Archive for the ‘religious freedom’ Category

Over four hundred teachers underwent mandatory training in Michigan recently that exalted Islam but denigrated Christianity, America, and white males. The training leads people to believe Islam is the peaceful, true religion while Christianity is a man-made, inferior, false religion.

Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) described it as a well-orchestrated Islamic propaganda campaign and said:

“We found that the teachers were subjected to two days of Islamic propaganda, where Islam was glorified, Christianity disparaged, and America bashed…”

But that’s not all!

There’s another lawsuit, this time in Maryland, where high-school students were required to profess the Shahada, the Islamic conversion creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.’ The school did not allow a Christian student, Caleigh Wood, to opt out, and failed her for refusing to submit.

It’s interesting that Islam is translated as “submission.”

I agree with TMLC’s Richard Thompson that across the U.S. special treatment is being given to the Muslim faith. Government schools do so under the guise of diversity, inclusion, multiculturalism, teaching history and social studies. Would this ever be tolerated if it were Christianity or any other religion? Nope.

In the training, Christian scriptures are described as being “corrupted” while the holy book of Islam, the Quran was said to contain the “pure” word of God. According to the report, of hundreds of teachers attending the workshop, not one teacher challenged the fabrications about Islam, the disrespect toward Christianity or attacks on America.

…Huda Essa of Culture Links LLC, who describes herself as an advocate of social justice and encourages children to “take pride in their many identities.” She also claimed that white males are more dangerous than Islamic radicals.

Essa provided no truthful information on Sharia law, jihad, or the harsh treatment of women. All references to terrorism were dismissed as having nothing to do with Islam. She compared Christianity to Islam suggesting they are mostly similar. “The one big difference, she claims, is that Islam is the world’s “only purely monotheistic religion.”

…Unfortunately, one need only go back to the 1960s when the one true, living God was expelled from most public schools along with voluntary prayer, Bible reading, and even the Ten Commandments. This void not only set the stage for the lack of discipline, unprecedented sexual activity, drugs, and violence; but for many of today’s schools bending over backwards to promote Islam…

Full post here:

Image credit: Freedom Project Media

Big tech censors conservatives and the media yawns. With mounting evidence, Facebook, Google, and YouTube seem to be doing to the Internet what the radical, socialist Left has done to American universities: giving lip service to the idea of free speech. If you’re Christian, conservative, Jewish, or Republican, you can have your beliefs, but just keep them to yourself, thank you very much.

The individuals and organizations that have been affected by censorship are too many to list here. While Antifa, which supposedly means “anti-fascist,” holds their intolerant and violent ‘Hate Trump’ protests, Facebook is banning accounts, Google is censoring search results, and Youtube is taking down or deleting conservative videos.

Big tech is monitoring our speech; but who’s monitoring them?

The danger here is obvious: No person or company should be deciding what the public gets to see and what they do not based on individuals in high positions determining what’s important or newsworthy. The biased, liberal media in America already does this so it is vital we fight for both sides to be heard or at least fight to maintain freedom of speech.

Remember what the Obama administration IRS did to Christian and conservative non-profits? One difference here is we’re in the arena of social media.

Prior to a subcommittee hearing last week on Big Tech companies censoring conservatives, Senator Ted Cruz said the Department of Justice should investigate Google for fraud and breach of contract. Cruz chairs the Senate Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on The Constitution, and in a Fox News interview, he compared Big Tech’s censorship practices to those of Big Brother in the novel, “1984”: 

“You know, in George Orwell’s famous book, “1984,” the way Big Brother controlled its power, the way the state controlled its power, is it controlled information. …We see, in the Big Tech media companies, that same, exact power; Google is abusing its monopoly powers. We have antitrust laws to deal with that,”

Suggesting these big companies have a political agenda, which they do, and saying they’re guilty of fraud and deceiving the consumer, Cruz continued: 

“When you sign up, say with a Facebook or Twitter, you assume that, if you follow someone, you’ll see their tweets, you’ll see their posts. Likewise, you assume if someone follows you, they’ll see what you tweet and what you post. That’s not, in fact, what’s happening. What’s happening is the social media sites are censoring, they’re shadow banning. If they don’t like what you’re saying, they just hide what you’re saying.

Christian conservative author and vlogger, Elizabeth Johnston, The Activist Mommy recently stated:

“The big tech companies like Facebook and Google are trying to choke us out, and have demonetized our content, cutting off our income that helped sustain our ministry. [We must] fight back against the progressive agenda and biased censorship.”

Conservative radio talk show host, author Dennis Prager created, “Prager Universityand puts out free, short educational videos on subjects “important to understanding American values” — ranging from the astronomical cost of higher education to the motivations of the Islamic State. YouTube has been restricting many of these videos by labeling them as violent or having sexual content.

