Greg Baker, my friend and a key leader of The Family Leader in Iowa, wrote the following words about our mutual friend Michael Demastus, the pastor of Fort Des Moines Church of Christ. As you may know, this church has been in the news recently, due to the court battle in which it is engaged, to ensure religious freedom for churches in the Hawkeye State.
"America's court system is openly disregarding religious freedom in favor of freedom of worship alone. 'Freedom of worship' historically means you may practice what you believe within your church setting, but you cannot practice that faith in the public arena. "Freedom of religion" allows you to live out your faith in all aspects. Our courts today still stand for freedom of worship, but they call religious freedom "discrimination."
"Though the judge clearly agreed that the pastor should be able to teach what the Scripture says and that religious activities should be protected, the judge also intoned that in activities open to the general public (such as when a church is a polling place), the state had a compelling interest to enforce the state's sexual orientation and gender identity laws.
"But our government's confusion over freedom of worship and religious liberty is an expected symptom of a culture divorced from a biblical worldview. In our culture today—and that includes many in America's churches—church is simply a place you go on Sunday to sing hymns and hear the Bible. It is nothing more than that."
Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis' imprisonment last September was just the warmup for our posterity, especially if our nation elects Hillary Clinton as the 45th president of the United States.
How in the world did we Christians arrive here? Christianity was established as the official religion of America in the original 13 State Charters.
But truth is now relative, enforced by secularist judges intent on draining all moral decency and ethics from U.S. law. There is no fixed point in order to judge. America's Founders believed that the laws they made were subject to Divine Law, and—as Harold J. Berman describes in Law and Revolution II—that citizens "retained a freedom even to disobey a secular law if their Christian conscience told them that it contradicted divine law as revealed in the Bible."
"Today, politically speaking, liberals have won for the most part. The West has liberal constitutions, liberal institutions, liberal economies, and liberal systems of education. But we are so far from 'the end of history' that the same breach between liberalism and Christianity that shook our civilization a few generations ago is now presenting itself in a new form. Not in the violent forms of Nazism or communism, but in the form of liberal secularism. For the destinies of Europe and the West, this ideology is no less dangerous; it is rather more insidious. It does not wear the brutal face of violence, but the alluring smile of culture. With its words, liberal secularism preaches freedom, tolerance and democracy, but with its deeds it attacks precisely that Christian religion which prevents freedom from deteriorating into license, tolerance into indifference, democracy into anarchy." —Marcelo Pera, Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians: The Religious Roots of Free Societies
Evangelical and Pro-Life Catholic Christians have come to our appointed time in the purpose of God, our kairos moment. The anointed eye recognizes that secularism will only tolerate Christianity so long as its carnal tranquility is not disturbed, or its profane authority unchallenged. But if a Christian brings biblical values to the public square, secularists demand these freedoms must be modified or eliminated.
We Christians have become skilled at imitating the "gentle" and turn the other cheek Jesus. Where is the indignant Jesus? We must locate and engage Him against the assault on liberty by godless secularists—otherwise, we are going lose our freedom. In God's unending order, virtue and righteousness are key components of sustainable freedom.
Dr. Bruce K. Waltke defines the battle ahead for 21st-century pastors and pews in his commentary on Genesis (a 2002 Christian Book of the Year). He wrote:
"The serpent's final defeat under Messiah's heel (Genesis 3:15) is delayed to effect God's program of redemption through the promised offspring. In the interim, God leaves Satan to test the fidelity of each succeeding generation of the covenant people (Judges 2:22) and teach them to fight against untruth (Judges 3:2)."
Anyone who believes that the 2016 election is about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is naive at best, ignorant at worst. "For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places" (Eph. 6:12).
Christians must register and vote—in droves—on Election Day, Nov. 8, to stem the secular onslaught assaulting America. We Christians have "sown the wind and reaped the whirlwind" for our children and grandchildren unless we act now.
This is the consequence of an unconscious, or spiritually dead, church in America. We, of all the previous generations in American history, are among the most to be pitied and will be held accountable.
A Gideon or Rahab needs to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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