Loud Cry Boot Camp
There’s a lot of talk in recent years about how the United States has become more secular.
There’s a lot of talk in recent years about how the United States has become more secular. That may be the trend, but our country is still one of the most overtly Christian nations on Earth. Christianity continues to drive and shape public discussion and political debate in powerful ways, and it always seems to factor into presidential campaigns, even though the U.S. Constitution says “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any public office.”
In this Christian-esque climate, atheists have struggled over the years to gain traction in high-profile elections. Catholics have also struggled with political acceptance. As recently as 1960, John F. Kennedy assured voters that he would not “take orders from any pope, cardinal, bishop or priest.”
If there was widespread suspicion about the Roman Catholic Church’s influence on U.S. politics in the past, it seems to be all but over now. Your great-grandparents would have been surprised to know that more than 30 percent of the members of the U.S. Congress today are Catholic—including the vice president and the speaker of the House.
On September 24, Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress. In the words of USA Today, “No pope or religious leader who serves as a head of state has addressed Congress, according to the U.S. House Historian’s Office.” The address is unprecedented and historic.
It also means that the gulf that stands between the church and the state is shrinking. The pope’s visit has the attention of both the secular and Christian media alike. Recently, a New York Times article noted:
“The pope’s speech to Congress—one of the most significant events of his visit to the United States—will afford him a rare opportunity to deliver a message at the seat of American political power, with a vast audience around the nation. Before him will be 535 House members and senators who dare not show even a whiff of disrespect during the speech, whether he is imploring action on climate change or wading into the issue of abortion.”
Many people see the pope’s take-charge attitude and moral leadership as refreshing. He has become a powerful moral voice after a decades-long drought. Upon his election in 2013, Timemagazine immediately crowned him Person of the Year. Evangelical writers at Christianity Today called him “our Francis, too,” in an article explaining why the Christian world could now “enthusiastically join arms with the Catholic leader.” His popular influence is hard to overestimate.
Pope Francis has continued the trend started by Pope Benedict XVI of championing solutions to the world’s problems. After the economic crash of 2008, Pope Benedict called for a way to govern the world economy through a “universally recognized” body. Pope Francis’ May 2015 encyclical suggested Sunday observance as a holy day as part of an environmental solution to climate change.
To students of U.S. government and history, the pope’s influence is a surprising development. To students of Bible prophecy, however, it is not. They have been expecting an erosion of the wall between church and state.
As the world watches the continuing trend, what can we do? First, stay informed. Remember that according to the Bible, these events are expected. God has not been caught by surprise.
So many people today are deeply afraid for the future. They look at the political, financial and social instability in the world, and they lose hope. They need to know that God’s plan is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and that today’s events are not unexpected.
Second, make plans to join us January 15-16, 2016 for a special training for your church. This training, which I’m personally calling the “Loud Cry Boot Camp” will help equip your church for its mission in the final moments of this Earth’s history. The event will be streamed live to your congregation from Silver Spring, MD.
This powerful all-day workshop is designed to help your church become a powerful soul-winning center that knows how to find the people in your community who are ready to respond to the Three Angels’ Messages. Make plans to join us today. Some churches that have implemented our early training have had four Bible studies for every member of their church! Please encourage your pastor to visit vop.com/local in the coming weeks for more information on how your church can participate in this training event and the monthly follow-up webinars.
Time is running out. God has called each one of us to preach His Word, in season and out of season. There has never been a season quite like this one. Our forefathers in the faith earnestly waited for this time. It’s time for you and I to be the Voice of Prophecy. Jesus is coming soon! The trend of history is moving closer to those last, final moments. It is an exciting time to be working with the Lord of the harvest. Thank you for making that possible. Your prayers and gifts of support make a huge difference. Because of you, we can continue to point people to the signs of Jesus’ soon return and prepare them to meet Him in the clouds. Thank you for being a vital part of this ministry.
In His service,