Prager filed a lawsuit and recently testified before Congress on Capitol Hill that Google violates the First Amendment by censoring conservatives. PragerU stated:

“There is no excuse for Google and YouTube censoring and restricting any PragerU videos, which are produced with the sole intent of educating people of all ages about America’s founding values,”

Next, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the social media company chose to block American pro-life groups from running ads. President of Live Action, Lila Rose tweeted that Zuckerberg blocked their ads, while Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg donated $2 million dollars to Planned Parenthood.

Twitter also banned Rose and Live Action’s pro-life ads, but naturally, they allow Planned Parenthood ads.

Journalist, James O’Keefe has gone through this for years due to uncovering many scandals exposing the left. Just last month, YouTube pulled down a Project Veritas video that showed Pinterest’s anti-Christian bias. An insider told O’Keefe that Pinterest listed Live Action as pornographic. They also censored Bible verses!  

Then, shortly after Project Veritas sent out their story by Twitter, their account was locked down for allegedly distributing communications belonging to another party. 

Okeefe tweeted:

Tech giants retaliating against insider who leaked docs showing censorship of Christian and pro-life material. They have REMOVED our investigative insider report. YouTube now fighting bullet-proof journalism by deleting it.

Listed on the Project Veritas website:

  • “Tech Insider Blows Whistle on How Pinterest Listed Top Pro-Life Site as Porn, “Bible Verses” Censored
  • Insider: Search Term “Christian” Won’t Auto-Complete, Others Can’t Trend…
  • Pinterest Blacklisted Pro-Life Group LiveAction.org, Classified as “Pornography,”
  • Leaked “Sensitive Terms List” Includes “bible verses” and “christian easter”
  • Ben Shapiro Commentary Censored…
  • Planned Parenthood Undercover Videos Marked as “harmful,” Conspiracy
  • BIG UPDATE: YouTube has PULLED this investigative report. A backup is available on his page.” 

A popular Christian ministry helping people understand the times and contend for the faith, Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Ministries, was briefly shut down four years ago by YouTube.

Christian radio program, Stand Up for the Truth has been shadow-banned on Facebook for several years now.

My colleagues at Freedom Project were recently “shadow banned” for an entire week on Facebook. Shadow-banning means you can still post content but nobody sees your post: it does not show up in people’s news feed. The only way someone sees it is if they happen to go directly to the Freedom Project Facebook page.

Educator and host of the Dr. Duke Show, Duke Pesta states:

“It is hypocritical in the extreme for Facebook to claim its commitment to free speech while simultaneously handcuffing conservative content that starts to become popular and in demand. If you’re a conservative rising in popularity, you can speak, but they won’t let anyone listen.”

Full story and video at DavidFiorazo.com

The Left may be godless, but they’re not stupid. Their deceptive and shrewd use of strategic words has helped them change public opinion, gain political power, and frame nearly every controversial argument or debate. They weaponize words such as choice, freedom, do no harm, inclusive, justice, fairness, affordable, tolerance, and nondiscrimination.

Liberal Democrats are now pushing the so-called ‘Equality Act’ which would give LGBTQ individuals – not equal rights, but special rights. There’s a difference. This bill would silence Christians in America. Don’t be deceived: there’s nothing equal about the equality Act.

Words matter, and the left knows exactly how to manipulate language and use positive-sounding terminology to sell their agenda. Semantics is part of the game for LGBTQ activists looking to steamroll citizens for their beliefs in the Bible, including marriage and biological sex.

The Equality Act – H.R. 5 and S. 788 – would actually amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by adding “sex, sexual orientation, gender identity’ as protected classes throughout the federal code.” This modified amendment would apply to employment, housing, rental, public accommodation and much more.

The bill would essentially state that religious beliefs cannot be defended in a dispute between gay rights and constitutionally protected religious rights. If you believe the Bible is true and agree with God-ordained, natural marriage, too bad. You lose.

The Heritage Foundation’s Monica Burke wrote an excellent piece for the Daily Signal in which she thoroughly explained seven reasons why the Equality Act is anything but. If the bill passes it would:

  1. Impose sexual ideology
  2. Compel speech
  3. Shut down charities
  4. Allow more biological males to defeat girls in sports
  5. Coerce medical professionals
  6. Lead to more parents losing custody of their children
  7. Enable sexual assault

The logical aim of their ideology is to eradicate God, His word, and biblical morality from our culture and country. Why? Because Christianity is one of the only obstacles in the way of the radical Left gaining complete power and control of practically every aspect of America.

Due to decades of leftist progress, activists have been emboldened and we’re now seeing open hostility toward Christians – in a nation founded on biblical principles.

We didn’t get here overnight, and this effort did not start with the LGBTQ movement. It goes back to the 1950s, when the unconstitutional Lyndon Johnson Amendment was used to silence Christians, nonprofits, and conservatives. Today’s liberals are simply taking another step.

The freedom of religious expression is one of our most basic and valued freedoms in our society.

