Coming Soon - Persecution?

Like a moth to a porch lamp on a warm summer night, I am drawn to the radio talk shows on my morning drive to work. I can’t help it, even though most of the time they can have a tendency to almost make my blood boil. Sometimes the topic for the morning can border on the ridiculous, but the comments of the callers on those mornings can help me recognize and temper my own reactions to the adverse subjects we are faced with these days.

One of the callers this morning was very angry – in fact he was irate. He brought up his own topic which revolved around if a Christian had killed people on a military base, the media would be all over the story (like white on rice, he put it). And before the day was over, he continued, we would know the church the guy attended, what denomination it was a part of, and legal action would be sure to follow. He is probably correct in his manner of thinking. Didn’t someone say recently that we red-staters cling to our God, guns, and religion a little too tightly or something like that?

There is an all-out attack on God these days, I can tell by the amount of chain-emails I get on the subject. Usually the sender wants me to forward them with my signature added to the bottom of a list, but only if ‘I’m not afraid or ashamed’ to do so. That’s a tough call on my part. I received one yesterday that was supposedly a petition being passed around to prove that we are still a Christian nation - and we only needed five-thousand signatures to prove it. Only five thousand?

I’m not making light of the subject. When someone preaches that our Christian values and ethics are under attack, I can sing the second verse. I know these things to be true in my heart. I hate the idea that my children can no longer pray in school, the Ten Commandments have been removed from our courthouses, and nativity scenes are now taboo at Christmastime. I despise the fact that there is an effort afoot to change the Pledge of Allegiance to remove the stanza about ‘One Nation Under God’. It is hard for me to comprehend the various changes and translations of our Bible, and how preachers these days seem more inclined to speak words of political correctness from the pulpit in an effort to be perceived as ‘tolerant’ and thus protect the church’s tax-exempt status.

But am I a militant Christian? No. I do not believe that if we work really hard on the political front and come together as Christians in time for the 2010 elections, there will be a dramatic change in our country’s opinion on Christianity as a whole. America’s policy toward things such as tolerance or diversity of thought and religion are more than likely too far gone at this point. I believe that things are going to continue to deteriorate, regardless of political climate or who controls what in our government offices. And I know that sounds cynical at best and opinionated at worst.

I haven’t thrown in the towel, so to speak - not by a long shot. But these times we live in were already foretold by Jesus long ago when he said, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” I used to think and still do that He was only talking about the Jews when he made this prophecy. But I see our current society’s persecution of all things Christian getting worse each day instead of better. I have a sense of foreboding in my belief that we may only be scratching the tip of the iceberg with the things we see happening so far. The Bible and the Christian faith are simply too oppressive and narrow-minded to a world that no longer feels or desires to be constrained by decency and morals.

Now is the time to circle the proverbial wagons, those of us who truly believe God’s Word and those of us who really put our faith and trust in Him. What will happen to us if down the road they close our churches and forbid us to exercise our faith because it might be considered offensive to others? What is going to happen if we really begin to be persecuted for His name’s sake? Will we walk away and disregard our beliefs? Will we 'drop the cross' and follow after another religion that is considered more acceptable by those in charge? When the Son of Man returns, will He find any faith at all left on the earth?

Stay tuned… it might get interesting before it’s all over with and done.

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