As Christians prepare to observe Palm Sunday (April 1) and Easter (April 8), it is becoming increasingly apparent that we are living in a culture that has little room for the Savior.
Let’s examine how Christians are often treated in the modern society.
This week, the Christian Defense Coalition was sponsoring a public Christian celebration in Washington, D.C., when they were ordered to leave a public sidewalk in front of the Library of Congress – as they were kneeling in prayer – even though they had obtained a permit from the Capitol Police. Coalition director, the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, noted that anti-war protesters were allowed to spray paint the U.S. Capitol Building with no consequences, while “peaceful Christians were ordered to leave a public sidewalk for praying.”
There is an obvious double standard at play. And this standard is increasingly targeting Christians, especially those who express their faith in the public arena.
We frequently see this type of discrimination in our public schools. We have seen valedictorians literally have microphones turned off during their addresses in order to silence their expressions of faith in Jesus Christ.
School choirs have been told (falsely) that they could not sing Christmas carols, student Bible clubs often have to take legal action to gain their U.S. Supreme Court-authorized right to meet on campus, and Bible clubs must often fight to gain their right to advertise or have their ads appear in school publications.
Author David Limbaugh, in “Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christians,” wrote how a judge threatened public school students, back in 1995, with arrest and incarceration for six months if they mentioned the name of Jesus.
Recently, my National Liberty Journal newspaper reported that 12 Washington state high school students – some immigrants from Russia – were suspended for praying before school. The publication frequently documents these types of cases (since the mainstream media are typically silent on instances of Christian persecution).
At Savannah State University, Christian students were told that their evangelistic outreach efforts were tantamount to “harassment.”
Here in Virginia, William and Mary College took down a historic cross from a chapel because someone said it was offensive. In today’s environment, an offensive Christian symbol will not be tolerated. However, the college’s administration had no problem with authorizing a “Sex Workers’ Art Show” on campus.
This is the culture in which we live.
Today, many in authority believe Christianity should be shunned, while sexual hedonism should be explored and embraced.
This week, the talk channels are alive with news of a six-foot chocolate sculpture of Jesus, titled “My Sweet Lord,” that was set for display in New York City. It is just another in a long line of “art” exhibits (remember “P— Christ” and the Virgin Mary display designed with dung?) that denigrate Jesus and those who follow Him.
So what are we to make of this accelerating cultural abhorrence of Christ and Christianity?
Let us look to the Words of Jesus, who reminded us that when we are persecuted for our faith, we are uniquely connected to Him.
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you.” (John 15:18, NKJV)
There is no greater privilege than suffering for your defense of the Gospel.
As we prepare to recall the suffering of Jesus on the cross and His glorious resurrection, Christians must determine that we will, more than ever, be ambassadors of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. May we jointly hold to the words of Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. …”