Let’s go back a bit further – to America’s founding. The First Amendment states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others as well as restricting an individual’s religious practices. The key word here is ‘practice.’ Your faith is not something you do only behind church walls.

Don’t be so naive to think the Pelosi Democrats merely want to level the playing field. They’d snuff out Christianity if they could. They refuse to allow open discussion of biblical creation, human life in the womb, and of God’s design for marriage and gender roles.

Breakpoint’s John Stonestreet stated:

“The supporters of the Equality Act don’t want debate or discussion. The Equality Act is designed to effectively shut down debate about human sexuality, about gender, about same-sex attraction. That’s a national debate that we’ve actually never had.”

To clarify, discrimination is wrong, but disagreement is not hate. We should have the right to disagree with policies, ideologies, and behaviors that oppose biblical teachings. The Equality Act would elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes, impose a nationwide bathroom policy, and it would defeat the purpose of having anti-discrimination laws.

Don’t fall for the lies of the left, and don’t buy into the so-called ‘Equality Act’ no matter how virtuous it may sound. We know what their end game is. What can we do? Fight for the truth, pray, speak, and vote. Then trust God regardless of the outcome, knowing judgment is coming soon.

Originally published by Freedom Project Media

Government education in America kicked God, prayer, the Bible, and the Ten Commandments out of public schools over fifty years ago leaving a massive spiritual void. The doors were then flung open to Atheism, evolution, Humanism, witchcraft, Islam, Liberalism, sexual promiscuity, the LGBTQ agenda, and recently, Buddhism. 

Our tax dollars now support the teaching of an ABC curriculum: Anything But Christ. All the religions in the world cannot possibly be true, but in a secular culture influenced by postmodernism, people don’t want to hear there is only one way to God. But if you’re sincerely seeking truth, I suggest you take a look at Jesus before trying everything else. 

The coexist slogan was actually created to oppose Christianity, and demand that we keep our beliefs to ourselves. Public schools follow this philosophy and insist we conform and tolerate all behavior as well as other religious claims.

Just last year, middle school students were asked to write the Islamic declaration of faith known as the “shahada,” which pledges allegiance to the prophet Muhammad and the Muslim god, Allah. 

And now, the American Center for Law and Justice has received complaints from parents in eleven states so far about the growing practice of teachers incorporating Buddhism-based mindfulness practices into everyday curriculum of elementary school age children.

“Some students are required to participate in as many as three meditation or mindfulness sessions each school day. Most of the programs include audio recordings encouraging children to empty their minds or watch their thoughts float away on a cloud. Others encourage children to be one with the universe; …several teachers, upon learning of the undisputable religious connection between mindfulness and Buddhism, have ceased using the curriculum and practicing mindfulness in their classrooms.”

Christian-based teachings however, have been expelled from public schools. But wait. Isn’t it intolerant to give a pass to every other religion except Christianity? All religions make exclusive claims, but people hate Jesus because He is the only one to claim He is God. And yet, He predicted and accomplished His own death and resurrection!

It is disingenuous to just ignore these historical facts. C.S. Lewis once stated:

“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.”

The inescapable question is who do you say Jesus is? Neutrality is not an option. Jesus said He is “the way, the truth and the life,” and that no one comes to God the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

Most people think their way is right. But when Christians say Jesus is the right way and the Bible is true, we’re often mocked and called hateful, intolerant, or judgmental. Hold on. Isn’t it hateful to mock and disrespect someone’s religious beliefs? And aren’t you judging by accusing Christians of being judgmental for saying we’re all sinners and only God forgives sins?

Christianity is the only religion founded on historical events that can be evaluated; events that were witnessed by thousands of people – most of whom were still alive when many New Testament books were written! Compelling evidence is available supporting the Bible as being reliable, accurate, and true.

But there’s a problem: recent Barna Group research shows nearly 60% of Americans agree with the philosophy:

“Many religions can lead to eternal life; there is no ‘one true religion.’

One reason might be we think we can be good without God. Ask a person if they’re going to heaven when they die and most will say yes, but it’s not because they believe in Jesus. They think they’re a good person and can be saved by working hard and doing more good than bad in this life.

To claim all religions are the same is either denial or ignorance. Similarities, perhaps; sameness, absolutely not. Every religion at its core is exclusive. Apologist and author, Ravi Zacharias said:

“All religions are not the same. All religions do not point to God; …At the heart of every religion is an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not, and accordingly, of defining life’s purpose.

Like it or not, it all comes down to what we believe about Jesus. And what about other belief systems? Who do other religions say Jesus is? 

