Monday, July 8, 2013


From My Perspective - - -

There are several instances where there is evidence that Christianity is under attack around the world and in our own nation. World Magazine – July 13, 2013 – contains an article and presents a thesis in an article by Edward Lee Pitts entitled: “Holding The Line – (Military) Chaplains Are Pursuing Their Mission In A Military Suddenly Hostile To Christianity And Ready To Suppress Religious Freedom.” The writer indicates: “The marginalization of Christianity in a military becoming more and more hostile to religion has left the chaplains feeling muzzled—and they now face same-sex couples coming to them for marriage counseling. The chaplains still get to wear crosses on their collars, so they worry even more about those Christians in regular uniforms losing the First Amendment freedom of religious expression that they volunteered to defend.” Some actions and examples given include: “Last year: A superior tells an Air Force major to remove from his desk the Bible he had kept there for 23 years. An Army lieutenant colonel instructs his subordinates to recognize the “religious right in America” as a domestic hate group like the KKK and Neo-Nazis. An Army master sergeant with 25 years of service faces punishment for serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his promotion party.  Two years ago: Christian prayers banned at veteran funeral services in Houston’s National Cemetery. Bibles temporarily banned at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. A Christian cross banned from a military chapel in Afghanistan. A chaplain called into his supervisor’s office and chewed out for closing a prayer with the words ‘In Jesus’ name’.”

What is the position of our government in terms of Military Chaplains and Religious Liberty with the American Culture? The World Magazine Report states: “The Obama administration issued a statement on June 11 saying it ‘strongly objects’ to a new religious liberty amendment: It would have a ‘significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale and mission accomplishment.’ The Administration did not object to an amendment offered last month by Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado, that would create atheist chaplains. That amendment lost, but 150 House Democrats voted for it.” Is this a new phenomenon occurring in our nation and world? The answer is obviously – No! In recent writings, indication and warning has been clearly stated. A tome such as, Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline (1997) by Robert H. Bork gave several examples of trends, direction and a shifting focus within both government and culture that was having a growing impact upon the thinking and values of our nation.

Another perspective shared was by Dr. Os Guinness (2003): The Church’s Collapse Into Worldliness where the author asserts: “Quite often a church’s quest for relevance ends up in unfaithfulness to Christ and His Word. How does this happen?” A Reviewer of this Book lists four steps leading to a shifting focus and the spiral downward: “Step One: Assumption – when some aspect of modern life or thought is assumed to be significant; Step Two: Abandonment – ‘…the air in evangelical conferences and magazines was thick with assaults on the irrelevance of history, the out-datedness of traditional hymns and music, the up-tightness of traditional morality, the abstractness of theologizing, the impracticality of biblical illustration, the inadequacy of small churches, and the deadly, new unforgivable sin – irrelevance.’; Step Three: Adaptation – ‘…what remains of traditional beliefs and practices is altered to fit with the new assumption.’; Step Four: Assimilation - The result is worldliness, or Christian capitulation to some aspect of the culture of its day.  No longer a missionary, the church ‘goes native’ in some foreign culture or among some foreign ideas…”

Maybe the “Christian” servant should return to a Biblical commitment such as practiced by Peter, John and the believers in Acts 4. In verse 1, “the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them (Peter and John)…” The opposition bent on accomplishing the silence of the “Christian” witness. In verses 18-21, we read: “And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." It is a day for courage and boldness – not for cowardice or shrinking back. Do you find your identity with Peter and John? If not, why not? Consider these things with me.