Posts Tagged ‘progressive’

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

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Vice President Mike Pence made a surprise appearance at the Watchmen on the Wall conference in our nation’s capital last week and implored pastors to share the good news of Jesus Christ. God bless him. But it’s what he said about the Johnson Amendment that we should peak our curiosity.

I don’t remember any president or vice president talking so openly and frequently about the Christian faith. Mike Pence boldly implored the people:

“Keep preaching the good news. Keep preaching in season and out of season as the Bible says. Always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have,” (2 Tim. 4:1-2, 1 Peter 3:15)

Pence also received a standing ovation when he emphasized the fact President Trump is the most pro-life president in American history.

Because the Trump administration is strong on religious liberty, it makes sense he mentioned the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment, which restricts religious leaders when it comes to talking about politics.

Mike Pence stated:

“We are going to fight until we fully repeal the Johnson Amendment from the Internal Revenue Code, but it will no longer be enforced under this administration,”

No longer enforced. What a statement! So, what exactly is the Johnson Amendment and is there really an agenda to silence Christians?

The Johnson Amendment was passed in 1954 by Congress as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code… stating that entities that are exempt from federal income tax (such as non-profit groups) cannot “participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”

This flawed law paved the way for the growing censorship of conservatives, particularly when it comes to restrictions on what can be said during church services.

HOW IT HAPPENED

Then Texas Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was a powerful liberal running for reelection as Senator, but two [conservative] tax-exempt groups were opposing him and passing out literature during the campaigns. He complained to the IRS but found what they were doing was perfectly legal, so he sought other options to fight them.

Johnson shrewdly appeared on the Senate floor on July 2, 1954, and offered his amendment to a pending, massive, tax code overhaul bill. Records indicate an absence of committee hearings on the bill. No legislative analysis took place to examine the effect the bill would have, particularly on churches and religious organizations.

The amendment was simply created to protect Johnson. Why this horrendous law has not been repealed yet is mind-boggling.

Sadly, due to confusion, hype, and misinformation about the Johnson Amendment, religious leaders in America have been unnecessarily self-censoring for decades! The Left uses it to bully Christian pastors and groups with threats of losing their nonprofit status, and they wrongly insist religious leaders must not speak about the Bible as it relates to political and social issues – which are moral issues!

As a result, freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion have been trampled on. A huge amount of people now think the Bible (church) has nothing to say about politics (state) and that it’s illegal for pastors to address candidates and where they stand in light of Scripture or church doctrines.

We need to understand something here: the IRS has never fined a pastor or church. In fact, every year thousands of Christian leaders across the country purposely talk about politics during church services on what is called Pulpit Freedom Sunday.

This of course won’t stop those bent on removing Christian influence from society. President Ronald Reagan once said:

“The Constitution was never meant to prevent people from praying. Its declared purpose was to protect their freedom to pray.”

The truth is every time a law is passed, someone’s morality is legislated. Government affects every one of us. Man’s greatest problem is sin and our greatest need is forgiveness, and have every right to speak the truth in love.

The annual Watchman on the Wall conference hosted by the Family Research Council operates under the belief that problems facing America and this world ultimately require a spiritual solution. This could not be truer because the good news of Jesus Christ is the power of God to salvation.

If our hope is in people, politics, or possessions, we will eventually wind up empty. If however, we place our trust in the only One who can forgive and save us, we will have an unshakable hope and a secure future inheritance.

Are we willing to speak the truth to this generation including what the Bible teaches about sin, repentance, and salvation through faith in Jesus?

The IRS is not a true threat nor is government the ultimate authority! Quite frankly, if a pastor is worried about his non-profit status or being fined, then who is he serving, Caesar or Christ?

For the rest of us, real Christianity cannot be confined behind the walls of any church.

Originally published at Freedom Project Media!

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You might call this troubling, concerning, disturbing or alarming, but to those who have studied the Bible and understand the times, this trend of silencing Christians is mostly disappointing.

We should not be surprised. 

On the other hand, though our culture and country seems to be heading for destruction at breakneck speed, believers know this means we are getting closer to more fulfilled prophecy and ultimately, the promised return of Jesus Christ.

One of the more eye-opening things I read this week was the fact that even with all the cases of discrimination against Christians in recent years from the public square to social media, many Americans do not support the basic religious freedom of Christians.

I’m sure you know many of the stories.