  • Bahai teaches that Jesus was a messenger, a manifestation of God; that heaven and hell are not real, there is no Trinity, and all the different religions are part of one single plan by God. 
  • Buddhists say Jesus was just an enlightened man, that we will be reincarnated, and we can work our way to salvation or higher consciousness. There is an eight-fold plan to enlightenment, and a few goals of Buddhism include avoiding the extremes of pain and pleasure, and to eradicate worldly desires.
  • Christian Science rejects Jesus’ sacrifice and teaches that sin doesn’t exist so there’s no need for a savior. God is referred to as “the Father-Mother,” known as the Divine Mind, having no personhood or personality.
  • Free Masons believe in a “Supreme Being” also referred to as GAOTU, the “Great Architect Of The Universe, but the name of Jesus is prohibited in formal lodge ceremonies. 
  • Hinduism teaches reincarnation, karma, and that Jesus was a holy man and wise teacher, but one of millions of gods. There are many paths to God; Brahman is the source of all things and we all have divine nature.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus was Michael the Archangel, a created being, and that the cross is a pagan symbol. They deny Christ as God, deny the resurrection, and the Trinity. (Their own version of the Bible is the NWT)
  • Judaism teaches that Jesus was a false prophet and a liar. While many confirm Jesus did miracles, they claim that His power was from the Devil. (By the way, Jewish records affirm the execution of Jesus.)
  • Latter Day Saints Mormons believe that God was once a man, Jesus was created as the spirit brother of Lucifer; and that we can all become gods. The Book of Mormon is subtitled, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” but it is clearly another Jesus.
  • Muslims think Jesus was just a prophet and healer. Islam also teaches that Jesus wasn’t crucified and did not really die on the cross (Judas took His place), that good works are needed for salvation; man is not made in the image of God, and the Qur’an and Hadith are authoritative in a Muslim’s life.
  • Roman Catholics believe salvation includes a process ranging from faith in Jesus – to faith plus good deeds and adherence to Church sacraments including confirmation, and the authority of the pope as well as Roman Catholic Church tradition and Catechism. (Catholic friends, please see below!) Your Church called me “anathema.”
  • Seventh Day Adventists teach that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, and SDA founder and prophetess Ellen G. White was a messenger of God, Satan will bear our sins, and when we die we will not exist anymore.
  • Unitarians think Jesus was no more divine than you or me but was a great teacher and a faith healer, they hold to the universal redemption of all mankind, deny the Trinity, and profess to have no real dogma. Unitarian Universalists use many biblical concepts and terms, but with non-biblical meanings. They are not Christian. 

Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord and God. No one measures up to God’s standard of righteousness.

Every one of these contradict essential teachings in the Bible. So who is Jesus? When He asked the Apostle Peter that question, he answered Him,

“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” (Matt. 16:16)

Just months after seeing Jesus resurrected, Peter stated:

And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

No man or religion measures up to God’s perfect standard of righteousness. Psalm 18:30 states:

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians saying that by Christ, “all things were created,” and that, “He is before all things;” (Col. 1:16)

Jesus is the Creator and He pre-existed with the Father and the Spirit. The Apostle John stated:

God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. (1 John 5:11-12)

Only Jesus can free you from the power and penalty of sin. He alone can transform you, restore you, and give your life eternal purpose. Stop striving and come back to God, repent and believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. 

Though Paul wrote that Christians are God’s masterpieces and we were created to do good works (Eph. 2:10), we clearly understand, “the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17),” and: 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 

Other religions teach you to work, work, work, and do, do, do. Christianity teaches it’s done! Jesus’ last words on the cross were “It is finished.” He completed the work, the mission for which God sent Him to secure the eternal salvation for those who believe in Him.

There are many paths, but one way and Truth: Jesus. This is important to understand because we’re being bombarded with ideologies and false teachings today in schools, media, academia, Hollywood, and throughout our culture. Discern, test the spirits, and watch.

More blogs, videos, and resources at DavidFiorazo.com

Lovers of the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge want to snuff out Christmas for the majority of Americans. Sure, you’re allowed to sing about Rudolf and Frosty, you can make it all about Santa and presents, jingle some bells or roast chestnuts by an open fire, but don’t you dare mention Jesus Christ and the real meaning of Christmas! 

It should be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the season that atheists and activists feverishly push the agenda to blot out God. 

Their hearts are so hardened, they not only refuse to believe in Jesus and Christmas, but since misery loves company, they don’t want anyone else to believe it either! They don’t mind the commercialism and greed around the holiday; they just insist you to say ‘happy holidays’ instead of Merry Christmas.

This joyful season began because God so loved the world, but they want to censor the celebration and eradicate Christ from Christmas. But is that even possible?

You cannot divorce the true, historical event of the Child born in Bethlehem from the God of creation and the reason we celebrate Christmas. But that doesn’t mean the atheists and God-haters won’t try.

After all, they were successful removing Christianity from public schools so they figure, why not ban Christmas as well?

More news stories are on the way, I’m sure. But here are a few to consider.

  • A middle school in Virginia recently decided not to allow any holiday songs that mention the name of Jesus.
  • In Newaygo, Michigan, secularists demand the elementary school remove three wise men displayed on the top of the school building.
  • A principal at a Nebraska school has banned Christmas carols, the colors red and green, candy canes, and Jesus.

