Founders Ministries

Inauguration Prayer for Governor Ron DeSantis

Our Father in heaven, we bow to you today on this momentous occasion because You alone are God. You are the Creator and Sustainer of all things visible and invisible. You are Sovereign and through your Son, Jesus Christ, You rule and overrule in all the affairs of life. 

We thank You for your great love for people whom You have made in Your own image. And we confess that we have not lived as we ought and have sinned against You. But we also confess that with You there is mercy, that you may be feared. Thank you for delivering up Your Son to be the Savior of the world. 

We also thank you for the provisions that You have made for us to pursue liberty, joy, and justice in Your world, and for instituting government and all governing authorities for our well-being. In Your wisdom, goodness, and power, you have once again established Governor DeSantis to serve the people of Florida by carrying out his responsibilities in ways that will be good for us. We thank You for all the wonderful things that have been accomplished in his first term, including his leadership and resolve to keep Florida free through the recent pandemic and societal upheaval that plagued so much of our nation; and his compassionate, energetic and effective recovery work in the wake of Hurricane Ian. 

Today, as he takes his oath of office to fulfill his duties by Your help, we know that he will need grace from You to meet the challenges that will be thrust upon him as the civil leader of Florida. Grant Governor DeSantis wisdom beyond his years, strength beyond his abilities, and courage to help him to stand firm in every righteous conviction. Enable him to serve with joy, zeal, and in the fear of God. 

Father, grant our governor good counsel and the humility to heed it when it will help him to serve the citizens of this state well. Enable him to utilize his office to lead this state in ways that will benefit all Floridians. 

Lord, we also ask You to have mercy on our governor’s precious family. We pray for his wife Casey and children Madison, Mason, and Mamie. With all the demands that go with his office grant him the strength and discipline to love and care for them. Watch over and bless this family as he gives himself to serve this state.

So, holy Father, hear our prayers for Governor DeSantis. Receive our praise and answer our requests, because we bring them to you in the Name of Your Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.

Biblical Sexuality Sunday 2023

Biblical Sexuality Sunday 2023
A call to faithfully preach God’s good design for marriage and sexuality 

 A Brave, New, 1984 World
On December 8th, 2021, the Canadian Government gave Royal Assent to Bill C-4, “And Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy).” One months later, on January 8th, 2022, the Bill became law in Canada. The Bill defines “conversion therapy” as: a practice, treatment or service designed to

(a) change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual;
(b) change a person’s gender identity to cisgender;
(c) change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth;
(d) repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour;
(e) repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; or
(f) repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.

The Preamble of the bill states that the belief that, “heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions” is based on “myths and stereotypes.” This means that the historic, Biblical belief that God has created humans as male and female, existing in a sexual binary, and that the only good and right sexual expression is to be heterosexual and monogamous marriage, is now categorized as myth and stereotype in Canadian law.
What are the legal consequences of breaking this law? “Everyone who knowingly causes another person to undergo conversion therapy — including by providing conversion therapy to that other person — is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years… Everyone who knowingly promotes or advertises conversion therapy is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years.”
The Church’s Response
Several pastors in Canada, working together with Liberty Coalition Canada, determined that the best way to respond to this godless and harmful legislation was through the ministry of preaching and teaching. On the following Sunday after Bill C-4 became law, January 16th, pastors across Canada preached on God’s good design for marriage and sexuality, and were in essence breaking the law. These faithful men had settled in their hearts that after over one year of COVID tyranny, it was time to break Canadian law publicly and intentionally, and tell Caesar that Christ alone is Lord over the church, and that He alone defines marriage, sexuality, and creational norms.
We were joined by many pastors in the United States as well, in unity and solidarity with their Canadian brothers in Christ. This included Pastor Tom Ascol, Pastor Josh Boice, Pastor Tom Buck, Pastor John MacArthur, Pastor James White, Pastor Doug Wilson, and many others. The reality is that the “beastly” State in Canada more-than-rearing its ugly head in the United States and other parts of the world.
Part of our commitment included preaching on Biblical sexuality every year on the anniversary of Bill C-4 becoming law, partly in open protest of an evil law, and partly in the hopes that God mercifully leads men to repeal this harmful legislation. Our desire is to see pastors commit to joining this initiative each year on the anniversary of the passing of Bill C-4, making it a part of their annual preaching schedule.
A Call to Action
That brings us to January 15th, 2023, which is the date for our next Biblical Sexuality Sunday. The theme of this year is centered around Matthew 19:4, that God has created humans as male and female from the very beginning. Pastors in Canada are already committed to joining this and every year, and we are ready to proclaim the authority of Christ and His Word, and the power of God to transform lives. By God’s grace, there are men in Germany, England, and France who will be joining the campaign this year.
One might ask, “Why should I join in this initiative? What is the point?” I want to share a brief story with you. A pastor in British Columbia (West-coast Canada) preached on Biblical sexuality on January 16th 2022. In his church, unbeknownst to him, was a young girl who had been undergoing hormone treatments and various surgeries in an effort to live as a man, which she believed herself to be. Upon hearing the sermon, she was convicted and broken, wept with her parents, repented of her lifestyle, and turned to obedience in Christ. The Lord restored her and her family, and we marvel at the grace of God. You can see an interview we did with the pastor and the family here. We believe God can and will do similar works this year.
If you are a pastor/elder in your church, please consider joining us this year on January 15th, 2023 for Biblical Sexuality Sunday. If you attend a church and would like to encourage your pastor to join, I would encourage you to do so. In any event, please consider sharing this initiative with as may people as you can, including sharing the interview with the BC pastor and the family from his church. You can find more about the initiative at libertycoalitioncanada.com/biblical-sexuality-sunday. If you have any questions, please email me at adebartolo@libertycoalitioncanada.com. By God’s grace, we hope to see more lives transformed by the Word of God, we hope to see more faithful brothers preach the truth of God’s design for marriage and sexuality, and we hope to see our nation repent of this great evil and repeal this godless law.

