Sunday, November 09, 2014

The 3 - November 9, 2014

This week's edition of "The 3," features the celebration of the birthday of one of America's most revered evangelists and a new evangelistic video released to coincide with it.  Also, a Federal court ruling was handed down in favor of marriage (traditional marriage).  And, the top story involves pro-life candidates who were swept into the U.S. Senate this past Tuesday night.

3 - Billy Graham celebrates birthday, new video released

Last year, the My Hope America with Billy Graham effort mobilized churches and their members to invite people to come into homes and other locations to view a video presentation from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and to hear event hosts share about their salvation through Jesus Christ.

Last year, in observance of Dr. Graham's 95th birthday, a video featuring a new message from the renowned evangelist, The Cross, was made available.  This year, in honor of Dr. Graham's 96th birthday, the extended My Hope initiative released a new video featuring material from Billy Graham called, Heaven.

On its website,, the Association states:
As the release of a new video message from Billy Graham kicks off My Hope 2014, churches in all 50 states, Canada and the United Kingdom have plans to share the Gospel with friends and neighbors in English and Spanish.
Heaven, the latest short film from Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s My Hope outreach, features a never-before-seen message from Billy Graham, coupled with the true stories of a Nevada woman who lost her father to murder and a California firefighter who nearly lost his life battling a fire.
The piece includes snapshots of how local communities are incorporating the new material.   One of those is from Prattville, Alabama, where, "The community has rallied around a veteran firefighter who is fighting for his life after falling from a ladder earlier this month. Now a local pastor is inviting firefighters from surrounding counties to his church on Sunday, Nov. 9 to pray for the injured firefighter, honor first responders and watch the My Hope video Heaven. The video is largely focused on a firefighter who nearly lost his life when he fell through a roof into a raging inferno."

WSFA reported that last Wednesday night, firefighters from across the region gathered at the White City Volunteer Fire Department, whose chief, Lowell Strock, fell nearly 20 feet from a ladder while performing maintenance on a station heater.

In the hospital, his fellow firefighters stood watch at his bedside around the clock.

Prayers chains have been started at fire departments throughout Alabama. At a conference in Gulf Shores for the Fire Marshal's Association of Alabama, everyone stopped to pray for Strock, who is a 24-year veteran of the Prattville Fire Department.  A moment of silence also went over the scanners Wednesday night for him.

Churches are capitalizing on this new material to invite people to creative events where a video will be shown.  My Hope is an outreach that continues to galvenize believers across the nation and has been producing fruit around the world.

2 - Federal appeals court upholds traditional marriage laws

In an end to a string of court victories for proponents of so-called "same-sex marriage," a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld natural marriage laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.   Liberty Counsel filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case, and according to a report on its website, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote, “Of all the ways to resolve this question, one option is not available: a poll of the three judges of this panel, or for that matter all federal judges, about whether gay marriage is a good idea. Our judicial commissions did not come with such a sweeping grant of authority, one that would allow just three of us—just two of us in truth—to make such a vital policy call for the thirty-two million citizens who live within the four states of the Sixth Circuit.”

Sutton continued, “A dose of humility makes us hesitant to condemn as unconstitutionally irrational a view of marriage shared not long ago by every society in the world, shared by most, or not all, or our ancestors, and shared still today by a significant number of states.”

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reportedly upheld the law based on the case, Baker v. Nelson, stating that it was still good law.   Liberty Counsel reports that in the Baker decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a law defining marriage as one man and one woman did not violate the U.S. Constitution, and the United States Supreme Court ruled that there was no federal question, and Baker became precedent.

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, is quoted as saying, "Marriage is not merely a creation of any one civilization or its statutes, but is an institution older than the Constitution and, indeed, older than any laws of any nation. Marriage is a natural bond that society or religion can only ‘solemnize.'"  He also said, "With a divide in the appeals court rulings, the Supreme Court will likely take up the issue."

1 - Pro-life candidates are victorious in U.S. Senate races

A significant number of candidates who spoke on the pro-life issue were victorious across the nation in the mid-term elections last week.

As I reported on my blog, The Front Room, and on The Meeting House last ThursdayBaptist Press quoted Dr. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission as saying that the election illustrates that "the pro-life issue persists and can win," which he deemed the "most important aspect" of Election Day 2014.

In a written statement, Moore said: "Candidates who articulated explicitly their commitment to life won, and those who expected to use abortion as a 'wedge issue' to benefit the 'pro-choice' cause lost…"

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said the "overwhelming victory for pro-life candidates signals the fact that the bottom has fallen out of the abortion-centered 'war on women' strategy."

The National Right to Life News website reported on Wednesday that:
Through the work of the National Right to Life Political Action Committee and the National Right to Life Victory Fund, the right-to-life movement scored big gains in yesterday’s mid-term elections. National Right to Life’s political committees were actively involved in 74 races. As of this morning, 53 (72%) of the pro-life candidates in those races prevailed, including pro-life Senate candidates in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Two of the Senate races in which National Right to Life was actively involved are still outstanding. In Alaska, pro-life Dan Sullivan has what appears to be an insurmountable lead over pro-abortion Sen. Mark Begich, and in Louisiana, pro-life Rep. Bill Cassidy is considered the frontrunner in a December run-off election against pro-abortion incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu.
The NRLC piece touted 12 Senate races, including all 7 in which the pro-life, Republican candidate won a seat previously held by a Democrat.  NRLC, Susan B. Anthony List, and CitizenLink are just 3 of a number of pro-life, pro-family organizations who were actively involved with informing voters of the positions of candidates.   As Dr. Moore is quoted as saying: "We should pray now that the newly elected Congress and the president will be able to work together for just policies that protect and promote human dignity, family stability and religious liberty."

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