The Good News
Anti-Christian forces in the United States have won many victories since 2008. Mr. Obama stated that “Whatever we once were, we’re no longer a Christian nation.” There are forces that have been at work for decades in America to diminish the spiritual influence that Christianity has. Many Christians are de-moralized. The anti-Christian forces have intimidated many Christians. Many Christians now desire to “go with the flow” and compromise our beliefs and moral positions in order to fit in better. We are not called to “go with the flow”-we are called to be a standard of righteousness. Jesus said that broad is the way that leads to destruction and many take it (Matthew 17:13-14). We must take the narrow way and proclaim that way to others. We follow Jesus and not the world. We would do good to remember the words of the Psalm “though none go with me, still I will follow.” No matter what happens we must stay focused on the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Good News is that God loves mankind, and that Jesus Christ died and rose again to redeem mankind. Christians have and still are making a positive impact on the world. In response to all the reports of youth leaving the church in droves, Focus on the Family did a scientific poll in a report entitled “Milennial Religious Participation and Retention.” It was discovered that the numbers are not as great as commonly reported and that conservative churches have actually shown a small rate of increase. In a poll entitled “The State of Christian America,” the Pew Research Center has found that 77% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. While that is a small decline, that means America is over three-fourths Christian. Christianity is still a global force. More than 80 percent of people worldwide identify with a religious group, according to 2011 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Of those, 2.2 billion, or 32 percent, identified themselves as Christians, followed by 1.6 billion Muslims (23 percent) and 1 billion Hindus (15 percent). Instead of being timid, Christians need to boldly proclaim God’s truth.
“Whose Report will you believe?”
It is often reported that the Church is in serious decline and that young people are leaving the church in droves. As is reported above, the reports of Christianity’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Since 2008, the Liberal News Media Establishment, has abandoned any pretense of neutrality, and openly campaigned for Mr. Obama in their news casts. In 2013, we saw the liberal news media running amuck with MSNBC’s Martin Bashir stating that he wanted to defecate on Sarah Palin during his news broadcast and Melissa Harris-Perry made racist jokes about Mitt Romney’s black grandchild. The News Media is heavily politicized and is almost completely made up of Obama sycophants. In 2008 news reporters described Obama as a “god” and described their “tingling sensations” going up and down their legs when they listened to him speak. The problem of persecution of Christianity, globally and in the United States of America, is a story that is not covered by the News Media Establishment. It is time for Christians to break away from the corrupt news media-and to fight against it. We need to use and create alternate news sources such as World Magazine, CNS News, and One News Now. We also need to challenge this problem at the source-the journalism schools such as Columbia School of Journalism. We also need to think strategically. The reason Liberals complain about Fox News (and complained about Lee Atwater) is because of their effectiveness. Fox News is better than other news sources-but isn’t a conservative network-its establishment Republican. We need to be informed, but we need to do our own reporting and not lean upon the moderate “Fox News.” It is time for us to unplug ourselves from anti-Christian news media outlets. (To learn more about persecution of Christians consult Todd Starnes, Janet Parshall’s “Silenced: The War Against Christians,” Persecution by David Limbaugh, Persecuted by Paul Marshal, “Losing our Religion” by S.E.Cupp. The Global War on Christians by John Allen, and “Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians” by Raymond Ibrahim. And the books on the war on Christmas by Sarah Palin and John Gibson.)
“Train up Your Child in the Way”
It is the responsibility of every Christian to grow the church. Every man and woman can do this by marrying and having children. Every Christian who can should have a goal of having at least four children. All my life, I have heard about over-population. It isn’t happening. Now scientists admit that we have an “aging population.” This means we have population decline. One of the most important things that anyone can do is perpetuate mankind, and pass down the legacy of the Christian faith to our children. Working as a substitute teacher, I was horrified to see the left-wing propaganda our children are subjected to in the textbooks. Another problem is that many schools are not safe. In the areas in which I taught there were shootings and killings in the schools. I used to think that homeschooling was not something every parent should do. Now, I think every Christian parent should home school their children. Now, there are home-schooling web-sites, DVDs, and user-friendly curriculum. Anyone can do it. There are even home-school networks in which children can socialize with other children. I believe every Christian should take their children out of the public school system and either home-school them or put them in a private Christian school. However, we need to put pressure on the schools to change the textbooks. The textbooks often portray Christians and Christianity in a negative light-and yet sing praises of Islam. Unfortunately, not every Christian is going to take their children out of public school and we do pay school taxes. We have the right and the duty to stop our children from being subjected to anti-Christian and left-wing propaganda in the public schools. It is the responsibility of parents to educate their children in a manner that inculcates within them a Christian World-view and builds within them a Christian moral structure.
