War on Christmas (part 2)

We pick up on this theme from here, and we turn our attention to an organization named American Atheists which has declared an intellectual war on religion, especially Christianity.

They were founded by Madalyn Murray O’Hare, the litigant in the Supreme Court case responsible for removing prayer from schools in the early 1960’s, and their current membership numbers in the thousands.

If you have seen offensive billboards toward Jesus while driving around, it is highly likely they are sponsored by this group. They have made the news recently due to a coordinated campaign against the message of Christmas, calling Jesus a “myth.”

Said their president: “We know that a large population of ‘Christians’ are actually atheists who feel trapped in their family’s religion. If you know god is a myth, you do not have to lie and call yourself ‘Christian’ in order to have a festive holiday season. You can be merry without the myth, and indeed, you should”

As a result they have launched a billboard campaign called “keep the merry, dump the myth.”

It is sad to realize that these people have to fight a belief system in order to place themselves on the map. They don’t realize that they have their own religion, a set of beliefs and principles called “atheism,” and they have their own gatherings (churches), and their own organizations professing their beliefs. Sounds like a full-fledged religion to me. Moreover, they are ironically using our celebration of the birth of Jesus as an occasion for their own merry celebration!

As you see these billboards at busy intersections and public squares, keep in mind that we are not engaged in a fight against an atheist organization. We are clenched in a spiritual war against the forces of darkness:

“12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm”(Ephesians 6:12-13).

Intellectual persecution against Christians is here disguised under “separation of church and state” and it will continue to progress to more significant levels. We therefore need to “stand firm” and proclaim the Gospel with love and without shame.

37 comments on “War on Christmas (part 2)

  1. As an aside, I think this ‘war’ on anything religious can have one good result. It can strengthen us by forcing us to learn how to deal and respond to the verbal persecution and still retain our witness for Christ. And that is not easy to do, to respond in love or even respectfully when someone is shouting at you. But, not only does it help us shape our own witness but it gives us an opportunity to also teach our children how to deal with it.

    This religious discrimination is so rampant that some people just plain don’t respond to it until it blows up. From our own experience as very young parents, I remember when our kids were in the primary grades, due to the principal in charge in those years, slowly in the annual Christmas programs, the kids stopped singing any christmas songs that even remotely sounded like they were religious, yet they were celebrating Jewish and African pagan holidays in class, including having the kids do art projects depicting those holidays. Finally, one year when the principal banned the colors red and green form being worn in the month of December, one parent called on the rest of us to show up at the school and since the media showed up too, the ban was promptly rescinded and the following year the principal was moved to a different position.

    So, when we see these things, it’s important to explain to and teach our kids that opposition will always come, sometimes violently, but, that the Holy Spirit will teach us how to act and what to say, if we pray and let Him guide us. And sometimes we do need to speak out too.

    • Interesting to hear your story with your children. Our son was banned in kindergarden form praying at lunch over his food. His teacher told him that there is no prayer in her class. He did not tell us the day it happened until some time later… it had a deep impact on him because he even remembered what the teacher was wearing that day… We have since taught him to pray silently in his mind to avoid this problem.

      • What we have learned is that kids will (of course) try to deal with things on their own, and will most likely not tell a parent when someone in authority challenges them. If I fast forward to our second eldest daughter who recently had an atheist college professor teaching her history class (at a top university), who challenged her belief in God every day by what he taught, using communism as one of his crutches, teaching that if communism was implemented correctly it would solve our world’s problem and we need not rely on religion as a crutch anymore. Our daughter already grew up with our stories of what it is really like to live under communism, and she would call us every night, very disturbed about what her professor was saying teaching- but, mostly his anti God rhetoric and his “lies” about the historicity of Jesus and the Gospels”. We would pray over the phone and talk and encourage her as we talked, night after night.

