom: by Marybeth Hicks (2011; 192 pages). This book is an excellent wakeup call for those who think the government (public) school system is fine and only has our children's best interests at heart. Hicks exposes the bankrupt ideology that permeates public education and the extent to which our school system has been made into a weapon used to counter our values, and our faith, while allowing academic excellence to take a secondary role. Though the book is long on exposing, it's very short in what a parent can effectively do to counter or correct the darkness engulfing our schools. The exception is the last chapter that concentrates on the equipping of our own children in civic virtues and the importance of protecting our children's innocence. The book is an easy read, stocked with many examples of vile material and moral relativism and tolerance (tolerance for anything but Christianity), and is a great eye opener for those unaware of what is going on.

Commentary  

Some Candidate Selection Criteria

Every election I'm bombarded with "family value" listings showing the position of candidates on issues I should be concerned about. Many times these lists only show responses that are opposite from each other for the competing candidates - if one answer is Yes, the other is No, and vice-versa. For me, these are only helpful if: the responses are accurate (with good source documentation to support it), the topics are what I'm most concerned about, and third - they cover a wide enough spectrum of issues to give a full picture of each candidate.

Although many of us have a mental short list of "non-negotiables," it's instructive to actually write down what our personal key decision factors are. For the Presidential race, as well as every other elective office, there's always going to be a tradeoff since it's extremely rare to have a viable candidate who fulfills all our expectations. This is almost certainly true if our "Non-negotiable" list is a long one.  When that happens, and it will again this coming year, I encourage voting to prevent the election of the candidate who will do the greater harm, instead of refusing to vote at all or for a candidate who has no opportunity to win.

With those cautions my tentative short list (in roughly priority order) of issues important to me for any elective office is as follows:
  
1. Life. I'm strongly pro-life from conception to natural death. If a candidate doesn't get this right, why would I want to trust them with any other decisions, since their worldview and values are completely alien to mine?

2. Faith. I'm a Christian, and I would prefer to see sincere, knowledgeable, experienced, qualified and talented Christians in office. However, I'm not comfortable with on-the-job training for naive Christians trying to figure out how to apply their faith and Biblical principles to the complex problems we face. There's hope for them, but risks also. Those who claim to be Christian, yet deny the fundamentals of the faith or the authority of Scripture in their lives, are very suspect and not to be trusted. Other faiths (and particularly Atheists) are even farther removed from Biblical values and as a result even less desirable.

3. Family. I'm strongly pro-family and decry anything or anyone that: weakens parental authority or the traditional family structure; supports counterfeit marriage (same-sex); or mainstreams perversion or immorality (e.g. domestic partnerships, homosexual special rights, gender confusion, pornography, etc.
  
4. Role of Government. Government at all levels has become too powerful, too thirsty for tax revenue, too intrusive in our lives and the economy, too removed from accountability, too addicted to making people dependent upon entitlements, too ignorant of their proper role, and too much in debt at virtually every level. If any candidate cannot clearly see the injustice and irresponsibility that exists, then they cannot be expected to make a positive change at any level.

5. Fiscal Restraint. I believe government at virtually every level has shown itself to be incapable of being responsible, good stewards of our money. Excessive taxation and uncontrolled debt is theft, and should be treated as such. Anything less than a commitment to reduce taxes, massively reduce spending, and balance budgets is unacceptable.

6. Defense. As a sovereign nation we have the right to defend ourselves, our interests, and our allies. We weaken our ability to do this at our own peril. Our service men and women, as well as their civilian leadership, are due the honor and support they deserve. Though open and honest dialogue is needed on the extent of our military role in the world, one nation in particular deserves our protection and counsel - Israel.

7. Economy. Our country is the most prosperous in history, but this prosperity breeds greed, selfishness, and irresponsibility. Government should punish obvious evil, but it shouldn't take over the free enterprise system that has served most people well, it shouldn't redistribute wealth and incentivize dependency and de-incentivize hard work and accountability, and it shouldn't choose who will be winners and losers (through targeted taxation). In addition, government's role is not to take over the massive health care industry, which would surely doom it to becoming purely pragmatic, excessively expensive, and intolerably broken.