This next one may be hard to believe,

  • Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer is being called “seriously problematic” for bullying, racism, sexism, and homophobia. 
  • Just one more: the Huffington Post and other far-left outlets are telling people that saying “Merry Christmas” excludes people, so teach children to say “Happy Holidays” instead. I agree with Paul Bois at the Daily Wire who says it’s hypocritical for business owners and managers to decorate their stores or websites in red, green and all the rest, play Christmas music and then say “Happy Holidays.” He adds:

Christmas is the national holiday; the reason for the season. The ornaments, the lights, the music, the food, the shopping even, all reflect that; …If it looks like Christmas, smells like Christmas, sounds like Christmas, then just say Christmas.

But the annual war on Christmas is here, like it or not, and we need to decide how to respond.

First, remember that these people are lost and are far from God. They hate Christmas and often Christians as well, and need our patience and prayers because they have no real hope or peace. They’ve not yet experienced the love God has for them if they’d just turn to Him and confess their sins. That’s why Jesus was born – “the Word became flesh…(John 1:14)” and preached, “Repent! The kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2).”

Second, make no mistake: this is a war on Jesus Christ. Those who are trying to blot out reminders of God by removing Christmas traditions like manger scenes and joy filled greetings simply don’t want to answer to the One who Scripture refers to as “Mighty God.”

The prophet Isaiah wrote about Jesus nearly 700 years before He was born:

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

Apart from Jesus Christ, there is no lasting peace in this world. Know Jesus, know peace. What did Isaiah mean by referring to Him as Everlasting Father? Jesus is Lord and eternal, along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. There was never a time when Jesus did not exist. He continues from generation to generation, and His kingdom will never end.

The meaning of Christmas is based on true, actual events including angels appearing to shepherds (Luke 2) and a baby born at just the right time in history in order to redeem mankind (Galatians 4:4). Wishing someone a Merry Christmas is saying we desire for them to know the love, joy, and forgiveness of God as we do.

President of the Family Research Council, Tony Perkins said:

Why is something as simple as saying “Merry Christmas” so important? It reminds a hurting world of the greatest gift we can receive in Jesus Christ, and it symbolizes the freedom to celebrate that gift.

Don’t just remember the reason for the season; that Christ was born to save mankind by His sacrifice on the cross. Share the good news of salvation and let your light shine by loving others and wishing them a heartfelt, “Merry Christmas!” And make sure to have one yourself!

This Thanksgiving season, there’s good news and there’s bad news and it may depend on your perspective. As you know, most of our founders came to this bountiful land to live in freedom from religious persecution, and their standards were based on the principles in the Holy Bible. And yet, here we are in 2018 – hanging on by a thread to the religious freedoms this nation has enjoyed – and has taken for granted. 

Though we’re seeing a toxic increase of hatred, we can be still thankful for our history – and especially for hope.

The very first Thanksgiving took place almost 400 years ago—long before the nation was even born. But prior to arriving on these shores, William Bradford, the founder of Plymouth colony settlement wrote:

“…Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honor of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony.”

God is a big part of our history and always has been. The United States Congress once issued an official Proclamation of Thanksgiving and Prayer on October 18, 1780, calling on Americans “to cause the knowledge of Christianity to spread all over the Earth.”

Sadly, true American history has been edited or even deleted from public school text books. We have forgotten that the good news of Jesus Christ was once foundational to our liberties as well as our lives and as a result of our forgetting, the nation has gone from spiritual to secular. Proverbs 14:34 states:

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.

We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

Lincoln was right. He implored the people to confess their sins, and to pray for forgiveness and God’s mercy on America.

Today, we are plagued by political correctness and moral relativism, lawlessness, people calling good evil and evil good, a loss of values, and the breakdown of social order. Moreover, Hollywood and the culture have a far greater influence on the church than the church has in and on our culture.

Signs of the times indicate this nation is in rapid decline, but how long do we really have? This is up for debate and speculation. But let’s consider some of the cultural, social, and spiritual symptoms common to nations that have fallen or have been destroyed:

  • Increasing rebellion against God
  • A loss of economic discipline
  • Greed; increased materialism
  • Rising government bureaucracy and taxes
  • Declining education in quality, morality, and in measurable results
  • Lack of respect for authority
  • Policies based on feelings over facts
  • The acceptance of foreign gods and empty religious practices
  • The promotion of sin and perversion
  • A decline in value of human life leading to abortion and euthanasia

Perhaps instead of asking God to bless America we should be asking Him to save us! Repentance must come first, and Christians must lead by example. If your heart is heavy reading some of this, know there is a God who loves you and wants you to turn back to Him.

If you tend to be on social media or look at the news a little too much, at government, public schools, the corporate world, the entertainment industry or culture in general, it can be quite discouraging. But if we look at all the things we each have personally and at this country in which we’re blessed to live, we can be thankful and we can take heart.

