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January 29, 2021 5:00 am
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Many are feeling as they look across the land. See political, moral and spiritual division on John Fuller this is Focus on the Family and were so glad to have you with us today as we offer some hope and perspective on what's going on and how we can move ahead in this country your hostess books Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and Jim were in Washington DC today that we are independent really well John there so much angst in the country right now and fundamentally were here for the March for life that will be done virtually were also having meetings with senators and people in the House of Representatives. It's interesting to come to Washington to always get an insight peak about what's happening especially from our perspective is Christian. And so that's what we want to do today's inform you and talk to someone who is right at the top of their game. Sen. James Lankford from Oklahoma is within the leadership of the Senate and he's extremely knowledgeable of the things that are going on and I really just wanted to hear from him his feelings as a Christian and as a senator as to what's happening in the country right now. I know there are some who are going to feel like why do we want to talk about this. It's important for us as Christians to be knowledgeable and informed about what's happening in our country so there's no agenda other than to do just that.
To inform you and talk to Sen. Lankford as a believer about what's happening today in Sen. James Lankford has been in the U.S. Senate since 2014.
Before that, he served in the House of Representatives for four years and as Jim you noted, he was a youth pastor prior to that for about 20 years sooner Lankford great heavy with this.
Thank you for being here. It's really my pleasure be back with you. I want to start at the end of the big end of the funnel, your believer, your youth pastor for 20 years before getting into Congress when you look at the landscape right now more as a Christian, not a senator. What you see and how do you process what's going on right now in the country. It is difficult to process whether senator or pastor cinching the number of pastors that Dr. recently said their people in the church that are angry with her leaving the church because of not talking enough about politics of the talking too much about politics and current issues and issues on the front page of the newspaper bleeding into the church not because the church on relevant my church is relevant to speak to those things, but there some people really sentencing. That's all the church to talk about is talk about more and there's a bigger kingdom purpose that's out there and we seem to be losing track that someone is a country and so I guess just finding our way as followers of Christ to Bill so what what what is it we are called to do and to do that well and literally seek first the kingdom of God and all those other things we take care of you know I interact with the press, not to the extent that you do. But one of the common questions for me as a Christian in leadership will be in a why do you land with the Republican Party so often right but I'll say it's because that party.
Although I wish both parties in our country would embrace these things that their pro-life their plank is pro-life their profamily, these are the things we stand for Focus on the Family, so it's almost like they're trying to shame us into, you know, why would you support those Republicans and I think for the audience. I just want to get that out. I mean you're you're in the Senate and I so appreciate those pro-life positions that for you. I think Susan B. Anthony. They gave you the A+ award as being a pro-life Sen. what would you say the person it's egging that debate on in a why do Christians typically lean towards the Republican Party, and why is faith in politics yeah I would say II know believers that are Democrats all have folks all say you think all believers are rooms that the Sentry and so I get it.
Jesus was not Republican, Democrat, is the king of the world is as I got… That's not the issue on it, but this I do have very profound belief that in the value of every single person and I can't seem to shake some reference in the Democratic side that believes some children are valuable and some children are not. I just I can't get past that had to say. I really do believe every child is a gift from God, and I don't have the right to be able to declare that was valuable. That one is medical waste and to just set that aside. So that's not 100 1 pain so that's a big issue for me is dividing point.
I'll often hear people say things like, well, Democrats care more about the child after their born and Republicans care about them when you're blowing I was laughing I think that's a nice cliché.
It's not factually true. Actually, Lester's budget that pastor we were dealing with that cares axons and regular education and childcare in all his things, overwhelming the Republicans and Democrats supported those issues as were walking to the last year so it's a copout.
In some ways for some people to be able so we really care about them and the women it's not true and that we do have a sick different set that we don't believe that government should take care of everything and every child, there's a role for the family.
The family set more choice in education. The family said more opportunity to be able to do things with their children. They believe that should have a heavy hand of government.
