It’s hard for the angry crowd to accuse a Christian of being a hateful, cruel bigot when that person demonstrates a life of kindness, humility, and compassion. When a Christian can discuss, debate or debunk secular arguments accurately, the label of “ignorant” no longer fits. A Christian who has read the secular arguments and can politely expose their flaws helps to deflate the stereotypes advanced by atheists. Knowledge is the weapon, and it is invincible when we let Christ direct us in how to use it.
At a time when experts say 245 million Christians worldwide are experiencing severe persecution, Christian communicators at the recent National Religious Broadcasters “Proclaim 19” convention in Anaheim, California, said Christians in America are facing increasing “soft” persecution and restrictions on religious freedom.
“It’s gotten a lot worse,” Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told The New American. “I think it’s part of a change of attitude in our society, which is one of hostility toward the gospel. In the past, our society was either accepting toward the gospel or complacent with the gospel culturally.”
“But now we have large parts of America where people openly despise the gospel and see church people as symbols of hatred. They feel they are doing a good and righteous thing by attacking and silencing people preaching the gospel. To me it’s not just uncomfortable, but they see it as an affront to their lifestyles and their very self-identity.”
One of the most egregious examples involves multiple arrests of ministers preaching the gospel in public places.
The Apostle Paul would have had a difficult time in the United States preaching the “good news” because so many ministers have been arrested in recent years for preaching in public places, Dacus says.
“In the past, if someone would preach the gospel on a public sidewalk, some people may not like their particular style, but they were never arrested,” Dacus says. “But now criminal arrests for public preaching have become very common.”
Over the last few years, the Pacific Justice Institute has successfully defended 12 individuals who were criminally prosecuted for public preaching. In two other cases, the legal defense organization did not prevail and has filed appeals.
“In one case out of San Diego the man was preaching, and he mentioned a whole bunch of sins,” Dacus says. “Well, because one of the [Bible] verses mentioned was homosexual conduct, the police were called, and he had criminal charges brought against him for attempting to incite violence and hate speech.”
Initially, the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office would drop the charges only if Dacus’ client was willing to go to an LGBT reorientation program, Dacus says.
“I mean that’s the way George Orwell’s 1984 book ends — the exact same way,” he says. “And our client said, ‘No.’ We were prepared for trial. The day before the trial the DA dropped the charges. That’s their tactic. These aren’t accidental. These criminal cases are dragged on — usually until the day of or the day before the actual trial.”
Dacus’ remarks come as a new report by the Pew Research Center finds 50 percent of Americans say evangelical Christians are discriminated against in the United States, up from 42 percent in 2016. Nearly one in five — 18 percent — say evangelicals, who constitute about a quarter of America’s population, face “a lot” of discrimination.
Religious Freedom Under Fire
This discrimination is taking many forms.
Across the “land of the free,” according to the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), religious freedom is under fire. Some recent cases, according to the ADF, include:
In Idaho, ordained ministers Don and Lynn Knapp, who were threatened by the City of Coeur d’Alene with fines and jail time for declining to officiate same-sex weddings at their wedding chapel.
After cake artist Jack Phillips politely declined a same-sex couple’s request to design a cake to celebrate their wedding, a Colorado civil rights commissioner stated at a hearing that religious freedom is a ‘despicable piece of rhetoric’ that slave owners, Nazis, and Jack used ‘to hurt others.’ He was also ordered to stop ‘discriminating,’ ‘reeducate’ his staff, and file quarterly compliance reports.
Five pastors in Houston, Texas, had their sermons and personal communications with churchgoers subpoenaed as part of a campaign by the mayor to silence them on important moral issues.
In California, Dacus says, a “new education framework, which states across the country are considering adopting, is hostile to children from Christian families.”
In the past, parents could opt their children out of sex-education courses in schools, Dacus says. But California lawmakers recently approved the California Healthy Youth Act, requiring a “pro-LGBT indoctrination curriculum that on its face parents cannot opt out of,” Dacus says.
“It’s totally divergent from a biblical, Christian worldview,” he says. “The spiritual casualties from this kind of indoctrination are horrific, but it gets worse. The new education framework will have children from kindergarten through third grade taught story books like Princess Boy where it teaches children it’s okay for them to be a boy on the inside but be a girl on the outside. Transgender persons putting on presentations to these young children with a worldview totally divergent from the Christian worldview is already in process and becoming commonplace with this new framework.”
Further, the California Department of Education is proposing a curriculum that recommends using Planned Parenthood personnel to teach students about sexual health. As part of this curriculum, students would be taught to view religious boundaries of sexual activity as “spiritual abuse,” Dacus says.
“It would authorize the removal of a child from a family, a religious family, that constrained the sexual relationships that their children wish to have,” Dacus says. “This is curriculum [that] is in [the] process of being adopted and proposed in other states as well, but California is leading the way.”
Meanwhile, Dacus says, he’s seen a purging of college professors with Christian worldviews in recent years.
College campuses used to be the marketplace of ideas. Now, public colleges and universities are becoming the “most repressive places in the country” when it comes to sharing and living the Christian faith, Dacus says.
“An example of that are universities setting up little, six-by-six-foot free speech zones to attempt to limit where students can share their faith,” he says.
Christians have also faced discrimination on social media, Dacus says.
“The Big Tech companies have been blatant in their hostility and silencing of Christian biblical worldviews and have limited organizations and ministries,” Dacus says. “We’ve seen a number of cases of organizations, including our own, that at times have suffered from such blatant, hostile discrimination against those customers with religious messaging and biblical worldviews.”