(Many helpful resources can be found through David Barton’s “Wallbuilders” organization. Kirk Cameron dealt with the importance of Education in his video “Monumental.”)
Facts about Islam
It is imperative that Christians confront Islam. There are a few points that need to be clarified. First off, there is no moral superiority to Christianity in Islam. People need to realize that just because a Muslim is a nice guy, that doesn’t mean the religion is superior to Christianity. There are plenty of Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans and even atheists who are nice people. Many people have seen a video entitled “Muslim Demographics” that show a population decline in Europe and a population explosion of Muslims and the Islamic minority in Europe. The video is incorrect. David P. Goldman shows that Islam is also in a population decline in his book How Civilizations Die (And Why Islam is Dying Too). In her review in National Review, Claire Berlinski, was incredulous, but found that Mr. Goldman is indeed correct. She says, “Contrary to received wisdom, it is not just that Europe is in demographic decline. The Islamic world, too, is on the fast track to demographic senility. To my surprise, it seems he is quite right: All the studies confirm it. Muslim-majority countries are now exhibiting significantly lower fertility rates than non-Muslim ones…[It is] the fertility plunge in the Islamic world-and it is indeed the entire Islamic world [and not just the Arab world].” (National Review, June 25, 2012, p. 44-46.) This means that the Moslem world is in decline. The problem is that “The Islamic world will soon be as elderly as the industrialized world, but it will not be industrialized.” Berlinski notes that regardless of the demographic facts (of which they are, for the time, largely unaware of) the Muslim world now has great confidence in their manifest destiny to dominate the globe. Confidence is a benefit for them-but it the end, it won’t save them. Goldman believes that, when the Muslim world realizes their imminent decline, in desperation, many may turn to war to save their “civilization.” However, the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt shows that many Muslims are turning away from Islamic extremism. We must support Islamic moderates. Many people are afraid to confront Islam. I do not think we should try to be confrontational and offensive-but we must speak Truth to Power.
It is now time for Christian unity. When Hyper-Calvinists teach that God hates mankind and that Jesus did not die for all the sins of the world, naturally, these extreme teachings will create discord and division in the Church. I personally, cannot see the attraction in such extreme “doctrines” nor can I see why people are attracted to the character of a serious flawed individual like John Calvin. In fact, I believe that the flawed character and teachings of John Calvin deserve condemnation. However, some people in the Calvinist tradition realize that Evangelicals must work together in this day and age. I am inclined to work for unity for the sake of Christ, but when extremist would be body of Christ, it becomes necessary to condemn their false teachers and teachings. We should attempt to avoid such doctrinal controversies to distract us from the work of Christ. Also, John MacArthur is wrong to attack fellow Evangelicals in his book “Strange Fire.” In this dark and evil day, internal infighting should be avoided. But those who sow discord among the brethren, such as John MacArthur and the Hyper-Calvinists, must be opposed. It is important to explore the Jewish roots of our Messiah. However, when certain people in the Hebrew-roots movement begin questioning the Deity of Christ or the Triune nature of God, they corrupt the movement into to be one that is introducing heresy rather than one that is bringing a deeper understanding of who Messiah Yeshua is. (Yeshua is how the name Jesus is pronounced in Aramaic and Hebrew.) First and foremost should be the proclamation of the Gospel. The Biblical Feast-day’s purpose is to proclaim Jesus. The Messiah is preeminent over the Torah and Moses. We should also remember that we are guided by the Holy Spirit and not by rabbinical teachings. I would encourage all Christians to explore the Semitic Roots of Christianity, but do so with a strong doctrinal foundation and while being aware of the danger of heresies. An obsession with exposing “pagan roots” is also unhealthy. Most people who obsess about pagan roots are putting out false information. We should focus on the truth about God and what the Bible says, and not on ancient paganism.
There are issues that those on the left do not want Christians speaking upon. Even though these issues are controversial we must speak out on them because we are morally obligated to because the church is God’s prophetic voice to the world. The other reason is that people look to the church for moral guidance and it is our responsibility to provide it.
Abortion: The Bible and the Apostolic Fathers are clear-abortion is murder. It is the duty of every Christian to work against abortion to end this evil and heinous practice. Anyone who claims to be a Christian and supports killing the unborn is at variance with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Apostles.