8. Illegal Immigration. I believe in: strong, controlled borders, a national dialogue on appropriate legal immigration criteria, enforcing laws to prevent the hiring of illegals, extending compassion to visitors in emergency situations, and removal of entitlement benefits (welfare, public school access, health benefits, etc.) from access by illegals.

But what about the chronically poor, the homeless, our foreign energy dependency, the environment and climate change, public schools, gambling, the Fairness Doctrine, corporate bailouts, and on and on? Obviously, there are endless issues that need to be addressed from the local to national levels. That's why it's important to carefully consider what, if any, your short list of "non-negotiables" is. We all want candidates whose policy positions are the same as ours and are electable. But the reality is that we may have to compromise on some matters in order to prevent the vilest option from taking office. In doing so, we need to have a clear conscience when we vote, and be as objective as possible about the consequences.  
 


Free Meal Offer

Lately, I've had a number of outstanding conversations with ministry leaders at lunch. If you have a pastor or ministry leader that's willing to discuss the why's and how-to's in establishing a Christian Citizenship (or Salt & Light) Ministry in a legal, Christ-honoring, Biblically balanced way, let me know and I'll take them to lunch to discuss it. Obviously, there's no obligation on the pastor's part. 

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

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)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

C3 Report: Volume 4 Issue X (October 2011)

Contents: 

  • October C3 Lunch Meeting!
  • Activities Worth Pursuing
  • Minute Ministry Tip #17: Petition Drives
  • Books Recently Read: Serfdom; Outliers
  • Commentary: The Battle of Presidential Worldviews
  • Free Meal Offer

There seems to be a lot going on for this time of the year.  I suggest you scan the activities listed below and pick one or more you’re interested in to become better informed and equipped to engage in cultural and political kingdom work.   Many are very faithfully laboring to make a change, but the bottom line is to become involved in a Christ-honoring manner, with a proper Biblical worldview as a foundation. 

If I can be of help to you or your church in wrestling through how to establish a Christian citizenship (or Salt and Light) ministry in a balanced, legal, properly shepherded manner, just let me know. 

Yours in Christ,
Frank Kacer
Christian Citizenship Council (Since ‘02)
Proverbs 14:34


Welcome:

A warm welcome to: Carl, Sue, Becky, and Daniel as new subscribers to the monthly C3 Report.  If you know of anyone else that could benefit from these monthlies, ask if they would like to receive them, and then let me know.

October C3 Lunch Meetings

The meetings in September were very encouraging, challenging, and highly energetic.  I think you’ll gain a lot by participating, particularly since they’re always non-threatening and have a different set of folks showing up each time.  Come by, and bring a friend!


  • 25th of October (Tuesday) - Escondido: Marie Callenders; 615  West 13th Avenue - Lunch from 11:30 to 1:00 (Library Room) 

  • 27th of October (Thursday) San Diego: Marie Callenders; 6950 Alvarado Road - Lunch from 11:30 to 1:00 (Library Room) 

Activities Worth Pursuing to Become Better Equipped and Engaged:


Note: My preference is to only list activities in the San Diego area.  However, others are now and then listed when they’re accessible and useful in equipping us in our salt and light mandate.

Final Days!: Time for the Referendum effort to repeal SB 48 is running out. Return your petitions now so the organizers can submit pre-validated ones to the State by 12 October to qualify for next year’s ballot.  For instructions, go to: www.stopsb48.com
15 September – 17 October: Hillsdale College Webcast Course “Introduction to the Constitution”.  This series of six Webcasts addresses fundamental principles behind the US Constitution.  To sign up for this free course go to:  http://www.hillsdale.edu.  Archives of past sessions are available.

28 September – 6 November: “40 Days for Life”.  This year’s campaign has the largest number of prayer and fasting events, vigils, and outreach’s (301 cities) ever.  To participate, go to www.40daysforlife.com.

7 October: Hillsdale College Webcast – “The Global Threat of the Muslim Brotherhood”.  Andrew McCarthy will lecture from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. PDT.  Go to http://www.hillsdalefirstfridays.com/Hillsdale/Microsite/may6_microsite.aspx to register for this free webcast.