First, there’s always hope in the promises of God which the Bible describes as an anchor to our souls during storms in life. Second, if Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of your faith, your foundation won’t be shaken as it is built upon the Rock and you know all this is temporary.

Third, as imperfect as it is, we still live in one of the most amazing countries on earth. We have countless blessings, conveniences, and advantages as citizens of this beacon of freedom. Why do you think millions of less fortunate people dream about living in America? Many still risk their lives to come here.

And fourth, if you woke up today, opened your eyes and got out of bed; if you generally have your health, family in Christ, food on the table or in a refrigerator; if you have clean, running water, electricity, a house to live in, a car to drive, a job to go to and even some bills that are paid, you are abundantly blessed more than 75% of people in countries around the world.

I am particularly grateful for each day because by the grace of God, I had a successful heart operation in April of this year.

Every day we have so much to be thankful for, so let’s –

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever.Psalm 136:1

O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved. Psalm 80:3

In Texas of all places, a few public school students sat down at an empty table in the lunchroom to quietly pray for a classmate who was in an accident. The school principal, Lee Frost, immediately walked over to them and warned them: “Don’t do that again.” It’s as if they just dropped f-bombs, looked at porn, vandalized something, or bullied another student.

But sadly, at plenty of schools – funded by our tax dollars – the environment isn’t exactly supportive or friendly to expressions of the Christian faith, the Bible, or the name of Jesus. Students shouldn’t be forced to go outside or pray in secret, especially when they’re on their own time. 

Jesus taught Christians to let their light shine before others so people might be drawn to Him. But the postmodern, progressive education system and liberal teachers today (not all, but most) have been on a collision course with the Bible and the Constitution.

The school principal went so far as to tell these eighth-grade students to hide behind the curtain on the school cafeteria stage if they prayed again during lunch. In other words, Christians should stay out of sight.

Lawyers with First Liberty Institute, representing Hannah Allen, one of the students, stated:

“By mandating that Hannah and the other students hide when they pray, Principal Frost sends a message to Hannah and all the other students in the school that prayer is illegitimate, disfavored, and should not occur in public; By quarantining the praying students as if to shield the other students form an infectious disease, Frost acts with religious hostility impermissible under the Constitution and demeans the religious beliefs of Hannah and her friends.”

It’s worse with each passing decade; there is less and less tolerance of the light of Christianity within the increasing darkness of the public school system. 

What would happen if a few Muslim students gathered in the same way and prayed? I think you know the answer to that. In fact, more schools across the country have openly allowed religious instruction on Islam while practically banning the Christian faith. 

In this Texas case, the offending prayer took place during lunch, not during class instruction time. Students are allowed to talk and move around the cafeteria. The problem is many children and parents don’t know their rights.

The Constitution hasn’t changed, even though some would love to rewrite it – just like today’s history text books have been rewritten. Fortunately in this nation, our speech is still protected by the First Amendment. 

This is perhaps a double-edged sword: on one hand, going back to the 1960s there has been an agenda to remove God from public schools and the culture. On the other hand, too many Christian leaders and parents have quietly backed out of culture, avoiding any controversial issue and choosing not to take a stand for the faith, the gospel, and for truth. 

When will we learn that if we do not use our precious religious freedoms, we’re in danger of losing them?

The Bible hasn’t changed and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). Let’s follow the example of the early church: after being threatened and told not to speak the name of Jesus, His disciples said, “We must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29).”

Bold faith is contagious, and it stiffens the spines of other believers. Pray for these kids and young Christian students across the U.S. in government schools who are dealing with discrimination and intolerance. And let’s remember to be good examples of Christ (shine) and speak up ourselves.

*originally published at Freedom Project Media

Between its progressive history, Canada’s Supreme Court, and far left leader, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, our northern neighbors are gradually forcing Christians into the closet. But before you say ‘that could never happen in America’ or, ‘as long as it doesn’t affect me,’ let’s look at three disturbing news stories. 

Just across the U.S./Canadian border, a Christian bus driver was arrested and charged with a hate crime for evangelizing. Bill Whatcott gave out gospel pamphlets at a Pride parade saying homosexuality can lead to diseases, (which it can) and Jesus can save gay people if they repent of their sins (which He can).

Toronto Police said in a statement that Whatcott “distributed anti-gay material which promoted hatred toward the gay community.” The 51-year-old Christian man was charged with “willful promotion of hatred against an identifiable group, namely the gay community.”

Apparently, they’ve reinterpreted John 3:16 to suggest God so loved the world – except for the LGBTQ – that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to give His life as a ransom for the sins of whoever believes – unless you’re LGBTQ. This must be the New Liberal Translation.

But the Bible is true and every word can be trusted. So if you and I love our neighbors, whether they live down the street or across the Canadian border, the love of Christ compels us to tell them the good news that they can be forgiven and saved. It’s not up to us to convict or force them to receive the truth. We’re the messengers.