Biblical Sexuality Sunday 2023

Biblical Sexuality Sunday 2023
A call to faithfully preach God’s good design for marriage and sexuality 

 A Brave, New, 1984 World
On December 8th, 2021, the Canadian Government gave Royal Assent to Bill C-4, “And Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy).” One months later, on January 8th, 2022, the Bill became law in Canada. The Bill defines “conversion therapy” as: a practice, treatment or service designed to

(a) change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual;
(b) change a person’s gender identity to cisgender;
(c) change a person’s gender expression so that it conforms to the sex assigned to the person at birth;
(d) repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour;
(e) repress a person’s non-cisgender gender identity; or
(f) repress or reduce a person’s gender expression that does not conform to the sex assigned to the person at birth.

The Preamble of the bill states that the belief that, “heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions” is based on “myths and stereotypes.” This means that the historic, Biblical belief that God has created humans as male and female, existing in a sexual binary, and that the only good and right sexual expression is to be heterosexual and monogamous marriage, is now categorized as myth and stereotype in Canadian law.
What are the legal consequences of breaking this law? “Everyone who knowingly causes another person to undergo conversion therapy — including by providing conversion therapy to that other person — is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years… Everyone who knowingly promotes or advertises conversion therapy is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years.”
The Church’s Response
Several pastors in Canada, working together with Liberty Coalition Canada, determined that the best way to respond to this godless and harmful legislation was through the ministry of preaching and teaching. On the following Sunday after Bill C-4 became law, January 16th, pastors across Canada preached on God’s good design for marriage and sexuality, and were in essence breaking the law. These faithful men had settled in their hearts that after over one year of COVID tyranny, it was time to break Canadian law publicly and intentionally, and tell Caesar that Christ alone is Lord over the church, and that He alone defines marriage, sexuality, and creational norms.
We were joined by many pastors in the United States as well, in unity and solidarity with their Canadian brothers in Christ. This included Pastor Tom Ascol, Pastor Josh Boice, Pastor Tom Buck, Pastor John MacArthur, Pastor James White, Pastor Doug Wilson, and many others. The reality is that the “beastly” State in Canada more-than-rearing its ugly head in the United States and other parts of the world.
Part of our commitment included preaching on Biblical sexuality every year on the anniversary of Bill C-4 becoming law, partly in open protest of an evil law, and partly in the hopes that God mercifully leads men to repeal this harmful legislation. Our desire is to see pastors commit to joining this initiative each year on the anniversary of the passing of Bill C-4, making it a part of their annual preaching schedule.
A Call to Action
That brings us to January 15th, 2023, which is the date for our next Biblical Sexuality Sunday. The theme of this year is centered around Matthew 19:4, that God has created humans as male and female from the very beginning. Pastors in Canada are already committed to joining this and every year, and we are ready to proclaim the authority of Christ and His Word, and the power of God to transform lives. By God’s grace, there are men in Germany, England, and France who will be joining the campaign this year.
One might ask, “Why should I join in this initiative? What is the point?” I want to share a brief story with you. A pastor in British Columbia (West-coast Canada) preached on Biblical sexuality on January 16th 2022. In his church, unbeknownst to him, was a young girl who had been undergoing hormone treatments and various surgeries in an effort to live as a man, which she believed herself to be. Upon hearing the sermon, she was convicted and broken, wept with her parents, repented of her lifestyle, and turned to obedience in Christ. The Lord restored her and her family, and we marvel at the grace of God. You can see an interview we did with the pastor and the family here. We believe God can and will do similar works this year.
If you are a pastor/elder in your church, please consider joining us this year on January 15th, 2023 for Biblical Sexuality Sunday. If you attend a church and would like to encourage your pastor to join, I would encourage you to do so. In any event, please consider sharing this initiative with as may people as you can, including sharing the interview with the BC pastor and the family from his church. You can find more about the initiative at libertycoalitioncanada.com/biblical-sexuality-sunday. If you have any questions, please email me at adebartolo@libertycoalitioncanada.com. By God’s grace, we hope to see more lives transformed by the Word of God, we hope to see more faithful brothers preach the truth of God’s design for marriage and sexuality, and we hope to see our nation repent of this great evil and repeal this godless law.

