The days of Christianity where it doesn’t make waves, doesn’t cause controversy, doesn’t draw opposition, and isn’t a target are finished, attendees at the Future Conference at Skyline Church in La Mesa, California, were told this week.
“The days of comfortable Christianity are over,” Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage warned.
The theme of the conference was “What you thought was coming is here now,” and confronted head on several hot button topics that WND has reported on, including the possible legalization of same-sex “marriage” and Muslim immigrants coming to America.
The meeting consisted of a lineup of speakers including Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; WND columnist Star Parker; Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford; Tony Perkins; Frank Gaffney Jr., former assistant secretary of defense for International Security Policy; Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel; Ted Baehr, a WND columnist and editor of Movieguide; and many others.
In a matter of days, the Supreme Court will be issuing a controversial ruling on whether to overturn millennia of human history and declare homosexual “marriage” to be a right. Tensions are running high on both sides as many expect the court to side with the radical homosexual agenda, thus forcing Christians to choose whether to hold to biblical morality and engage in civil disobedience or face the possibility of losing their tax-exempt status and right to disagree with the “gay” agenda.
There’s a whole library of documentation about the persecution of Christians in the WND Superstore, from “How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution” to “Persecuted: The Global Assault On Christians.”
WND has complied the “Big List” of situations where Americans already have been fined, punished and persecuted by the government over their adherence to the biblical idea of marriage being between one man and one woman.
“Brown said while the issue is serious, it is important to keep things in perspective.
“The court may decide to redefine marriage. If they do, what happens in the U.S. will have a profound effect globally. If they do, the fight is not over. We’ll be in the same situation as the pro-life movement was after Roe v. Wade.
“No court can change the fundamental reality of father and mother; the court’s not going to change that, but they will put the lie into the law,” he said.
He asked, if the issue of same-sex marriage is simply over love and equality, why is there such an effort to punish and marginalize those who stand for traditional marriage?
“It was the idea of Christianity that helped bring the idea of equality to the pagan world. But even they understood that marriage was between a man and a woman; what they didn’t understand was the bold proclamation of Christianity of the essential equality of all human beings before God. Unfortunately, the movement to redefine marriage has taken that idea and removed it from truth and justice.”
Brown related how the U.S. government already is pushing the issue globally with such fervor that it is refusing humanitarian aid for countries that fail to adopt the homosexual agenda.
“Our own government is going to Africa and other countries and saying, ‘Unless you accept this new definition of marriage and human sexuality, we aren’t going to help you anymore.’ Don’t tell me there is no harm by redefining marriage,” he said.
Brown said he talked to a Nigerian bishop who said this is a matter of life and death because they rely on the West for clean water.
“People die if we are not able to provide clean water to them, and we are actually being told to abandon our faith or lose our help.”
The left has attempted to silence Christians by moving moral issues into the political realm and then claim that holding to biblical values violates “separation of church and state,” despite those words never appearing in the Constitution. Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford said that not only are the critics wrong, but the Constitution actually guarantees the rights of Christians to bring their values into public office.
“Article 6 of the Constitution says there is no religious test for any office of the United States. Any person that serves in the United States can have any faith or have no faith. So certainly people of faith shouldn’t be precluded by our government nor by our own faith tradition.”
He also challenged ministers and preachers, saying they have a special obligation to engage and educate their people on political issues from a biblical viewpoint.
“It’s important for pastors and leaders to engage on these issues because people in the pews and in our churches want to talk about things from a biblical worldview. They want to know the context, what does the scripture say about this,” he said.
“They can’t know until someone gets the chance to walk through some of that. You’re the expert on these things. You’re the one who studies scripture all the time. You’re the one who’s extremely aware of what’s happening in culture and also the truth of scripture.
“Don’t just preach from the newspaper, but do give a biblical context to what’s happening in culture so that people will know how to talk to their co-workers and neighbors when these events come up.”
Another issue of concern to Christians is the rise of radical Islam. WND has reported on attempts by the Obama administration to resettle thousands of Syrian Muslims with possible terrorist connections to cities all across America.
Pastor Bob Roberts of Northwood church in Keller, Texas, explained that the ultimate solution to stopping Muslims from wanting to kill Christians is to present them with the gospel and convert them to Christianity.
“Yes, Muslims do dangerous things, but is that any different than what happened in the early church? The Roman government pushed against it and persecuted it. In 700 A.D., as Islam began to emerge and spread around the world, there were many Christians who were persecuted and martyred.”
When it comes to the threat from ISIS, Roberts said, “It’s nothing new.”
He then said Christians need to be willing to reach out and befriend Muslims to evangelize them. Roberts, who appeared on video from Pakistan, said he practices what he preaches and has been able to enlist imams in his cause.
“In America, we’re nervous about Muslims moving in, but I’m excited about it because I get to tell more people about Jesus. If those people follow Jesus, they’re going to be more effective about sharing the good news of Jesus to others.”
He was invited by some of the local imams in Afghanistan to come and help them teach in the local schools. At first, he didn’t want to do it, reasoning their religion was the antithesis to Christianity, but then he made the imams a proposal.
“What if you read the New Testament and we’ll read the Quran and 25 percent of the students get to be girls? If I were to get churches in America and young pastors who were willing to help build a relationship with you and your young imams, would you do that? And they said, ‘Yes, we would.’ As a result of this, it opened up a door, and it is amazing what has happened.
“The early church did not grow through marketing. It came from people of other religions. They left their religion not because they were dissatisfied but because Christianity was better than anything they ever heard.”
Those attempting to silence Christians frequently try to claim that they are judgmental while overlooking their own sin; however, this topic was dealt with as well.
Bishop Joe Materra, national convener of the United States Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, laid the blame for many of society’s ills squarely at the feet of Christians for their lack of commitment.
“We have not fully forsaken the God of our fathers, but neither have we fully embraced Him. We have a form of godliness but have denied the power,” Materra said. “That’s why we have people that are preaching part of the gospel but are accommodating in sexual ethics. You have many evangelicals and pastors who have adopted more of the teaching of Plato and Aristotle as the rule of law then the biblical law of God.”