One of the primary drivers behind this larger phenomenon of discrimination against Christians is the “LGBT agenda,” Dacus says.
“The LGBT agenda has become very hostile to traditional Christianity and those who believe in the teachings of the Bible,” Dacus says. “Christians and the biblical worldview are what stand in the way of total sexual transformation in the United States.”
Recently, the ADF and others have expressed concerns about the proposed “Equality Act.” H.R. 5, if passed, would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and public education. The ADF says it “poses a devastating and unprecedented threat to religious freedom.”
The act adds “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to existing nondiscrimination laws, the ADF’s Sarah Kramer wrote.
This would prohibit employers, individuals who rent out apartments in their homes, preschools, and even religious schools and organizations from making choices based on biology, bodily privacy, and their beliefs about the nature of marriage.
The act would force women to share private spaces with men, Kramer wrote. The act would also open shower facilities, restrooms, and locker rooms to members of the opposite sex in schools and churches.
“Essentially, the ‘Equality Act’ gives people of faith an ultimatum: Change your faith-based practices or face government punishment,” Kramer wrote.
Stephen Black, executive director of First Stone Ministries in Oklahoma City, told The New American that the Equality Act would put “LGBT on the same level equal to race and gender.”
“As an ordained Christian minister this is intolerable in being able to preach the Bible because what H.R. 5 would do is it would — bottom line — make Christian speech and proclaiming the truth about homosexuality, or any form of sexual sin and brokenness, criminalized,” Black says. “You wouldn’t be able to preach against it because it would be considered hate speech.”
In Dark Agenda, Horowitz explains that the Left likes to label its political opponents as “phobic” and divides America into two kinds of people — those who care about gay rights, minorities, and other victim groups and “un-American ‘deplorables’ who hate and oppress society’s victims.”
“Stigmatizing one’s opponents is a classical radical tactic,” Horowitz wrote. “That is why radicals paint their political opponents as homophobes, xenophobes, and Islamophobes.”
“According to the Left, in other words, people who oppose abortion and same-sex ‘marriage’ have a kind of mental illness…. Calling critics ‘phobic’ is a rationale for denying their First Amendment rights. Shouts of ‘No free speech for homophobes or Islamophobes’ are already heard from leftists on college campuses. Or, to put them all in one fearful basket: ‘No free speech for fascists.’”
Ironically, by suppressing the First Amendment rights of Christians and labeling them as “fascists,” the Left are themselves becoming fascists and following the example of their Jacobin predecessors in the French Revolution.
The typical insult from the non-religious crowd is to refer to believers as “ignorant,” “stupid,” “brainwashed,” or to otherwise suggest that those who have faith are less intelligent than those who do not. When a Christian stands up intelligently for his faith, the terms change to “bigot,” “extremist,” or “zealot.” When people who know that the believer is kind and loving hear this, the atheist starts to look like the fool that he or she is (Psalm 53:1). Most non-believers have no personal reason to see Christians negatively, but they sometimes hear so much from the loud anti-Christians that they just assume it is so. They need examples of Christ-like living to see the truth.
Of course, when someone claiming to be a Christian says or does something that is not Christ-like, the angry, loud crowd is there to identify him as a typical religious hypocrite. This is something we have been warned to expect (Romans 1:28-30; Matthew 5:11). The best thing to do is to cite a passage of the Bible that speaks against what the person did. And remind the atheists that just because a person says he is a Christian, and even if he thinks he is a Christian, that does not mean that he is. Matthew 7:16,20 tell us that true Christians will be known by their actions, not merely by their profession. And remind critics that absolutely no one lives without sinning at all (Romans 3:23).
An important thing to remember is that no one, no matter how persuasive, can force anyone to believe anything he doesn’t want to believe. No matter what the evidence, no matter what the argument, people will believe what they want to believe (Luke 12:54-56). Conviction is not a Christian’s job. The Holy Spirit convicts people (John 14:16-17), and they choose whether or not to believe. What we can do is present ourselves in a way that is as Christ-like as possible. It is sad that there are many atheists who have read the entire Bible looking for ammunition against Christians, and that there are many Christians who have hardly read the Bible at all.
The Birth Pains Are Growing Stronger….
“Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of man and devils”…
My name is Steve Meyers and I need to share a vision and warning that the Lord showed me back in April 2007….
Many of you will ask why I waited so long to share the warning. I didn’t. I shared the story with everyone that would listen from pastors to friends to family to colleagues. Immediately following the initial vision, I called a close friend. I told him to sit down that I had something to tell him. I needed it documented as I knew this was supernatural and from God. As I witness events unfolding today, I need to share the vision again.
It is impossible to find anyone in the Bible who was a power for God who did not have enemies and was not hated.
“Pedophile priests” have reverberated throughout America. But beneath our anger and revulsion, a fundamental question pulsates: Are those who abuse their positions of trust to prey upon children—a category certainly not limited to those in religious orders—sick … or are they evil? We need the answer to that fundamental question. Because, without the truth, we cannot act. And until we act, nothing will change.
My job is protecting children. It has taken me from big cities to rural outposts, from ghettos to penthouses, and from courtrooms to genocidal battlefields. But whatever the venue, the truth remains constant: Some humans intentionally hurt children. They commit unspeakable acts—for their pleasure, their profit, or both.
#Antichrist #evildoers #suppressingtruth #birthpains #tribulation #sevenyears #hellonearth #those that have ears, let him hear, those that have eyes let them see!
MY MISSION IS NOT TO CONVINCE YOU, ONLY TO INFORM…
Hunted by the Mob, Found by Christ
The gripping memoirs of the founder of HNewsWire. A binge-worthy afternoon read.
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