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Maintaining Our Distinctiveness

The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. Though God regenerates us individually, the path of growth and maturity He has designed requires following Christ together with other believers in a church. Christian growth and maturity happen in the context of committed relationships that arise in local congregations. That is, it takes a church to raise a Christian.
No believer, no matter how experienced or well taught, can navigate the challenges of the Christian life on his own. The road is too long, the opposition too great, and our weaknesses too pernicious for any single believer to stay on the path of faithfulness without the Spirit-empowered assistance of brothers and sisters who are traveling to the Celestial City with us.Jesus tells His followers that we are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matt. 5:13–16). Those metaphors illustrate ways that Christians are to relate to the unbelieving world. Both salt and light make an impact on their environments, retarding putrefaction and dispelling darkness, respectively. The Apostle Paul emphasizes this aspect of Christians’ calling when he describes believers as living in a “crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).
At the heart of this responsibility is our duty to live as faithful children of God who accurately commend His saving grace in Christ and reflect His character to the world. “As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Peter 1:15–16). This is every individual Christian’s calling, and it is the calling of every church.
In fact, all the Scriptures cited above are in the plural. The call to holiness belongs not only to individual believers but also to local congregations. When a church fails to fulfill this calling, it undermines the very good news of salvation that it proclaims and dishonors the name of Jesus Christ.
The church in Corinth learned this the hard way when it allowed scandalous sin to go uncorrected in its membership. Its spiritual apathy about the Lord’s reputation brought an Apostolic rebuke:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. (1 Cor. 5:1–2)
The Corinthian believers undoubtedly thought they were being loving and nonjudgmental in the presence of this scandalous sin among their members. They were proud of their tolerance when they should have been grieved over the outbreak of such sin among them. In the rest of the chapter, Paul corrects their faulty thinking about sin, tolerance, and holiness.
When a church tolerates unrepentant sin within its membership, it demonstrates a lack of love for the one who is sinning, for the unconverted, and for God.
A church is the context in which individual Christians are taught, strengthened, and encouraged to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Brothers and sisters who know and love us help us overcome the inevitable idiosyncrasies that attend every believer, as well as resist the regular temptations that plague us all. They help us live in faith and repentance.
When a church tolerates unrepentant sin within its membership, it demonstrates a lack of love for the one who is sinning, for the unconverted, and for God.
When this kind of mutual care and encouragement is commonplace in a church, the power of the gospel is put on display to unbelievers. The truth of our message is given credibility by the character of our lives, thus providing a powerful apologetic for the gospel.
Finally, and most importantly, when church members love each other enough to hold one another accountable to live holy lives, they demonstrate that they love God and His glory more than they love their own ease, their reputations, or other people. Such supreme love to God will compel a church to obey the Apostolic command to deliver unrepentant members to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5).
By loving God supremely and loving people sincerely, a church will maintain its distinctiveness from the world. Then it will be properly positioned to carry out the mission that the Lord has given to us. As a holy people, we can humbly call sinners to join us in being reconciled to the holy God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Only by being separate from the world can a church live effectively in the world, for the world.

This article originally appeared in the July 2022 issue of TableTalk Magazine.

Follow Tom Ascol:

Maintaining Our Distinctiveness

The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. Though God regenerates us individually, the path of growth and maturity He has designed requires following Christ together with other believers in a church. Christian growth and maturity happen in the context of committed relationships that arise in local congregations. That is, it takes a church to raise a Christian.
No believer, no matter how experienced or well taught, can navigate the challenges of the Christian life on his own. The road is too long, the opposition too great, and our weaknesses too pernicious for any single believer to stay on the path of faithfulness without the Spirit-empowered assistance of brothers and sisters who are traveling to the Celestial City with us.Jesus tells His followers that we are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world” (Matt. 5:13–16). Those metaphors illustrate ways that Christians are to relate to the unbelieving world. Both salt and light make an impact on their environments, retarding putrefaction and dispelling darkness, respectively. The Apostle Paul emphasizes this aspect of Christians’ calling when he describes believers as living in a “crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).
At the heart of this responsibility is our duty to live as faithful children of God who accurately commend His saving grace in Christ and reflect His character to the world. “As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Peter 1:15–16). This is every individual Christian’s calling, and it is the calling of every church.
In fact, all the Scriptures cited above are in the plural. The call to holiness belongs not only to individual believers but also to local congregations. When a church fails to fulfill this calling, it undermines the very good news of salvation that it proclaims and dishonors the name of Jesus Christ.
The church in Corinth learned this the hard way when it allowed scandalous sin to go uncorrected in its membership. Its spiritual apathy about the Lord’s reputation brought an Apostolic rebuke:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. (1 Cor. 5:1–2)
The Corinthian believers undoubtedly thought they were being loving and nonjudgmental in the presence of this scandalous sin among their members. They were proud of their tolerance when they should have been grieved over the outbreak of such sin among them. In the rest of the chapter, Paul corrects their faulty thinking about sin, tolerance, and holiness.
When a church tolerates unrepentant sin within its membership, it demonstrates a lack of love for the one who is sinning, for the unconverted, and for God.
A church is the context in which individual Christians are taught, strengthened, and encouraged to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Brothers and sisters who know and love us help us overcome the inevitable idiosyncrasies that attend every believer, as well as resist the regular temptations that plague us all. They help us live in faith and repentance.
When a church tolerates unrepentant sin within its membership, it demonstrates a lack of love for the one who is sinning, for the unconverted, and for God.
When this kind of mutual care and encouragement is commonplace in a church, the power of the gospel is put on display to unbelievers. The truth of our message is given credibility by the character of our lives, thus providing a powerful apologetic for the gospel.
Finally, and most importantly, when church members love each other enough to hold one another accountable to live holy lives, they demonstrate that they love God and His glory more than they love their own ease, their reputations, or other people. Such supreme love to God will compel a church to obey the Apostolic command to deliver unrepentant members to Satan (1 Cor. 5:5).
By loving God supremely and loving people sincerely, a church will maintain its distinctiveness from the world. Then it will be properly positioned to carry out the mission that the Lord has given to us. As a holy people, we can humbly call sinners to join us in being reconciled to the holy God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Only by being separate from the world can a church live effectively in the world, for the world.

