Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The thought police are alive and well in San Antonio

Christians who speak of sin and exhort non-believers to repent is called hate speech by the secular world. And it is hate speech. The secular world hates it and wants to stop us from speaking it. Here are two current examples. This first one is from March of 2012 but is representative of how the media treats any Christian today:

Ann Curry: Your religious beliefs represent hate speech!
"Make no mistake about it, this is all about going after the Christian Church. Same-sex marriage, GLAAD's fascist rampages, and all of this Orwellian political correctness is part of long-term goal -- and that's to make Christian beliefs a form of bigotry and to force a left-wing agenda on the church all under a Trojan horse labelled "discrimination."

"In many respects, Obama forcing the Catholic Church to violate its conscience with respect to providing birth control and abortion drugs through their social service institutions, is a dry run for this. The left wants to know if they can persuade the American people that a non-existent right (in this case, free birth control) trumps a First Amendment that declaratively restricts the government from impeding on the free exercise of religion."

"The obvious next step will be to attempt an end-run around the First Amendment by declaring as bigoted the Church's refusal to marry same-sex couples. They will also attempt to declare as hate speech any belief held by the church that in any way angers GLAAD."

And they have done just exactly that. In San Antonio, this week Hal Lindsey reported there is a new kind of 'thought police'--

Unprecedented ordinance bans Christians from serving on city council
"We hear a lot about the positive things happening in that great bastion of conservatism known as Texas, but even there we are occasionally reminded that the disease of progressivism is present. The latest example of the liberal precept that government is greater than the individual can be found in San Antonio, where city leaders believe true equality is just an ordinance away."

The city is looking to update its anti-discrimination policies by adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories, and plans to punish those who speak out against homosexuality. According to a draft of the revised policy, One News Now reports, no one who has spoken out against homosexuality or the transgender lifestyle can run for city council or be appointed to a city board.

Or, in other words, Christians need not apply. The exact language as proposed:
“No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.”
“The ordinance also says that if you have at any point demonstrated a bias – without defining what a bias is or who will determine whether or not one has been exercised – that you cannot get a city contract,” pastor Charles Flowers told One News Now.

Alliance Defending Freedom has taken a look at the ordinance. “They said they’ve never seen this kind of language in any other ordinance in any other city that they’ve dealt with,”

There are many ways to try and quiet the Christians. In Egypt, for example, they just shoot them outright as they walk home from bible class. In America, they cleverly formulate laws and ordinances that quietly squeeze Christians from public life, and where they have a voice and influence. Where the Christian blogging world was shocked by street preacher Tony Miano's arrest off the street corner outside Wimbledon last month for preaching sexual purity, that kind overt and deliberate squelching is here in America too, just disguised under the misnomer of political correctness or the more current phrase 'tolerance'.

In my opinion, this means two things. The rapidity with which we have seen an erosion of free speech under the US Constitution is gaining speed each day. This kind of hatred of Christians expressed in no uncertain terms in the public square has gone from quiet mumbling in back rooms just ten years ago to blatant discrimination and muzzling today. Each day it gets worse. Like compounding interest, expect each day from her on forward to get that much more overt and constricting.

That means we should pray for a proportional amount of increase in courage and boldness. It means we should know our bible and be ready to proclaim Him. It means that we should actively and daily think about what we can do in our own spheres to maximize our influence. It means ever increasing reliance on the Lord.

Secondly, it means the time is growing nearer. As the world moves toward the time when the word of Jesus will be fulfilled, "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith upon the earth?"

That verse is the last line in the short parable of the Persistent Widow. Jesus tells the disciples about the coming of the Kingdom and the Tribulation of those days in Luke 17. He concludes with the parable as a lesson to always pray and not lose heart. Here is it is in full--

1And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

This is a persistent prayer for the Lord's return. The widow was grieved by the injustice in the world and the failure of earthly courts to rectify it. She hated the corruptness and cried out for someone to fix it. The complete indifference of the Judge to the suffering of this defrauded, needy and destitute woman, the fact that he didn't fear God or man, and his unwillingness to take up the case of a woman who was so alone that she didn't even  a man to come to court for her is representative of the world today (and back then). The world was this woman's enemy, and it had abused her.

