Tough times out there, my fellow Christians. And getting tougher.
There is an avid and rabid attack mentality on Christianity on the part of secularists and naturalists.
Our beloved Constitution in the very special First Amendment thereof provides for freedom of religion as we all know. But that matters little to those hate-mongers who in fact HATE Christianity and indeed all religions. But especially Christianity. There comes an organization FREEDOM FROM RELIGION setup in contrast to the First Amendment which provides for FREEDOM OF RELIGION and there are many similar such organizations, and individuals, and universities, and even courts and judges anti-religion and especially Christianity. By their legal fruits, you shall know them.
Donald John Trump has been our President since January 2017. In the 15 months of the Trump Administration, good things have happened. President Trump issued a Religious Liberty Executive Order May 2017. The Justice Department under Attorney General Sessions issued what is called follow-on guidance as to how to implement that religious liberty order, stating as well that all agencies must protect religious liberty. Of course, in America today, some do and some don’t. Secretaries of those agencies which are Constitutionally-minded do, and those appointed by the former ringleader of the Washington swamp do not. HHS and the USDA have complied with the order. The Defense Department and the Airforce have not. Sooner or later, all will or we could expect President Trump to remove the secretaries and reform the structure of these renegade agencies. Trump promised in 2016 that if he were elected, Christianity would be restored to its proper place in America after the Obama Administration, with its slogan that America was no longer a Christian nation, employed removal tactics and even direct attacks against the Christian church and faith. Thank you for that President Trump. Thank you.
Fortunately for America, Trump did not stop there. He has been true to his promise, the President has, to appoint what are termed ORIGINALIST judges. That is, those judges who will interpret, in Trump’s words, the Constitution in the right way. That of course includes defending religion in the marketplace, in practice and without censorship to worship or speech. People of faith should applaud Trump for that. As Family Research Council so well stated:
“Thanks be to God for giving President Trump a burden to champion religious liberty.”
The appointment and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch was a wonderful move for Constitutional America. Gorsuch is conservative, and the Senate has confirmed twelve of President Trump’s Federal Appeals Court appointees, more so than any President in his first year. How great that is for America. It is very possible that in the next three years, President Trump will appoint hundreds more similarly highly qualified, conservative judges to every part of the federal judicial system, including the very real possibility that Trump will nominate and the Senate will confirm new Supreme Court Justices as a result of the retirement of certain current ones.
Christians and Jews right-thinking applaud President Trump for finally ordering the American Embassy in Israel to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That order brought howls of protests from so many, including the so-called United Nations where anti-Semitism rules. The move to Jerusalem is an affirmation that Israel is rightfully Jewish, the Promised Land, the Holy Land, no matter the discontent. A courageous move, Mr. President, courageous indeed. We may now expect the God of Abraham to demonstrate His promise to bless those who bless Israel which now of course includes our very own President.
And don’t forget the Athletes in Action, my fellow Americans, action for the proclamation and the public display of their faith. There was one beloved high school football coach Joe Kennedy by name who was fired for praying publicly on the football field before and after games, and with the audacity to invite any of his players to join him only if they wished. Kennedy was coldly fired from his high school coaching position as a result of a 30 second silent prayer. Kennedy, a teacher as well as a coach, counted upon the enforcement of his Constitutional rights and the ruling of the Supreme Court in 1969 that:
“Public school teachers do not shed their Constitutional rights to Freedom of Speech or expression at the school house gate.”
But the hate of the liberal, radical left, the atheistic left cares little about that ruling and goes after anyone they well please. Kennedy was a public praying target and as a result of his firing, the Kennedy case may well end up at our Supreme Court. Kennedy took the knee for Christ, but never bowed the knee to Baal. Well done, Joe Kennedy, well done.
And then there was Dabo Swinney, Head Coach of the Clemson University Football Tigers, a devout and praying Christian. This publicly praying coach led his Clemson football team to the national title no less and came close the very next year. How interesting that this coach prays in public, testifies in public but has not, as yet, felt any disciplinary action nor even overt criticism for his public stance. Swinney’s players love and respect him not just as a praying Christian, but as a great football coach and mind, a leader of men, and a flat out winner. So many people public in their faith are in fact winners at what they do and what they are, don’t you think?
