By Mark H. Hunter, Special to the Message
BATON ROUGE – More than 200 pastors and members of the Louisiana Family Forum got their spirits revved by evangelist James Robison and several other noted pastors at the Forum’s annual Pastor’s Briefing on April 27.
The briefing followed the 47th annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, which took place at the Baton Rouge Crowne Palace Hotel, where several thousand pastors, elected officials and business-people prayed for the current legislative session and Gov. Bobby Jindal.
Gene Mills, executive director of the Family Forum, opened the Pastor’s Briefing by quoting Psalms 11:3: If the foundations be destroyed, what will the righteous do?
[img_assist|nid=7307|title=Governor's Prayer Breakfast|desc=Ray Wallace, retired Southern Baptist pastor, prays for elected officials at the 47th annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, which took place April 27 at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge. Next to Wallace is event chair Stephen Wallace and Gov. Bobby Jindal. At his right, Dave Dravecky.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=60]“That begs the question; what were the righteous doing while the foundation was being destroyed?” Mills asked. America is experiencing a growing hostility to Judeo-Christian values especially in marriage, he said, and legislation is being written to undo that holy institution.
In last year’s session, the Forum secured 31 pro-life and pro-family victories, Mills said, but he warned there are more than a dozen upcoming bills pertaining to abortion, homosexual adoption, “non-discrimination” hiring policies and “gender identity” education in public schools the Forum will oppose.
Evangelist James Robison, who has been declaring for decades the plight of America’s spiritual decline, told the group, “We really are at war and the church hasn’t shown up – much less show some force. I’m here to sound the alarm.
“We’re in serious trouble,” Robison preached. “We’re not just to be Baptists, Pentecostals or Catholics – but disciples of Christ – Christ-like.
“I am convinced that God is calling us as His family to behave like family and to become a might army that not only pierces the darkness and is illuminating the way – the correct way – and sets captives free,” the evangelist continued. “I don’t think we have to wait for Christ to come in glory – we need to understand He is coming for a church adorned in glory … that is making a godly imprint on planet Earth.”
Robison compared America’s situation to Hurricane Katrina and how widespread damage occurred when the levees broke.
“In a sense we are a levee wall of protection for every city and every household,” Robison said. “You are the only real hedge of protection on planet Earth from the forces of darkness and deception.”
He compared the American church to some churches of Germany during World War II. When train loads packed with wailing Jews rolled past the Sunday morning services, the congregations sang louder to drown out the cries.
“I hear the cries of a defeated world, people who are downtrodden by the forces of evil,” Robison preached. “I don’t see us living as professing, confessing Christians. We’re impacting too little on our culture.
Perry Hancock, president and CEO of the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home, wants to help. After the Briefing, Hancock said they’re concerned how some “non-discrimination” policies state officials are debating might affect their foster care programs.
“Family Forum provides us with a voice and has helped us with several bills,” Hancock said. “They keep us informed and are willing to work with us. We want to care for children in state custody but without that (Family Forum) influence, we may not be able to help those children.”
Tony Perkins, a former Louisiana lawmaker and current head of Washington D.C.-based Family Research Council, updated the group on national issues and encouraged them to pay close attention to legislation as well as the lawmakers themselves.
“There are some in the Louisiana delegation who do things differently in Washington than what they portray back here at home,” Perkins said. “You’ve got some folks here who are not representing the interests of morality in our Congress and you need to call them out.”
Perkins, who attends Greenwell Springs Baptist Church when he is home, compared America’s current situation to Jerusalem described in II Kings chapter six. The city was surrounded by the Syrian army intent on capturing Elisha because the prophet opposed the king’s plans.
“The circle is being drawn tighter and tighter around those who would stand up and challenge the legitimacy of the agenda of those who want to redefine family and marriage and silence the Christian community,” Perkins said. “That’s ultimately what this is about – silencing those who do not embrace that agenda.”
“Fear not, for they that be with us are more than be with them,” Perkins quoted Elisha, and the servant’s eyes were opened to see the Syrian army surrounded by a larger heavenly army.
“You are the Elishas of our day,” Perkins told the pastors. “We need to pray ‘Lord, open the eyes of the church to see that more are out there protecting us than those that are against us.’
John Yeats, communications director for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, explained to the pastors how important it is for them to be involved in the legislative process.
“You can make a difference,” Yeats said. “You have a potential relationship with the guys who are from your district. Get to know them. These folks want us to pray for them. As you pray for your elected official, whether it be federal or state, jot him a note; that may be the note he needs on that particular day to stand right. We can make a difference shining a light.”
Mike Johnson, the dean of the Louisiana College’s Judge Paul Pressler School of Law, updated the group on the school’s progress and encouraged the pastors to send their bright, young students to the school.