An Unwanted Barbeque in Our Own Back Yard

God has seen fit to allow us to live at this time in a threatening climate. Whether this is because we need to be humbled or because of the evil machinations of our spiritual enemy, it is nevertheless where we find ourselves at this time.

Many of us who are on the other side of the counter culture are feeling more and more marginalized. It seems as if anchors of belief and morality are being severed from our traditional foundation of a Christian and Constitutional. It makes us question where we are going and where we Christians will end up when we get there.

In short, Bible-believing Christians are on edge these days.

Americans in general have typically found themselves in peace and safety throughout our country. There may have been some places where this was not the case, but in more urban and rural areas across the U.S., everything has been fairly copacetic. Going down to the grocery store was a non-event. Showing your love of our country was wide-spread. Speaking your mind in the office break room was what everyone did.

No more. Life has changed.

In some cities, going to the grocery store could cause a confrontation with protesters who surround your car, as in this woman in Raleigh and this driver in Portland. Now, trying to be patriotic during the 4th of July can cause you to be lambasted by others who tell us that “America was never great”. And speaking your mind about certain issues at work (such as support for BLM) can get you fired.

Going to the grocery store is much more exciting these days!

Most of us Americans don’t like that. We don’t like this feeling of insecurity and vulnerability. It’s new and strange. And we want it to go away. We want this unwanted barbeque – and all of the people who have showed up in our back yard – to go away.

In other parts of the world, instability and danger is a part of daily life. Outside the capital area of Venezuela, many people are starving. In northern Nigeria, villagers are often raided by members of Boko Haram, whose members steal, rape, and kill. In Hong Kong, people who felt assured of their personal freedoms years ago are now looking over their shoulder wondering if Chinese agents will pick them up and throw them into prison.

Americans are now just beginning to feel this danger. It has been brought home to us thanks to the efforts of Antifa, BLM, and socialist activists. It’s a barbeque started in our back yard without our participation.

Peaceful protesters starting a BBQ using items taken from nearby businesses

We Americans have a big problem here, to say the least. But I’m now going to put forward my Christian perspective.

Most Bible-believing Christians are fairly patriotic. We support our country, in spite of its flaws, and we want to help repair wrongs and move forward, so we endure the pains of non-Christian patriotic Americans. However, Christians have to face more opposition. We have always faced slight ostracism and mild repudiation by those who don’t share our faith.

Now, however, it seems to be much worse. We are facing a Cancel Culture who is shocked, shocked, that we actually believe the Bible, call our beliefs “hateful”, and are trying to group us with white supremacists. They want us gone.

Fortunately, Christians have faced this before. One only needs to read the New Testament to realize that Christians have been opposed by the prevailing climate of our world from day one. The earliest Christians were persecuted and driven out of Jerusalem. Christians who attempted to visit other cities and countries to bring them the Gospel were beaten and sometimes killed. Roman authorities called us “unpatriotic” because we would not burn a simple incense to the approved pagan deity.

Christian persecution at a special Roman barbeque

It has been similar through many centuries until the present day. Our current religious freedom in America, guaranteed by our Constitution (but threatened today), is a relatively recent phenomenon. Even when religious freedom was adopted by our country, it was done so unevenly and with a number of failures. American Christians should realize how fortunate that we have had such safety for so long.

And it should also be pointed out that Christians in many other countries are persecuted on a daily basis. Majority Muslim countries, militant Hindus, totalitarian regimes, and Communist/socialist authorities all wage war against Christians in varying intensities today.

But our Bible tells us how to act in such a climate. Persecuted Christians around the world have always depended on Scripture to help them get through tough situations. Now, American Christians will need to do so as well.

The Bible tells us

All believers will be persecuted. It’s not strange. (2 Timothy 3:12)

We will be blessed when we are persecuted. (Matthew 5:10)

We must not try to seek revenge. Instead, we should love our enemies and pray for them. (Matthew 5:44)

We will enjoy God’s love even in the midst of our persecution (Romans 8:35-37)

God will give us strength (2 Corinthians 12:10)

Some of us will be rescued, but others will not. (Psalm 91:1-16)

Even in the midst of suffering, God will be with us (Psalm 23:1-6)

These, and many Scriptures like them, are throughout the Bible, just for us, but it will take a courage that many American Christians have not had to exhibit.