This article originally appeared in the July 2022 issue of TableTalk Magazine.

Follow Tom Ascol:

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A Requiem for My Nation

Here is a question on which I have been musing for the last 2 years:
If the present generation of Americans were given the opportunity to form a new nation, could they create one equal to or greater than the United States of America?
The answer is an undeniable “no.” The only people who would dare to argue otherwise are those who believe that the USA is a nation that should be torn down or, as President Obama put it, “fundamentally transform[ed].” The problem is that most of the key leaders in this country fit into that category. I’m talking about leaders in the political, educational, cultural, and religious realms.
Establishment politicians have demonstrated their wickedness time after time by their inaction in the face of various moral insurrections led by domestic enemies who want to pursue President Obama’s vision to its logical conclusion of destroying the very foundations on which America is built. Witness the Black Lives Matter riots, covid vaccine mandates, legalization of so-called homosexual “marriage,” and forcing girls not only to share but to celebrate sharing toilets and locker rooms with males. Beyond inaction, too often and with increasing frequency legislative bodies actively aid and abet these domestic enemies by pushing bills and legislation that promote their insurrections. Witness the most recent example of the US Senate’s vote to pass the misnamed “Respect for Marriage Act” by a 62-37 vote. This latest maneuver is especially illustrative of political wickedness because it gives “statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.”
Do you see how they operate? By tying the abomination of homosexual “marriage” to the legitimacy of interracial marriage, the Senators could threaten anyone who voted against it with the career-ending stain of “racism.” By misnaming it the “Respect for Marriage Act,” they simply lied about its attack on genuine marriage so that unthinking & unsuspecting people would think favorably of it and reason that, of course, we should be for respecting marriage! It reminds me of Hitler’s euphemistic “Final Solution.” After all, who doesn’t want problems finally resolved?
Such tactics illustrate Jesus’ words in Luke 16:8, “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” That’s true not only for our politicians but also for the creators and producers of our entertainment industries and other influential shapers of our culture. From executive producer for Disney Television Animation, Latoya Raveneau’s giddy celebration of her success in pushing Disney to promote her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” to Harvard graduates’ open (and, sad to say twenty-five years hence, highly successful) bold strategy to “overhaul straight America,” they have let slip their dogs of war to great effect on the Christian ramparts of this once-great nation.
The educational institutions of this nation, for the most part, serve as fifth columnists for the moral terrorists seeking to destroy the United States. By that I mean that US citizens are financing most of these institutions through forced taxation to further the agendas of those who are working to eliminate every vestige of righteousness from our borders. Parental protests of school boards across the nation over the last few years have exposed corrupt curricula and activist teachers that seek to push the racism of Critical Race Theory and the perversion of LGBTQ+ ideologies. Some even promote (serendipitously at great financial gain) child abuse through “gender-affirming” mutilation.
On April 26, 1983 the National Commission on Excellence in Education filed a report to the US Department of Education on the quality of education in America. The name of the report signals its findings, “A Nation at Risk.” While the commission focused almost exclusively on academic metrics, what they found led to this chilling assessment:

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves….We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.

One can only imagine how those 1983 sensitivities would evaluate the devolution of the American educational complex of 2022. Former failing pedagogy has been supplanted by LGBTQ+ promoting curricula. Listen to some of the teachers who teach that curricula by spending a little time on this site. And then consider that American taxpayers are required to continue financing the insurrection.
One of the greatest disappointments of the last several years has been the failure of so many Christian leaders.
And what have the “sons of light” been doing during this fundamental transformation? For the most part, they have been following feckless leaders who, if not fully complicit in the moral rot and godless degradation of this land have nevertheless facilitated it by their incompetence or cowardice (and in some cases, both). If they were not exhorting us to practice “pronoun hospitality” by participating in the self-deception of those suffering from gender dysphoria they were reassuring us that “God only whispers about sexual immorality.” As it was in the prophet Jeremiah’s day, so it is in our own:

“From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:13b–14).

One of the greatest disappointments of the last several years has been the failure of so many Christian leaders. In too many cases they have lacked courage and conviction. Simple, God-fearing believers have been repeatedly lectured by our betters to toe the cultural, political, and educational party line during their attack on the moral order over the last few years. We saw erstwhile trusted leaders shut down their churches at the command of civil magistrates while marching in support of Black Lives Matter protests as if the virus magically withdrew from all public virtue signaling. We were told there is no Christian basis for abstaining from the covid vaccine. Indeed, we were shamed by accusations that refusal of the vaccine is a violation of the second great commandment.
As we watched businesses destroyed, livelihoods forever altered, children’s education retarded, and parents and other loved ones suffer and die alone in hospitals, sycophantic Christian leaders continued to scold us with reminders that pastors are not medical doctors and that we must always trust the science™ regardless of how often or flagrantly those championing that “science” refused to abide by it themselves. Failure to do so, we were assured by such leaders, is to buy into wild conspiracy theories. To add insult to injury, as facts have continued to come to light that expose the failures of our leaders, they continue to refuse to admit their failures. This is both strange and revealing for those exalted to lead practitioners of a religion of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. True grace sets Christians free to live in faith and repentance. As Martin Luther put it in the very first of his 95 theses,