Now that is a difference between us, but that your site a core belief in the value of the family and the importance of family and I diming those of us that are watching what you're doing in the Senate applied you being able to weave both your faith and the vocational politics together at Lemanski Sen. on the sixth, the day that the mall hosted the rally and then some of those people went to the capital and storm the capital you are actually speaking in the Senate was right at that moment and describe for us that day. What took place and how you felt about it here January 6 dark day for the country say the least. It was a day that we were concerned about some level of violence outside thinking okay if there is are protesters and counter protesters outside of race pretty fired up. I hope they made everyone behaves himself, but no setting he thought that someone actually smashed the doors and try to work their way and that didn't cross her mind. We protest the capital every day.
Literally I can walk on the Electoral vote and look outside and who's protesting today. What are they protesting is just so common to see protesters run the capital for different issues all the time so that day we really didn't think was any different in a lot of ways I was stepping up to speak in the Senate and there was, buzz that was going around the center looking at the phone and saying that the protesters right at the doors. The capital and I turn received answers of great solid believer exits right next round on the Senate floor and said I bet I don't make it through this speech and I stepped up to start speaking in about 2 1/2 minutes into the speech as I'm speaking. I watch the Secret Service rush in the side door, grab vice president pants and pull them out and then they moved Chuck Grassley to go sit in that spot. And as soon as he did a gavel down the sentence and were in recess right now and a staff member walked up the means of the protesters are in the building now and they start locking the doors all around the chamber. The security on the outside of the chamber moved to the inside to move the staff that work around the Senate into the Senate chamber lock the doors down and it was clear this is where they're going to take the standards right inside the shrimp that they were they were not his word about the building. At that point once a broken through in multiple places outside. There were most concerned about people and in that context. How do you process that what in Your Mind Was Taking Pl., May people are frustrated on all side ensure the election.
In other any questions. I thought what the Senate was engaging in along with the house was a good discussion about election security, you know, making sure that our elections are fair and equal in all those right things for what what's going on with the angst in the country. Why is there such a motion that seems uncontrollable. Now on all sides on all sides. We seen it through the summer, yet it is exactly the issue we we we have disagreements as Americans that's with the House and Senate are designed to do well designed until people sit down and shut up were designed to people say okay this is the place where we argue these things out and make sure everyone has a voice and that we actually all get a chance to be able talk out your idea so it is entirely appropriate for the house and the Senate to say there are millions of people have questions on both sides.
Best this is where we talk about it so there's nothing different about that.
There's nothing different about a protest around the capital, but there was absent some very different by people who intentionally plan to come in and smash their way through as we know now it wasn't just a spontaneous event of passion there people that planned brought the materials I walked the outside of the facility. Look for where the ring and go and waxy. While the president was speaking, those folks were already in the process of smashing down and working away to the police lines as it was in the crowd fired up from leaving the present time, the White House and coming down in a rage. It was Artie going on.
They plan to be able to do it but we sought the summer and moments where there would be a protest speaking about racial justice in the country. That's an entirely appropriate conversation for us to build out with a long history of racial injustice in the country. Why would we not want to continue that conversation to build work towards making sure every person made in the image of God is treated with honor and respect is one of the signature items of us as Americans. That's entirely appropriate to have those conversations but then to watch it bleed over into violence often late at night Windows be smashed and trying to occupy federal courthouses. That's not who we are as a country and I think some of the pandemic. Some of just the built up anger people just being mad at the world because everything in their status quo is changed, but ultimately for those of us Christians, we have responsibility to be able to say our hope is somewhere bigger than all of this and when the status quo changed. God does not. So, if he is our light in our salvation whom shall we fear is the stronghold of her life with whom shall we be afraid. So to be able to walk through that journey as a Christian is especially important right now. They see us be stable in the middle of all the chaos night a friend of mine who's the nonbeliever said to me, if you guys are concerned, I should be really concerned. And that's what you're saying. In some ways the Christian community. We need to keep her focus on the eternal thanks and I it does feel like were losing a bit of that perspective that the ground fighting has become so important that were missing the bigger picture and that's her frustration that I have constantly but were drawn into it because were concerned about the things that were losing the reverence for God, the, the nation's founding principles. I mean, the idea that conscience, religious liberty, these are core things that this nation was built on. So people are feeling like were losing the core values when we all talk about core values, those truly are core values so we lose the core values is country most critical aspects because one families not passing it on to the next generation to the next generation to the next generation.