Marriage: Marriage is a union between one man and one woman. (See “What is Marriage: A Man and A Woman: A Defense” by Sherif Girgis, Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George.)
Immigration: Some Christians believe that the loving thing to do is keep the border open and award all illegal aliens with citizenship. It is the duty of the state to provide security, rule of law, and to enforce the law impartially. Once the border is secure and laws are enforced, then amnesty should be considered. Until that time, we must evangelize and share the love of Jesus with all within our borders, legal or not.
Racial issues: America needs love and racial reconciliation. The problem is that Leftists exploit racial tensions for their political gain. Racist outbursts from left-wing radicals on MSNBC show us that unfortunately, racism in America is alive and well. Therefore, the issue becomes a distraction from more important issues. It is time to love, forgive, and move on. (For more information see Ann Coulter’s “Mugged.”)
Know Your Enemy
The Bible says, “My people perish for lack on knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). There is a huge amount of anti-Christian hate literature. Fictional books such as “The Handmaiden’s Tale,” “The Poisonwood Bible,” “V for Vendetta” and so-called “Non-fiction” such as “What’s Wrong with the Religious Right,” and etc. There are even so-called documentaries created by anti-Christian to spread fear and hate of “Born Again” Christians, such as “Jesus Camp” or ridicule such as “Religulous.” Throughout my life, I have constantly seen negative stereotypes of “Born Again” Christians on movies and television shows. (Such negative stereotypes are also perpetuated on the TV show “Glee.”)
This culture war is upon us, whether we choose to fight or not. We must fight back. And to do so we need to know who are enemy is. The enemy is the liberal/secular/progressive establishment that is an evil hegemony that has a near monopoly over academia, publishing, the news media, the public school system, the entertainment industry, the court system, and the bureaucracy. We need to liberate America from the leftist elitists control. And we need to expose them. Liberals are constantly observing those whom they perceive to be their enemies with their “right-wing watch.” We need to have a “left-wing watch” to document inflammatory rhetoric from the left, such as Governor Cuomo saying people who are “Pro-Life” are not welcomed in New York City, Obama calling his opponents “Bitter-clingers,” and the examples of Martin Bashir and Ms. Harris-Perry given above.
We also need to remember that this is a spiritual conflict. Our enemy is the devil. As the Scripture states, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood…” but against evil spiritual powers (Ephesians 6:12).
“The Zeal of the Lord has Consumed Me!”
The New Atheists are tireless in achieving their goals. So is the political homosexual movement and the Left-wing Democrats. Christians, not so much. We tend to be satisfied by the real opiate of the peoples, the entertainment industry. We consume the things of the Anti-Christ world system. Radical Muslims also have a global vision, they view things long-term with their ultimate goal insight and are tireless in achieving those goals.
Looking at art can show where a culture is. Thomas Blackshear’s “Forgiven” shows a man who is the personification of the church. The man can’t stand up, he is defeated, his face contorted. In weakness, he leans upon Jesus. He is not empowered by Christ to stand and fight.
People want to be defeated. It is laziness, apathy, and indifference. The Bible says that in Christ we are more that conquerers (Romans 8:37).
It is time to stand up and fight. When I was in the Holy Land, I saw a sign that said, “Zionism is doing.” What then is Christianity-believing but doing nothing? To many that seems to be their view. Now we cannot earn salvation, it is a gift from God. However, we must work out this salvation with fear and trembling. There is a lot of work to do.
Evangelical Christians should have at least the same amount of zeal for missions that we see among Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. We should encourage every young Evangelical man to spend one year on the mission field. Everyone should spend at least an hour every week evangelizing the lost.
Jesus said that faith like a mustard seed can move mountains. It is time for us to take a leap of faith and trust in God’s power to transform the world.
