Sunday, December 9, 2012

War Cry: Forward or Onward?

“Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war…”
~19th century hymn

Remember that old Sunday School hymn growing up as a child?  It always sounded so quaint.  After all, what was there to fight about?  No one was oppressing Christians during the 1960’s and 1970’s in our idyllic little suburb just outside of New York City.  As kids we simply accepted these lyrics as some corny metaphor for “soldiering” on in good works.  For the most part, we were harmoniously living together with other religions and races in the freest country in recorded history.  No one wanted to go to “war” with our fellow citizens.   

Have you ever watched a movie plot that starts out all sweet and dreamy, but slowly… very slowly, as the drama progresses the creepy tension rises?  Remember Glenn Close and Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction?  She seemed normal enough in the beginning, but gradually the depth of this woman’s madness increased in dramatic intensity throughout the film.  The viewer actually begins to feel sorry for Michael Douglas--the unfaithful adulterer.  Just a little “fling with sin” and, before you know it, you have the family pet rabbit boiling on your stove. 

I think this is a good analogy for the social climate we face today as devout believers in America.  For “bone-deep” Christians and seriously practicing Jews, the election outcome was “the Great Disappointment”--a somber referendum on the future of our country.  As we are shoved “Forward”, we are slowly beginning to realize the true impact of this hideous phrase.  Will we be shepherded like stupid sheep into a God-less society where we are forced to compromise our deepest held beliefs?   

In America, and around the free world, persecution of Judeo-Christian values is slowly, yet steadily picking up steam.  I’m not talking about in oppressive Islamic or Communist countries.  Sadly this persecution is taking place in former freedom-loving countries such as the United States, Canada, Belgium, England, and France, just to name a few.  
Here’s just a small sampling of the literally hundreds of recent examples:

United States:  In California parents are legally prohibited from offering their children Christian based treatment for sexual identity crises if this treatment includes assisting them in overcoming their same sex proclivities.

Canada:  In Alberta Canada a Pastor was persecuted for seven years on a “hate speech” charge because he dared to call the Homosexual agenda “wicked” from the pulpit.  He ultimately prevailed but only after a long, protracted and expensive witch hunt.  The hate-speech law is STILL on the books and can easily happen again to the next Pastor or outspoken citizen.  This is a chilling reminder of the “thought police” concept alive in well in our Northern “democratic” neighbor.

Belgium:  Euthanasia was signed into law in 2002.  Since that time 2-3% of ALL DEATHS in the country are now assisted suicide.  DO YOU GRASP THE TOTALITY OF THIS HORROR?  But here’s an even more gruesome fact:  Doctors and medical staff are now admitting that they are HARVESTING ORGANS from these depressed or ill patients “opting out” of life.  Investigations into this chilling “brave, new world” confirm that the medical staff is “operating beyond the legal margins of their profession”.  This is grisly, ghastly, ghoulish and frightening.  Have we lost our ability to be shocked?

England:  In 2012 British courts have upheld and asserted that Christians have no right to wear a cross or crucifix to work—which is now legally BANNED at the option of the employer. 

France:  This country is currently experiencing perhaps the worst example of “Shariah-creep” as they continue to integrate Islamic law into their legal and financial systems.  There are ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS in France where the police admit they have lost control of their ability to enforce French laws.  These communities are de-facto mini-Islamic pockets that are ruled under oppressive Shariah laws and customs.  The result has been an explosion of rapes and abuses of women including “honor” killings which go unsolved or under-reported.   

Before being martyred, the Christians in first century Rome were given one last opportunity to appease the state.  If they were willing to make a public sacrifice at the altar of the gods, they could get their sentence overturned.  However, they chose to face the lions instead and got ripped apart in a bloody sport as their fellow citizens cheered and clapped.  Their unflinching resolve was true evidence of unswerving faith in Jesus Christ as their Messiah.     

Just this week the multi-chain retail craft store, Hobby Lobby, lost its case in Court.  They refuse to offer abortifacients to their employees (which is required beginning on January 1st, 2013 under the ObamaCare HHS mandate) based on their deeply held religious convictions. Unless they win their next appeal, on January 1st they will “face the lions”.  Comply or Die.

Hobby Lobby owners literally MUST make that choice in a few weeks or face steep, economically fatal decisions.  Despite my deep trust and faith in God, it is very disconcerting to see the people on the front lines start taking bullets although I am not in the first battalion. Sort of like the canary in the coal mine—will Hobby Lobby make it out “alive”?  When will I or my loved ones be required to step on this minefield?

So the American social schizophrenia slowly increases in intensity.  We worship at the altar of “tolerance” as the intolerance of Christianity and Judeo-Christian values heats up with each passing day.  Like the choice given to the Roman martyrs, Christians will soon be asked whether they are willing to compromise their faith in order to appease the state.  Will they give in to the temptation to make a “public sacrifice” on the altar of the human secularist gods?  The State whispers:  “Just give the abortifacients to your employees—You’re not making them abort their children—that’s their “choice”.  I’m sure the German public in WWII had similar evil whisperers in their heads:  “Go ahead and accept that job with the Nazi government—You’re not directly responsible for putting the Jews in the oven—they did it”.  Ah Yes…the ubiquitous “they”.  “They” are always responsible for everything.  Never US.  Never YOU.  Somehow, 6 million Jews were annihilated in WWII and NO ONE admitted to having anything to do with it.  Go figure.    
At what point, like Michael Douglas, do we recognize that we are in deep, deep trouble? 

Let’s hope it’s before we find that our American foray into “unfaithfulness” has unleashed an unmitigated disaster of social lunacy that boils over on our very own kitchen stove.    

Make no mistake—whether you want to acknowledge it or not…

We are at War.

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.
~Revelation 12:17

When Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt met in 1941 on the battleship HMS Prince of Wales, Prime Minister Churchill chose the hymns. He chose "Onward, Christian Soldiers" and afterwards made a radio broadcast explaining his choice:
We sang "Onward, Christian Soldiers" indeed, and I felt that this was no vain presumption, but that we had the right to feel that we serving a cause for the sake of which a trumpet has sounded from on high. ... it swept across me that here was the only hope, but also the sure hope, of saving the world from measureless degradation.
—Winston Churchill


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