        There were several times when she said she looked around at her class and saw how disturbed her classmates were too, yet, they were all afraid of speaking their minds and failing the class as a result. She said that sometimes her hand would shoot up in class without a thought and she would just say things that she marveled at later because she never had the thoughts that she spoke on the spur of the moment, as a response to her teacher. And, it was even more amazing considering the fact that she was extremely shy. However, the personal turmoil of fighting against such principalities did take a toll and she went through some depressive days and she really thought he was going to fail her. I think those were the hardest days of our life because she was far away from us and all we could do was encourage and pray with her. Unbeknownst to us, along with her assignment one day, she attached an email, in which she explained her personal situation and her faith in God and told him that she and other classmates were very disturbed by his talk against God. Then, in a few more words she actually witnessed to him about Christ! In the end she actually got an A in the class, but the professor never said a word about her email note.

        So, it will not get any easier for your son as he grows older. When our daughter went through this period is when we started researching apologetics on the internet and relied on Ravi Zacharias a lot in order to learn how to respond to atheist’s claims. We have seen some christian friends kid’s faith derailed in college and one of the top reasons we started our own blog was in order to compile apologetics resources for people needing them in order to fend for their faith, for college students especially and also for parents to teach their children how to fend for their faith too.

        If kids- college age or younger don’t know the answers to the atheist’s attacks, they will be vulnerable to believing their flawed and untruthful arguments, especially in a school or university setting.

    • Rodi, this persecution is actually very mild and mostly annoying, but the spiritual darkness at work here is the same one at work as in Africa where Christians are shot and beheaded. You are so right about teaching our kids how to respond to persecution…

      BTW, are you aware of any rules against individual prayer in school?

      • You are so right, but, although the war in the US is more subtle, the casualties are worst. In Africa those martyrs being killed are saved and in the arms of Christ. Here in the US the victims of this persecution to stamp out belief in God can have ‘eternal death’ consequences. It is even more diabolical.

        I know of a couple of cases where preacher’s kids became atheists based on lies taught to them in the University. With all the apologetics available right now, the lies they believed can be easily debunked, but it is harder now for them to leave their lifestyles. So, we have to teach our kids in a loving way that people will always try to sway them away from Christ because of their own insecurities and unbelief.

        As to praying, there is no law against praying in public. Even prayer at public events, and even at public schools that have been challenged, have mostly been struck down. Maybe you’ve heard of the ACLJ, it is a good organization that has fought, even all the way up to the Supreme Court, for christian’s rights. You can friend them on Facebook and keep tabs on what they are working on, and if anyone has an issue they can contact them and seek help. Here’s their short legal brief on prayer- http://aclj.org/prayer/public-prayer

  2. Honestly, calling it a “war” is, first of all, a slap into the face of all people who really died in wars. The fact that there are people who are not sharing your opinion and saying so is NOT war. And calling one principle – I don’t believe in a god – a “set” may mathematically true, but otherwise nonsense. And, let me repeat that: If atheism is a religion, then not playing football is a sport.
    But OF COURSE it sounds like a religion to you: Simply because you can’t imagine that there are people who don’t need religion. You look into a mirror, see someone deeply afraid and conclude, that everyone else must be exactly like you. They are not, sorry.
    And if I got a dollar for every time a Christian claimed that them not having special privileges was “persecution against Christians” I could probably retire by now.

    • Thanks for the input. This post is written from a theological and spiritual perspective. This is not a a physical war like you mention. Scripture teaches us that this is a spiritual war on a different level than what you are referring to.

      And we do not need religion… We need a Savior…

  3. Reading this article, I just thought of the verse: “Great peace have those who love Your Law, and nothing shall offend them”…
    Interesting that we complain that the lawless are offended by our religion/faith, but then we just as easily get offended by their offense. πŸ™‚

    Maybe we should try the Matt 5:11 and rejoice when we/our faith are rejected and reviled

    • We are not offended by the mocking of God, I am sorry you drew that conclusion from the article

      We have quite a few of these billboards in Southern California. Some mock Christianity pretty bad. So they are offensive in themselves but we do not take it personal.

      Remember, the work of Jesus is based on His mocking, torture and murder.

      Islam takes great offense in any slight insult against their prophet. We certainly, as Christians, do not take offense in atheists mocking God.

      The point of the article is to highlight the spiritual war taking place.