7 October: Election Integrity Project - Speaker Sharron Angle.  Escondido Masonic Center; 1331 South Escondido Blvd, Escondido from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.  RSVP at www.electionintegrityproject.com.

7-9 October: Values Voter Summit 2011 (Washington D.C.).  Sponsored by: Family Research Council Action; American Family Association Action; The Heritage Foundation; American Values; Liberty University/Liberty Counsel; and FRC; with many high profile, conservative speakers.  For information call 877.372.2808 or register at www.valuesvotersummit.org. You can also watch live on this site.

8 October: Condoleezza Rice.  The former Secretary of State will speak at the Vista nonprofit Solutions for Change fundraiser (combats homelessness).  Event begins at 5:45 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive, SD. Visit www.solutionsforchange.org/events or call 760-941-6545 (tickets $250). 

Pro-Life Pregnancy Care Clinics/Centers.  Please consider supporting as an individual or as a church any of the following Pro-Life organizations during these fundraisers and on an on-going basis.


27 October: Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center’s Banquet.  Guest speaker will be Dr. Marc Newman. To RSVP call Turning Point at 858.457.7800. (7-9 pm)


13 October: East County Pregnancy Care Clinic’s Fall Fundraising Banquet.  6:30 p.m.; With Mark Larson and Jennifer O’Neill, banquet begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Mission Valley Marriott Hotel.  For details go to www.ecpcc.org or call 619.442.4357.


21 October: Ramona Pregnancy Care Clinic’s Annual Banquet.  Featured speaker will be Pastor Ron Hubbard (Mountain View Community Church).  For information call 760.789.7059


3 November: Alternatives Women’s Center Fundraising Banquet.  From 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the Escondido Center for the Arts.  Shawn Carney will be speaking. Call 760.741.9796 or RSVP to awcjudy@yahoo.com.


29 October:Celebrate Freedom Gourmet American Barbecue” for National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP).  Wes Bentley, President of Far Reaching Ministries is the keynote speaker for this benefit event.  Please consider attending and supporting NCLP’s legal battles fighting for family, faith and freedom.  Location: 38615 Calistoga Drive, Suite 100, Murrieta, CA 92563.  RSVP at 760.747.4529 or e-mail dcarter@wclplaw.org.  


29 October: Creation Apologetics Conference “Rebuilding the Foundation”.  Presented by Institute for Creation Research from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at The Rock Church (2277 Rosecrans Street San Diego).  Free event, but registration is required.  For info: apologetics@therocksandiego.org or call 619.501.1800

30 October – 6 November: White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week.  Become informed, and find resources at www.moralityinmedia.org. 

4 November: “Christian Environmentalism 101: Toward a Sustainable World(view)”.  Public lecture by Dr. Susan Power Bratton at Bethel Seminary San Diego; 6116 Arosa Street, SD.   Q&A will follow.  To register, call 619.325.5227.

12 November: “One Nation Under God”.  This 3 hour event lead by Jim Garlow and ReAL will take place in houses and churches across the country.  Our nation’s Biblical foundation will be explored by spiritual, political, and educational leaders such as Dr. James Dobson, Bob McEwen, and David Barton.  Register at: http://onenationundergodevent.com/real.  A nominal fee is required


27-30 Dec: San Diego Christian Film festival. This year’s local Christian film festival will be hosted at the La Jolla Marriott.  Begin planning to participate by going to: www.sdcff2011.com for more information, or contacting Richard Bagdazian, executive director of SDFF at richard@glassseaproductions.com


Minute Ministry Tip #17 (October 2011)


Note: If you would like the entire set of Minute Ministry Tips to date, just let me know and I’d be happy to send you a copy by e-mail.


