Home Illinois News Thorner: Illinois Family Institute leads “We Will Not be Silenced” movement

Thorner: Illinois Family Institute leads “We Will Not be Silenced” movement


By Nancy J. Thorner, Photos by Mark Weyermuller - 

The Illinois Family Institute's Annual Banquet was held at the Carlisle in Lombard on October 29th, 2021.  Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer was the featured keynote speaker that attracted 625 individuals who believe in Faith, Family, and Freedom.

David E. Smith is the Executive Director of IFI and its sister organization, Illinois Family Action. The IFI Mission Statement reads: "Our mission is to strengthen the family and restore traditional Judeo-Christian values to our culture by educating, equipping, and networking men, women, and churches for the battle to protect the family."

We Will Not Be Silenced was the theme of the banquet, also the title of Dr. Lutzer's latest book, which served as the platform for his Keynote Address.  We Will Not Be Silence prepares individuals to live out their convictions against a growing tide of hostility.

Pastor Ceasar LeFlore, Master of Ceremonies

Pastor Ceasar LeFlore, Illinois Family Institute's Field Director, served as the Master of Ceremonies.  He spoke about a new program undertaken by the IFI, Rescue the Children, which encourages homeschooling.  Parents are advised to remove their children from public schools, described as centers of indoctrination, to instead instruct their own children.

An article written by Alex Newman dated 6/22/21, Alliance Seeks to Rescue Illinois Children from Indoctrination, informs of the partnership with Illinois Family Institute and the nationwide group known as Public School Exit (PSE), formed last year by a team of concerned Christian leaders, attorneys, pastors, educators, and advocates. The goal: Facilitate an exodus of as many children into the safe sanctuary of home schools and good private schools.

Alex Newman is Executive Director of Public School Exit, and an award- winning international journalist, educator, and author.

IFI Truth Awards

Pastor LeFlore had the honor of announcing IFI's truth awards given this year.  Unfortunately, none of the recipients were able to attend. 

Ronald and Natasha Field:  Advocates of home schooling.

Pastor Courtney Lewis:  Opened up a school this year at his Cornerstone Baptist Church.  A video from Pastor Lewis followed.

For Pastor Lewis, Act: 4:20 served as source of great encouragement:  "For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."

IFI Executive Director, David Smith

David Smith, as IFI Executive Director, had much to say about what is happening in Springfield, citing that 7000 bills have been introduced in Springfield.
A sheet was available for pick up at a table outside the convention center titled, See How They Voted Against You. Twelve bills were listed that have either passed the House or have become law.  How your own state representative and state senator voted can be ascertained by going to Illinoisfamily.org and clicking on HOW DID THEY VOTE!
Smith spoke about what he called "two bad bills which became law":
  • HB 156:  Puts tampons in boys’ bathrooms.
  • SB 818:  Requires sex ed in kindergarten to include teaching LGBTQ definition and masturbation.   
As Smith noted, the material being taught is not appropriate to age level.
Keynote address by Edwin W. Lutzer
Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer is an evangelical Christian speaker, radio broadcaster, and author.  He is Pastor Emeritus of The Moody Church in Chicago, IL where he served as the Senior Pastor for 36 years.
Dr. Lutzer sprinkled his address with fond recollections, Bible verses, and humor.
Lutzer initially related that as a teenager he saw his first Billy Graham video.  In the aftermath of that experience, Lutzer revealed that he became totally into Billy, while others his age were into Elvis.  As a crowd-pleaser, Lutzer proceeded to present a very credible and enjoyable impersonation of Billy Graham.
Lutzer continued by reading a prayer by Sir Francis Drake, Disturb Us Lord, which Drake, an adventurer, wrote as he departed to the west coast of South America.  The first verse is below. The full poem can be accessed here.   
Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
King Nebuchadnezzar and his golden idol of worship
The account Pastor Lutzer gave, as recorded in the Bible in the 3rd Chapter of the Book of Daniel, best expressed the theme of the IFI Fall Banquet, We Will Not be Silenced.
As the story is recorded in the Bible at this website.
King Nebuchadnezzar had a gold idol made that he set up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.  He then called for all the officials in his kingdom to come for the dedication ceremony of the idol.  When assembled there was this command:  “When you hear the horns, flutes, lyres, sambucas, harps, bagpipes, and all the other musical instruments, you must worship the gold idol. Whoever does not bow down and worship this gold idol will immediately be thrown into a very hot furnace.”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to worship the gold idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar.  The king became very angry because the three would not worship his god, that a hot furnace awaited them if they did not obey, and that no god will be able to save them from his (Nebuchadnezzar’s) power.
Lutzer indicated how the greatest statements of faith were found in verses 17 and 18 of Chapter three in the Book of Daniel:  
  • 17:  "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace. . ."
  • 18:  "But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not worship thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."
Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual.  Soldiers bound up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and threw them in a hot furnace, but their God protected them.  They remained untouched by the flames. 
Concluding remarks
Dr.  Lutzer's ended his address with some thoughts about the God Christians worship and how Christians should respond to the pressures of everyday life in a changing culture.
  • God is unpredictable.
  • Let God do as He wills. There are times when we don't see God, but we don't have to see Him.
  • We can expect persecution to continue and get worse.
  • We must learn to stand alone. Our heroes are those who stood against the culture.
  • We must fear God more than we fear the fire.
  • We must take the suffering of Jesus Christ as a badge of honor.
  • It is possible to lose in world but win in the next (Heaven).
  • The hearts of people must be changed.  Prayer is our only hope.
The finale 
Dr. Lutzer addressed questions from those assembled.

Nancy Thorner, Mark Weyermuller 


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