Archive for December, 2013

Religious Freedom in America

I’ve never done a list like this before, but after reviewing some articles that seemed to really resonate with people, I am encouraged to share them with others who may not have had the opportunity to read them when they were published. The ten articles listed here have been read by approximately 60,000 people; small numbers to full-time writers and national figures, but an amazing blessing to me. You never know who might be influenced by something we have to say!

It’s an honor and privilege to defend and proclaim the truth. My prayer regarding anything I write is that God is glorified, and that Christians not only be encouraged and strengthened in their faith, but that it will lead them to take action and bear fruit. For those that do not believe, I hope to point them to the love, light, and truth of Jesus Christ.

Due to the moral and spiritual confusion in America today, we must get back to the basics: the Bible must be taught and talked about like Christians used to do 50 – 100 years ago. Cultural issues are also important to discuss because as Christians, we see the world through the lens of the perfect Word of a holy God. He never changes! Our words and actions should both line up with a biblical Christian worldview rather than blending in with society and conforming to the world.

I posted about 50 articles and blogs in 2013 and judging by the numbers, those included here were the most popular. It’s very interesting to me that seven of the ten listed below are about individual people. The topics include abortion, biblical truth, media bias, religious freedom, Hollywood, immorality in American culture, racism, false teachings, homosexuality, and the silence of Christians.

I’m also very encouraged by the fact that four of the top six include excerpts from my book, ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA. Let’s start with the most read and viewed article featuring Oprah Winfrey that reached over 15,000 people:

#1.  Learning From Oprah: New Age Spirituality, Racism, and the Influence of Celebrity

Sadly, millions of spiritual seekers have been led astray, and due to Oprah’s popularity, people have opened themselves up to all kinds of practices, religions, and teachings contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and biblical Christianity. We need to pray for her and for those who may blindly hang on her every word, or the words of any secular celebrity.  Oprah is not the enemy – she is deceived – but she obviously believes she has the answers regarding God, spirituality, and eternity.

#2.  Game On: Blotting Christ Out of Christmas – Already?

Activists successfully removed prayer, the Bible, and God from schools, but they can never take Jesus Christ out of the hearts of believers. According to a 2012 Rasmussen Reports poll, 82% of American adults voted in favor of celebrating Christmas on public school campuses, and 76% believe Christmas should be more about Jesus than Santa. Going directly against Jesus’ own words to “Let your light shine among men,” some [activists] are trying to get Christians to be silent and hide their faith under baskets.

#3.  America’s Culture of Death: We Need Abortion Control, Not Gun Control

Ninety-six. Remember this number. A baby is aborted at a Planned Parenthood facility somewhere in America every 96 seconds. In that same amount of time, Planned Parenthood receives about $1,056 taxpayer dollars. That equals eleven dollars a second and allows them to abort 910 lives every day. How did it get to the point in America where we kill our own and call it a choice? It sure did not happen overnight, but it does occur – Every 96 seconds…

#4.  Is This the Beginning of the End for Miley Cyrus? 

Most of us recognize a desperate cry for help when we see one. We shouldn’t expect secular celebrities to live according to God’s Word because Christian values are either foreign or offensive to them. As for the salvation of Miley Cyrus who claimed to be a Christian years ago, only God knows her heart. She and countless other celebrities need the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. No one is without hope, but the Bible warns us the Lord’s return is close…

#5.  Obama’s Ideology Propels Scandal-mania

Government has become an enemy of American citizens and this administration is very good at using the tactics of distraction and diversion. With more of us becoming outraged while the media protects this administration, it will be fascinating to see this epic drama played out. The sad truth is many Americans today don’t care that prior to his election, Obama’s handlers concealed information about his college years and no official records were ever made available – a first in our history. No college transcripts, published records, or papers had been released. What were they hiding?

#6.  Cotton Candy Christianity: Joel Osteen’s Gospel of Neutrality and Omission

So let’s clarify here: Pastor Joel Osteen feels it is not his calling to get deeply into the Bible or to talk about sin. He also prefers not to think too much about other religions, but he believes Mormons are Christians. Maybe you’re a fan of Joel Osteen. You may have read his books and have watched him on TV and are having a tough time accepting this. I strongly encourage you to pray about everything he or anyone teaches. If you sincerely seek God’s truth, He will reveal it to you. Osteen pres­ents a kind of self-help program under the guise of Bible instruction. There’s nothing wrong with optimism, but pastors [and teachers] need to stick with the Word of God.