  • A Christian florist who had served homosexual customers on countless occasions refused to provide floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding, and she was sued by two homosexual activists. Baronelle Stutzman might lose everything. The Washington Supreme Court has punished her for peacefully operating her business consistently with her faith. 
  • Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, was sued for the same reason even though Phillips has also turned down cake requests for bachelor parties, anything profane, occult-related, violent, or perverse. In many states, bakers can refuse to write a Bible verse on a cake but are not allowed to decline to make a gay-wedding cake. This pivotal case is headed to the Supreme Court.
  • Christian geologist and believer in God as Creator, Andrew Snelling, was denied access and opportunity to study the Grand Canyon for three years until the National Park Service finally relented and accepted his application.
  • Donald Vander Boon’s meatpacking center in Michigan was targeted by the the federal government for having marriage brochures on the employee break room table. The Christian family proudly says on their website the company “seeks to glorify and honor God in all we do,” and were shocked to find out during a visit by the USDA that it wasn’t their beef that was being inspected — but their faith! The inspector took offense to the literature and told Don they’d call off the inspection if the material wasn’t removed. Within hours, he was threatened with the closure of his business.
  • An Ohio library banned a Christian group from meeting to discuss natural marriage unless the group also included supporters of same-sex marriage.
  • Christian farmers, Steve and Bridgett Tennes, were refused to participate in the East Lansing, MI farmer’s market because of their Christian beliefs. Country Mill Orchards was kicked out of the sellers group last August after a post on Steve’s Facebook page revealed his beliefs supporting natural, God-ordained marriage.

Both of them military veterans who understand the cost of religious freedom in America, Tennes stated,

“My wife and I both volunteered to serve in the military to protect freedom. Now we come home and the freedom that we worked to protect, we have to defend in our own backyard.”

…The U.S. Department of Education held a panel discussion on fatherhood and LGBT groups protested, demanding conservative viewpoints not even be allowed. 

If culture is downstream from the church, and politics (government and policy) is downstream from culture, it’s easy to see how this nation is no longer unified as one nation, under God, or indivisible. Why?

On a recent Stand Up for the Truth radio program, we discussed some dangerous and influential voices impacting the church. It is disappointing how many followers these people have. One example if you haven’t heard the latest, is Christian author, Jen Hatmaker. She not only endorses same-sex marriage, she now goes so far as to say (ready?) she believes gays and lesbians who are married should receive counseling from the Christian church – to strengthen their marriages if they want to be part of the Christian community.

She previously said same-sex relationships can be “holy,” after which her books were pulled from LifeWay Christian Store. More recently, Hatmaker said she dreams of a day when church is safe for the LGBT community. Okay, define ‘safe.’ 

When liberal Christians, the left, progressives, or the emergent church preach “unity,” what they often mean is uniformity. They are fine if we conform to their watering down the true gospel. They love the idea of diversity as long as we unite around their progressive worldview that distorts the truth and deity of Christ.

Since we are commanded to love our neighbor, do we love others enough to tell them the truth even when it is not popular?

In a Gospel Herald article on this topic, Rosaria Butterfield, a FORMER lesbian is quoted. Concerned that by affirming the gay community, Jen Hatmaker is damaging them, not helping them. Butterfield shares this story:

“A few years ago, I was speaking at a large church. An older woman waited until the end of the evening and approached me. She told me that she was 75 years old, that she had been married to a woman for 50 years, and that she and her partner had children and grandchildren. Then she said something chilling. In a hushed voice, she whispered, “I have heard the gospel, and I understand that I may lose everything. Why didn’t anyone tell me this before? Why did people I love not tell me that I would one day have to choose like this?”

That’s a good question. We cannot have it both ways with one foot in the world and one in the Bible. Everyone must choose for themselves.

God or man? Justification or judgment? Repentance or rebellion? Christ or culture? The questions remain.

Read the full post at DavidFiorazo.com

chipped-flag-on-brick-wall-300x200The United States of America has been under attack – from within. Two things make this fact even worse: many people are oblivious, and the larger problem is others just don’t seem to care.

It is important we understand how we got to this point of corruption and crisis as a nation, determine who is responsible, and decide what we can do about it. You may know much of this information, but many of your friends do not; please share it.

In order to examine the spiritual, financial, and political condition of the United States of America, the epic prize globalists wish to conquer, it’s vital we acknowledge some brief history.

Pilgrims and patriots came to these shores to escape religious persecution, government intrusion, and to establish a God-fearing settlement that would flourish on faith and freedom. This great Republic was originally founded upon biblical teachings, Moral Law, and the Declaration of Independence. We know, however, this is not the same country it was one or two hundred years ago.