      • when considering the number of lawsuits christians undertake for having their christian rights violated, only makes you wonder if we didnt fall in the other extreme and forgot about the joy of suffering for being a christian…

  4. Val, if freedom of speech and religion is violated, that constitutes a violation of the law of the land. So I do support pursuing legal avenues to protect what the constitution protects. Just because we are persecuted in some way, that doesn’t mean we have to be stand back and suffer if we don’t have to.

    • Chris,
      And what would be wrong, if we having the right to sue and pursue justice here in this world, choose to forgive and bless our persecutor instead of suing them over our constitutional rights? πŸ™‚

      • That is actually a very good point. Turning the other cheek so to speak. That would be a silent way to evangelize…. Evangelize and use words if necessary πŸ™‚ I don’t really believe in that because we must do everything we can to proclaim the Gospel and it has to be done using our constitutional rights… Giving up the fight might decrease our ability to evangelize

        • it’s not only a silent way, it’s a godly way :)…of course there is a time for everything..I think we just forgot about the losing part, being quiet, etc… πŸ™‚

  5. This country was build on judeo christian values….and while the salt of the earth was salt… this country had a decent moral line, specially because the influence of the puritans was present in the public life… now,since the emergence of the seekerfriendly/charismatic/emergent/music driven church and the church becoming like the world…. the salt lost its taste…so what is it good for now?: …trash.. and as a result the society is a cesspool

    For the few churches that are left that still believe in holiness and separation from anything that is worldly … it is time to realize that we lost the war…we cannot impose our views in a post christian society …and it is time to go back to preaching salvation by repentance and faith in Jesus and forget all this mumbo jumbo that is called “church” today… we are the minority …in the country and in most of todays churches

    Now if the seculars want to ban christmas… let them have it … it will make no difference one way or the other …it become a 100% pagan in the world and a show in most churches…

    • Not a bad take… It’s one thing to just ban Christmas, it’s another to be indecent about it and mock a certain group of people which is what American Atheists are doing publicly. If these atheists want to have some credibility they need to start behaving decently and have their apologists debate without mocking.

      • Expect more from the atheists? Yes I do. Most are well educated and they claim relative morality, so I expect them to engage in a respectful debate.

        Expect more persecution? Yes I do. I expect it will intensify at the government level in the future.

        • Chris,
          let me blunt–atheists have the right to mock, despise and demand Jesus out of everything (He is a rock of offense after all–what do you expect?) and Christians have to right to shut up and put up since they are travelers and not citizens of this world… How’s that for a twist? πŸ™‚

        • I agree, you are blunt! πŸ™‚

          I disagree, Christians DO NOT have the right to shut up and put up. We are to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth! And that includes fighting for our right to do so.

        • no one can stop you from preaching… and you shouldnt stop–but you should stop complaining about atheists not wanting Christmas… in rest, go preach…. but no complaining πŸ™‚

        • the 1st Christians did not fight for the right to preach–they just preached b/c they had the right to preach from God….we want the rights from men b/c we are unwilling to pay the price πŸ™‚

        • Chris,
          God’s principles can be applied exclusively to all situations–it’s hard to imagine and comprehend, but somehow God allows the blood of His holy ones to be spilled unjustly (think of Abel), But GOD will bring avenge the blood of all the righteous men from Abel til the very end–it is not for us to avenge (I’m not saying it’s easy to put up with this), but for us to endure til the end–“it was granted to us not only to believe but also to suffer” taking Jesus as our example of suffering…

          In the free world we know little or nothing about this aspect of Christianity–we are into: “Bless me, God, bless me, I need a better house, etc….but our time might just be coming very very soon and that for our own ETERNAL good.

          I love you brother, really mean that…I appreciate you and know you mean well for everyone..

  6. Chris,
    Here is the scenario–if in a country I have the constitutional right to preach freely (let’s say publicly), but in order to do so I must register in advance, etc then I should normally comply (since there is no compromise in doing so)…But if the country forbids me, then I should obey God and speak when He prompts me at any cost….