#7.  Ducking the Issue of Sin: Should Christians Be Silent?  (Duck Dynasty, A&E, GLAAD, and Phil Robertson)

If we love someone, we’ll tell them the truth. If we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12) and we fail to warn others, we don’t really care about them. The way Christians demonstrate their love for non-believers is by addressing sin so they can repent and receive the grace God offers which leads to everlasting life (Ephesians 2:8). Less than 4 % of the U.S. population is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender)

The problem has been diagnosed. The moral decline in America is evidence we cannot rely on church leaders because people are obviously not getting the message. If Christians fail to speak about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the issue of sin; our society will only grow worse, the battle more intense, and the hostility more volatile. One thing is certain: silence never saved anybody.

#8.  Gay Marriage is not God’s Marriage

God created the heavens and the earth, and mankind is made in His image. God’s plan for marriage is woven through Scripture and has been implemented throughout history. Marriage predates kings and governments. By the intricate engineering of the male and female bodies, science also confirms we are uniquely designed for procreation and for the opposite sex.

The media has influenced public opinion to the point where more Americans are softening towards sin; this includes Christians. A recent Pew Forum survey on media coverage exposed the truth; in their reporting, the media supported same-sex marriage 5 to 1 hoping the public would soon think it is inevitable.

#9.  The Hypocrisy of Selective Outrage: Zimmerman vs. Martin (Graphic content)

Few in the media report on the travesty in many inner cities in America where black on black deaths continue to increase with the violent crimes. According to the FBI, 91% of black victim homicides are committed by other blacks. Few in the media report on the massive numbers of black babies being aborted at Planned Parenthood and other Gosnell clinics, especially in minority neighborhoods. Where is the public outcry over these deaths?

If you’re open to truth and are willing to research, you’ll find unreported stories similar to the following atrocious, disturbing tragedy: WARNING – GRAPHIC…

#10. The Anguish of Abortion: What They Won’t Tell You

Father Frank Pavone once said, “America will never resist abortion until America sees abortion.”

Thanks in part to advances in technology such as ultrasound imagery, it’s clear and easy to see a growing and moving fetus inside a mother’s womb which has raised awareness that an unborn child is alive, human, and abortion is murder. Americans have tolerated the evil of legalized abortion and have become so desensitized to violence and death that we don’t see eliminating innocent human life as a brutal or selfish act – or at least we don’t speak up about it enough. God have mercy on our hardened hearts.

(If one of the above links does not work and you’re really intrigued by the title, simply do a search for the article as they are often published on several sites.)

*Three more I recommend:

Gosnell Trial Proves Massive Media Malpractice  

Alfred Kinsey and Sexual Anarchy in America 

Media Forced to Report the Truth about Obamacare?

Religious Freedom in America

Robertsons praying

UPDATE: A&E has lifted their suspension of Phil Robertson – no surprise here. The Robertson’s released this statement to Fox News:

“The family is excited to keep making a quality TV show for our dedicated fans, who have showed us wonderful support. We will continue to represent our faith and values in the most positive way through Duck Dynasty and our many projects that we are currently working on. The outpouring of support and prayer has encouraged and emboldened us greatly.”

Much has been written regarding the fallout and many good points have been made. Most of us are tired of hearing about it however, this debate is way too important to dismiss.

I submit to you the biggest reason these public squabbles rarely get resolved: we now have a clear cultural, moral divide in America and both sides cannot coexist peacefully any longer. There is too much at stake.

Though I agree with Phil Robertson’s views of the Bible and sin, I wish he would have answered the question on homosexuality with more tact in the GQ interview. Regardless, what did we learn?

In one corner of the public battle are those that believe in the Bible as well as America’s founding principles of Christianity; in the other corner are those who not only oppose us, but claim they are offended (threatened) by the presence of practicing Christians. The minority has the loudest voices and the support of Hollywood, the mainstream media, and government. Because of this ungodly alliance, we sometimes think conservatives and people of faith are now outnumbered.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Less than 4 % of the U.S. population is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender), and in a recent census of American citizens, less than 1% were verifiable same-sex couples. Moreover, about 73% of the media favor same-sex marriage while over 75% of Americans support Christianity.

This lopsided dichotomy was revealed a few years ago during the attempted intimidation of Chick-fil-A after the CEO had the audacity to say he runs his company on Christian values and believes in marriage between one man and one woman. Gay activist groups cried “hate” and after the intense, media-trumpeted backlash (bullying), millions of Americans supported Chick-fil-A by eating at their restaurants and rallying on social media.

