Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Coming Persecution

There's a lot of talk online this morning on the fate of religious observance in the United States.

I'll have more on this below, but what's striking from a political perspective is how giddily the collapse of evangelism is welcomed by the secular-progressive left. Andrew Sullivan, in particular, has a number of posts up cheering all of this, for example, "
The Young and the Godless," and "A Coming Evangelical Collapse?"

Sullivan blames these trends on ... wait for it! ... "Christianism," of course.

Pamela Leavey also strikes up the band at the news:

I’ll be glad to see the Evangelicals have far less say in the politics of our country. Already with Obama’s lift on Bush’s stem cell research ban, we’re seeing the movement of a more secular America, which is the way it should be in my opinion.
This is in response to
Michael Spencer on the collapse of evangelism, at the Christian Science Monitor (via Memeorandum). Spencer explains some of the causes:
We Evangelicals have failed to pass on to our young people an orthodox form of faith that can take root and survive the secular onslaught. Ironically, the billions of dollars we've spent on youth ministers, Christian music, publishing, and media has produced a culture of young Christians who know next to nothing about their own faith except how they feel about it. Our young people have deep beliefs about the culture war, but do not know why they should obey scripture, the essentials of theology, or the experience of spiritual discipline and community. Coming generations of Christians are going to be monumentally ignorant and unprepared for culture-wide pressures.
Robert Stacy McCain adds this on Bible teaching, from his own experience:

When I was a kid growing up in the Baptist church, "Sword Drill" was a big event.

"Sword Drill" took its name from
Ephesians 6:17, where Christians are commanded to employ "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." So us kids were literally drilled in Bible memorization. I was by no means a good student, but some of it took, and the constant repetition of Bible study engrained in my mind - as I am sure it did with others - a solid core of biblical knowledge. It also developed a mindset that the Bible was an authoritative source.
Suzanna Logan has more on this, and her piece gets to the heart of just what it is the secular left hates about evangelical observanc:

As William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, told Lou Dobbs, "The three most dreaded words are 'thou shalt not.'” He goes on to say it’s not that these people (who claim not to be religious in the survey) are atheists, it’s just that they don’t want to be told what to do with their lives. Newsflash: you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. Anyone who wants to “believe in God” without accepting that there are some “shall” and “shall nots” that go along with the territory is like a person who knows he has a million dollars in the bank but refuses to use it because he doesn’t want his life to change for the better ....

I daresay if churches would begin to work a little more “thou shalt not” into their Sunday morning sessions, there would be a night and day (or would it be heaven and hell?) difference in our churches.
MacRanger worries little over increasing secularization, for a reckoning is coming, and there is comfort and reassurance of Goodness in faith:

As we believe Christ was and is God, we believe that he will return one day and right this planet, whether people believe it or not, or even like it or not and rule. We who have trusted in his name will rule with Him, indeed the Bible tells us that we will judge the nations and even angels. The point is that in the end - through Christ - we win, because He wins. It’s as sure as the dawn.
Read the rest of MacRanger. He predicts a persecution.. And there'll be a reckoning in the church, a purge of "the false believers, those who say they are, but are not."

6 comments:

Gayle said...

They don't like the "thou shalt nots"? Oh dear. Sounds to me like the problem may be their lack of humility.

I would hate to not believe in God. How horrible it would be to think that I am the end-all, be-all of my existence! I'm not smart enough to come to conclusions regarding important matters all by myself. When something really has me stumped I pray about it. Sooner or later the solution comes to mind. It's not from me... it's from God who is with all of us at all times. I feel sorry for non-believers because they miss out on what's truly important.

It's too bad that the secular-progressives rejoice in their ignorance. As Jesus weeps for them they don't care because they don't believe, but they miss out on the greatest love there is, because Jesus is love, the purest love there is. It's all so sad!

shoprat said...

Jesus and His Apostles predicted an Apostasy in the last days and it is happening. Those who are "too intelligent and too enlightened" to believe the Bible are in for the shock of their existence.

Philippe Öhlund said...

Great post, Donald! :-)

I also agree with Gayle that Jesus is love, compare with 1 John 4:8, 16.

We all have questions about life and circumstances, and I have found that Jesus is the answer.

I also agree with you shoprat that a great falling away apostasy is happening, compare with 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

The day after tomorrow I will go to Vienna and then to Stockholm.

This will be the first time in nine years I see Sweden again, so it will be very fun.

I am preparing to move there next month.

I will sign a contract for a job, for a flat, and enroll for my candidacy for next years election.

But then I will already be back in Mons by the end of next week, because my daughter will perform at her school, and I have already ordered drinks and steaks for dinner at her school, so I don't want to miss that... :-)

cracker said...

talk about the killi.ngs

the killi,ns in the churches

here in the US

what happened in Alabama today?

its important

Anonymous said...

I attended a lecture by Professor Stephen Hawking the other night at USC. The final question someone posed to this man, arguably the most intelligent mind since Einstein, was all about creation, first cause, etc.

Hawking said simply that "there is no room in the universe for a creator." He also went on to say, in a nutshell, that the physical laws are why and how we got here.

Evangelicals are certifiable. It's heartening to know that their numbers are dwindling, though.

For those too simple to understand that you can be good without believing in a man up in the sky, then there really is no way to have a proper discourse with you.

But believe away, if that is what gets you through the day. I'm not gonna take that away from you or anyone. Unless, of course, beliefs infringe upon my freedoms.

Dave said...

Tim,

Actually, we thank God that our souls aren't anywhere near as empty as your own.

Truly, you are a sad void of a human being.

A few things (out of several dozen) that you should be aware of.

1)The Bible states very clearly that the rule of man would end at the final battle of Armageddon (the actual battle will take place in the valley of Jezreel, which has been described by many trained in the military arts as a primo location for a battle) within one generation of the nation of Israel reclaiming its homeland for the third (and final) time.

That very significant event occurred in 1948.

2)The Bible also makes very clear that the three successive invaders of Israel will be Russia (Gog and Magog), China (the Kings of the East, with a 200 million man army) and Persia (Iran.)

Notice carefully that all three of those nations are currently on the ascent, while the one nation on Earth that has, for the moment, the military power to prevent what is about to unfold, which is us, is on the decline.

There is a reason why America is not mentioned in the Bible.

I just hope and pray that you don't have to experience why that is the hard way.

-Dave