Not the first, but close enough to count, it was Herod the Great who tried to remove the “church” from the public square (Matt. 2:16) before “He” ever took hold. Later it would be Peter (Matt. 16:21-23) and of course Judas who gave himself over to be used of the evil one in yet another attempt to remove “Him” from the public square.
The disciples minus John died at the hands of those who would keep “Him” from the thoughts and hearts of those in the square. History is replete with examples of those throughout the ages who have tried to keep “Him” from the purview of the citizenry.
Clever anachronists successfully argued that which was not there (i.e., in the Constitution) before the highest court in the land. Once again, the minds of men eschewed the mind and will of God, choosing instead the reason of man.
Poured from the caldron of hatred that teems in the fires of the abyss we have legions of hate squads waging their own jihad against Christ in an attempt to wash “Him” from the conscience of every man, woman and child.
It would seem to the unscriptured mind that the invidious marplots are winning the day. Many are discouraged, longing for the days gone by. “Lord help us all” they cry, evil triumphs.
All recognition of our Judeo-Christian God is torn from the public square. Christmas, which is at once recognized as one of the two highest holy days on the Christian calendar, is under relentless attack.
- Granite School District in Utah forbade their teachers to use the word “Christmas.”
- South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey forbade Columbia High School brass ensemble to play music containing references to Jesus, Santa Claus or any other religious symbols.
- In Washington state, Charles Dickens’ immortal classic “A Christmas Carol” is banned from a high school because it contains Tiny Tim’s prayer, “God bless us everyone.”
- In Florida, children cannot sing Christmas songs, but they can sing Hanukkah songs and songs for the make believe Kwanzaa.
I would, however, caution the haters who are delirious from the rash of seemingly recent victories – silence from on “High” does not equate with absence, lack of interest, or inability or unwillingness to act. To believers, I would repeat the same with the proviso to be “steadfast, unmovable, strong in the faith.”
The enemy of our faith is intent upon not just the removal of Christ from the public square, but ultimately the subversion of our entire system of beliefs, and what better place to start than with young impressionable minds that are held captive six hours a day?
It only makes sense that if the birth of Christ can be rendered of no effect, i.e. reduced to a non-consequential break in routine. “His” death will be rendered of no effect, ergo, “His” resurrection will soon also be reduced to just another vacation day.
While this period of time may be frustrating, it should be noted by both sides that the church flourishes under persecution. And let there be no doubt the church is under attack on every front. From homosexuals, to schools we pay for, to legislatures and judges, to atheists.
A marvelous example of Christian churches flourishing under persecution is the Christian churches in North Korea. This phenomena is, for those seeking the dissolution of the Christian system of belief, the unintended consequences of their actions.
We must remember that the pendulum of God only swings so far in the opposite direction … then it swings back, knocking down that evil which may have sprung up in its wake.
Even as we endure the poisoned, unfounded rulings by activist courts, I would encourage all people of Judeo-Christian faith to be strong. It’s not such a bad thing. The church has been growing fat, complacent and corrupt. Full frontal assaults will send her back to spiritual boot camp – basic training, if you will.
Don’t be discouraged, remember to smile and wish all “A Merry, Merry Christmas.” And this Christmas, if you should bump into an atheist, remember that while Madeline Murray O’Hare lost her way, her son found his. That should make us all smile.