You may also remember in 2009, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was asked a question about legalizing same-sex marriage during the Miss USA competition. One of the judges, homosexual activist, Perez Hilton, viciously attacked Prejean and later admitted she would have won the Miss USA crown had she not answered the question in support of traditional marriage. What an interesting twist to ‘judge ye not.’

In the Duck Dynasty controversy, we again witnessed the political and public pressure by homosexual activists from GLAAD (Gay and Lesbians Alliance Against Defamation) and the Human Rights Campaign to not only force suspension of family patriarch Phil Robertson, but also insist he undergo sensitivity training and tolerance education.

Often ignored when discussing Robertson’s interview is the fact he also referred to many other sins even heterosexuals commit (1 Cor. 6:9-10). We all sin and fall short of God’s glory, and every one of us needs forgiveness. To Robertson, sin is sin no matter who you are, but opportunistic activists cried fowl.

The LGBT community claims it’s all about love and equality, but if you don’t agree with or approve of their lifestyle, they often resort to hateful attacks and refuse to permit speech that opposes homosexuality. This is totalitarian intolerance.

If we love someone, we’ll tell them the truth. If we believe Jesus is the only way to salvation (Acts 4:12) and we fail to warn others, we don’t really care about them. The way Christians demonstrate their love for non-believers is by addressing sin so they can repent and receive the grace God offers which leads to everlasting life (Ephesians 2:8).

One major issue at stake here is the First Amendment: Do all Americans, including Christian conservatives, still have legal speech protections or not? I purposely mention “conservatives” because there are far too many liberal Christians as well as those who profess Christianity and fail to accept the Bible’s authority or strive to live in obedience to its precepts. Some of these folks don’t think we should speak openly about our faith or quote certain Scriptures. Thanks to the emergent church, Christianity has been watered-down.

The foundational issue is whether or not the Bible is a divine source of inspiration and truly God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16). Are there moral absolutes or not? God’s truth never changes and cannot be altered or adapted to a compromising culture.

The reason sin has become such an explosive topic is many Christian and religious leaders don’t teach or preach the undiluted gospel – the whole counsel of God – as much as they used to and therefore, many Christians don’t talk about sin; especially homosexuality.

How selfish of us who believe the Bible if we don’t share with non-Christians the only good news that can save them! Ironically, sin is the reason God sent His only Son, Jesus, to be sacrificed for us. He was brutally tortured and crucified and we don’t talk about WHY He had to die? Sin separates all mankind from a holy God.

Did you know originally, A&E’s plan for Duck Dynasty was for viewers to laugh and mock a family of ‘backwards’ Christian rednecks? Instead the show became the most popular cable program in history averaging 14.6 million viewers. The very plan that backfired ended up making them millions. A&E knew what they were getting with the Robertson’s.

Sadly today in culture, evil is considered good and good is considered evil (Isaiah 5:20), and activists will no longer tolerate those who say their behavior is sinful. Some believe we’ve reached a tipping point.

As for the media in America, they freely give liberals a platform, but rarely report the whole story. For example, are they not being hypocritical by refusing to mention the intolerance of Islam toward both gays and Christians? Muslims hang homosexuals. They also burn Christians, and destroy their churches & villages; and gay activists are bent out of shape when someone warns them about their sinful behavior?

We cannot remain neutral any longer. The lines have been drawn in the sand. This present darkness is not about Duck Dynasty, A&E, the Robertsons or Hollywood. It’s not even political, it is spiritual and the battle has just intensified. Take up your positions or hide under a table.

Author Michael Brown suggests:

“Those of us who agree fundamentally with Robertson make clear that: 1) We are unashamed of our belief in Jesus and in biblical morality. 2) We stand against the mistreatment of all people, including gays and lesbians. 3) We will not support the radical redefinition of marriage, regardless of the cost involved, nor do we see cultural capitulation to gay activism as inevitable.”

This never would have been a debate 50 years ago, so what changed? God, or America? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). We’ve reached the point where activists are forcing conformity and calling it tolerance. I believe this is good for a comfortable Christian church.

Know this: God is at work orchestrating events and warning us to understand the times.

The problem has been diagnosed. The moral decline in America is evidence we cannot rely on church leaders because people are obviously not getting the message. If Christians fail to speak about the Bible, Jesus Christ, and the issue of sin; our society will only grow worse, the battle more intense, and the hostility more volatile.