Jesus gave two commands and comforts. He said to always pray. And He said to not lose heart. Even in the midst of the time when the widow was persisting in obtaining justice and it didn't look like anything was ever going to happen, she kept on.

Eventually, there will be justice.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow as explained by John MacArthur-

"It says at the end of verse 8, "However, when the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth?" Will He find this kind of persevering faith? Will He find this kind of persevering prayer? Will He find this kind of enduring confidence? This is definitely eschatological praying. No one of us knows the time of the Rapture. We don't know when the events that are the Second Coming will be launched. We don't know when the day of the Lord is going to come, but two thousand years have passed by, believers have been waiting and waiting, and suffering at the hand of sinners. Sin escalates, evil men grow worse and worse and worse. We see the pollution inside and outside Christendom. False teachers abound everywhere. 

We're endeavoring to endure true and faithful, trusting in the Word of God. We have been promised that He will come. We believe that He will come. And here He says, "Keep praying for that event." He will come but part of the means of that coming is our prayer life. Prayer moves God to accomplish His work and therefore having accomplished His work, bringing it to its great culmination in His Second Coming. He will come. He promises He will come. He will be faithful to His elect. He will bring judgment to the ungodly. He will vindicate the saints. He will exalt Himself. He will establish His throne on earth. He will reign in a Kingdom on earth and He will establish the new heaven and the new earth. And that is what we are to pray for relentlessly."

There is a movement outside of Christianity but also inside Christianity to muzzle Christians from speaking these things. Just as the secular world tries in all ways to squelch the potent word of the boldly proclaiming Christian, so some Christians dismiss the eschatological prayer and speech of the boldly proclaiming end times-minded brother and sister. Don't let them do it. Point to the persistent widow, and say, "She didn't give up. Jesus told us to pray always and not lose heart."

Speaking of His coming and the justice that will be rendered for His name's sake is one of the greatest comforts of all. Some 'brothers' sneer at our fervency, saying we are cowards wanting to be gone from this world. Some 'sisters' mock when we speak of His soon return, saying that we are so heavenly minded we are no earthly good.

Well, the widow persistently called for justice, and Jesus commended her for it. I side with Jesus, not the mockers and sneerers.

Being with Him is something that we look forward to with all that we've got and all that we are. Who wouldn't want to cling to these hopes and future promises? Who wouldn't want to take the commands of Jesus to heart, and pray always for His return and to not lose heart?

Ultimately we who pray for His return and we who speak of it, and we who see the signs of the dying world, know that what we pray for is from a heart that mourns in seeing the sins pile up against Him. We see the blots and blasphemies against His pure name, and we hate it. We see a young Egyptian girl shot dead simply because she was holding a bible, and we fall to our knees in grief. We see child after child neglected because their parents have succumbed to drugs, and we are horrified. We see the hatred of an evil world against all that is holy and pure, and we weep. We see children dying, martyrs killed, and we cry out. We see the Holy Spirit grieved and we lament. We keep 'coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ Who wouldn't want that to all end?

Somewhere in the world, there is a chorus of widows. Keep it up, my brethren. Call for the Righteous Judge to render justice. Take heart, He hears you and He is coming.

3 comments:

  1. You are trying to make a point below the surface of your article without saying it. What brother is sneering at you? Calling you a coward? That is harsh language. I don't embrace such division.

    Are we to pray for justice or are we to pray for release? Is our blessed hope in his return or our departure? One is Jesus centric and the other is self.

    Even Jesus prayed that the father would not remove the disciples but protect them from the evil one.

    John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

    I quote from your article:
    No one of us knows the time of the Rapture. We don't know when the events that are the Second Coming will be launched. We don't know when the day of the Lord is going to come, but two thousand years have passed by, believers have been waiting and waiting, and suffering at the hand of sinners.