Petition Drives.  One of the threshold steps for a church to take in the spiritual battlefield of public policy are petition drives.  Contrary to what the mainstream media and the ACLU say, every church has a legal right to weigh in on public policy, legislation, and government decisions (ones pending or already taken).   To prevent unnecessary confusion or divisiveness concerning petitions, a few practical things should be kept in mind.  First, make sure you‘ve thoroughly researched the purpose for the petition and understand the issue well.  Next, discuss with your pastor the possibility of gathering signatures at church, and how it can be advertised and accomplished without being disruptive of worship services or other ministry efforts going on at the same time.  If not approved, don’t try and do it surreptitiously at the church (Hebrews 13:17); instead, personally contact in a different venue those you know would be sympathetic to signing and have them sign.  Third, if approved by church leadership, make sure you’re not pushy in gaining signatures.  Have your talking points ready, but try and not argue if someone has a different opinion or is not receptive.  Being gentle and patient will go a long ways to preventing any undue contention or problems for pastors to have to address later.  Remember, the earlier you can gain pastor support (and equip them with information), the easier it’ll be to avoid problems later, and the higher the probability of your being successful.


Books Recently Read:



“The Road to Serfdom”:
by Friedrich A. Hayek (1944, 1994 Heritage abridged edition; 48 pages).  The more things change, the more they stay the same.  This abridged version of the classic work by Hayek in 1944 shows very clearly how government planning slowly at first, and then with greater speed, destroys individual liberties and freedoms and turns a western nation into a democratic-socialist country.  With the backdrop of the Nazi (Germany), Fascist (Italy) and Communist (USSR) experience fresh in the world’s mind, Hayek warns about the direction the United States is headed.  His warnings are clear, his reasoning is sound, and he correctly predicted where we were headed as a nation.  Very sobering, short pamphlet to read.




Outliers – The Story of Success:
by Malcolm Gladwell (2008; 285 pages).  
I have to admit, I’ve wanted to read this book for awhile.  I found Gladwell’s writing style very clear and seductive.  He makes some very profound observations about the interplay of talent, circumstances, family environment, culture and timing that are necessary for the phenomenally successful to reach the places they’ve arrived at.  His main contention is that the belief that raw talent, hard work and ambition alone have created super success stories is wrong.  His discussion of the 10,000 hours of effort, the birth month of hockey players, the effect of ethnic culture on plane crashes, and the like is very convincing because of the many personal life stories he uses to illustrate his contentions.  The two big weaknesses from my perspective are: a lack of hardly any counter examples; and the total lack of God’s mighty hand at work in circumstances and lives.  But, given that, it is a very interesting and thought provoking read.




Coming Review: “Politics – According to the Bible”
by Wayne A. Gruden (2010; 601 pages).  I’m still reviewing this recent addition to the dialogue on the Christians role in political realm in the October C3 Report.


Commentary (In case you missed it in the Christian Examiner)

The Battle of Presidential Worldviews

A classic battle of worldviews is shaping up for 2012.  We know every election is important, but Presidential elections provide a unique opportunity to decide which of two competing worldviews will drive the major moral decisions we’ll face as a nation.  One worldview sees mankind as basically good, with government an obvious tool that extends and applies that nature with unlimited potential and incredible power for benefit to all.  The second worldview, based upon God’s revealed truth, sees mankind’s intrinsic nature as fundamentally evil (Jeremiah 17:9), with unbridled government an abusive and powerful reflection and expansion of that nature.

The concept of limited government implemented by our founders clearly assumed the Biblical view was the correct one.   Over time, and in particular during the last generation, the worldview driving politics at the national level believes in mankind’s “goodness” and places hope in the benevolence of a government assuming control of virtually every aspect of life.  However, the Congressional House of Representatives 2010 election showed the public finally willing to push back against an obvious out of control government - at least one that can’t be trusted with the economy and our health care system.  This sets up the next Presidential election as nothing less than a massive showdown to determine which competing understanding of reality, and the role of government, should predominate in the years ahead.