One thing is certain: silence never saved anybody.

David Fiorazo is the author of ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA

Phil Robertson silenced

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It happens every year around this time. Some refer to it as the “War on Christmas,” but that’s not completely accurate.

People who are trying to remove Christmas displays are not threatened by the story of an innocent baby born in a manger over 2,000 years ago. They’re not necessarily threatened by our public worship. They simply don’t want to have to answer to the One who Scripture refers to as Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6).

C.S. Lewis once said:

“There is no neutral ground in the universe; every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.”

They are fighting against the person and the truth of Jesus Christ. Yes, activists take it out on us, but our struggle is not against flesh and blood people (Ephesians 6:12); it is spiritual. It’s not enough for them to have the freedom to not celebrate Christmas and the right to deny faith in God; their agenda is to take it away as an option for us. Talk about bullying.

Some atheists, humanists, activists, and progressives come out every year during Christmas and with the help of the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other Leftist groups, threaten to take you to court if you don’t keep quiet about this Jesus and conform to a godless culture. These are the very people who need God the most.

Activists would rather cause chaos than submit to the Prince of Peace, and their actions are often rooted in hatred of anything to do with God. Rather than be reminded of God’s love and His plan, they aim to silence the reminders.

For example, Sarah Palin knows what it’s like to be attacked, hated, and sued. Her new book, Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas, is “about Christ and our ability to worship Him freely. It’s about America and what liberty truly means…” Most of us will never go through a fraction of the hostility she’s had to endure, so let’s give her credit for acknowledging Jesus and promoting Christmas.

You’d never hear if from most media, but polls and surveys prove the majority of Americans are absolutely fine with public displays of Christmas. The problem is we back down by either saying nothing or we give in by wishing others “Happy Holidays” in public. There is nothing wrong with saying happy holidays, but if you’re a Bible-believing Christian or even if you simply support religious liberty and free speech in America, why not wish others a Merry Christmas?

I took out a note pad and forced myself to pay attention to TV commercials the other day and noticed only a small number of ads and businesses even mention Christmas. First, kudos to Hobby Lobby, Menards, Lowes, Sears, Walmart, and a few others for acknowledging Christmas.

It is ironic many businesses that want your money avoid the “C” word in their television ads, but show festive, apparently meaningless red and green colors and decorations. Here are just a few examples of how political correctness is gaining ground:

Best Buy: “Perfect holiday gifts” and “Your ultimate holiday showroom”
Target: “My kind of holiday”
M&M’s: “Happy Holidays”
Wells Fargo: “Wishing you a magical holiday”
Scheel’s: “Unwrap the cheer” and “Deck the halls”
Honda: “Happy Honda Days”
Toys R Us: “The Big Holiday Wish Sale”

Countless other ads mention Santa, celebrating “the season,” giving gifts, or some kind of sale – but give no specific reason for having the sale! Call it what you want and celebrate it or not, but just like Jesus Christ and His Word, the meaning of Christmas never changes.

If it matters to you, check out American Family Association’s “Naughty or Nice” list. Companies can do what they want – and we can shop where we want. We’re not expecting unbelievers to live according to the Bible or to act like Christians. We do want them to receive the message and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Especially during Christmas, the point is not to judge them, act self-righteously, or relish in their future demise, but to love them enough to tell them the truth and share the good news of Jesus Christ. There will always be opposition just as Jesus told His followers in John 16:33,

“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart; I have overcome the world.”

He also said we’d be hated because of Him. We are simply messengers; their problem is with the message and with their Maker. Why? A baby seems harmless until you understand the rest of the Christmas story. Jesus Christ, the eternal Word, “became flesh and dwelt among us,” (John 1:14) to “give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). He left no wiggle room when He stated He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

So, is the Wonderful Counselor a liar, a lunatic, or is He the only true, living God? The overwhelming archeological, historical, and biblical evidence demands a verdict.

A choice must be made: on what side of eternity do you want to live? Salvation is a free gift. Will you accept His offer and open the present?

The story of Christmas includes a holy God that loved us enough to offer His Son as a sacrifice to pay our sin debt so that His wrath would be satisfied and that He could extend His mercy toward us by forgiving our sins.

The meaning of Christmas is the ultimate love story that never changes – even when some refuse to acknowledge the reason for the season.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. (Romans 10: 9-10)

Merry Christmas!

David Fiorazo is the author of ERADICATE: BLOTTING OUT GOD IN AMERICA