Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Election Sermon

Yesterday was one of those moments that will be indelibly etched in my memory.  It is one of those times when you say, "I just witnessed history."  I spent all day Tuesday at our State Capital in Austin, Texas.  I was there as the coordinator of the Texas Apostolic Prayer Network to witness the opening of the 82nd Texas House of Representatives.  I was able to visit, pray and connect with key legislative leaders.  It is our greatest desire to serve them by under girding them with prayer.  The highlight of the day was the hearing of the Election Sermon.  For the first time in Texas history a sermon was delivered before members of the Texas Senate and House of Representatives.  The idea was based on the common practice of preaching messages to newly elected officials in the 17th-19th century.

The following was written by Texas Representative David Simpson and was printed on the bulletin:
At the beginning of each civil year in conjunction wit the general election, legislative and executive officers would commonly request ministers to deliver public sermons to newly elected political bodies.  The subject of these "election sermons" was the character and role of government.

Sermons were also preached when officers were elected to the local militia.  These were designated "artillery sermons."  They dealt with the the biblical basis for the defense of liberty and the manner and importance of being a godly soldier.

These facts demonstrate that the Colonial leaders, the founding fathers, and numerous statesmen in subsequent generations did not ban the influence of religion on civil government, as is commonly urged in our day.  On the contrary, they invited it, encouraged it, and deemed it essential for the stability and preservation of good government and society.
And I was there to witness it.  It was a great day for Texas as nearly 30 legislators attended as well as David Barton of Wallbuilders (1790 Election Sermon) and other pastors.  Lord - You are the foundation stone of our State!
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