Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church, was a key leader in the effort to pass Proposition 8 and earlier this year explained how he brought Lou Engle in to lead their prayer and fasting effort; an effort which paid off where somewhere between 4:20-4:50 pm on November 1 during TheCall rally in San Diego they felt that “something had snapped in the Heavenlies” and “we knew God had moved”:
Garlow’s Prop 8 success led Newt Gingrich to tap to him to head his new Renewing American Leadership organization … and so it is not particularly surprising to see Garlow (and Engle) reacting with alarm to the court decision striking down their handiwork:
“The next court case could conceivably say that if three people wanted to marry or four people or five people or if someone wanted to marry their dog or their horse, they have a right to that because no longer do we have a right to ‘discriminate’ based on equal protection,” Garlow said.
Proposition 8 advocates argue that same-sex marriage is not ideal for child rearing, but they say it also has serious implications on religious freedom.
“It’s a chilling moment,” said TheCall founder Lou Engle, who organized a prayer rally in support of Proposition 8 in September 2008. “Democracy is crumbling, and I believe, again, we’re going to see the persecution of the church. … Across the board, religious freedom now is being trumped by gender freedom.”
Garlow said in several areas where gay marriage has been legalized, Christians have lost personal and religious liberties. He points to Swedish pastor Ake Green, who was jailed after preaching that homosexuality is a sin, and to a Christian camp in Ocean Grove, N.J., that lost a discrimination lawsuit filed after it refused to allow a lesbian couple to hold a commitment ceremony at its facility.
“If we lose on this one, we lose the capacity to be able to proclaim the gospel as we know it,” Garlow said.
The case could take years to reach the Supreme Court, but conservative observers believe Wednesday’s ruling could impact the upcoming midterm election. Garlow said voters with conservative moral values “are going to rise up and say enough is enough.”
He and Engle are encouraging that kind of activism through Pray & Act, an initiative calling for 40 days of prayer and fasting in the run up to Nov. 2. The effort begins Sept. 20 and ends with a webcast event at the Lincoln Memorial Oct. 30.
Garlow said he believes there is a 27-month window to “turn” the nation toward biblical values. “I’m not trying to deadline God, but my sensing is we have a short window left after which it will be too late to see America ever return to any sense of God-honoring truths,” he said. “That being the case, prayer and fasting is critical.”
Engle, too, is urging prayer and political activism. He believes the timing of TheCall Sacramento, being held Sept. 3-4, is strategic.
“God, in times of crisis, calls for solemn assemblies when there is no hope and there’s no remedy,” Engle said. “I think this is an incredible opportunity for people to gather from all over America to say: ‘God, we have no recourse … We are coming to You for help in the time of trouble, to ask forgiveness for treating so lightly marriage in the church.’
“We [will] come together and ask God for some kind of sovereign intervention,” he added. “We need to pray for a great awakening.”