For most of us, we have rarely felt ourselves actually threatened because of our beliefs. We might be harassed briefly in a discussion with a friend or relative. We might not be invited to work or neighborhood get-togethers, but that was a mild thing compared to the possibility of losing our livelihoods and our lives.

In Band Of Brothers, there is an episode in which a green soldier is facing the enemy for the first time and is overcome with fear. A more experienced soldier tells him that the only anyone can face it is to believe that you are already dead. If you reckon yourself dead, you can expose yourself to the enemy. You can do your job in a dangerous situation. After all, you’re already dead. If you find later that you are still alive, it’s a bonus.

We American Christians need to start realizing that we are already dead. If we try to hold onto our life, we will (spiritually) lose it, but if we lose our life for God, we will save it. (Mark 8:35)

And so it is. We will never be able to follow Christ in the hostile barbecue climate that we find ourselves in if we are trying to preserve our life. Instead, we need to see that our life is already given to Jesus, and he can do with it what He will.

So when someone fires up that grill in your back yard again, and you don’t even know why the heck he’s out there, you don’t have to fear. God’s with you, my brothers and sisters.

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LGBT Uber Alles?

Equality is something very near and dear to the hearts of Americans. That, and clogged arteries. Nevertheless, there have been significant events in American history concerning equality:

  • Colonial Americans were tired of being treated as 2nd-class citizens concerning their taxes, so they started a Revolution and created a new nation.
  • In the mid-1800’s, a divided nation fought a war to outlaw slavery. Over 3.9 million black Americans were freed.
  • Women wanted the right to vote, same as the right men have, so they brought about passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s suffrage.
  • When I was 7 years old, my mother finally realized that for the last 6 months my sister had given herself more ice cream than me and “grounded” her for the next month. (Well it seemed like a big thing to me.)

Recently, a bill promoting yet more equality was introduced to Congress. You would think it would sail through Congress.

Or not.

Congresspersons love to assign a names to their bills that are designed to embarrass anyone who votes against them. For instance, they might have a bill that forces people to use paper straws and call it the “Save The Planet Act”, or give themselves a raise in a bill called the “Fair Wages Act”. I personally wonder if the more idealistic-sounding bills should require more public scrutiny.

So when I saw that the bill is called the “Equality Act”, I realized that I needed to look into it. It turns out that it is as forthright and honest as any of the following:

  • A caller claiming to be from the IRS says he needs your social security number to clear up a tax matter.
  • A Nigerian prince says he will give you millions of dollars if you will help him transfer his money to him.

The Equality Act:

would amend existing federal civil rights laws (including the Civil Rights Act of 1964) to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics, seeks to erase the understood binary definition of sex as male or female, and enshrine a new definition of sex that includes a person’s perception of his or herself – not the actual chromosomal DNA that identifies his or her true sex.

Most businesses in the country have already adopted language in their hiring practices that prohibits hiring and firing based on sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI). In fact, if you fire an LGBT person, expect a lawsuit, defamation, and loss of business.

That’s because the LGBT community has already gone beyond mere “equality”. They currently have a stranglehold over much of our society and are using the “Equality Act” to cement that. Consider what has already transpired in our culture:

  • LGBT activists demand that LGBT characters represent about 10% of the characters in movies and television shows, and the studios are giving in, even though they actually represent, at most, no more than 4% of our population.
  • Christians and church-goers, who represent much more than the LGBT community, are rarely shown in movies and television. It’s as if we don’t exist.
  • References to spouses in legal documents and forms are already being modified to accommodate same-sex spouses.
  • Medical services that are intended for individuals of one biological sex are now provided to individuals of the opposite biological sex, regardless of whether those services actually make sense. Those services drive up health care costs for everyone.
  • Transgenders demand the ability to use whatever gender bathroom they want, regardless of whether it’s in a public restroom, gym, or children’s bathroom or locker room. When separate facilities are provided to them, they scream “discrimination” because they don’t get to use the facilities they want. Heterosexuals don’t get the privilege of selecting which bathroom they want to use. And the privacy rights of non-transgenders are completely ignored because they always are secondary to the rights of transgenders.