    However, no where do we find written…”fight, campaign, bribe, etc so you will be officially allowed to preach….” see my point?
    In addition, our job is to preach, not to make laws–we need to tell people what is right, but not make them do it—God gave us all a free will and He will judge everyone according to his choices… But we need to wait–we want judgement now, but that is not God’s way or plan…It’s about the sweet by and by, the way I see it… While Im here, when times are good, i’ll take advantage, when bad I push through but not by stepping over my enemie–that is an islamic philosophy, not a christian one πŸ™‚

      • Yes, Chris, call them what you want, but do it and dont try to make laws that give you an advantage πŸ™‚ just do it and pay the price if you really care and believe, but be led by the Spirit so you dont end up regretting it… πŸ™‚

        PS–Be another R.W….. we have enough (preachers) politicians, we need some more real heroes πŸ™‚ –I;ll back you up, lol

      • Finally Val, we’re coming to a more common denominator… far cry from the “put and shut up” from earlier. πŸ™‚

        Also, nice PS… RW, huh? Perhaps I should reference you to a few posts back about RW… πŸ™‚

        BTW I just was at Saddleback for a non-religious event. They call that place a church. I would call it a city. Every age group has their own building or tent… cultural centers… concert halls… conference halls… Someone there called it a ‘menu’ church. Interesting.

    • “God gave us all a free will”
      boy…. πŸ™‚

      “β€œpeople are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

      “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other”

      God gave us the ability to choose… but our choices are always made based on the master we serve… πŸ™‚

      Now, christians in different times used different methods to stand up for their faith

      Luther for example… his method was best for the place and time( public protest) .. but trying to do the same thing in Afganistan would get you killed in no time….

      If Luther would have fought only trough prayer … Val would still be a charismatic …. catholic … πŸ™‚

      Love that distinction “not necessarily sinful, but carnal”
      That’s a new one πŸ™‚

      • Gabi,
        you’re taking things out of context…
        carnal in this context means unspiritual, natural, etc, but not sinful–reread Efes 6 beg with 10 to see the context

        Martin Luther did preach, but did it in spite of being (i)llegal and that was my point–go ahead and preach and dont wait for the atheist to make it legal for you

        And yes, in Afghanistan you can preach too if you want to pay the price–the apostles preached where was similar to Afghanistan but, of course unlike us, they didnt care about their lives…

        Somehow today, we want the law on our side so we dont suffer persecution, not even public ridicule—and that is what I was pointing out….We want everything our way only b/c “we are right” kind of thing…

  7. I beg to differ on pushing back with the Gospel because of Romans10:14 – the Gospel HAS to be HEARD. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

    And look at the most prominent example we have in the book of Acts- Stephen (Acts 6:8-7:60) When opposition arose, Stephen did not cower or go hide inside their house churches. He continued to publicly proclaim the Gospel. In fact, he knew he would be arrested and persecuted. We have this notion that all the 1st century martyrs were hunted down in their secret hiding places and that was not the case.

    In fact, Stephen’s insubordination and failure to go away, is what led to the major public discourse with the High priest, members of the Sanhedrin and Jews from 4 diff. provinces.

    Isn’t it interesting that we are given Stephen as the first example of the great commission in action, right at the beginnings of the church’s ministry?

    Jesus’s commission to us was not to turn the other cheek (that’s a way of life for a believer, or something we strive for daily), but in the great commission Jesus asked us to teach, that is the word he chose – Matthew 28:19-20 ” 9 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20…teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

  8. by the way, I don’t endorse ‘in your face’ confrontations at all, because not only are they not christian like, but they are totally non productive. And since brashness is not a gift of the spirit (I’m being funny here), then we can yell and argue all we want because the Holy Spirit will not be present to convict and our work will have been in vain.

    • So true Rodi…

      I occasionally witness these “in your face” street preachers at the local outdoor mall… I cringe every time. They sometimes use KJV language and phrases understood only by born-again Christians to shout out to people passing by, and a lot of mean folks yell out expletives at them or mock them… So sad. Falls under the category “multa ravna, putina intelepciune.”

      Then there are videos of folks being arrested for street preaching because of disturbing the peace of harassing customers… Again the wrong approach

      I think the most effective way to evangelize is person-to-person… When you build trust with someone, they are much more likely to hear you out…

      In other words, I do not support the public “protest” that Val references above πŸ™‚

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