And don’t forget the testimony of Nick Foles, quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles who led that team to a Super Bowl victory in February 2018. Foles was and is a devout Christian, praying in public, often before and after games on the field unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it is the power of God to him and so many others. Since the National Football League takes no discipline against angry players who take the knee during the National Anthem, I suppose the NFL is reluctant to take a stance against players who take both knees in behalf of Jesus Christ. Fascinating examples, don’t you think?
And then there was Harvard University, an educational liberal Bastian. Harvard almost three centuries ago was started on the basis of Christian faith and tenets, long since forgotten by this biased educational institution. So, when Harvard conducted a study of United States Christianity, everyone knew what the bottom line negative result would be. But surprisingly, the Harvard study indicated that United States Christianity is alive and well and growing. Harvard uncovered powerful new statistics which point to a resurgence of the faith culture the left so easily dismisses. The Harvard researchers found that religion continues to enjoy:
“Persistent and exceptional intensity in America.”
They further stated that America remains an “exceptional and potential counterexample to the secularization thesis.” In short, faith and Christianity over secularity. From Harvard no less, my friends and fellow Christians.
But, back to form goes Harvard. There is an organization at the University called HARVARD COLLEGE OF FAITH AND ACTION. The members of this group confronted one of its assistant Bible course leaders about her new and sexual relationship, woman to woman. Harvard reacted aggressively by sanctioning the group and ordering a yearlong probation. The Christian group protested, claiming that the action taken was not homophobic but rather enforcing their standards as a group with regard to celibacy as the only option outside the bounds of marriage. No matter to Harvard. Probation anyway. It is one thing, says this Christian group, for Harvard to counteract homophobia, but quite another thing to attack standards for celibacy. But that is Harvard, and so many other liberal Ivy League and other similar educational institutions in our country.
And then there was Princeton University Theological Seminary. They had voted to confer the prestigious Abraham Kuyper Award to one Pastor Tim Keller, pastor of New York City’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church, one great essentially evangelical man and church built by his ministry. Following the announcement, liberal seminary board members objected because Keller’s theology was not inclusive and took a firm stance for Biblical principles with respect to LGBT lifestyles and ordination. Not right for Princeton, said these board members and alumni, and Princeton Seminary, wimpy as it was, backed down and rescinded the award. So much for freedom of religion and speech at Princeton Seminary, don’t you think?
Speaking of seminaries, the entire faculty at Episcopal Divinity School was laid off last year. Any students who remained transferred to other seminaries. After 150 years, Episcopal Divinity School is putting its campus, a beautiful piece of land with a 19th Century Stone Chapel, for sale and closing its doors.
Said the Chairman of Episcopal Divinity School’s Board of Trustees:
“The church is shrinking. The need for clergy is shrinking. And the institutional support is shrinking.”
Boy is it ever. Mainline Protestant Seminaries are facing an existential crisis after a decade of mounting red ink. I am sure they wonder why. But the reality is these liberal-radical mainline denominations have eviscerated real Christianity, changed radically its doctrinal stance, denied virtually every fundamental and naively wonder why things go bad. Pentecostal and evangelical churches on fire can readily give them the answer, don’t you think?
And then there are the anti-Christian atheist groups THE FREEDOM FROM RELIGION FOUNDATION and the AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION which have taken legal action against the City of Pensacola Florida, demanding that a large white cross in the city’s Bayview park be removed immediately on the basis of the First Amendment to the Constitution statement that:
CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF.
Merely displaying a cross in public and on public grounds, say the atheists, violates the religious establishment clause of the Constitution. Just another example of how vicious and aggressive anti-religionists can be in their attack on Christianity. Obviously, the City of Pensacola disagrees and the legal battle wages. I hope and pray they win.
And then there were two private Christian schools each of which prayed over a stadium loud speaker before their football game. Even though these schools were private in nature and of course faith-based, a state agency ordered the prayers to cease and desist. Hard to believe, is it not? This potentially important case is very close to Supreme Court consideration and please allow me to exercise my First Amendment rights and let me pray for these schools and the just and Constitutional result.
And then there was one Joy Behar, co-host of the liberal network ABC show THE VIEW. Behar, typical of liberal-radical and anti-Christian television personalities demean the Christian faith and even Vice President Mike Pence by mocking the fact that Pence prays and “listens to the Lord.” Behar, bully and biased said the following, live and on-air, in public and across the nation:
“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you. That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct, hearing voices.”