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Matthew 4:17) he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

Is a person who refuses to acknowledge his mistakes even practicing the same religion as Luther?
My love of a nation full of neighbors will not let me feign ignorance or remain quiet in the face of such demonic assaults on them. I want them to know the true God through faith in Jesus Christ.
I write as a Christian and a pastor. But I also write as a patriot. To some, that evokes charges of Christian Nationalism. Honestly? I don’t care. The longer I have lived as a Christian, the more clearly I have come to see that the second great commandment requires at least a modicum of patriotism. How can I love my neighbor as myself if I do not want my neighbor to enjoy the blessings and freedoms that I desire? And if I see those blessings and freedoms being destroyed by frontal assaults as well as by espionage and betrayal, is it loving to do nothing and stay silent?
If I know that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), then how can I be ambivalent about the legalized slaughter of unborn babies or have my convictions so disconnected from my voting that I approve of a Christian voting for a Democrat candidate (whose party platform guarantees the protection of abortion on demand)? What kind of hatred must govern my affections for the person who is himself caught up in sexual perversion as well as for the children whom he grooms to declare that Drag Queen Story Hour in public libraries is “one of the blessings of liberty?”
My love of a nation full of neighbors will not let me feign ignorance or remain quiet in the face of such demonic assaults on them. I want them to know the true God through faith in Jesus Christ. I want them—and myself—to “live a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2b). That is why I will pray for “kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:2a) as the Apostle Paul instructs all Christians to do. And such prayer leads me to action. Because it is insincere to pray for that for which I am not willing to use God-given means to acquire, I will also vote for those civil magistrates who will stand against wickedness and serve the cause of righteousness. And I will encourage all my Christian brothers and sisters to do likewise.
If that’s Christian nationalism, so be it. As Craig Carter so astutely noted recently, “if so, then maybe we could use a little old-fashioned Christian Nationalism.” Because one thing is certain. Our forefathers who founded this nation stood on the foundation of Christian thinking and Christian living that made possible the kind of democratic republic we have enjoyed. Those foundations have been intentionally destroyed by purveyors of wickedness. And the people of God have stood idly by as it happened.
The church of Jesus Christ has been commissioned by our Head to make disciples of all nations. The way that we do that is by teaching and preaching the Word of Christ—all of it, including both law and gospel. It is time that God’s people humble ourselves in the face of the undeniable reality that we have not fulfilled this commission very well in the last few generations of these United States.
May God grant us the grace to repent, to seek His favor and the power of His Spirit, and to give ourselves wholeheartedly to proclaim the lordship of our Christ throughout this nation once again.

Follow Tom Ascol:

A Requiem for My Nation

Here is a question on which I have been musing for the last 2 years:
If the present generation of Americans were given the opportunity to form a new nation, could they create one equal to or greater than the United States of America?
The answer is an undeniable “no.” The only people who would dare to argue otherwise are those who believe that the USA is a nation that should be torn down or, as President Obama put it, “fundamentally transform[ed].” The problem is that most of the key leaders in this country fit into that category. I’m talking about leaders in the political, educational, cultural, and religious realms.
Establishment politicians have demonstrated their wickedness time after time by their inaction in the face of various moral insurrections led by domestic enemies who want to pursue President Obama’s vision to its logical conclusion of destroying the very foundations on which America is built. Witness the Black Lives Matter riots, covid vaccine mandates, legalization of so-called homosexual “marriage,” and forcing girls not only to share but to celebrate sharing toilets and locker rooms with males. Beyond inaction, too often and with increasing frequency legislative bodies actively aid and abet these domestic enemies by pushing bills and legislation that promote their insurrections. Witness the most recent example of the US Senate’s vote to pass the misnamed “Respect for Marriage Act” by a 62-37 vote. This latest maneuver is especially illustrative of political wickedness because it gives “statutory authority for same-sex and interracial marriages.”
Do you see how they operate? By tying the abomination of homosexual “marriage” to the legitimacy of interracial marriage, the Senators could threaten anyone who voted against it with the career-ending stain of “racism.” By misnaming it the “Respect for Marriage Act,” they simply lied about its attack on genuine marriage so that unthinking & unsuspecting people would think favorably of it and reason that, of course, we should be for respecting marriage! It reminds me of Hitler’s euphemistic “Final Solution.” After all, who doesn’t want problems finally resolved?
Such tactics illustrate Jesus’ words in Luke 16:8, “For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.” That’s true not only for our politicians but also for the creators and producers of our entertainment industries and other influential shapers of our culture. From executive producer for Disney Television Animation, Latoya Raveneau’s giddy celebration of her success in pushing Disney to promote her “not-at-all-secret gay agenda,” to Harvard graduates’ open (and, sad to say twenty-five years hence, highly successful) bold strategy to “overhaul straight America,” they have let slip their dogs of war to great effect on the Christian ramparts of this once-great nation.
The educational institutions of this nation, for the most part, serve as fifth columnists for the moral terrorists seeking to destroy the United States. By that I mean that US citizens are financing most of these institutions through forced taxation to further the agendas of those who are working to eliminate every vestige of righteousness from our borders. Parental protests of school boards across the nation over the last few years have exposed corrupt curricula and activist teachers that seek to push the racism of Critical Race Theory and the perversion of LGBTQ+ ideologies. Some even promote (serendipitously at great financial gain) child abuse through “gender-affirming” mutilation.
On April 26, 1983 the National Commission on Excellence in Education filed a report to the US Department of Education on the quality of education in America. The name of the report signals its findings, “A Nation at Risk.” While the commission focused almost exclusively on academic metrics, what they found led to this chilling assessment:

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves….We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.