In 1999, a group of misguided but well-meaning Christians went on an apology tour, which they called the “Reconciliation Walk,” in which they retraced the path of the Crusaders and apologized to Muslim fanatics who were persecuting Christian minorities for the Crusades-which happened 1,000 years earlier. Most of the apologizing occurred in Turkey, a nation that killed one million Christians in the 20th Century, carried out massive ethnic cleansing of its indigenous Christians, and invaded a neighboring Christian country in the 1970s and still occupies half of that country till this day. Many Christians are ashamed of the Church of Jesus Christ and his everlasting Gospel. Like Paul, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation unto all men (Romans 1:16). Dr. Jefferies, an arch-conservative pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, appeared on the Alan Colmes and was asked what Jesus would think of the church-and Dr. Jefferies answered that Jesus would be disappointed with the church. I think Jesus has been honored by the church through the lives of Saint Francis of Assisi, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, the preaching of John and Charles Wesley. I think the music of Handel and Fanny Crosby pleased Jesus Christ. I think Christ was honored by the educational, scientific, and humanitarian work done by Christians. Leftists have presented a jaundiced view of church history. Many of the things that they state about Christian history aren’t true. It is often said that Christians burnt the Library of Alexandria and plunged the world into the Dark Ages. However, Christians did not burn down the Library of Alexandria and historians do not believe that there was a “Dark Age.” Church leaders put an end to the witch hysteria. We shouldn’t gloss over the failures of the church, but we must present a balanced approach and not further left-wing propaganda. Christians have always been on the forefront of social issues, especially in the United States and led the fight for the abolition of slavery, among many other important issues. All Christians need to read Rodney Stark’s “The Triumph of Christianity” in order to be de-programmed from all the commonplace-and inaccurate-anti-Christian propaganda.
Telling a New Christian Story
Christianity emerged in the Middle East and quickly spread to Africa and into Asia. Before the Middle of the 600s, there were thriving churches in India and China. The Coptic Church preserved an Egyptian form of Christianity. The Ethiopian Church has preserved a uniquely Judaic-African form of Christianity. The Assyrian Church of the East has preserved the Syriac Christian heritage and important literature in the Aramaic language of Jesus Christ. Christianity has always been a world religion. It is important to know the history of Western Christendom, but we should not overlook the Eastern Byzantine Church, nor the Coptic and Syriac Church heritages. Evangelical Christians tend to think of church history ending, for all intents and purposes, from the completion of the writing of the New Testament, until Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses upon the doors of the Cathedral of Wittenberg. However, the Early Church Fathers worked out important theological issues and opposed serious heresies, such as Gnosticism. Also, Martin Luther and John Calvin’s theologies are as much derived from Augustine as they are from the New Testament. Evangelicals can learn from the Spiritual Disciplines worked out in the Catholic tradition, and the writings of Thomas A’Kempis. Important devotional works, such as “The Way of the Pilgrim,” have been produced by the Eastern Orthodox Tradition. Evangelicals need to embrace the heritage of Christendom and explore the Spiritual traditions of the Eastern Churches and the Syriac, Coptic, and Ethiopic Churches. The Western Church and its heritage is important, but we need to move beyond the Euro-Centric View, and realize that Christianity has always been a World Religion, and it is time to learn from parts of the body that we have neglected for far too long.
How to Fight the Culture War
Previously, I thought of entitling this section, “How to Win the Culture War.” The Culture War is the never-ending battle between good and evil, and it will be ended in victory when Jesus Christ comes again and establishing His Kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven” and rules the world with a rod of iron.
Christians need to try to work within the “Hollywood” establishment, but it is time to work outside it as well. Robert Duvall’s “The Apostle” was self-financed as was Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ.” We cannot wait for them to make quality Christian entertainment, and we don’t need to, as the makers of “Facing the Giants,” “Fireproof,” and “Courageous” have shown us. (Sherwood Baptist Church of Albany, Georgia.) Effective Christian movies include “Amazing Grace” (about William Wilberforce), “The Blind Side,” “Soul Surfer,” “Gifted Hands.”
Documentary filmmaking can also be effective as seen in Ben Stein’s “Expelled,” “The Agenda,” and “2016.”
We need to have a game-change. If you play the devil’s game, you will always lose. We don’t have to work within the Liberal Establishment any longer. Now with emerging technologies, we can reach the masses without going through the enemies of the cross of Christ.
We need to produce quality Christian literature, art, and film. We also need to tell our own story.
Jesus told us to be wise as serpents but gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16). We cannot allow the world to corrupt us-now should we send our youth to the wolves? We need to provide our flock with an alternative, so they are not consuming the poison of the Anti-Christ World System.
Victory in Jesus
It is important to keep the correct perspective-an eternal perspective. Christ is the Victor.
We must be a standard of righteousness. It is time for spiritual renewal within the body of Christ. Instead of being a light to the world, the church has become a reflection of it.
Many Christians are defeatists and have resigned themselves to not just a “Post-Christian” America that Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer warned us of-but an Anti-Christian America.
We need to remember that our enemy is a defeated foe. Jesus Christ conquered evil forever on the cross of Golgotha. We need to claim the authority that we have and plead the blood of Jesus. It is time for us to walk in the victory that Christ has won.
There is no reason for us to be afraid or dismayed. We have peace with God and the promise of eternal life. The question is how much we believe. If we believed would we accept defeat? If we really believed in the power of the Gospel would we be afraid?