Even though the LGBT community has already seen a great deal of acceptance in society, they now want to go further than that with the so-called Equality Act. This legislation, if passed into law, would mean that anyone can declare themselves a different gender at any time, resulting in:

  • Penalties and fines for Christian organizations that have always believed in traditional family and two separate biological sexes.
  • Men who compete against women in sports simply by declaring themselves females. Studies have shown that transgenders who take female hormones for a year still have a physical advantage over female athletes.
  • Transgenders may steal athletic scholarships from female athletes.
  • Transgenders who will compete with women-owned businesses for small business set-asides and grants.

This is no longer just about giving them “equality”. They have gone way beyond equality. They want preeminence over heterosexuals. And it seems like many organizations are only willing to get in line to give it to them, all simply to signal to others that they are “tolerant”. Be careful. Those activists often seem to turn on those who support them.

Dictators in the 20th century often would cry that their people were the subject of hatred and violence by other people they wanted to dominate. They would set up situations to make it look like they were being attacked. Then, they would issue proclamations that they had had enough and begin attacking those other groups. This would continue until they had complete domination over their enemies. They weren’t just looking for equality. They wanted to trample those they didn’t like.

That is exactly what is happening now in our culture.

Equality is one thing. Working to dominate others is a very different thing.

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The Gay Camel’s Nose

My daughter has a two-year-old boy and is just beginning to experience The Camel’s Nose. Let me explain. As he gets older, his sleep patterns change, and he sometimes wants to stay up past his normal bedtime. He does this by asking for more bedtime books. Then, he asks if he can have a toy. Then he has to play with the toy. Then, he wants a snack. It leads to many more things that definitely don’t make him want to go to bed.

“The Camel’s Nose” is a reference to an old story in which a camel is left outside his owner’s tent. Wanting to be inside the tent, he sticks his nose under the bottom of the tent, but just barely. As the moments pass, he pushes more of his nose into the tent, then his whole head, then slowly adds more and more of his neck, etc. until finally the entire camel is inside the tent. Resultingly, the camel crowds the owner, upends his things, and makes the owner regret letting even the camel’s nose into the tent. It’s a metaphor for how one seemingly innocent action leads to a much greater egregious result.

Having raised 4 adult children, I have seen many such Camel’s Noses with my children. One is the friend having a sleepover during a school night. The “camel” here may end up with additional friends staying over, not doing homework, staying up late to play video games, watching a questionable movie because someone said they saw and there’s “nothing to worry about”, and going to school the next day with practically no sleep.

There are many Camel’s Noses that we encounter in the course of our lives, from a stray dog who follows you home, to leasing a car, to buying a time share, to clicking on a link in an anonymous email, and many more. We often begin to notice similar patterns in these things and learn to avoid many of them.

But sometimes we still fall for a Camel’s Nose that we haven’t encountered before.

Such was the case when homosexuals began asking for the right to marry.

We heard, “What’s wrong with just letting us get married? How could it possibly hurt your heterosexual marriage?”

Or “We just want to be treated equally, that’s all.”

Or “You have nothing to worry about. Once we get the right to marry, nothing else will happen.”

And when the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country via the Obergefell decision, I remember one columnist who mockingly stated that gay marriage is now law, and the world has not ended.

That little camel’s nose had a big, ugly, ferocious camel attached to it, and it’s trying to bring down the tent.

The biggest ramification of same-sex marriage is that same-sex activists used that right to find Christians who provided wedding services and challenged them to support their same-sex wedding or be sued. These Christian business owners include florists, bakers, wedding venue managers, and more. For them, it has come close to destroying their livelihoods. Imagine if you were one of these business owners, trying to just earn a living, not trying to do anything political, and you get sued because you’re just refusing service due to your deeply held religious beliefs. The suit that is brought against you makes you lose a lot of business and income. You spend a lot of time and energy defending yourself legally. You receive death threats. And you have to go through this for years as it winds it’s way through court after court until finally it reaches the Supreme Court, and you hope that they will accept your case and rule in your favor.

