Monday, October 11, 2010

5 1/2 The Manicured American Church - What It Means to be a Christian

Life goes on. We eat drink, work, play with our kids, have dinner with a friend, do the dishes, take a shower, drive the car - it is pretty much typical in many parts of the world. As Christians many of us go to church, have a Jesus fish on the trunk lid, maybe pray a little, have a devotional time, own a Bible and possibly we are involved in a ministry at church. It is pretty typical.

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?


Charlie Chang said...

I think a big thing in America is we're rich and comfortable. I'll give my 10% and that's it buddy! I hate to admit it but that's how I am most of the time.

Honestly I think if someone killed my wife and kids, I'd throw up 2 middle fingers to God. Just sayin'

2SenseWorth said...

You've mentioned so many of the idiocracies going on in this country and world right now! My belief is that it's the rampant spread of the inevitable spirit of antichrist preparing the people for his soon coming tyrannical reign. You just watch some of these far left radical/liberals on TV and it's like their mouth is moving but nobody is home.. blank empty stare and/or just plain rage. It's like robots under another's control.. and totally irriational thinking! I mean how stupid of these long time feminists who are so afraid of being intolerant that they won't speak out against muslims stoning woman to death etc, and so on.. I just shake my head in disbelief. Then you see a Christian anchor/politician and it's like whoaaa, normal!!! Praise God for the Holy Spirit-and God's people!
Loved the video! I pray to see more of that. I believe we will, the Bible says He'll pour out His Spirit in the last days. :-)
As for how far I'd go for Jesus... well though my comfort zones/fears hold me back at times in my Christian walk, I like to believe I'd stand for Jesus no matter what. I think about it a lot and pray it doesn't come to that, but many others far less blessed than we are in this country have had to walk that road, do we think we are special??? I can only say if someone put a gun to my head, or worse, because of my faith I pray and believe I would stand firm even though I know I'd likely lose all bodily function control at that point LOL.......
Thanks for the read, God bless..

2SenseWorth said...

P.S. When considering the possibilities of that final note, I remember how God's heart breaks into pieces for the sake of the martyrs and the Word says He holds a very special and honored place for them in eternal Heaven.

David-FireAndGrace said...

Well, I thought about losing my life in Brazil. The Military Police can be a little rough. I ended up just fine.

It's hard to know what you are willing to lose until you are faced with losing it - or you actually do.

2SenseWorth said...

That is so true... and sometimes that choice is taken out of our hands..

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