    Can't we be one in our expectation and desire to be with Jesus without squabbling over the details of when that will happen? To leave that up to the Father who knows far more than we could ever hope to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello hopeful watcher,

      Your comment, which stated “You are trying to make a point below the surface of your article without saying it “ is unkind. You cannot tell what is in my mind and heart. If I want to say something, I say something. I do this every day on my blog. If you’re unsure of what I was trying to get across, just ask me. There is no need to impugn motives. Thank you

      You asked ‘what brother is sneering...?” no one specifically, but instead, the general view of a segment of brothers in Christ dismiss end time watching, praying, or discussing these matters, and with a with a tone of mockery to boot. This was predicted by Peter, here

      knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 2 Peter 3:3

      And Jude, here

      Jude 1:18, "They said to you, "In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires."

      The study of eschatology is often looked at by brethren as a lower-order study. Sometimes we bring this on ourselves, like Harold Camping did when he infamously predicted the end of the world on May 21, 2011, whereupon the righteous would fly up to heaven, and that there would follow five months of fire, brimstone and plagues on Earth, with millions of people dying each day, culminating on October 21, 2011, with the final destruction of the world.” (Wikipedia). Of course, none of that happened. However, even legitimate and biblically accurate talk of the last things is often dismissed by those who mock these doctrines. As far as the cowardice comment, we who proclaim the soon return of Jesus OFTEN get called cowards for “wanting to escape” via the rapture. I agree, it is harsh language to be called that simply because we proclaim Christ’s soon return and our snatching up via the rapture prior to the Tribulation.

      No one embraces division, but the word divides. It is a fact of life. (Matthew 10:34, Hebrews 4:12). Some won’t adhere to it and they cause divisions. Those people, we watch out for and mark. (Rom 16:17). Ignoring "divisions" doesn't make them go away.

      As for your questions, “Are we to pray for justice or are we to pray for release? Is our blessed hope in his return or our departure?” I ask in return, “how many angels dance on the head of a pin?” Such questions don’t really accomplish anything, nor do they further any profitable conversation, I’m sorry to say. We all hope for and pray for the return of Jesus. The persistent widow parable answers your questions.

      Here is a good sermon which explains the Peter verse about mocking and scoffing, if you would like your questions answered.
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/61-23/the-certainty-of-the-second-coming-part-1

      You asked, "Can't we be one in our expectation and desire to be with Jesus without squabbling over the details of when that will happen? No one is squabbling here. Except you, who brought it up...

      I hope these comments have answered your questions and the link refreshes your hope in the last days doctrines.

      Delete
  2. Elizabeth, you are correct in your statement:

    "There is a movement outside of Christianity but also inside Christianity to muzzle Christians from speaking these things."

    Unfortunately, inside Christianity, of the doctrines in which there are different "camps", eschatology is one of the issues in which I have personally witnessed some of the most unChristlike behavior, with the lion's share of the venom, ad-hom attacks, and loathing aimed at premillennialists, those who employ a dispensational hermeneutic, and of course, anyone who mentions the rapture.

    Your assessment of being sneered at, called a coward, etc, also are true. I've seen even worse. I've left blogs and communities because of it.

    The rapture is a promise to the church that we will not undergo God's eschatological wrath. We are not appointed to wrath. But that is not the same as persecution. All believers - all who want to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus - will be persecuted in some way or another. Some to a great extent, some to a much lesser. Nonetheless, neither end of the spectrum, however, makes us greater or lesser believers. Our worth is entirely in Christ and HIS finished work. Regarding persecution: even the Lord said, when they persecute you in one city, FLEE to the next. The Lord also told Peter regarding his (Peter's death), they will gird you and take you where you do NOT want to go.

    Back on topic with the San Antonio situation, the language of their bill (if correctly attributed above) is self-contradictory! Look:

    "No person shall be appointed to a position if the City Council finds that such person has, prior to such proposed appointment, engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias, by word or deed, against any person, group or organization on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, age, or disability.”

    No person shall be appointed to a position... if... such person has... engaged in discrimination or demonstrated a bias... against any person... on the basis of RELIGION...

    That means excluding Christians is prohibited by this bill! That's discrimination against religion. And this also means all unbelievers cannot run for office, because they, especially those who scream "tolerance" the loudest, discriminate against Christians all the time!!!

    HA!

    -carolyn

    ReplyDelete

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