Whether we are seeing the fruits of Matthew 5:13 (… if the salt has become tasteless… it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled), or of the application of John 15:20 (If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you), the escalation of attacks on churches by self-described “radical queers” again illustrates the “tolerance” extended towards practitioners of Christianity.
When Pastor David Williams of Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Mich., opened the Sunday worship service on Nov. 9, it was evident it was not going to be a typical Lord’s Day. Demonstrators from Bash Back “in pink and black, equipped with a megaphone, black flags, picket signs and an upside-down pink cross …” were noisily visible outside the church, drawing both law enforcement and church security to watch them closely.
Then, infiltrators in the sanctuary “declared themselves fags, and began screaming loudly. … The fire alarm was pulled. Queers began making out in front of the pastor. …” The similar aggression against churches that flowed from massive anti-Proposition 8 protests in California also illustrates that the “idol” of tolerance, diversity and multi-culturalism has a vitriolic reaction against anything that contains a reflection of Judeo-Christian morality and faith.
Lest we think these are isolated incidents, aggression against churches that dare teach, preach or act with a biblical viewpoint of sexual perversity of all kinds has existed for years. However, this is not the only source of threat against these “orthodox” Christian churches, pastors and believers. The reaction of media, political leaders and activist organizations against any public expression of what once was considered mainstream thought has escalated to hysterical levels.
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, a decorated hero with years of Special Forces operations around the world behind him, was forced into retirement because of committing the offense – while speaking at prayer breakfasts or in churches – of saying things like:
“Islamic extremists hate the United States because ‘we’re a Christian nation’; ‘Our spiritual enemy will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus’; President Bush ‘is in the White House because God put him there’; ‘I knew that my God was a real God, and [the Muslim God] was an idol’; ‘The enemy that has come against our nation is a spiritual enemy’ named Satan.”
Those quotes came directly from H.R. 419, proposed by such patriots in Congress as John Conyers, Jim McDermott, Dennis Kucinich and Sheila Jackson-Lee against Gen. Boykin, to “… censure … to reassign Lieutenant General William Boykin. …”
In his book “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” historian William Federer questions whether in Gen. Boykin’s situation, “Has tolerance backfired, where even what someone says at a prayer breakfast may be used against them?”
Somewhere we have to look at both cause and remedy if we are going to not only hold but reverse this slide to tyranny in the Land of the Free. Can we honestly say that the majority or even a strong plurality of churches in the U.S. have served as a source of salt, as a preservative against decay and flavoring our culture with God’s truth? As the radicals of the 1960s became the spiritual, educational and political leaders of the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today – were we engaged in providing reasoned, clear rationale in contending for truth?
National redemption must begin with individual hearts regenerated through spiritual rebirth by Jesus Christ and minds transformed by the filling of them with the absolute truth contained in Holy Scripture. Both were once the first order of business of Christian churches, but in recent decades took backseat to more seeker-friendly, market-oriented “church as you want it” approaches.
We are entertaining with class and building beautiful facilities; however, we are largely not agents of transformation to communities, cities, states and our nation.
It is hard to make the case that current aggression (we haven’t yet seen persecution) against churches and Christianity in America is due to widespread living and thinking like Christ among those claiming His name. We must not only move out of the salt shaker, we must first regain our “taste” to become the Stinging Salt and Shining Light that reflects not only Jesus Christ but nearly 2,000 years of His followers. We may still be persecuted, however we can at least have the joy of knowing it is for the right reasons.