Jesus told us to not be afraid of those who can destroy the body-but fear He who can destroy the body and the soul in hell (Matthew 10:28). Many Pastors fear to speak God’s truth without reservation-for fear of a financial cost. We need new leaders who are willing to lose everything for Christ-even their very lives if need be.
Another problem is that American Christianity has become anemic. It is lacking in blood. We should be hot-blooded Christians and also we need to claim and proclaim the Blood of Jesus-for we have victory in the Blood of Jesus.
A Global Vision
I think every Christian needs to read “Whose Religion is Christianity Anyway” by Lamin Sanneh. The book does two important things. First it shows how that Christianity is exploding across Africa, India, and China. Some have described the “Third World” as the “Next Christendom.” As Christianity (seemingly) declines in Europe and America, it is growing in leaps and bounds in the “Third World.” (The second helpful thing the book does is portray the hatred and scorn leftists have for Christianity in a very revealing way.)
Hilarion Alfeyev, a Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, located 80 miles northwest of Moscow, as head of external relations for the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, came to America to establish contacts and to find common positions with Evangelical Christians. He said, “Often we are in circles in our own ecclesiastical environment and don't communicate with those who might be our allies.
With regard to evangelical leaders, until recently we didn't have any systematic collaboration or dialogue or conversation. Many evangelicals share conservative positions with us on such issues as abortion, the family, and marriage.” (See Christianity Today, May 2011). We need to work with Catholic and Orthodox Christians towards are common goals.
While speaking to Mormons at BYU, Hyper-Calvinist Albert Mohler said, “I am not here because I believe we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together.”
Persecution in the United States of America is a very real possibility. (As well as America’s decline.) Christians may have to flee to the Third World for religious freedom. At the same time, there is great work to be done there. The movie “Machine Gun Preacher” based on the exploits of Sam Childers, illustrates the need in Africa.
Jesus commanded us to take his message to all the world-and this great mission is a continuing mission (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15).
One of the problems that Evangelicals have is lack of knowledge. The Lord says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge!” Please take time to read all of these books.
Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV by Ben Shapiro
Breakthrough: Our Guerilla War to Expose Fraud and Save Democracy by James O’Keefe
Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World by Andrew Breitbart
Defending Constantine: The Twilight of Empire and the Dawn of Christendom by Peter J. Leithart
God’s Battalions: The Case for the Crusades by Rodney Stark
One-Party Classroom: How Radical Professors at America’s Top Colleges Indoctrinate Students and Undermine Our Democracy by David Horowicz
No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom by Phyllis Schlafly
The Sword of Islam: Islam, History, Theology, Impact upon the World by Serge Trifkovic
After America by Mark Steyn
The Flipside of Feminism by Suzanne Venker
Stephen Andrew Missick
Reverend Stephen Andrew Missick is the author of The Assyrian Church in the Mongol Empire, Mar Thoma: The Apostolic Foundation of the Assyrian Church in India, and Socotra: The Mysterious Island of the Church of the East which were published in the Journal of Assyrian Academic Studies (Volume XIII, No. 2, 1999, Volume XIV, No. 2, 2000 and Volume XVI No. 1, 2002). (See www.jaas.org.) He is the author of The Words of Jesus in the Original Aramaic: Discovering the Semitic Roots of Christianity, The Secret of Jabez, Saint Thaddeus and the King of Assyria, The Ascents of James: A Lost Acts of the Apostles, The Hammer of God: The Stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel, The Ennead: The Story of Osiris the Vindicator, the Beloved Enchantress Isis and Horus the Avenger and Christ the Man. He is an ordained minister of the gospel. He graduated from Sam Houston State University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rev. Missick has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and has lived among the Coptic Christians in Egypt and Aramaic Christians in Syria. He also served as a soldier in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and 2004. While serving as a soldier in Iraq he learned Aramaic from native Aramaic-speaking Iraqi Assyrian Christians. Rev. Missick is the writer and illustrator of the comic book “The Assyrians: The Oldest Christian People,” the comic strip Chronicles: Facts from the Bible and the comic book series The Hammer of God which are available from www.comixpress.com. The Hammer of God comic book series dramatizes the stories of Judah Maccabee and Charles Martel. He has also served as a chaplain in the Army National Guard in Iraq during his second deployment in 2009 and 2010. He participated in an archeological excavation of Bethsaida in Galilee in 2011 and went on a missionary trip to Uganda in 2012 and India in 2013.
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