A Day Hidden by God in His Heart, Part 1

By Francis Frangipane

Last week we sent you the resolution presented to the House of Representatives by Congressman Tom DeLay, (R, TX). This initiative called for a national day of repentance and reconciliation across America, starting with the government. The stated goal was to "permit Members and Senators to come together voluntarily in private fellowship within the House Chamber to seek repentance and reconciliation for our nation. What we seek is an open climate of communal prayer and repentance."

This was actually the second attempt to pass this resolution. The first, which was initiated in mid summer of 2001 did not pass the House, primarily because it was written from a Judeo-Christian perspective. In light of the events of September 11, however, it was brought forth again, this time with somewhat expanded or inclusive language.

Their goal, of course, was not merely to pass a resolution, but to actually seek God together as political leaders of our nation. I would like to remind all who genuinely cry for revival in our land that, in the Old Testament models of revival, there NEVER was a revival that bypassed the secular leader. In every model of national revival that we can study in the Bible, the long awaited outpouring only came when Judah's king (or Nineveh's king) humbled himself in prayer before God. Additionally, no revival ever emerged without the house of the Lord being restored. These two things, political leaders seeking God in repentance and spiritual leaders earnestly restoring the Lord's House, were what precipitated revival.

Today, both of these initiatives, by the grace of our beloved Savior, are unfolding before our eyes. National political leaders are humbling themselves and the born again church is reuniting in humility, reconciliation and prayer. It is not by any means complete yet, but we do not need a telescope to see a time of national renewal standing on the horizon of our future.

Yet, because of the change in the language of the resolution, some in the Christian community have actually taken offense. After posting Congressman DeLay's statement in lieu of our regular email message, we received several angry or "very concerned" emails, warning that this announcement was the beginning of the "one world religion" to be led by the Antichrist.

Let me state that Tom DeLay is a Christian who has been criticized as being the most "ultra conservative" Republican in the House by left wing critics. He attends First Baptist Church in Sugar Land and is strongly pro life and pro family. In one segment of his speech, Congressman DeLay quoted Lincoln. Here is an excerpt:

". . . We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

"Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and reserving grace, too proud to pray to the God thus!

"It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and pray for clemency and forgiveness . . ."

Such words by a known Christian congressman should cause us to leap for joy at the opportunity. However, in his effort to draw as many of his colleagues voluntarily toward repentance, Congressman DeLay also described the day of prayer as being ". . . tailored to accommodate the specific faiths of every Member. It is ecumenical in substance and universal in its aspiration. Everyone can confidently embrace the spirit and purpose of the reconciliation we advance with this proposal. We make way for all faiths."

Admittedly, after watching several "ecumenical prayer meetings" since September 11, and having listened to Muslims praying to Allah, I, too, felt a sense of betrayal. As a follower of Christ, I can accept and love anyone, even respecting their culture as Jesus did often with the Samaritans and as Paul did in Athens. However, no amount of love can legitimize a false god. Make no mistake, Allah is not the same God as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. For all who are concerned about this trend in the media to homogenize all religions into one, rest assured I am united with you in your concern.

However, Congressman DeLay was not attempting to credential all faiths, but to invite them. No one is asking us, as Christians, to renounce Jesus Christ simply because people from different religions are invited to join in repentance and reconciliation. In our multi-cultural society, as Christians, the fact is, we have wounded and offended many non-Christian people. We are angry that they have not become Christians, yet we tolerate without remorse that we are not Christlike!

Dear friend, if I slander my neighbor, who is a Jew, should I not seek forgiveness and reconciliation? Am I not accountable to God for my unchristlike actions toward all men, regardless of their background? This is a season to remedy our failure to present Jesus Christ to our society.

Let us also remember that, as this resolution is passed, it will be pastors and intercessors -- Christians -- who will lead the day of prayer across the nation. In thousands of cities, followers of Jesus Christ, not Allah or Buddha, will guide these events. It will be an opportunity to pray with city officials, members of minority groups, and to humble ourselves before God. Again, let us not miss or minimize this great opportunity!

Beloved, God has seen this day coming for our nation since the idea of America was conceived in His heart. For those who believe divine wrath upon the nations is inevitable, Scriptures indeed confirm that such a day shall come. But, I ask you to consider the power and possibilities of the mightiest nation in history humbling itself before God in prayer! If the day of wrath is truly near, perhaps it is prophetic that the man who has called for repentance is named DeLay, for humbled hearts will always delay God's wrath and restore His Presence to our land!