What’s at stake,  is no less than deciding whether our government will: feed more government takeover of the economy - or incentivize free market expansion; increase individual and family dependence on governmental - or encourage personal responsibility; punish wealth creation - or incentivize its creation; ignore the national debt - or show fiscal responsibility; increase - or decrease tax burdens; abolish - or strengthen traditional marriage; ration health care for the weak - or competitively improve the world’s finest health care system; continue irrational dependence on foreign energy - or responsibly use our own resources; unilaterally disarm - or counter all threats domestic and foreign; protect abortion at all costs - or defend the sanctity of life; grant citizenship to lawbreakers - or incentivize their departure; crush state’s rights - or restore and respect them; continue normalizing of repugnant sexual lifestyles - or encouraging sexual morality.  The worldview that wins the next election, will determine these as well as many other moral decisions for a long time.  

Clearly, the current administration embraces an ideology that believes government is benevolent and knows what’s best for the entire nation, independent of facts, reasoning, or historical evidence to the contrary.  In fact, history shows that power, unrestrained by any Biblical values and morals, rapidly becomes corrupt and the enemy of all that we as Christians hold dear.   It’s not surprising, therefore, that any administration criticism is seen as not just misguided but dangerous to its goals and must be stopped at all costs, by any means.  But when government is restrained to its proper role of punishing evil and commending what’s good (Rom 13:1-5; 1 Peter 2:14), it can result in blessings to the exercise of our individual freedoms, an encouragement to pursue our salt and light mandate, and an openness to proclaiming the gospel and Biblical truths to all of society.  Realistically, if massive governmental control begins to be dismantled next year, then moral values can once more be openly debated in the public realm, unbridled by government imposed hostility toward our values. 

This is a battle worth fighting for.  In this struggle we shouldn’t evaluate potential candidates on just their policy positions, or a simple claim to be a Christian, but on the worldview that they believe is true.   

Most people I’ve met, and unfortunately many Christians, believe man is fundamentally good.  This not only trivializes Biblical truth, but it accepts a relativistic post-modernism that denies the very need for the gospel.  Is it any wonder many Christians are befuddled how our government has become so anti-Christian?   When so many Christians misunderstand this battle, they become unwitting accomplices in growing the very government that reflects man’s sinful nature and wants to be man’s “savior”.  No, the political battle around us is a shadow of the spiritual warfare struggling for the soul of our nation (Ephesians 6:12).   We need to recognize this battle for what it is, and fight to restore to the public debate the need for understanding both the nature of unregenerate man, and the dangers of a government unbridled by Biblical truth.  If we don’t engage now, the window on our ability to influence this nation’s health will rapidly close, as will our freedoms to openly proclaim God’s truths.


Free Offer:
As always, if you have a pastor or ministry leader that’s willing to discuss the why’s and how-to’s in establishing a Christian Citizenship (or Salt & Light) Ministry in a legal, Christ-honoring, Biblically balanced way, let me know and I’ll take them to lunch to discuss it.  Obviously, there’s no obligation on the pastor’s part. 

Contact Information:

Frank Kacer
Executive Director of the Christian Citizenship Council (C3) of San Diego, serving the Christian community as a 501(c)3 organization since 2002.


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;
w
hen the wicked rule, the people groan”
(Prov 29:2)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

C3 Report: Volume 4 Issue VII (August 2011)

Contents:

  • September C3 Lunch Meeting!
  • Activities Worth Pursuing
  • Minute Ministry Tip #15: Policies
  • Books Recently Read: Political History & Wilberforce on Real Christianity
  • Commentaries: Nathan Fletcher & Libya
  • Free Meal Offer
  • Contact information

After a summer recess, we’ll be starting up our monthly lunch meetings in September.  In this issue I encourage you to read my concerns about Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, his voting record, and his fitness to represent Biblical values.  As usual, there are other little tidbits throughout that I hope will be of use in your own kingdom work.  If I can be of help to you in your efforts to establish a Christian Citizenship or Salt & Light Ministry, just let me know.   

Once more, if there are others that could benefit from receiving these “Reports’ I’ll be happy to add them to the list.