One can only imagine how those 1983 sensitivities would evaluate the devolution of the American educational complex of 2022. Former failing pedagogy has been supplanted by LGBTQ+ promoting curricula. Listen to some of the teachers who teach that curricula by spending a little time on this site. And then consider that American taxpayers are required to continue financing the insurrection.
One of the greatest disappointments of the last several years has been the failure of so many Christian leaders.
And what have the “sons of light” been doing during this fundamental transformation? For the most part, they have been following feckless leaders who, if not fully complicit in the moral rot and godless degradation of this land have nevertheless facilitated it by their incompetence or cowardice (and in some cases, both). If they were not exhorting us to practice “pronoun hospitality” by participating in the self-deception of those suffering from gender dysphoria they were reassuring us that “God only whispers about sexual immorality.” As it was in the prophet Jeremiah’s day, so it is in our own:

“From prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely. They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace (Jeremiah 6:13b–14).

One of the greatest disappointments of the last several years has been the failure of so many Christian leaders. In too many cases they have lacked courage and conviction. Simple, God-fearing believers have been repeatedly lectured by our betters to toe the cultural, political, and educational party line during their attack on the moral order over the last few years. We saw erstwhile trusted leaders shut down their churches at the command of civil magistrates while marching in support of Black Lives Matter protests as if the virus magically withdrew from all public virtue signaling. We were told there is no Christian basis for abstaining from the covid vaccine. Indeed, we were shamed by accusations that refusal of the vaccine is a violation of the second great commandment.
As we watched businesses destroyed, livelihoods forever altered, children’s education retarded, and parents and other loved ones suffer and die alone in hospitals, sycophantic Christian leaders continued to scold us with reminders that pastors are not medical doctors and that we must always trust the science™ regardless of how often or flagrantly those championing that “science” refused to abide by it themselves. Failure to do so, we were assured by such leaders, is to buy into wild conspiracy theories. To add insult to injury, as facts have continued to come to light that expose the failures of our leaders, they continue to refuse to admit their failures. This is both strange and revealing for those exalted to lead practitioners of a religion of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. True grace sets Christians free to live in faith and repentance. As Martin Luther put it in the very first of his 95 theses,

When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Matthew 4:17) he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

Is a person who refuses to acknowledge his mistakes even practicing the same religion as Luther?
My love of a nation full of neighbors will not let me feign ignorance or remain quiet in the face of such demonic assaults on them. I want them to know the true God through faith in Jesus Christ.
I write as a Christian and a pastor. But I also write as a patriot. To some, that evokes charges of Christian Nationalism. Honestly? I don’t care. The longer I have lived as a Christian, the more clearly I have come to see that the second great commandment requires at least a modicum of patriotism. How can I love my neighbor as myself if I do not want my neighbor to enjoy the blessings and freedoms that I desire? And if I see those blessings and freedoms being destroyed by frontal assaults as well as by espionage and betrayal, is it loving to do nothing and stay silent?
If I know that “righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34), then how can I be ambivalent about the legalized slaughter of unborn babies or have my convictions so disconnected from my voting that I approve of a Christian voting for a Democrat candidate (whose party platform guarantees the protection of abortion on demand)? What kind of hatred must govern my affections for the person who is himself caught up in sexual perversion as well as for the children whom he grooms to declare that Drag Queen Story Hour in public libraries is “one of the blessings of liberty?”
My love of a nation full of neighbors will not let me feign ignorance or remain quiet in the face of such demonic assaults on them. I want them to know the true God through faith in Jesus Christ. I want them—and myself—to “live a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Timothy 2:2b). That is why I will pray for “kings and all who are in high positions” (1 Timothy 2:2a) as the Apostle Paul instructs all Christians to do. And such prayer leads me to action. Because it is insincere to pray for that for which I am not willing to use God-given means to acquire, I will also vote for those civil magistrates who will stand against wickedness and serve the cause of righteousness. And I will encourage all my Christian brothers and sisters to do likewise.
If that’s Christian nationalism, so be it. As Craig Carter so astutely noted recently, “if so, then maybe we could use a little old-fashioned Christian Nationalism.” Because one thing is certain. Our forefathers who founded this nation stood on the foundation of Christian thinking and Christian living that made possible the kind of democratic republic we have enjoyed. Those foundations have been intentionally destroyed by purveyors of wickedness. And the people of God have stood idly by as it happened.
The church of Jesus Christ has been commissioned by our Head to make disciples of all nations. The way that we do that is by teaching and preaching the Word of Christ—all of it, including both law and gospel. It is time that God’s people humble ourselves in the face of the undeniable reality that we have not fulfilled this commission very well in the last few generations of these United States.
May God grant us the grace to repent, to seek His favor and the power of His Spirit, and to give ourselves wholeheartedly to proclaim the lordship of our Christ throughout this nation once again.