For those Christians, legalizing same-sex marriage has NOT been the benign non-event promised by LGBT activists. It has been a direct assault on the livelihoods of many Christians. And if these lawsuits go against these Christians in the Supreme Court, it could have a devastating effect on Christians throughout the country who find that they could be the subject of a set-up and resulting lawsuit.

As bad as that is, there is still more camel coming through the bottom of the tent.

Now, Christian adoption agencies are being forced to place children with same-sex married couples, even though it goes against their beliefs and there are plenty of non-Christian adoption agencies who could perform that service for the same-sex couple. Christian adoption agencies in several states are losing their licensing because of this. That not only hurts the Christian adoption agencies and their employees. It also hurts the children because there are fewer agencies able to place those children.

Those same LGBT activists are pushing to expand non-discrimination laws to include language that will force other Christian business owners and ministries into bankruptcy. The non-discrimination language is again forcing direct challenges to their deeply held religious beliefs. Caving to the demands of the LGBT activists would dilute much of what makes those businesses and ministries distinctly Christian. Which is probably the point of their efforts.

There are also efforts to prohibit pastors from speaking out about their Biblical beliefs about marriage. Some are even pushing to remove the tax-exempt status of such churches.

And there is a general concern among those of us who hold a Biblical view of marriage that we could be ostracized or fired from work if our views on marriage are made known. The pro-LGBT agenda has been pushed as the only allowed view among many in society, and there is a general hesitancy or even fear of expressing our beliefs among others. Some actually have lost their jobs because their Biblical views became known to their employers.

Right now, the camel is inside the tent and is running amok throughout the tent. It’s time for the owner of the camel (the American public) to realize that things have gotten out of hand and put the camel where he won’t do any harm.

 

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The Brave and the Free

The LGBT community is a small one. Studies indicate it is about 1 – 2% of the population There are problems with that estimate, but let’s just accept it for now.

But not all of those who are LGBT are willing to step into the open. I don’t have any numbers for this estimate, but it’s probably much smaller than 2%.

And of that number, there aren’t that many who have left the LGBT lifestyle, turned to Christ, and are open about it. Those people are willing to go against political correctness, the prevailing culture, and possible hardship from the LGBT bullies who love to doxx people and get them fired. And there were 200 such ex-LGBT people who showed up in Washington D.C. on May 25 for a march, publicly showing that there is true life for those caught up in the LGBT lifestyle. It was deemed the Freedom March.

Read up on the March here: https://stream.org/ex-lgbt-people-declare-freedom-jesus-dc-freedom-march/

Those in the LGBT community have a lot of physical and mental health issues. I say this not to ridicule them but to draw sympathy for them. The people in the Freedom March have gone through considerable peril to be a part of that event, and they deserve some attention. It wasn’t embracing their non-heterosexuality that improved their lives. It was accepting their lives as God intended.

I really hope that those who do not find fulfillment in their LGBT lifestyle will consider how many have found freedom in Christ. And hats off to those who have been willing to be a part of the Freedom March.

 

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Biological Male Wins NCAA Women’s Track Championship

This is another reason to oppose the so-called Equality Act. It doesn’t treat women fairly.

We already have laws on the books to pay women equally, to promote them equally, and to allow them into the same professions as men. It’s part of nondiscrimination clauses in practically every large business.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t recognize differences between men and women when it is helpful to women, and one of those situations is in sports.

It is a biological fact that, on average, women are slightly smaller and weaker than men. Of course, there are exceptions, but we’re talking about averages here. And in most sports, the average man has an edge on the average woman.

Society recognized this long ago and allowed men to compete against other men, while women competed against other women. If a man competed against a woman in a very physical sport, it was not considered fair or polite. It was not considered gentlemanly for a man to compete with a woman when strength, height, or weight was a significant factor.

However, after decades of being told that men and women are absolutely equal and interchangeable in all things, we are told to close our eyes and let biological men compete against women, even if those men have taken on some feminine characteristics. We are allowing that in track, weight lifting, and other sports, and as biological men beat out women, we are willing to ignore that it wasn’t a fair competition in the first place.