Yours in Christ,
Frank Kacer
Christian Citizenship Council
Jude 24,25



Welcome:

A warm welcome to new subscribers to the C3 Report: Scott; Bob; Jonathan; Matt; Greg; Julie; Don; Tom; Tama; Lynn; Joan (2); Lee; Deanna; Sue; Gloria; MaryAnn; Martha (2); Ellen; Susan (2); Vickie; Gabriele; John; Betsy; Barbara; Karen; Pam; Margie (2); Mary (3); Norm; Rudy; Judie; Evie; Davenia; Pat; Marilyn; Ray; Leslie; MaryBeth; Paula; Marion; Rober; Janet; and Bob.

September C3 Lunch Meetings

 Although there will be no August C3 Lunch Meetings, we will meet in September as follows:

  • 27th September (Tuesday) - Escondido: Marie Callenders; 615  West 13th Avenue - Lunch from 11:30 to 1:00 (Library Room)
  • 29th September (Thursday) San Diego: Marie Callenders; 6950 Alvarado Road - Lunch from 11:30 to 1:00 (Library Room)

Activities Worth Pursuing:

Now: A Referendum effort to repeal SB 48 is underway by a group of California pro-family organizations.  Over 500,000 valid signatures must be gathered by 12 October, 2011 to qualify for the ballot.  To learn more about it, and to download petitions go to: www.stopsb48.com

13 August: Mother of Life Conference.  Hosted at USD’s Jenny Craig Pavilion, this is the largest Pro-Life conference in the west. Speakers include: Dr. Jim Garlow; Dr. Alveda King, Fr. Frank Pavone and Edduardo Verastegui.  For information go to: http://www.motheroflifeconference.com

20 August: Monthly Eagle Forum meeting at the Veterans Museum, 2115 Park Blvd, San Diego 92101 from 9:30-11:00 a.m.  For information contact Woody 858. 652.9528 (http://www.eagleforumsandiego.com/)

24 August: “Restore Courage U.S.” event, with Glenn Beck in Israel.  For information on site and times go to: http://restoringcourageus.org or contact Gabriella Hoffman ghoffman16@yahoo.com (949) 302-8266

2 October: Pulpit Freedom Sunday (Nationwide). Organized by the Alliance Defense Fund, the Pulpit Initiative is designed to allow pastors to speak freely from their pulpits without fear of censorship or control by the IRS.  For information on how to participate go to: http://speakupmovement.org/church/LearnMore/details/4702

7-9 October: Values Voter Summit 2011 (Washington D.C.).  Sponsored by: Family Research Council Action; American Family Association Action; The Heritage Foundation; American Values; Liberty University/Liberty Counsel; and FRC; with many high profile, conservative speakers.  Go register, go to www.valuesvotersummit.org or call 1-877-372-2808 for more information.

27-30 Dec: San Diego Christian Film festival. This year’s local Christian film festival will be hosted at the La Jolla Marriott.  Begin planning to participate by going to: www.sdcff2011.com for more information, or contacting Richard Bagdazian, executive director of SDFF at richard@glassseaproductions.com

Minute Ministry Tip #15 (August 2011)


Church Policy.  Depending upon the size of your church and how long it’s been in existence, it may have written policies on different aspects of ministry, church organization, child care, what goes into the Sunday bulletin and the like.  Policies tend to reflect lessons learned that are gathered time, and can remove confusion over expectations.  In an area such as Christian activism (or citizenship, or salt and light) this is especially true because of the nature of the ministry itself.  Writing down the ministry’s basic reason for existing, what it’s attempting to do, how it will be organized and adequately shepherded, and what general activities are encouraged and even discouraged within the church environment are all important to consider and define with care.  Besides removing potential confusion, a good church policy can provide both legitimacy and a basis for freedom in the types of activities that can be pursued within agreed to bounds.  If you would like an example, I can provide one for you.  It addresses on one page: The purpose of the church gathered and the church scattered; what types of activities members are encouraged to participate in; and how members are to engage with each other as well as the church environment itself.  


