Dear Friends in Christ,
Today, misguided political, social and religious leaders have taken it upon themselves to move our nation away from our spiritual heritage. They love what God hates and hate what God loves. It is difficult to watch these leaders ignore the will fo the American people and try to reshape the nation according to their godless philosophies. The recent federal court ruling that the National Day of Prayerj is unconstitutional may signal just how far from truth America has fallen. Our nation is becoming unrecognizable from the vision of freedom and the heritage of faith handed down by our forefathers. America once shaped her values according to the principles of Scripture, but now progressive leaders demand we all live according to the principles of Scripture, but now progressive leaders demand we all live according to their ungodly beliefs and accept their humanistic views of morality. Consequently, the future of our nation hangs in the balance.
The true proclamation of the Gospel in our nation's churches has become extremely scare. The typical sermon seldom mentions SIN or presents the clear message of SALVATION in Jesus Christ alone. Rare is the sermon that focuees on the evils that are destroying our nation. Rarer stilla re sermons calling on Christians to stand against them. Instead, the average churchgoer today is plied with self-indulgent drivel by preachers who are determined to avoid anything deemed controversial [I was in a church once where a list of issues was handed down, I think from the denomination head, that the pastor was not to speak about or bring up in his church! That way they never got to hear about God's view of abortion, for one issue. That doesn't compare to the Biblical standard, where truth is paramount, and sin is dealt with and addressed, and repentance is called for! Consequently, the people there kept voting for abortion candidates because they promised bread and butter. They didn't move foreward spiritually either, despite all the prayer we did, and the fact is, few from that congregation joined in at the prayer meetings that were regularly held, so that attendance was largely a show-off time, people playing a game and thinking God was fooled. --Ed.].
So much of the church has taken on the characteristics of this depraved world, it is increasingly difficult to distinguish the differences. The blame for America's present spiritual and moral deterioration must be placed at the doors of Bible-denying clergy and churches for their failure to proclaim TRUTH.
If you are part of a Bible believing congregation where the Word of God is honored, rejoice and praise God! If you pastor believes the Bible is true from cover to cover and faithfully proclaimes the whole counsel of God, support your congregation and uphold your pastor in prayer. If you are not part of such a congregation, find one now!
Indeed, we have many reasons to rejoice! God is still on the throne! Psalm 2 reminds us--"Though the kings of the earth and rulers take counsel against the Lord and His Anointed...He who sits in the heavens laughs, the Lord scoffs at them." Nither men nor nations will be allowed to shake their fists in God's face with impunity. The Lord will b e exalted among the nations.
Jesus Christ is the only Hope for our nation and the lost world. The Holy Spirit is calling out His remnant Church from the sin, shame, and apostasy that permeates so much of today's church and politically correct religion. We, the people of God, must take our stand and be counted for the Lord while there is yet time. We can make a difference as we press on with the work of speaking truth to our culture, knowing God will have the last word in the affairs of men and nations.
Abiding Word Ministries is beginning 27 years of ministry on the frontlines. We praise God for His faithfulness and for each of you, because you have chosen to pray and stand with us in the great battle for truth. Be assured your prayers and efforts are not in vain. Never before has Abiding Word Ministries been used by the Lord to reach so many or to accomplish so much. We are aiding pastors and laity all over the country as their congregations prepare to vote to leave the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
Information in coming issues of THE VINE AND BRANCHES will be increasingly important to you. Our newsletter is now reaching over 7,000 homes and individuals. The June issue will include a growing list of churches that have voted to withdraw from the ELCA since August 2009, when the Churchwide assembly cast aside 2000 years of biblical teaching and voted to place practicing homosexuals on their clergy roster.
You will be amazed as you read about three congregations whose deliberate actions resulted in their being kicked out of the ELCA (which is but another way to break free). You will read about a congregation in Florida being forced to remain in the ELCA, even though it lawfully, legally and unanimously voted to leave. You will read about new congregations recently started by those who congregations voted to remain in ELCA [members of a homosexual clergy-supporting church left and formed their own congregation--Ed]. One new congregation, New Life Lutheran Church, Sterling, ILlinois, had mover 300 persons in attendance on Easter Sunday.
We recently returned from Israel where God showered our tour group with one blessing after another. The Lord has allowed us to visit Israel 28 times over the past 40 yerars. In the next issue of THE VINE AND BRANCHES, we will include insights and highlights from this year's tour, as well as announcement regarding our October 2011 tour to Israel. We hope many of you will join us. It will touch your heart and offer a whole new perspective of Christ's soon return. Israel is front and center on the stage of world events. The coming issue of our newsletter reveals why so many Israelis believe Barack Hussein Obama is turning his back on Israel and may soon force a peace plan on the Jewish State. Never has it been more important for America to stand with Israel.
Abiding Word ministries has recently obtained a supply of lapel pins with the flags of the USA and Israel. Request the pin, and it will be sent at no cost. Wear this pin to affirm your support of America's friendship with Israel. PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM.
As the workload of Abiding Word Ministries increases, so do our operating costs. We ask you to participate in our annual Summer offering to help sustain this ministry's vital mission of awakening a sleeping church and calling God's people to stand for the truth of God's Word in these turbulent times. Abiding Word Minist ries exists only by the grace of God and those who stand with us. During the summer months when offerings tend to be down, your tax-deductible gift will enable us to press on with this unique and special ministry.
To those who faithfully pray and financially support this ministry, please accept this letter as an affirmation of our appreciation for your partnership in allo this ministry undertakes. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
It is essential that we keep expanding our readership. If you know of others who would be blessed by receiving THE VINE AND BRANCHES, send us their names and addresses, but please do not send names of those who are or may be hostile to the Bible-based message we proclaim.
God bless each of you, and God bless America!
In the Savior,
David and Mary Barnhart