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Fortieth Anniversary of a Prayer Meeting

I once heard the late James Boice say, “We tend to overestimate what God will do in one year and greatly underestimate what he will do in twenty.” The truth of this statement was immediately apparent to me as I pondered some of the great works of God in history, like the Protestant Reformation and the modern Baptist missionary movement. But I have continued to grow in my appreciation of its profundity over the last few decades.
Today, November 13, 2022, marks the fortieth anniversary of the day that was the catalyst for the origin of what later became Founders Ministries. I remember that day well. A few weeks before, I received a letter from Ernie Reisinger, who was then serving as pastor of a church on the Southeast coast of Florida. Over the previous four years Ernie had been traveling to the six Southern Baptist seminaries to give away copies of James Pettigru Boyce’s Abstract of Systematic Theology to graduating students.
I enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1979. That next Spring, Ernie was on campus giving away Boyce’s book and I talked him into giving me one despite my first-year status. It was not difficult. Ernie loved to give away good books, especially whenever he sensed an eagerness to read them. Shortly after that, the seminary presidents disinvited him from coming back on their campuses to give away the Boyce book. The stated excuses were lame (“our students are busy preparing for final exams and do not have time to read your book”). A more plausible reason is that more and more students and graduates were actually reading Boyce’s Abstract and were being persuaded that the Bible does in fact teach that God is sovereign in salvation.
The rediscovery of the so-called “Doctrines of Grace” continued to spread and pastors were increasingly contacting Ernie asking for guidance and other resources. In response to this growing interest, he sent invitations to a few men asking us if we could meet with him in the Holiday Inn in Euless, Texas on Saturday, November 13, 1982. By that time I was in my third year as Assistant Pastor at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Dallas. Tom Nettles flew in from Memphis, where he had recently moved to teach at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Fred Malone and Ben Mitchell, who planted Heritage Baptist Church outside of Ft. Worth, Texas were there. Bill Ascol, Assistant Pastor at Broadmoor Baptist in Shreveport and R.F. Gates, a vocational evangelist in that church joined us after lunch.
The morning was spent in prayer, reading Scripture, and singing. The burden of those prayers was for heavenly wisdom as we considered how best to steward the growing interest in God-centered theology among Baptists. After lunch, the idea of a conference was suggested and we began to work out principles that would govern such a conference. I recently reread minutes of those deliberations and was struck again at the Lord’s kindness in directing our plans.
We agreed that the motive for such a conference was “to glorify God, honor His gospel, and strengthen His churches.” This was to be done by providing encouragement “in historical, biblical, theological, practical and ecumenical studies.” We also adopted statements on the purpose and theological foundation of the conference.
The purpose is to be a balanced conference in respect to doctrine and devotion expressed in the doctrines of grace and their experimental application to the local church, particularly in the areas of worship and witness. This is to be accomplished through engaging a variety of speakers to present formal papers, sermons, expositions, and devotions, and through the recommendation and distribution of literature consistent with the nature of the conference.
The theological foundation of the conference will be the doctrines of grace: election, depravity, atonement, effectual calling and perseverance and specifically related truths. These subjects will be presented doctrinally, expositionally, homiletically and historically. Each conference will concentrate on the experimental and pastoral application of the respective doctrines.
The name we adopted was “The Southern Baptist Conference on the Faith of Our Founders.” Within a few years it was mercifully shortened to the “Founders Conference.” Though our context was Southern Baptist and all of the original board members were in SBC churches, our concerns, vision, and fellowship have from the outset been much broader than the SBC. This became more evident as other ministries began to arise from the annual conference (such as a quarterly theological journal, website, publication of books, and an online Study Center) and our name officially changed to “Founders Ministries.”
The first twenty years witnessed the initiation of all those additional ministries and they were born in the face of what was sometimes steep opposition—not only from the liberals and progressives within the Baptist and evangelical world but also from fellow conservatives, including at times even those who claim to share our confessional theology. In and through it all the Lord has faithfully guided our steps and helped us to stay true to our convictions. That is not to say that there have been no missteps but, by His grace, I can say that He has kept us on the path that we charted from the beginning to work for the recovery of the gospel and the reformation of local churches.
Much has been accomplished over the last forty years—far more than we could have anticipated that Saturday in Euless. But there is yet much, much more to do. I am convinced that the brightest and most useful days of Founders Ministries lay before us. No small part of that is due to the recent establishment of the Institute of Public Theology (IOPT). With a faculty that is second to none, a vision that timely and aggressive, and a need that is becoming more evident by the semester, IOPT is poised to serve future generations of churches by training men to be church leaders who not only understand the gospel fluently but also are unashamed of it and unafraid to proclaim and defend it in the public square.
Zecharaiah 4:10 warns against despising the day of small things. Seven largely obscure men meeting in a nondescript hotel room forty years ago fits that category. Yet, He has done more than any of us could have ever imagined.
Thank you for all who have partnered with us in this ministry over those years. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s blessings as we continue to work for the recovery of the gospel and the reformation of local churches. If you would like to be a part of what Founders Ministries and the Institute of Public Theology are doing, click this link for more information on a special opportunity for the month of November.

The 2023 Founders Conference will feature a special panel of Bill Ascol, Fred Malone, Tom Nettles, and Tom Ascol in recognition of God’s forty years of faithfulness to Founders.