Absolutely unbelievable, don’t you think? To which Vice President Mike Pence replied as follows:
“But I have to tell you, to have ABC maintain a broadcast forum that compared Christianity to mental illness is just wrong.”
What an understatement, Mr. Vice President.
But then Pence got to the main point when he said:
“I just think it demonstrates how out of touch some people in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people. That you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that.”
Pence called them out not for Behar and ABC’s attack upon him but because of their extreme religious intolerance:
“We’re better than that. Our country is better than that.”
But the liberal, radical, anti-faith and anti-Christian element in our country does in fact regard Christian practice as a form of “mental illness” in so many ways. That is the reality and we as Christians should be aware of that, not intimidated by it, but understanding the extreme hate and bias which so often exists.
Now comes Russia, Putin Russia. It is now illegal and punishable as a criminal offense in Russia for SHARING THE GOSPEL IN PUBLIC. And, unbelievably, it is also illegal and criminal to share the Gospel with friends and coworkers, in your own home and in your place of business. And, so is inviting friends to come to church to hear the Word of God. Here comes the age old communistic, atheistic Russia back to life, don’t you think? CHRISTIANITY TODAY described the new Russian law signed in July 2016 as the:
“Most restrictive measures against religious freedom in Post-Soviet history.”
Unbelievably, Vladimir Putin refers to himself as a Christian, but at the same time he has declared war on Christianity and the Gospel. Go figure. Putin reminds me of Obama who claimed in public that he had “found Christ,” but in so many ways was the most anti-Christian President in all of American history. Not good to be a Christian in Russia today, a real one. I wonder if that censorship will someday happen in America. I pray not-woops, that was in public and even on radio and I guess I’m in trouble. So be it.
Now here’s one liberalism run amok. There is a college in Boston Simmons College. Ever heard of it? This college and its administrators in their infinite wisdom have determined that, when somebody sneezes, for one to say:
GOD BLESS YOU
Is, are you ready for this:
Islamophobic! Can you believe that?
Now, radical liberals are taking aim at sneezing and the response thereto. Reminds me of California and those infinitely wise legislators who ordained that it would now be illegal to offer a plastic straw to a diner unless that person requested one! Anyway, now more than ever whenever I hear someone sneeze I will shout as loudly as I can:
GOD BLESS YOU!
And mean it with all of my heart. Islamophobic or not. What a world.
And then there was a condominium association in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This august group warned senior citizens, mind you, who sought to engage in Bible Study and Christian music with a sign and a warning which stated:
ANY AND ALL CHRISTIAN MUSIC IS BANNED
And that message was posted on an organ located in a common area of Cambridge!
So, my fellow Americans, and my fellow Christians, we live in a world, a new common era which many describe now as the era of:
The lie is the norm. The only truth is that which serves a purpose, regardless of fact and it represents what an individual thinks or believes and not what is real or right. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable for one to deceive another as long as one acts and believes in furtherance of what THAT INDIVIDUAL thinks is right. Many on both the left and the right think that if this trend continues and it does in fact become the norm, it may very well be the end of our society. No one will trust and no one will understand. Our world will further fractionalize, antagonize and it will be the end of debate and discussion and in fact any real search for truth or fact. If that is so, that will indeed be the end of our society and our culture. It will be without values, immoral, totally unpredictable and the exact, the very exact opposite of all things Christian where it is the duty of every Christian to search for truth for only the truth will make one free.
There is only one solution. We who believe need to stand up, STAND UP now more than ever and fight the fight of faith. We must protect and defend our sacred heritages, our beloved Christian faith and STAND our ground. Faith and freedom once lost are lost forever. Don’t let that happen, my fellow Americans, don’t let that happen. Like President Trump, stand up for faith and freedom, now, aggressively and always. This civil warfare needs you now more than ever. Be ever watchful, watch men and women on the walls of America, the Constitutional walls of America. And may I say publicly and on radio, and without fear for the cost thereof that I will exercise my First Amendment rights to the fullest, and that:
I WILL PRAY FOR YOU
I WILL PRAY FOR AMERICA
Islamophobic or not, I also say publicly:
GOD BLESS YOU!