Bill Whatcott was not only fired from his job, but faces two years in prison as well. And Justin Trudeau became the world’s first national leader to march in a gay pride parade two years ago in Toronto. It was a proud first for his Liberal Party – a Party that also introduced a bill that would punish perceived “discrimination” of transgender individuals – with up to two years in prison.

And if you missed it earlier this year, Ontario Province now allows people born there to remove “male” or “female” from their birth certificates and opt for a “nonbinary” or unknown gender designation.

Next, according to Canadian elites and the LGBTQ mob, “diversity” now means all views and beliefs are welcome – except the Christian worldview.

Canada’s Supreme Court recently ruled 7-2 against a Christian college, Trinity Western University’s (TWU) Law School, essentially forcing them to choose between biblical standards or accreditation, basically suggesting Christianity and academia are incompatible.

Since 1962, Trinity Western in British Columbia, has required its students and faculty to agree to live by a moral code. The audacity! Thousands of Christian schools across North America have similar requirements. TWU refers to theirs as a “Community Covenant.”

Trinity requires students and faculty to pursue a holy life ‘characterized by humility, self-sacrifice, mercy and justice, and mutual submission for the good of others.’ It requires members to abstain from using vulgar language, lying or cheating, stealing, pornography, and further adds:

“according to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation.”

Some liberals in North America now think these Christian values are harmful to society. Remember: Truth is hate to those who hate the truth.

But don’t be too quick to bash Canadians. Americans have gradually allowed discrimination against Christians in our own education system. So it would be foolish and naive to think religious intolerance won’t increase in the U.S.

And finally, a judge in Canada has officially declared two men and a woman parents of one child, on the child’s birth certificate. The unmarried threesome are in a relationship together known as polyamory meaning “many loves.”

The judge’s reasoning? Times change. He explains:

“Society is continuously changing and family structures are changing along with it; …This must be recognized as a reality and not as a detriment to the best interests of the child.”

Psalm 119:160 states:

The sum of Your word is truth,
And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.

God doesn’t change, and fixed moral absolutes exist by which we govern ourselves and our culture. But to those wanting no accountability, relativism rules, man is god, and anything goes.

Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis calls it social Darwinism. He explained:

You see, if naturalistic evolution is your starting point, there is no ultimate authority; The result is …a society clearly in rebellion against God. God created the institutions of marriage and family with one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27, 2:24), so he gets to define them.

Truth is eternal (PS. 117:2), and free speech should be protected, but this debate over what is in the best interest of children will continue; a debate that will soon find itself in the courts of America.

Their emotions are overriding their sanity and self-restraint, and they are pouring gas on the political fire. They hate President Trump and want him impeached, but the vitriol and unraveling of the Left may in fact backfire, leading to the very thing they don’t want: the reelection of Republicans in November and support for Trump. Many of us have warned this caustic culture will likely lead to violence – and there will be consequences.

The general willingness of most Democrats to push their progressive agenda at any cost is clear. Let’s start with unhinged California congresswoman, Maxine Waters. She recently called for increased public harassment of those working in the Trump White House.

Maxine was thrilled that women and their families in the administration were recently targeted by activists at restaurants and even harassed outside their private homes.

Calling for Trumps impeachment, she stirred up the California crowd:

“History will record while he tried to step on all of us, we kicked him in his rear and stepped on him; If you think we’re rallying now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

She accused Trump of sacrificing America’s children while she supports infanticide and abortion on demand. She even called AG Jeff Sessions a racist. This is what they do.

And remember, Waters’ rant came soon after three separate incidents where Republican women were harassed and threatened at dinner, on the street, and at a movie theater!

One example is Kristjen Nielson, Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary, who was harassed and heckled not only at a restaurant but outside her home as well by members of the Democratic Socialists of America led by Allison Hrabar.

Liberals and progressives say they want women and children to be protected, but their actions prove their hypocrisy and godlessness. Their ideology matters more than civil discourse and respectful debate of ideas.

The current environment is what led to the mass shooting and attempted assassination of Republicans last year. (Ask Steve Scalise what he thinks about the current political environment.)

Maxine Waters continued her rant:

“We’re going to win this battle because while you try and quote the Bible, Jeff Sessions and others, you really don’t know the Bible. God is on OUR side!”

Wait just a minute. Remember how they voted on whether or not to reject God back in 2012 at the Democrat Party Convention? The majority actually booed and decided to kick God out of their party. 

So on one hand, they claim righteousness and pretend to want civility while on the other hand they stoke a political civil war and divide citizens. It’s a step toward mob rule.

Perhaps the most concerning thing Maxine Waters said was her endorsement of open threats and public harassment of Trump officials.

“And so, let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up and if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” she yelled.

Not welcome anywhere in public? Can they leave their homes? This is irresponsible and should raise red flags.

