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It seems that lately the government, for whatever reason, is trying to shut Christians up.
It was recently reported that President Obama asked the Department of Justice to enforce a 1994 law severely restricting protesting outside abortion clinics. While this law does not specifically target Christians, that is the logical result since the most vocal opponents of abortion are Roman Catholics and Evangelical Protestants.
The proper response of Christians is to be even more vocal in their stand against institutionalized infanticide. German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote in a letter to a friend,
It is high time we broke with our theologically based restraint towards the state’s actions–which, after all, is only fear. “Speak out for those who cannot speak.” Who in the church today realizes that this is the very least that the Bible requires of us?
When Bonhoeffer quoted Proverbs 31:8, he was speaking of resistance to the Nazis. One of the reasons Hitler was able to gain such a powerful grip on Germany was because he was aided and abetted by Christians. They thought he was one of them, and he took advantage of their ignorance and complacency to become a totalitarian dictator. Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his allies in the Confessing Church were outspoken opponents of Hitler and the Nazi Party, as well as the Reich Church founded by Nazis. He paid for his stand against evil with his life.
Just as Bonhoeffer resisted the anti-Semitism and eugenics of the Nazi regime, Christians ought to resist abortion in our own government. Christians also ought to stand up for our constitutional, God-given freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion.
If you do not take a stand, billions of unborn children will continue to be murdered.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has banned clergy from prayer at the memorial service held in remembrance of the terrorist attack on 9/11. The reason given for the ban was to avoid controversy over which religious leaders would be allowed to speak and pray. *Gasp* a Muslim might be allowed to pray!
I’m not buying it. Since when has Mayor Bloomberg shied away from controversy? Bloomberg has been an outspoken supporter of the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” and has ignored the pleas of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a Christian house of worship destroyed in the terrorist attacks. Rather than avoiding controversy, it seems apparent that Mayor Bloomberg has a bias against Christianity.
If a Muslim wants to pray at the memorial–let them! This is supposed to be a free country that promotes religious liberty. This ought not be a country that restricts the religious freedom and speech of one group (Christians) because the religious freedom and speech of another group (Muslims) might be controversial.
Pray for Mayor Bloomberg and New York City. If you are in New York, I encourage you to pray publicly at Ground Zero.
It was recently reported that the Department of Veteran’s Affairs is censoring prayers at Houston National Cemetery. Chaplains have not been allowed to say “God” or “Jesus” during funeral services. This is clearly in violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Veterans groups and their allies are fighting this anti-Constitutional order from certain sectors of the VA.
While there is a separation between church and state in the U.S., in recent decades this has been incorrectly interpreted as a ban on religion in public. Here is what the Constitution, the highest law of the land, has to say about it:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…
In other words, according to our Constitution, the government is not allowed to establish a state religion or prohibit the free exercise of religion. The Constitution actually restricts what the government can do regarding religion, and empowers the citizens of the United States to worship their God (or gods, or lack thereof) in any manner they see fit (provided, of course, they do not restrict the freedom of others in the process).
However, even if our Constitution did not grant us religious freedom, we ought to obey God rather than men.
Christianity is a publicly practiced faith. We are not to hide our light under a basket, but put it on a stand. We are to preach the gospel to every creature. Paul told Timothy, …devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching (1 Timothy 4:13, ESV).
When Peter and John were commanded by the Sanhedrin not to teach in the name of Jesus, their response to the elders was Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:19-20, ESV).
As Christians we are commanded to practice our faith in the public square. We must share the gospel. We must stand for biblical morality. We must not be silent! If God is for us, who can stand against us?
I encourage you to unabashedly pray and witness to unbelievers in public: work, school, etc.
Sign the Manhattan Declaration.
Study apologetics so you can reasonably defend the faith and a biblical worldview. Some outstanding apologetics ministries include CrossExamined.org, Stand to Reason, and Reasonable Faith. Also support these fine organizations in prayer and financially.
James 4:4 ESV
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Take action! Stand with God and His Word! Do not be silent!