Houston's Ed Young: Don't mess with America's pulpits!

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |
Ronnie Floyd, Southern Baptist Convention president, leads in prayer for repentance, renewal and awakening Nov. 2 during the "I Stand Sunday" rally at Grace Fellowship Church in Houston. | Photo by Joni B. Hannigan

HOUSTON (Christian Examiner) -- Ed Young, longtime pastor of Second Baptist Church in Houston, has challenged governments across the nation to "not mess with the pulpits of America."

At the same time, he transitioned into a revivalistic tone, calling on churches to "pray" desperately.

Young was speaking before 7,000 at the Nov. 2 "I Stand Sunday" rally, Nov. 2.

Following emotional and even terse presentations by the "Houston 5" -- five ministry leaders who were subpoenaed for their part in a citizen petition drive calling for a voter referendum of a controversial human rights amendment -- Young said believers.should pray in times like these.

"[W]e pray in a moment of desperation, and it is out of desperation through our prayers that God revives us, that He calls people to faith in God through Jesus Christ.

Ed Young, senior pastor at Second Baptist Church in Houston warns government officials to "not mess with the pulpits of America" Nov. 2 during the "I Stand Sunday" rally at Grace Fellowship. | Photo by Joni B. Hannigan

"We are at a moment of desperation," Young continued, "that begins in your life and in my life. ... He will hear from heaven; He will forgive our sin and He will heal our land.

Young said in reading the First Amendment he had been reminded of the importance of the freedom of religion, of speech, of press, and of the right to assemble -- "four great freedoms which are being systematically attacked by the humanistic culture in which we live."

Through prayer the church can be the catalyst for change, he said.

"You can take a globe of the world and ... spin the globe and put your finger down on virtually any country on the planet and you'll find there revolution ... confusion ... violence ... terrorism ... ISIS ... [and] Ebola," Young said. "You'll find there our whole world is on fire like I've never seen in my life.

"We stand here in our transitional moment in in our city and our state and our nation; and the answer is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," Young said. "Let's lift Him up to the world and ask for His divine healing."

Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, lifted his Bible high in mounting the platform, declaring God has the final word.

"Pastors we are with you! The churches of Houston we are with you! We stand with anybody who lifts up the Lord Jesus Christ and believes our God has the final word!" he declared.

Floyd continued a call for prayer for spiritual revival and awakening that has marked his tenure as president of the 16-million member Southern Baptist Convention.

"It is time for the church of America to look at our own sin, to repent of our own apathy," Floyd said. "That if we're going to be heard by a world that needs Jesus Christ desperately, they need to see a people of God that are committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, committed to the vibrancy to the local church -- and that we must leave our lukewarm status, repent of and come by faith and trust in Christ alone."

The greatest need and problem in America is not in the White House, or in government, but in the church, Floyd said.

"Houston, and I say this to all of Houston, and I say this to the church of America, it is time to wake up from our slumber," Floyd said. "The greatest need in America is for the church to be revived. The greatest need is for us to see the next great spiritual awakening in this land. That is our greatest need."

Mike Seymore, a Tennessee truck driver who attended the "I Stand Sunday," rally Nov. 2 prayed when Ronnie Floyd asked. Seymore told Christian Examiner he was driving through Houston and as a believer for 40 years, decided to stop and show his support, believing such an event that pulled people together to stand together was "long overdue." | Photo by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez

Warning those assembled to be careful to "lift up the Word of God with one hand and the love of God with another," he said, "We need to stand unwaveringly and unapologetically, but always compassionately with those who may choose to disagree."

Speaking just days before the mid-term elections, and with the knowledge there is a lawsuit in the courts over the validity of petitions putting a human rights ordinance back on the ballot in Houston, Floyd addressed what might be perceived as unfavorable political or legal outcomes.

"I notify Houston and every city in this country and around the world, the Kingdom of God is unstoppable," he said.

"I lead you to do what we must do, to cry out to God for revival ... so that every person in this world will know and hear the power of the love of Jesus Christ," Floyd said, inviting those tens of thousands joining by webcast and attendees in Houston to kneel at the steps of the platform and all across the auditorium in prayer.

"God can do more in a moment than we can ever do a in a lifetime."