In the wake of the ungodly election cycle we just went through, a series of stunning lawsuits against churches and Christian organizations started to take shape within the legal system. This may be the first time in the history of the United States that a systematic approach has been undertaken to attack organizations of the Christian faith thru the courts.
One of the groups leading this coordinated charge is the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), an organization of 19,000 self-proclaimed non-theists (atheists and agnostics) who want to remove religious (but mainly Christian) influence from society. Their main underlying argument in most of these cases is separation of church and state, as if the United States is a theocracy where the church is in charge of government. Anytime a Christian symbol appears in public, they cry a reactionary “this is a violation of the separation of church and state!”
The FFRF has just sued Billy Graham Evangelistic Association for taking out full-page ads in the weeks leading up to election urging people to vote for pro-life candidates. They are vehemently suing a number of Catholic bishops and parishes who instructed their members to vote based on religious principles involving issues like abortion and contraception mandates.
The October 7, 2012 event “Freedom Pulpit Sunday” where nearly 1,600 pastors decided to openly endorse life, biblical and family values and candidates from the pulpit seemed to have been the pivotal point that started this rage.
But wait… their bold tactic does not end there. They have just demanded in the letter to the president that the words “so help me God” as well as the placing of the hand on the Bible be removed from the presidential inauguration… again, based on the delusion that the church and state are one entity in the US!
The main goal of these attacks is to remove the non-profit status of churches and Christian organizations. That is the goal… for now. But I am predicting that we will quickly move to the phase of anti-bullying and hate speech legislation against pastors and churches who proclaim biblical truth. And then Christians will face more than just monetary penalties. They may face criminal charges and potentially prison for preaching against sin.
Christians in America need to wake up and pray for this nation and its leaders, so that God will not allow this nation to get to that point. Persecution is coming to America and we need to anticipate it and get spiritually ready for it.
I completely agree that the horizon looks as you say. Persecution is coming, and we should prepare. In that spirit three thoughts come to mind.
1) With 42% of those claiming to be evangelical Christians casting their presidential vote for a party intent on hastening this persecution, the ‘church’ will hardly be able to complain when the persecution comes, nor should we be surprised when ‘evangelicals’ are casting their lot against us in the time of persecution.
2) We should follow the example of Richard Wurmbrand before he was imprisoned and study the experiences of those who have walked the path of persecution and martyrdom before us.
3) We must saturate our minds with God’s Word before it is outlawed as ‘hate’ speech. Can’t have all that talk about God judging sinners.
Matt, one of my biggest worries is the possible hate speech laws which may pass in the next 4 years. I spoke to a pastor who used to pastor a church in Canada where they had some experience with this type of legislation. In certain provinces it was forbidden to speak out against certain sinful lifestyles. Imagine having to censor your Bible at the pulpit…
persecution was here, is here and will be here.
Click to access persecution.pdf
Actually i believe that the persecution of the Church is most efective in the western culture… it is not physical , it is mental… and christians are falling like flies …
The American church already capitulated when they sold their right to speak against the king for the tax exempt status
With regard to hate speech laws, I don’t really think it’s a matter of if, so much as when. I’ve also heard some of the disturbing stories out of Canada. If pastors are truly willing to censor God’s Word to protect themselves, that is disturbing, but many pastors already censor the Bible for political correctness or to maintain popularity, so it won’t be surprising.
I agree that the attacks on the church in western culture have been and are very effective (whether we call them persecution or not is perhaps semantics). I also see a disturbing trend in churches capitulating for tax status. One because government has no right to limit speech so churches should force the issue, but even if they did, do we really censor the Truth for money? And if we do, we’re kidding ourselves if we believe we’ll suddenly develop more moral fortitude when the consequences are jail rather than financial loss.