They're expecting government or respecting somebody else to be able carry on those values. They don't. We know from a biblical perspective, you pass that on from one generation to the next. The mom and dad passed it down to their children and their grandchildren and so when we see the failure of that in some families to be able to passed on that value gets filled in with the vacuum of the culture. So being salt and light begins at home and also from the two things I would say on that one is make sure families are actually pastors that is due the first thing I will management other people's families, and what's happening other places in other states, which were taken care of our own. In the second thing is sure hope is based on something that is eternal hope is found in Christ and what he's doing. Therefore hope is in a government run the place her in a person or elected official or what my schools, Kennedy hopes in the wrong spot.
We we take care of our first responsibility to our family to our own personal walk with God and then engage in arcane our culture in a way that makes the greatest difference and I really appreciate that and I think it's difficult. I think the Christian community, particularly right now with the examples of the cancel culture sure I didn't even Focus on the Family Twitter shut us down for a few days on Nottinghamshire for backup that on an issue where we were just stating a fact. And they call it hate speech so there's this destabilization. I guess that were not even sure how to communicate any longer.
And it's easy just to be able to if if I don't give you silence. You find a way to bed I sleep make sure you don't have a platform to speak. People handle that well not know what no one likes being told just be quiets in the corner. You don't you don't matter anymore.
Every person matters to God and though not every opinion is right understand that one has an opinion, but not every been enshrined people do deserve to be heard and that used to be a core value that we had as Americans is everyone would be hurt. That's what our Congress is all about and that's what neighborhood conversations in school board meetings are all about.
Let them be hurt. Sen. is so many of our audience members aren't in politics. Let me just ask a question on their behalf. I'm Joe citizen I'm Susie homemaker whatever my role is, if I see my church being canceled out or shut down or pushed back on because of some faith issues do I do how do I handle that.
Yeah it's hard because right now especially the left. It's really shout you down and to be able to find ways that you don't get the opportunity to speak. It's contact people that are donating to some conservative cause or some church that made a statement that a lie can find people to donate to them and not go to their business and boycott them in all those things answers.
Couple things we can do obsolete engaging with your neighbors and friends in real conversation who it doesn't help us to say if I was canceled I want to cancel you back and I'm in a disengagement culture even more. That's what that group wants that they want to say I do want to think about you your nonperson to me. I'm canceling you. You don't existence. I want you to not speak and I want to see you. So when the best things we do is ask to go serve them and actually go engage in those conversations and relationships and say I don't think we've really met because I'm hearing some things that you think I think and I don't. Can we get time to get dinner together.
Can we get time available to talk instead of saying well I hate you back to say okay, actually love you when you hate me and let's find out if the Jesus method actually works because marmots can Junior. Talk about a dozen drive out hate only love can do that. Jesus said light comes into darkness and dispels the darkness so if there's darkness there insert some light and find out what happens and again people want to save one elect someone and I'll just fix all this that's not how it works in a culture it's each families. Each community it's each individual choosing to be able to reach out someone who disagrees and establishing that in the more isolated we are from each other. The angry number seven will be the more that Christians actually engage with people that don't agree philosophically wind up being salt and light, and that seems to be a biblical principle of adding light to dark places insults on his reply is so true, and I think I've even experience that than I think it reasserts the idea that were made in God's image, because as I've met with LGBT folks when they feel sincerity from you that you really do care about them. I'd say it's always gone that way where their heart has opened up to what I have to say about a lot. It's hard to persuade the human spirit or the human heart when you're wagging a finger in their face.
This is the way were wired. We will entrench ourselves and our position.
But when people feel care and concern from another person. I think it's God given that it cracks that person's heart open to listen. I think it's a spiritual formula. The general answer does turn away right and here's the Scripture, the court that Knights of Columbus on the pro-life front and Knights of Columbus raising heroes release their annual poll on pro-life issues. I just received these yesterday actually.
