RISING HOSTILITY TOWARD CHRISTIANITY
Over the past twenty years, there has been an increasing hostility toward Christianity and all it represents in America. When I was a young person, carrying my Bible to school never met opposition. Posting the Ten Commandments, saying prayer before my lunch in the lunch room, or meeting after school with a Christian youth club was integrated in the school life as much a reading, writing, and arithmetic.
However, that is not the case today. Because of cowardly local government and school board leaders, powerful organization with large budgets and abundant legal resources are causing fear to trump, thereby regulating out Christ at Christmas, Christmas carols, nativity scenes, prayer at commencements, Bible classes, or anything that symbolizes the Christian faith. Even school leaders forbid any patriotic songs that contain the word God.
What has been created is a generation of young adults who are what I call ‘un-churched’. Cultural norms once influenced by the Bible have been replaced with secular thought. As one young man asked the other day, “Who was Jesus?” No one in America would have asked that question twenty years ago. One may not have been a Christian, may not have attended church, but they knew who Jesus was.
In the Bible passage below, God gives a clear warning to those who refuse to give glory to His name:
If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, To give glory to My name," Says the LORD of hosts, "I will send a curse upon you, And I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have cursed them already, Because you do not take it to heart. "Behold, I will rebuke your descendants And spread refuse on your faces, The refuse of your solemn feasts; And one will take you away with it. (Malachi 2:2-3)**
And, how does one fail to give glory to His name? By removing everything that is a tangible reminder of how great He is, how wonderful He is, how He has blessed us, He returning to us greatness in stature before the world. When we remove the crosses, the Bibles, forbid our children to sing His name, and pray to Him, thanking Him for their lunch, when we take the Ten Commandments off our buildings around the country and forbid those who speak to invoke the name of Jesus, we are stealing His glory. And, He will judge this nation.
There is a five part judgment contained in the above Bible reference:
1. He will curse this nation, and send it into ruin from within.
2. He will remove his blessings from us. The blessings of the past will be taken away. He will, if not corrected, judge this nation.
3. He will rebuke our children, and remove the prodigy that would otherwise continue to make America great.
4. He will spread refuse on our faces … that is, God will make America a laughing stock before the world. The world will laugh at our calamity.
5. He will destroy America.
In the early years of America, God was an intricate part of our nation. And, He blessed it because we let Him in. A famous quotation from one of our founding fathers is appropriate here:
... In the beginning of the contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the Divine Protection. – Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. ... And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance. I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that "except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: ...I therefore beg leave to move – that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.
Benjamin Franklin recognized that the establishment of America was being driven by divine providence … that God had His hand in her development. It was God’s response to men honoring Him through prayer.
Years later, a French philosopher made the following observation when touring America:
"A French philosopher who visited our shores when America was a new young nation left a similar warning. Alexis De Tocqueville said he came to the United States to learn what magic quality enabled a handful of people to defeat the mighty British Empire twice in 35 years. He looked for the greatness of America in her harbors and rivers, her fertile fields and boundless forests, mines and other natural resources. He studied America's schools, her Congress, and her matchless Constitution without comprehending America's power. Not, until he went into the churches of America and heard pulpits "aflame with righteousness" did he understand the secret of her genius and strength. De Tocqueville returned to France and wrote: "America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."
Alexis de Tocqueville - 1830
Why is Christianity being held in contempt across America, while false religions, i.e. Islam are being embraced? The answer is found in the process of a decaying society as described in the Bible. Let me explain.
The Word of God*, the Bible, explains this process in Romans 1:18-32. It gives us the three step progression of a culture that is decaying and God’s judgment against that culture.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, (19) because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. (20) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. (21) For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing to be wise, they became fools, (23) and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. (24) Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.
(25) For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (26) For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, (27) and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (28) And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, (29) being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, (30) slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, (31) without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; (32) and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Romans 1:18-32 (NASB)
Let’s look at the three steps:
1. They began to steal His glory: We have systematically in this country been removing those things that remind us of Him and give glory to Him, i.e. Bibles, prayer, the Ten Commandments, crosses, etc.
2. They forsook the Truth for a lie: They began moving away from the Truth as taught in the Bible, replacing it with lies and material things … stuff. Sunday morning is no longer a time to attend church, in honor to His name. It is a time to go fishing, hold a Bar B Q, or just stay home and watch TV.
3. They became and accepted immoral behavior: One has to be in a fog if this is not evident to them. Couples living together outside of marriage is common place today. The rise of profanity and adult themes in movies and entertainment has replaced ‘All In The Family’. The emboldened homosexual and lesbian community, with the endorsement of our leaders, has put Christian businesses, Christian schools and Pastors on notice in regard to ‘intolerance’.
Over the life of America, God has protected her. With oceans on either side and friendly neighbors, America has not had to worry about neighboring enemies. America’s prosperity has been unmatched in world history. Americans have enjoyed the highest standard of living of any other people on earth. The average citizen has accumulated wealth unheard of.
God has seen America through a civil war, two world wars, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. As that great patriotic song testifies, “God shed His grace on thee”.
The terms below speak of Divine Abandonment ... the removal of Divine protection.
(24) …God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity …
(26) … God gave them over to degrading passions…
(28) …God gave them over to a depraved mind…
Once God abandons a society, it free falls into moral anarchy until it implodes. The last part of the Bible passage describes this ‘free fall’:
· being filled with all unrighteousness
· full of envy
· they are gossips
· haters of God
· inventors of evil
· disobedient to parents
· without understanding
· although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
This describes a culture that has lost it national conscience. It describes a culture in which God, because they have rejected Him, withholds His ‘staying power’ over men, so men can do whatever they want without consequences.
So what does this have to do with Christianity, you might ask. Every culture in history, once it moves away from God, has attacked Christians. The reason is quite simple. Men do not want to be reminded of their sin. They by nature hate God. Oh, they might appear ‘spiritual’, but when confronted about their immoral and unethical behavior, they become hostile.
Churches in general, and Christians in particular, become a convicting conscience to a culture that is pre-occupied with its own vices. They want to be rid of anything that may hold them accountable for their actions. So, Christians must go. They start with the Christians symbols, i.e. banning crosses, Bibles, Christian songs in school concerts, prayer at baccalaureates, military chaplains using the name Jesus, and so on. Once this no longer satisfies their hate, they will turn on churches, Christian owned businesses, and Christians specifically.
I am a patriot … I love America and the freedoms and opportunities she affords. However, unless America repent and turn back to God, unless America restore to the Lord the honor due Him, He will judge America as He has in every great nation in history that forsook Him.
Some truths first:
Everyone sins- for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)
The consequence of our sin is death - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins - … Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures … (1 Corinthians 15:3)
The Lord wants us to repent of our sins and turn to Him - The Lord is … not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Those who put their faith in Jesus Christ will gain eternal life - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Get alone with God and in prayer:
· Confess (agree with God) that you are a sinner and that you repent of your sins.
· By faith, receive Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as payment for your sins.
· Invite Jesus Christ into your heart and receive Him as your personal Lord and Savior, asking Him to forgive you your sins.
· Thank Him for saving you and for giving you eternal life.
If you prayed with a sincere heart conviction, you have been saved, based on God’s unchangeable promise. He has recreated you in Christ Jesus, all things have become new.
Find a local Bible believing church to attend if possible.
If you have access to one, begin reading the Bible, starting in the New Testament.
E-mail us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us know of your decision, and how we can help you.
God bless you in your life’s journey with Him!
* ‘Word of God’ refers to the Bible only, in all instances in this work. No other source is assumed in that phrase.
** All Bible references are from the New King James Version (NKJV) unless otherwise noted.