Fortieth Anniversary of a Prayer Meeting

I once heard the late James Boice say, “We tend to overestimate what God will do in one year and greatly underestimate what he will do in twenty.” The truth of this statement was immediately apparent to me as I pondered some of the great works of God in history, like the Protestant Reformation and the modern Baptist missionary movement. But I have continued to grow in my appreciation of its profundity over the last few decades.
Today, November 13, 2022, marks the fortieth anniversary of the day that was the catalyst for the origin of what later became Founders Ministries. I remember that day well. A few weeks before, I received a letter from Ernie Reisinger, who was then serving as pastor of a church on the Southeast coast of Florida. Over the previous four years Ernie had been traveling to the six Southern Baptist seminaries to give away copies of James Pettigru Boyce’s Abstract of Systematic Theology to graduating students.
I enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1979. That next Spring, Ernie was on campus giving away Boyce’s book and I talked him into giving me one despite my first-year status. It was not difficult. Ernie loved to give away good books, especially whenever he sensed an eagerness to read them. Shortly after that, the seminary presidents disinvited him from coming back on their campuses to give away the Boyce book. The stated excuses were lame (“our students are busy preparing for final exams and do not have time to read your book”). A more plausible reason is that more and more students and graduates were actually reading Boyce’s Abstract and were being persuaded that the Bible does in fact teach that God is sovereign in salvation.
The rediscovery of the so-called “Doctrines of Grace” continued to spread and pastors were increasingly contacting Ernie asking for guidance and other resources. In response to this growing interest, he sent invitations to a few men asking us if we could meet with him in the Holiday Inn in Euless, Texas on Saturday, November 13, 1982. By that time I was in my third year as Assistant Pastor at Spring Valley Baptist Church in Dallas. Tom Nettles flew in from Memphis, where he had recently moved to teach at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Fred Malone and Ben Mitchell, who planted Heritage Baptist Church outside of Ft. Worth, Texas were there. Bill Ascol, Assistant Pastor at Broadmoor Baptist in Shreveport and R.F. Gates, a vocational evangelist in that church joined us after lunch.
The morning was spent in prayer, reading Scripture, and singing. The burden of those prayers was for heavenly wisdom as we considered how best to steward the growing interest in God-centered theology among Baptists. After lunch, the idea of a conference was suggested and we began to work out principles that would govern such a conference. I recently reread minutes of those deliberations and was struck again at the Lord’s kindness in directing our plans.
We agreed that the motive for such a conference was “to glorify God, honor His gospel, and strengthen His churches.” This was to be done by providing encouragement “in historical, biblical, theological, practical and ecumenical studies.” We also adopted statements on the purpose and theological foundation of the conference.
The purpose is to be a balanced conference in respect to doctrine and devotion expressed in the doctrines of grace and their experimental application to the local church, particularly in the areas of worship and witness. This is to be accomplished through engaging a variety of speakers to present formal papers, sermons, expositions, and devotions, and through the recommendation and distribution of literature consistent with the nature of the conference.
The theological foundation of the conference will be the doctrines of grace: election, depravity, atonement, effectual calling and perseverance and specifically related truths. These subjects will be presented doctrinally, expositionally, homiletically and historically. Each conference will concentrate on the experimental and pastoral application of the respective doctrines.
The name we adopted was “The Southern Baptist Conference on the Faith of Our Founders.” Within a few years it was mercifully shortened to the “Founders Conference.” Though our context was Southern Baptist and all of the original board members were in SBC churches, our concerns, vision, and fellowship have from the outset been much broader than the SBC. This became more evident as other ministries began to arise from the annual conference (such as a quarterly theological journal, website, publication of books, and an online Study Center) and our name officially changed to “Founders Ministries.”
The first twenty years witnessed the initiation of all those additional ministries and they were born in the face of what was sometimes steep opposition—not only from the liberals and progressives within the Baptist and evangelical world but also from fellow conservatives, including at times even those who claim to share our confessional theology. In and through it all the Lord has faithfully guided our steps and helped us to stay true to our convictions. That is not to say that there have been no missteps but, by His grace, I can say that He has kept us on the path that we charted from the beginning to work for the recovery of the gospel and the reformation of local churches.
Much has been accomplished over the last forty years—far more than we could have anticipated that Saturday in Euless. But there is yet much, much more to do. I am convinced that the brightest and most useful days of Founders Ministries lay before us. No small part of that is due to the recent establishment of the Institute of Public Theology (IOPT). With a faculty that is second to none, a vision that timely and aggressive, and a need that is becoming more evident by the semester, IOPT is poised to serve future generations of churches by training men to be church leaders who not only understand the gospel fluently but also are unashamed of it and unafraid to proclaim and defend it in the public square.
Zecharaiah 4:10 warns against despising the day of small things. Seven largely obscure men meeting in a nondescript hotel room forty years ago fits that category. Yet, He has done more than any of us could have ever imagined.
Thank you for all who have partnered with us in this ministry over those years. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s blessings as we continue to work for the recovery of the gospel and the reformation of local churches. If you would like to be a part of what Founders Ministries and the Institute of Public Theology are doing, click this link for more information on a special opportunity for the month of November.

The 2023 Founders Conference will feature a special panel of Bill Ascol, Fred Malone, Tom Nettles, and Tom Ascol in recognition of God’s forty years of faithfulness to Founders.

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