Books Recently Read:


“The Contested Public Square – The Crisis of Christianity and Politics”: by Greg Forster (2008) (249 pages).  This is an interesting church and state historical survey from Greco-Roman times up to the present.  In essence, Forster traces the development of the church’s relationship to government under Roman rule, the legacy of Augustine’s City of God and City of Man, the impact of recaptured Greek classical thinking, the emergence of natural law theory, the Reformation and western political thought, the formation of the United States, down to the present understanding and clash of religious freedom and Liberal Democracy.  Forster also provides significant insights and side discussions on the major thinkers throughout the 2500 years he covers.  This is an excellent overview of the intertwining of Biblical understanding and political thought and the implications that resulted for Christians throughout.  Spoiler Alert:  He doesn’t predict what lies in the future for this constant struggle and refinement.




“Real Christianity – Contrasted With the Prevailing Religious System” by William Wilberforce (based on the American edition of 1829) (131 pages).  This is the same Wilberforce of English slave abortion fame.  We know of Wilberforce through history classes and the recent film about him, but through this book you’ll see the inner heart of a man that sincerely loved the Lord, understood orthodox Christian faith and humility, and was deeply burdened by the shallow, weak and generally insipient Christianity professed by so many of his fellow English people.  This little book is just as applicable for us as it was for those in the early 1800’s.  Wilberforce identifies the myriad ways that “professing” Christians rationalize their lives, trivialize God’s truths, compromise their faith through friendship with the world, and self-delude themselves into thinking they’re fine since they were born in a country that considers itself Christian. This is a very sobering indictment on watered down “religion” and faith, and a warning to everyone who has ears to hear.  I definitely recommend this book to everyone!


Commentary (In case you missed it in the Christian Examiner.)

Weighing Nathan Fletcher in the Balance

By Frank Kacer

I’ve known Nathan for over six years, and enthusiastically supported his first run for political office – the California State Assembly.  Currently in his second two year term as Assemblyman from the 75th Assembly District, Nathan recently announced his 2012 candidacy for Mayor of San Diego.  Rightfully so, Nathan has earned the respect of many for his military service to our nation, the passage of Chelsea’s law, and being an articulate proponent of many policies that resonate with the conservative community.  However, since early last year a disturbing, consistent legislative voting pattern has emerged that’s not just a cause for concern, but one I find deeply troubling. 

Beginning with a passionate Assembly floor speech in May 2010 in support of the State Resolution urging repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, Nathan later in the year acknowledged voting against Proposition 8 (Protect Marriage amendment).  This year in the Assembly Nathan voted: to permit children as young as 12 to receive STD medical treatment without their parents knowledge (AB 499); allow transgendered people to change their official birth certificates before undergoing any major surgical alteration (AB 433); and to amend extensive California code (affects public schools) to redefine “sex” to include ones “gender expression and gender identity” (AB 887).  If these weren’t problematic enough, Nathan was the only Republican to vote in support of SB 48.  This measure exposes innocent children down to kindergarten age to lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender sexual orientations, ignores parental opt-out authority, and legally prevents any balanced discussion of factual information concerning the destructiveness of the homosexual lifestyle.

Obviously, Nathan has become a willing accomplice in the governmental promotion and normalization of special rights and protections for homosexuals, while at the same time silencing any reasoned or fact based opposition.  Whether this is for political gain, or a result of personal conviction, I don’t know.  But sowing immoral values and sexual confusion amongst vulnerable children entrusted to the care of public schools is not what we want from our education system.  If this assault on susceptible children can be condoned, why would we expect our freedoms of religion and speech concerning homosexuality to be left untouched in any future policy making or approving position?

I, for one, am not enthusiastic about Nathan’s seeking further elective office.  If there’s already rejection of Biblical insight to guide government policy on what’s obviously immoral, why would I expect better leadership on other social issues critical to the evangelical community in the future?   To be associated with the Christian community carries with it not only the duty to address moral issues from a Biblical worldview perspective, but to demonstrate public leadership consistent with submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Not surprisingly, when Nathan’s voting record is brought to light amongst evangelicals, many of his active supporters are shocked - having wrongly assumed he’s conservative concerning public policy and sexual issues. 

Electing someone to a powerful leadership position is serious business, and Christians must decide which San Diego Mayoral candidate most closely aligns with our values and will work hard to strengthen traditional families and promote the broader public good.  However, when any candidate from the Christian community is complicit in using government power to normalize and promote sexual deviancy - at the expense of our children, families, and God’s truth – how can we provide enthusiastic support, or expect consistently good fruit from their leadership now or in the future (Matt 7:17-20)? 


