Dr. Che Ahn started Harvest Rock Church of Pasadena, California, in 1994 in his living room. "Changing culture," he writes, "is one of the responsibilities of the modern-day apostle—not just church culture but society's culture as well."
While Ahn's assertion may be shocking to modern-day American Christians, it won't come as a surprise to those who have investigated in-depth the muscular Christianity that the English Puritans landed on America's shores in the early 17th-century. Persecuted for non-conformity, the Puritans undertook their voyage "for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith." American exceptionalism, or what makes America different, can be traced directly to the Puritans.
More than two centuries later, Benjamin F. Morris acknowledged the persuasive relevance and spiritual power of the Puritans' compelling conviction:
[The American Founders] did not turn civil government, the making, enforcement and adjudication of laws, over to Satan and those who serve him. They did not surrender the ministry of civil government to those who are in rebellion against God. Instead, they sought to base civil government and law upon the truth. They knew that our nation's civil government and law must be based upon God's laws and principles of justice if we are to enjoy His blessings upon our land and people.
Which brings us to modern culture vitiated by 20th-century atheists and agnostics on the liberal Warren Court. Today's America has strayed so far from the biblically based culture instituted and preserved by 17th through 19th centuries political and civic leadership as to become unrecognizable.
Take for instance California's Assembly Bill 329, legislating a drastic and draconian revision of the understanding of family and human sexuality. While this bill passed in 2015, parents of public schoolchildren, K-12, just now start waking up to the clear and present danger of "educational" programs willfully designed to lure and ensnare children into depravity and carnality; all under the guise of so-called "gender identity" and "sexual orientation". Watch it here:
Golden State's big tech, big media and big government have teamed up with labor unions, universal health care champions, transgender bathrooms reformists and social, economic and marriage equality exponents to impose their values of religious secularism on an unwitting, unsuspecting public. That is to say, "Vice stalks in virtue's garb."
When the time comes to address the rise and force that threatened individual freedom in 21st-century America, California's state legislators' heinous infamy will be writ large.
"Today we need prophetic preachers. ... [Those with an] anointed eye, the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God's position, and to tell us what is actually going on," wrote A.W. Tozer.
Consider Christian missionary Pastor Andrew Brunson, who with his wife and three children, lived in Turkey for more than 20 years serving a small congregation of 20. Turkey's population identifies as 97.8% Muslim.
In October 2016, Brunson was detained amidst worsening relations between Turkey and the United States. His arrest sparked a diplomatic spat between Turkey and the U.S. in which President Trump involved himself personally. Speaking outside the courtroom ahead of the verdict, Pastor Brunson said: "I am an innocent man. I love Jesus. I love Turkey."
A July 15, 2019, article in the Washington Examiner recounts Pastor Brunson's shock "at the speed with which the U.S. is imploding."
The article quotes Pastor Brunson as saying:
First of all, I think it's coming to the U.S. that there will be persecution. I was isolated for a few years, and coming back to the States was almost like coming back to a different country in many ways. And I'm astounded at the speed with which, I think, the U.S. is imploding.
There are any number of issues where it seems that it's no longer enough for a person of faith to get along with, or to serve, or to treat well someone they disagree with. And I think that the political business, media, celebrity class, and also academia, it seems that there's much more of a demand that people approve of, that they validate, that they celebrate things that they actually disagree with.
Persecution is nothing new. ... The thing is, that we in the West have not experienced [persecution] very much. It's very unusual for a Westerner to be arrested for his faith. So we haven't experienced it, but I think we are going to. I think it's coming to this country.
Given the fact that politics is downstream from culture, no one believes that God's kingdom is going to arrive on Air Force One, according to Chuck Colson. No politician is going to save America; neither will Wall Street nor military might. If America is to be saved, biblical values must be brought back and embraced in the public square.
Three things must come to pass:
- Resurrection of prayer in America's churches.
- Gideons and Rahabs engaging the public square.
- Unrelenting resolve to rid America from the scourge of secularism.
A kindred spirit in principle and practice, William Wilberforce (1759-1833) wrote: "I must confess equally boldly that my own solid hopes for the well-being of my country depend, not so much on her navies and armies, nor on the wisdom of her rulers, nor on the spirit of her people, as on the persuasion that she still contains many who love and obey the Gospel of Christ. I believe that their prayers may yet prevail."
Gideons and Rahabs are beginning to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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