We now know – and many of these are interchangeable – atheists, communists, liberals, humanists, Marxists, progressives, and socialists have infiltrated our government and undermined the order and very foundation of our nation. They have infected our courts, the education system, our corporations, the entertainment industry, and unfortunately, many of our churches. (Read about the Emergent Church.)

Most of us would like to see this nation return to one in which people once again honor the Lord first, respect the Constitution, the Flag, and allow others to live their lives based on Judeo-Christian principles. But this may be wishful thinking because political correctness will no longer coexist with religious freedom.

For concerned Christians, there is a stark reality looking us square in the eyes: God’s Word (Bible prophecy) reveals some sobering truths about the future of our nation and this world. Things will become even darker, more chaotic, and people’s hearts will grow cold. The Bible tells us evil will appear to prevail in the days leading up to the Lord’s return, and nations will not only come against Israel, they will stand in defiance of God our Creator and King.

The question is how much time do we have in the United States of America? Obviously, no one can answer this specifically. Could we have a great spiritual revival and awakening in our nation? It is possible, but not probable. Have we become such stiff-necked, lukewarm, self-serving people we have already sealed our own fate? Perhaps.

The other day, our guest on Stand Up for the Truth, Julaine Appling said, 

“Law is always downstream of culture.”

It is true our culture drives politics and legislation in America. Just look at the powerful LGBT lobby teaming up with Hollywood and the liberal media! But what happened to the influence of the church? Christianity used to drive culture, but today, more and more churches, leaders, and denominations have become silent or have conformed to the world.

Anti-Christian, anti-American agendas are being carried out across the country with little concern or resistance.

Two evil, influential political philosophies have shaped the direction of our nation over the past 50-plus years, and we see devastating effects on Americans who are (for the most part) unknowingly embracing them.

  • Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”
  • The Cloward-Piven Strategy

These two progressive, Marxist philosophies and their implemented agendas have been used together to bring our nation to the precipice of economic and moral destruction. First, a quote from: Rules for RadicalsA Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

“In the beginning the organizer’s first job is to create the issues or problems.” Saul D. Alinsky,

The Obama administration sure took that principle to heart.

…Chicago-born Saul David Alinsky (1909 – 1972) was an American community organizer who dropped out of graduate school at the University of Chicago to work as a criminologist. He was drawn to the world of gangsters and was a confidant of the Al Capone mob. Alinsky became a “student” of enforcer Frank Nitti, who took over the mob when Capone was sent to prison. An Alinski radical has one main goal – power.

His motto was, “The most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired results.” In 1971, the hard Left, progressive community organizer wrote a playbook of subversive tactics to empower an upcoming generation of change agents. A few notable adherents to the Alinsky method are: Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, Van Jones, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jim Wallis, and former President Barack Obama.

Expert organizer, President Obama, didn’t miss a beat when he left office and according to reports is scheming to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidency. His army of agitators numbering in the tens of thousands will take orders from Obama’s command post in his new Washington home less than two miles from the White House. Not content to move on like other ex-presidents, Obama is actively working to fight against Republicans.

Having raised over $40 million in the last few years of his presidency with the help of former Obama aides and campaign workers, his network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing For Action (OFA) with 250 offices across the country, added staff, and fresh recruitment of liberal activists. Not only that, but Obama’s close confidante Valerie Jarrett has moved into his new DC home, the nerve center for their plan to mastermind the insurgency against the Trump administration.

The Alinsky Game Plan:

  • Exploit the weaknesses inherent in the system, made weaker by pitting opposing forces against one another.
  • Oppose independent, morally strong, educated people because those individuals, especially in groups, can’t be manipulated easily.
  • They attempt to end-run constitutional rights with social contract and dialectic consensus methods. Engage in large scale social engineering, attempting to unfreeze a society using chaos, and to then refreeze it in a new predefined shape.
  • The dividing lines they polarize people on are most often racial, economic, religious and political.
  • Cause social instability through subversive and divisive rhetoric. One method is to control the outcome of the education system by lowering the standards of education so that it creates a dependent class.
  • Use their political platforms to overload a society with social spending programs and class warfare to the point that hatred and division cause social panic.
  • Once they’ve created a problem, they propose themselves as the answer and use wealth transfers and the trumping of rights as the method to bring about “equality.”