Is Libya a Just War?

Since 9/11 our perpetual state of “war” against global terrorism has exacted a high price in blood, treasure and world opinion.  Public support for combat operations in the Mid-East has waned either because of the length of conflict (Afghanistan) or lingering concerns over the necessity of war (Iraq).  The on-going Libyan conflict is even more problematic, demonstrating the inconsistency of our foreign intervention policies and the weak leadership of our President.

Expediency seems to have driven President Obama’s decision to allow NATO, lead by the French, to conduct air combat operations to remove Muammar Gaddafi.  To justify combat to save “potential” Libyan lives sounds noble, but hollow, given our blindness to racial cleansings in Africa, starvation policies in North Korea, and even killing of protestors in Syria.  If “potential” lives saved is a real humanitarian criteria, what of the constant Iranian (and other Arab-Muslim nations) threats to destroy Israel – isn’t that a more credible threat to life?

Let’s face it, President Obama joined the Libyan conflict in a way that prevents his receiving blame for failure (I wasn’t in charge), but kudos if it succeeds (my military was critical).  Political gain seems more important than any collateral damage to civilians, not knowing who the rebels really are, or even the ethics of removing a head of state that’s not a clear and present danger to us.

Today, our military is conducting operations in at least 5 countries, and has a presence in scores of others.  Obviously, isolation is not viable given a world with WMDs, but reassessing our role in warfare is.  To begin, we need to revisit “Just War theory”, i.e. war limited by moral principles, and judge our current and all future combat involvement.  

First, to go to war there must be “just” reasons.  These include both self defense and protecting allies against obviously unjust military attacks.  Next, the peace gained through armed conflict must be preferable to the “peace” if war had not been fought.  In addition, war must either clearly advance the cause of justice or avoid wanton destruction by an aggressive evil.  This can include taking strong pre-emptive actions, but the enemy’s intent must be clear and obviously imminent.  Going to war for selfish gain, power, revenge, political correctness, or to inflict cruelty is never justified.  Also, war must be conducted lawfully and by legitimate authority. 

Secondly, war must be conducted using “just” means.  War is the last resort after all sensible, non-violent options are exhausted (e.g. economic sanctions, incentives for peace).  Next, unnecessary brutality or wanton violence is never justified.   In addition, war must discriminate between combatants and non-combatants, and strive to prevent destruction of non-war related resources needed to sustain life.  Even though it’s virtually impossible to prevent innocent people from being harmed during warfare, it should be noted that the United States has consistently (though imperfectly) shown greater respect for life than our enemies ever have.

An inability to consistently articulate justification for the Iraq war helped elect a radical new administration - one that obviously struggles in identifying or confronting international evil.  With any administration, however, we’re obligated to justify any use of military action.  As counselors to our nation, Christians particularly need to grapple with a reasoned application of a Biblical worldview to warfare, just like with any other life and death issue.  Though the human condition (Jer 17:9; James 4:1-2) virtually guarantees bloody conflict until the Lord returns (Matt 24:6) our current President’s competence to identify and confront imminent threats in a measured,  just manner, is a cause for real concern.  For this reason alone, we need to challenge every decision to go to war and require clear justification based upon historically proven just “reasons” and “means”.   Does the current conflict in Libya meet the criteria of a Just War?  I believe it falls far short, and is a dire warning about the current administrations inability to recognize true threats, but willingness to go after expedient ones that are no direct threat to us.  I encourage us all to be on guard concerning any military involvement, and ensure our elected representatives understand what we understand to be truly justifiable reasons to invest any additional blood and treasure abroad.


Free Meal Offer:

I haven’t had any takers in a while, but the offer remains. If you have a pastor or ministry leader that’s willing to discuss the why’s and how-to’s in establishing a Christian Citizenship (or Salt & Light) Ministry in a legal, Christ-honoring, Biblically balanced way, let me know and I’ll take them to lunch to discuss it. 

Contact Information:

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

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)