Monday, October 11, 2010
5 1/2 The Manicured American Church - What It Means to be a Christian
In contrast, I was thinking about martyrs, about those that have lost their lives for the sake of Christ. That's not very typical here in the 1st world. It makes me want to ask the question: How important is Christianity and all the stuff we do as part of the culture of faith? I also wonder at what point would you and I would keep quiet about Jesus, about being a Christian, and about going to church?
One of my favorite books is Jesus Freaks. If you haven't read, it, get it today!
What's the bottom line?
-1 Limited Freedom of Speech: The folks who don't really understand what "separation of church and state" is, have pretty much made it something that it was not intended to be. (The government not choosing a denomination.) Where teachers were once free to talk about their faith; whatever faith that was, or use the Bible as a literary text, those expressions are pretty much forbidden, and in some cases outlawed.
It is true that students may lead a prayer, or read their Bible during study hall, but any expression of faith led by a teacher, who may in fact be a Christian, is forbidden. Interestingly, if a teacher wants, they may talk about their sexual orientation and witchcraft, because neither is a "religion."
Brandon Smith didn't really care about the separation of church and state. His little episode made Time Magazine.
-2 Limited Religious Expression: With Christmas decorations destined to appear the day after Halloween, the fight will again rage over whether or not it is lawful for Christmas trees and mangers to be set up in the public square. Even though Christmas is a Federal Holiday, it won't matter. The Jews will want their menorahs and Stars of David, and the atheists will want their statement of unfaith displayed with equal visibility.
In one of our local towns here in MA, folks complained about a "Merry Christmas" sign on a public firehouse that has been there every year since WW II. How offensive can you get, really? I am missing how Merry Christmas = Kill the Infidels
What is more troubling is that in some areas of the US, some local and state governments have caved to non-Christian pressure. For example, Kansas City and St. Paul airports installed foot basins for Muslims. Or is it troubling? I am assuming that the airports also have a chapel with a Bible in it.
-3 Christianity Under Attack: What do Christians do when their beloved church buildings are vandalized and burned? It recently happened in India and Pakistan as a result of Terry Jones' threat to burn Qu'rans.
I wonder what Christians would do if one day it became illegal to burn religious books under a hate crimes law? I think THESE folks would be in shock.
-4 State Run Church How does a Christian respond the take over of a state run church? They have them in other countries. The state run church could make it illegal to burn a religious book even if the person converted from another religion to Christianity. The state could punish a church or pastor for NOT performing a homosexual marriage despite their religious views. I suppose they would allow Rastafarians to smoke pot - who knows?
In some countries they even provide buildings with a state approved gospel. Members must be must be baptized and married in the church. These sort of churches have been popular in history in various countries from Sweden to China. In China today, Churches which are not controlled by the government are shut down, and their members are imprisoned.
The loss of the 501c(3) tax exempt status in America is an open door for state run churches - exactly what the separation of church and state was meant to stop. But don't worry, that anti-Christ will end all religion (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
-5 Christianity Outlawed: Christianity has been outlawed in various countries throughout its history. What if the government went after every Christian Facebook user, blog or web site? They could, HERE's how the Internet has archived one of my sites.
The ministry, Voice of the Martyrs tracks modern day persecution wherever it takes place, but primarily in countries where it is outlawed.
It appears from scripture that the Last Days are going to be filled with persecution, and you an I could easily join the ranks of the hated. But keep the faith, Moses, Joseph, Daniel, Jesus, and the apostles, not to mention the first 300 years of Christians lived with their earthy lives on the line for their faith.
-5 1/2 Persecution...
How about you, are you willing to be a martyr for Christ like the apostles were? If not, what's your bottom line, where will you stop being a Christian?