- 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
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Executive Director of the Christian Citizenship Council (C3) of
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)