This article from the Daily Caller shows one instance of a weight lifting organization that finally got the courage to prevent this in their competitions.

https://dailycaller.com/2019/05/28/cece-telfer-transgender-ncaa-championship/

The so-called “Equality Act” put forward in the House of Representatives is supposed to be about helping LGBT individuals become “equal” to everyone else. Unfortunately, the misnamed bill is not about equality. One of the major problems is that it puts women athletes at a disadvantage in that it allows men who say they are in the process of transitioning to women to compete with women.

We already know the result of most, if not all, of those matches.

I am old enough to remember when female East German athletes tended to be heavily favored in most of their Olympics competitions. Most of the time, they won. It was suspected, and later proven, that they were taking testosterone to help them bulk up, gain muscle, and dominate women’s sports. If the Olympic Committee discovered that one of those East German women had been taking testosterone, those athletes would be severely penalized and possibly banned from competition.

Now, however, the new LGBT orthodoxy would reward athletes who are already men in their competition against women.

That’s not equality. That’s just preferential treatment.

It’s time to put a stop to the Equality Act and let women compete fairly.

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Great News! Catholic School Won’t Face Punishment for Hiring Employees That Share Its Beliefs

This Catholic School won’t be bullied by the city anymore.

http://blog.adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2019/05/28/great-news!-catholic-school-won-t-face-punishment-for-hiring-employees-that-share-its-beliefs

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FAA investigating religious discrimination complaints after airports exclude Chick-fil-a | Fox News

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More Churches Vandalized

Five windows were broken at Wren Church of God in Easley, South Carolina. No messages were left.

Also, Matthew Catholic Church in El Paso, Texas was also vandalized.

Church vandalism is occurring throughout the U.S., and we often don’t notice it because it is scattered. By seeing all of these attacks in one site, we can get a better picture of assaults on freedom of religion in our country. We will continue to identify church vandalism as it occurs.

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Pro-Aborts Force Their Beliefs on Catholics By Vandalizing Church

 

PROCHOICEVANDALGRAFITTI_4407113Many pro-aborts are no doubt upset about pro-life legislation being passed in a number of states. That may have been what prompted someone in the Philadephia area to spray-paint something on the front of Notre Dame de Lourdes Church. It said,

“You do not have the right to decide how others lives”

It is not clear why the culprit decided to blame this church, especially since this church is in Pennsylvania, where no pro-life legislation has been passed. I assume that they are simply lashing out at anyone who is a likely ally of pro-life efforts, such as Catholics.

But look at what they were saying. They were saying that that no one has a right to decide how others live. That raises a number of questions:

  • Do pro-aborts have the right to decide whether it is okay to vandalize a church?
  • Do pro-aborts have the right to force their messages on the front of a church?
  • Do pro-aborts get to force their views on the front doors of a church?

As normally happens with those who want to fight against freedom of speech and freedom of religion, they also are myopic about their own efforts that stifle speech and religion.

It’s time for everyone to respect our freedoms while allowing our elected legislatures to debate ideas and pass laws.

Posted in abortion, Christian Persecution, Church Vandalism, Freedom of conscience, Religious Freedom, Sanctity of Life | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Charter School Pushes Drag Queen Acceptance on Middle Schoolers

Central Park School for Children, a charter school in Durham, NC, decided to push their middle school students into acceptance of the drag queen lifestyle. This was initiated because school officials felt there was bullying of LGBT students at the school.

See the story here.

It is sad that there was bullying of any child. Unfortunately, that happens a lot in school. I was bullied in my high school because I was a professed Christian, yet no one ever thought about bringing in a pastor to preach tolerance to my fellow students. Apparently, in today’s world, only the LGBT community is deserving of such deference.

The article indicates that a large majority of LGBT individuals contemplate suicide. There is an implication that it is due to bullying. However, members of the LGBT community have a tendency to have suicidal thoughts regardless of whether they are bullied or not. This is especially true of transgenders. Those who suffer from these conditions deserve our sympathy, but we do not need to promote their lifestyle.

I can only imagine that the logical outcome of this will be that drag queen teachers will one day be accepted as well. After all, don’t we want them to have a positive self image?

Those of us who want our right to see positive role models promoted to our children face an uphill battle. The issue should be about training our children, not hosting events to help people with self image problems.

 

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