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Synopsis of The Cost of Being a Christian
Good and joyful day today to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the Lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite, we’re about to slice a piece of the Bread of Life, the Word of God. And today’s slices are as follows:
Deuteronomy 31:6-7 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. 8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Joshua 10:25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.
After feeding you all these scriptures on being courageous let me remind you the title of today’s message: “The Cost of Being a Christian”
Although I will be discussing incidences that may seem that this is a political message, keep in mind that the title is NOT “The Cost of Being an American,” or “The Cost of Being a Citizen.” OR “The Cost of Being Politically Correct” —- but as a Minister of the Word of God I emphasize the title is “The Cost of Being a Christian.”
As the revelations of the last few weeks now make abundantly clear, our freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and particularly our freedom of religion may have never been in greater jeopardy than they are right now. The near future may likely determine whether we will remain free to worship Our Father who art in Heaven.
I’m referring to the scandals around Benghazi, the attacks on the press, and the IRS being used to target political enemies are some of the most shocking overreaches in our history. Now we find these are only “the tip of the iceberg” of the assault on our freedoms and our basic privacy. The revelation that the NSA has the capacity to monitor and store all phone calls, emails, text messages, social network posts, virtually all communications in America, and very soon the world, is so shocking that it is hard for many to believe. This all causes my antenae to become more attuned to our religious freedom.
All of these revelations and scandals coming at us so fast that people may go numb and just shut down. In the Book of Daniel, the devil’s strategy is to attempt to “wear out the saints,” and this has always been an effective strategy. However, now is NOT the time to shut down and throw up our hands declaring that this is too much to process.
Everything we hold dear as Christians, our most basic morality, are in serious jeopardy. It is time for courage and our most resolute determination that this is not going to happen on our watch, and that we will never give up. It is not too late.
May I impose three important questions? There are three crucial questions to ask in any crisis: What is happening? What is not happening? What can I do about it? In the first U.S. Army battle against a regular North Vietnamese Army, Colonel Moore used these questions to lead his force through what looked like impossible odds to ultimate victory. It was then adapted for the U.S. Army Manual as a commander’s basis for evaluating a crisis. I’d like to use it here.
What is Happening?
The Federal Government has built an unprecedented apparatus for monitoring its own citizens that is virtually total.
The IRS was used extensively to harass and silence the political opposition of the Administration.
Evidence is surfacing that the DOJ, EPA, and other agencies were used for the same purpose.
The Administration has illegally seized the communications of journalists who were probing the Administration’s activities. That smacks of controlling the freedom of the press.
The level of lies and attempts to cover up what happened at Benghazi makes it clear that something extremely important is being hidden from the American people.
What is Not Happening?
Neither party have awakened to how much its future is in jeopardy by what is unfolding. Our legacy could forever be destroyed by the level of overreach, scandal, and incompetence now surfacing. Party leaders and members continue to defend these indefensible actions as if they are already controlled by information of threats against them.
The news media remains asleep, blind, or neutralized so that it is only timidly covering what is shaping up to possibly be the biggest issues of our lifetime. As this is the biggest threat to the freedom of the press, more people are wondering if that freedom has not already been lost.
With only few exceptions, the leadership in Congress is failing to demonstrate the kind of courage, resolve, and wisdom to lead us through this crisis that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.
The majority of the American people are not waking up, but, praise God, they are starting to stir.
More people are becoming deeply alarmed, but they are not hearing a clear trumpet call of the Lord to know how or where to rally.
What Can We Do About It?
We must each resolve that regardless of the personal consequences, we will seek to know the truth, and we will stand for Gospel truth without compromise. At the ending of this message I will read to you a list of prayers for the leaders of our great nation. Copies will be available on requests.
Our American eagle needs a left wing and a right wing to fly. The issues now facing us are bigger than many of the liberal and conservative issues we’ve been fighting over. Though we must never compromise our convictions, we must learn to fight together as Christian Americans when facing these ultimate issues of our basic freedom.