But more than I just want to read a couple of the stats from this more than three quarters of American 76% including majority identifies pro-choice want significant restrictions on abortion think that number, 77% 76% 77% of those polled either oppose or strongly oppose using tax dollars which of course the buying administration through executive order has just issued but 77% of Americans oppose using tax dollars for abortion. That's 55% Democrat. I mean there is a seemingly a strong position in this country not to use tax dollars not to fund international abortion get this government right now is headlong in that direction and you're sitting there is a Sen. in the minority. How do you shake the cobwebs from people are how do you try to help people make sense of this subsection, the floor, the Senate yesterday and spoke on this exact issue at a picture of a child in in the womb is a great three-dimensional sonogram picture this picture are remarkable. Now when my kids were little. It was like this fuzzy black smear on the page. It kinda figured out now you can see their nose in her eyes and her lips and it's remarkable. The technology looked at that picture behind me, so there's really only one question that we have to result there's there's only one out there is always options be present. There's only one question I resolve is that a child show the picture and say is this a as I can count 10 fingers and counting toes is a beating heart. There's a functioning nervous system, there's DNA.
That's different than the moms DNA. They're not the same DNA that that tissue is different than every other tissue in her body is that tissue director of the child and to see this face and say how can you say that's not a child. How can you say that so really I try to be able to bring back to the central issue. A lot of people talk about its woman's choice and if she wants to keep the child's upward. I was like, what will let's first begin with. The real question is that a baby because if that's a baby. What are we going to do about that as a culture, because 48 years ago, the Supreme Court determined you know not not just is abortion going to be legal but is he going to be required in every state.
People lose track of Roe V Wade plus Roe V Wade abortion was already legal in America just in most states didn't allow it. Some states that the Supreme Court stepped in and said nope every state has to allow this. And so it suddenly became mandatory nationwide and for the people that say will one of Roe was overturned. Well if Roe was overturned. All that will mean as the conversation go back to the states again and it states like to make this decision so it's really a cultural conversation and we need to have with people 48 years later we don't still accept is a culture with the Supreme Court said we don't believe the death of 62 million children since 1973 is the right direction for our country. We believe that every child is valuable and not just some. I think Justice Blackmun if I remember this correctly. In that decision even said as we progress as science perhaps can determine the beginning of life more accurately than we should probably come back and readdress this, but science is on our side of science is totally on one of things I said yesterday's please don't tell me that you follow science and you ignore the life of the child is good. There's nothing in the womb that doesn't show that's not a life. In fact, I jokingly tell people if if what we found in the womb we found on Mars. We would say there's life on Mars but no one seems to admit that's life in the womb.
That is a really good point right there you you mentioned the ultrasound machines and that's something we been engaged with the focus for years. 16 years were nearing 1/2 a million baby sale and that were grateful to the pregnancy resource centers that we are able to place these machines in partnership with them in something like 57, 58% of abortion minded women when they are able to see that ultrasound and see their baby. Those 10 fingers those 10 toes that you mentioned to change their heart because they have never seen that and they think it's just a blob of tissue but to your point is a unique human being being knitted in their mother's womb that God knew from the beginning of this universe. And that's the position we take, and I think that ripple effect. Sen. of defending life and fighting for life has such impact and what were saying today with the disregard for children and sex trafficking, and that life is not as precious as it once was, and I think it does begin with our attitude about abortion and children are seen as disposable and I can keep you I could throw your way.
I just had to decide that does change everything about the psyche of a child to think well. He chose to keep me but my not that valuable when one direction or the other. It it it is just something very important about recognizing the value of every person that sends a message every other person ruler create an image of God.
We have value and purpose. I so appreciate the time that we had, as the wrap up question, let me ask you this again being a youth pastor for 20 years now. Sen. of the great state of Oklahoma right next to Colorado and that we love.
We have so many good friends in Oklahoma that support the ministry we say to the Christian community about encouragement. There's a heavy heartedness in the country right now.
It's a big load with the transition of government that we just experience what's happening with cancer, culture, big tech media churches not being able to meet still has the pandemic were heavy hearted and I think were losing perspective, what would you say to us it's a couple things to them.
The first thing I would say is I really do believe God is bigger than all of this and that he is one that can be trusted in the process should ask the question God, what would it would you doing what what direction you taking us what you pushing us out. I look at things like acts chapter 7 where you see the stoning of Stephen, a clearly horrible event in the stoning of Stephen, yet it was the trigger that actually push the church out of Jerusalem to go around the world to be able to share the gospel with right so you got it you have to stop and ask questions when their difficult moments.