According to the Washington Times, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Waters for “inciting violence and assaults on the Trump Cabinet.” A hand-delivered letter was given to the House Office of Congressional Ethics calling for an investigation of Maxine Waters behavior.

We must not react in kind, but be bigger than the bullies even though the left is no longer willing to disagree respectfully. Their hatred for Trump and disdain for his supporters seems to have reached a boiling point.

Need a few reminders?

We’ve seen many references to Hitler by the Trump-hating media, Robert De Niro’s f-bombs and desire to punch the president in the face, Peter Fonda called for kidnapping Barron Trump and putting him in a cage with pedophiles, Kathy Griffin posing with a mock severed Trump head and called Melania Trump a piece of s—t, Wanda Sykes tweets an f-bomb at Ivanka Trump and Samantha Bee called her a “feckless c—t, meathead Rob Reiner suggesting Trump voters are racist, Madonna thought about blowing up the White House, and this is a partial list!

It has reached the point where some are advising Trump aides to get guns and carry permits in order to be prepared for coming physical attacks.

Imagine if today’s language toward a president was used when Barack Obama was in office. I think the reaction from the biased media would be quite different.

I couldn’t agree more with this take by USA Today contributor, James Robbins:

Democrats should also understand these public tantrums and other slights are simply bad politics. Voters don’t respond well to angry chanting losers harassing people, or to vulgar celebrities, or to threats verging on intimidation and violence. There is nothing inspirational about it, and it makes the targets of the anger look that much more reasonable. If Democrats think this crazed behavior will generate a “blue wave” in November, they are mistaken. 

Agreed. And for the rest of us, even though we have First Amendment rights under the Constitution, we should not stoop to their level of behavior. Pray for them – they need God! And respond by speaking the truth in love, knowing the ultimate battle is a spiritual one, and our real fight is not with people; it is with the enemy of our souls.

For those of us who are Christians, let’s live in such a way that others will hear the gospel and see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us – both in our words and our lives as we point to our hope and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.

*Also published at Freedom Project Media

You’ve probably heard the U.S. Supreme Court decided in favor of Colorado baker, Jack Phillips; that the State violated his religious freedom when they punished him for operating his business according to his Christian faith.

Even though the Court ruled 7-2 Monday in favor of Phillips who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, we must not relax. This is good, yes, but it is an incremental victory in the religious freedom battle. Expect LGBTQ activists to regroup and react with force.

Unbelievably, Colorado Civil Rights Commissioner, Diann Rice once compared Phillips to a Nazi because he believes in natural marriage. Ironically, Phillip’s father was a WWII veteran who helped storm the beaches of Normandy and liberate Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

Regarding the decision, Justice Kennedy wrote:

“The Commission’s hostility was inconsistent with the First Amendment’s guarantee that our laws be applied in a manner that is neutral toward religion,”

Unfortunately, the court said the broader issue of whether a business can deny service of gays and lesbians “must await further elaboration.”

But for now, as Justice Clarence Thomas added:

“Because the Court’s decision vindicates Phillips’ right to free exercise, it seems that religious liberty has lived to fight another day.”

Good for Jack Phillips, but it seems the Court lacked courage to tackle the First Amendment question which is why some are calling the 7-2 ruling “narrow.”

This battle is spiritual and Satan is a defeated foe, but at the same time, expect the bullying of Christian business owners to increase. Preachers of tolerance have no problem forcing others to live in a way that goes against deeply held beliefs.

For example, an Oregon business filed a lawsuit last week against a church that turned down hosting an LGBT event in a building owned by the church due to its “morals clause.”

This just months after a Christian couple, also in Oregon, lost their bakery over their refusal to bake a cake for a gay wedding and were forced to pay activists $135,000 by court ruling. Former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa, Aaron and Melissa Klein, had their freedoms trampled when they lost their appeal last December. 

In this new case, Holy Rosary Church of Portland, is being sued by Ambridge Event Center, who claims their business was damaged by the decision. Ambridge once rented out a space for various events but the church rejected a request from an African-American LGBT support group.

But churches in America can no longer freely abide by the moral teachings of the Bible. And if you fail to comply, look out! They are seeking – get this – $2.3 million in damages!

Christians seem to have two options: go along with and celebrate sinful behavior that is against biblical teachings, or pay the penalty – whatever price they see fit to enforce. So what now?

The late theologian, John Stott summed it up well when he said:

“We should not ask, ‘What is wrong with the world?’ for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather we should ask, “What has happened to the salt and light?”

How did we reach this present darkness where the foundations of not only culture but the church in America are crumbling? I’ve written a few books on the topic, but these things are certain: leftists will not relent on their agendas, and though God is still on His throne, Christians clearly do not have the influence we used to have on the nation. If we did, things such as the definition and meaning of marriage would not be debated.

We sure could use more watchmen on the wall willing to speak the truth in love and stand against evil at the same time. It is possible and necessary to do both.