State Attorney Generals have the authority to prosecute any crime committed in their State and against their citizens. State Governors and Attorney Generals take the lead in this crisis, they will no doubt take back much of the authority given to the States by the Constitution that has been usurped by the Federal Government. There are key Governors and Attorney Generals already taking up this strategy. And, we must get behind them any way we can.
And you, my friends. Get engaged. Go to town hall meetings. Write to your elected officials often. Run for office. Work in campaigns. Donate time, money, and other resources. If we don’t give it freely now, it will be taken from us soon. I once heard a sermon in which the Pastor said, “If God calls you to move a mountain… don’t forget to bring a shovel. Faith without works is as bad as works without faith.”
In recent years our ears have been burning with our religious rights being trampled on, such as:
• A federal traditional marriage (man-woman) amendment to the Constitution to defend tradional marriage from assaults from those who claim to promote “same sex marriage”;
• School prayer and the freedom of religious expression in public places;
• Faith-based and community initiatives;
• Pro-life legislation;
• The promotion and protection of the Boy Scouts, organized sports and other activities that reinforce morality, accountability and leadership in our youth;
Supporting these important efforts also means opposing those who stand steadfastly against them. Through offering strong and vocal opposition to:
• The National Endowment of the Arts or taxpayer supported art and the federal funding and endorsement of pornography and obscenity as legitimate forms of art.
• The mainstream media’s promotion and glorification of drug abuse, teenage sex, gangs, atheism, homosexuality and other immoral behavior and beliefs;
• “Pro-choice” or abortion strengthening legislation that upholds or expands the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision of 1973;
• The creation of special classes of Americans at the expense of the traditional American family.
• The passage of hate crimes and thought control legislation that creates inequality and singles out Christians or moral thinking people for persecution, fines, and harassment by the government at;
• The rights of mothers and fathers to train their own children in their religious beliefs.
My friends, God is on our side. We are not to operate in fear. Have faith in God not in people. Too many want to only be safe by being on the side of the majority and fear being in the minority. When we have more faith in people than in God, we tend to get our security or confidence by how many people share our views. Jesus had a different perspective, saying in Luke 6:26: “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.”
It is significant that the great voices in history and those whose perspective proved true were almost always rejected by the majority, and often stood completely alone. We see this with the first apostles. Even so, if we know we are sent by God and that we have received our message from Him, then it really does not matter what men think about us. As Paul said in Galatians 1:10 “If I were still seeking to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” . Just the mentality of seeking our approval or encouragement from men can be the biggest stumbling block that keeps us from being true messengers.
If we get our security from the crowd rather than from the Lord, we will follow the crowd instead of the Lord. The Lord did not say that the love of “some” or “many” would grow cold, He said “most.” If we are prone to follow the majority, then we will end up being deceived just as “all Israel went astray” following Absalom and turning on his father, King David.
How could this thing happen in Israel? The same way it has happened so many times since and still happens today. Like a good politician, Absalom met with people and showed sympathy for their problems. He gradually increased his authority with people because he was a good politician. Then David’s sin with Bathsheba was exposed. You would think that God would certainly depart from David after such a diabolical sin. However, God has considerably more grace than people do, and He did not abandon David. He disciplined David because He loved him, but He would never leave him or forsake him.
Yes, it is time for courage! It is time to move mountains. Remember what I said earlier; when God calls you to move mountains don’t forget to bring a shovel. Faith without works is no better than works without faith.
As I was typing this message I just received a communication from Family Research Council. This report exemplifies what I meant just a minute ago…. let me repeat it… God is on our side. We are not to operate in fear. Have faith in God not in people. Too many want to only be safe by being on the side of the majority and fear being in the minority. When we have more faith in people than in God, we tend to get our security or confidence by how many people share our views.
Now, here is the example I just received from Family Research Council :
Imagine being an expert in your field of work, only to be fired — not for something related to your job performance — but for your religious beliefs.
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