What would you pushing us to do, were you pushing us to go. What is it I'm not doing that I should be doing that you're trying to nudge me towards that I'm fighting against so that I think it's a reasonable question to ask and the second one is quite frankly you share read Psalm 27 in the middle of all the craziness I read the Psalms in the morning and other scriptures in the evening. Read Psalm 27 and as I have read that Psalm just reminding me again. The Lord is my light and my salvation whom shall I fear the Lord is the stronghold of my life from shall I be afraid when evil men advance against me to devour my flesh. Even I'm not going to fear. And so it there's just so many great truths in Scripture that you looking to okay God the been very difficult moments in history.
Before that we've seen and you can read through Old Testament or new and to see what God has done through history and through time and realize he's accomplishing a purpose in this difficult moment is a difficult moment he's teaching us with, if I asked people, their testimony and say what's God on your life when you be seen as evidence.
The most I bet 99/100 would talk about a hard time in their life and what God did through that and how he proved himself faithful but work when were in that hard time we never seem to remember that, but at this moment in a hard moment. I would just encourage the church and believers to say what God's going to do with us. On the other side that working on months from now turn around and praise him for that right now were griping about and select. Let's start raising them now for that and what is called in Scripture the sacrifice of praise that actually engagements okay God, to prepare myself and be faithful now so good, and the boy will be praying for you and your role as a senator, Sen. Langford, thank you for being with us and Focus on the Family thinks it's really an Ivy League. While we hope that this is been an encouraging conversation for you and that you seen some more hope that we have in Christ as we look across all the chaos of the day if we can be of any help to you.
Please get in touch with us here at Focus on the Family were a phone call away our numbers 800 the letter a in the word family, John. I do want to urge the viewers to be in prayer for our nation. Whether you're Republican or Democrat. It's important that we left the nation up before the Lord Scripture compels us to do that as well. As Sen. Langford has given us a lot to think about and again I would ask you to pray specifically for him and others who have a pro-life perspective have a pro-marriage perspective who are trying to do the things that help preserve this nation and to build on those things that most of us believe allowed this nation to be as strong as it is. We need our country to turn back toward God and that's can start with us being humble and getting on our knees and praying for that I love the Scripture in Romans 1221 that says do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good and that that's what we try to do each and every day, both in our character as well as our tone and to represent Christ in a way that I think he would be pleased with and remember Focus on the Family stands ready to help you and your family that your point of need.
It doesn't have to be that they Washington DC thing if you're struggling Collison we are there for you and I want to make sure we elected to that. Yeah, and we have said it before, but we do have so many different resources for you wherever you are is a family or in your walk with Christ and Jimmy mentioned praying for the senator and others pray for focus. As we continue to encourage families worldwide. Certainly one of the things that has poignancy right now. Jim here being in DC is the sanctity of life and death. Focus on the Family's dedication to preserving life at all stages. I'm excited about option ultrasound. We been doing this program for 16 years, were approaching half a million baby safe through that effort that's placing ultrasound in a pregnancy resource clinic along with all the other services that we can provide the training materials and what a wonderful group of people that are on the front lines doing the Lords work each and every day I encourage you to consider volunteering at their pregnancy resource Center get involved. However, you can at that local level. That's a wonderful way to express the love of Christ to these women who are in trouble. Also you can help by supporting Focus on the Family with option ultrasound. We've got those metrics down. Now the word $60 to save the baby's life and I'd love for you to consider giving to focus, to save that one child for $60 and I don't know how to say it but can we do that, let's do it together with your able to please be generous and make a $60 sustaining pledge of monthly gift to Focus on the Family to make that difference if you're not able to do that monthly gift, a one-time gift of $60 makes all the difference in the R number again 800 K and the word family or stop by the episode notes for more blood behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller hoping you have a great weekend and inviting you back on Monday as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. Good parents aren't perfect and that's okay but there are ways you can grow every day. Focus on the Family seven traits of effective parenting assessment gives parents an honest look at their unique strings plus some areas that could use a little help every mom and dad can help raise the next generation of healthy children and responsible children in this assessment will help get you started. Take the assessment of focusonthefamily.com/7 traits that's focusonthefamily.com/7 trade