THE EFFECTS:

  • An overpowering Federal government bureaucracy that has violated the U.S. Constitution’s principles of limited Federal government power and control.
  • $20 trillion in national debt. Not even counting Social Security and Pension obligations:  Most estimates are the nation is almost $100 trillion in debt:  A system waiting to collapse.
  • An American public that has become addicted to government handouts.  More than half the population is on direct assistance from the government.
  • A laziness and narcissism with Americans where they look to government to provide instead of providing for themselves.
  • Massive Student Loan debt that will never be repaid because of a corrupt educational system that lured young people with lies and false illusions.
  • The only way to get out of this fiscal mess is a complete overhaul of the debt situation in the nation:  BANKRUPTCY, which leads to a Marxist State.

THE ALINSKY DOCTRINE:

8 Steps to Topple a Nation and Create a Socialist State.

Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and The Cloward-Piven Strategy have been woven together by Progressive Marxist-Humanists to create a crisis so bad that the only “solution” is what they have wanted:  Communism.  Let’s look at the eight points where the two doctrines intersect.

*Read the entire post including resource links and a conclusion, “What Christians can do about it” at DavidFiorazo.com

 

Image credit: Tomohalloran.com

false-teachers“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” Jude 1:3-4

It has crept and slithered through America infecting countless victims. Its goals are compromise, ambiguity, tolerance, globalism, mysticism, and in some cases, universalism. Its path is destruction and its foundation is sinking sand.

The ‘Emergent Church’ is a movement of the late 20th and early 21st century that crosses a number of theological boundaries. Followers, participants, and those who identify can be described as evangelical, post-evangelical, liberal or post-liberal, reformed, neo-charismatic, and post-charismatic. It is part of the Cult of Liberalism.

They seek to live their faith in what they believe to be a “Postmodern” society. It is an untraditional network of individual believers and churches that prefer to be understood as a “conversation” or a friendship rather than an organization. What those involved mostly agree on is their disdain for fundamental Christianity and disillusionment with the organized, traditional, and institutional church.

The emergent, or emegring church favors the use of simple story and narrative in preaching style. Adherents often place a high value on good works or social activism. The hallmark of the emergent church is the liberal, new age aspect including the practice of contemplative monastic meditation and prayers. While some do emphasize eternal salvation, many in the emerging church emphasize the here and now (taking care of the earth, etc.) and reject the inerrancy of Scripture.

Regarding doctrine, these folks generally reject systematic Christian theology, the integrity of Scripture, and gospel exclusivity. They don’t believe Christianity is the one true religion and many associated with the emergent church promote homosexuality. Some deny the deity of Jesus Christ; they call for diversity, “unity,” and camaraderie among all religions, and they modify and expand their teachings. It is quite clearly and simply a war against the Truth.

At an emergent church workshop in San Diego about ten years ago, former national coordinator of the Emergent Village, Tony Jones stated:

“This is about our belief that theology changes. The message of the gospel changes. It’s not just the method that changes.”

What? I submit to you that Jesus never changed his message to fit the times! Sadly, too many believers are uninterested, uninformed, or just plain apathetic about the Bible and understanding the times we live in where relevance is emphasized more than repentance.

In a revealing comment about why Jones departed from the traditional Bible church, he described his younger days in a Protestant church like this:

“I’d say there was one word that summed up my religious life: obligation.”

Rather than seek Christ’s kingdom first and dig into Scripture, Jones decided to travel the world and see how other religions and worshippers found peace through prayer and meditation and he adopted other forms of spirituality in his pursuit of religion.

“The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.” 1 Timothy 4:1

Jones is not alone. These influential men are best-selling authors in Christian stores, speakers at entertaining music festivals, popular on the political Christian Left, and well-known leaders in religious circles. They and their dangerous doctrines have invaded the true body of Christ. The goal in this expose is to provide a basic understanding as well as direct quotes from those who have done great damage to the Church, not to explain or refute each one in detail.

[BREAK] …

Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not a matter of knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is the difference between right and almost right.”

How did we get to the point where many of these liberal, emergent ideas and teachings have blended in with truth and sound doctrine? How have they slithered their way into modern Christianity? The answer goes back to the book of Genesis and the original sin of Adam and Eve. Remember how the serpent deceived Eve by questioning God? (“Did God really say…”) He then encouraged them to disobey God as he declared, “You will not surely die…” (Genesis 3:1-4)

All it takes is a seed of doubt and invitation to sin. Many progressive leaders and deceivers question absolute truth and promote ambiguity and confusion. No wonder these men are so popular – they’re going with the flow of pop culture. Paul warned about conforming to this world (Romans 12:2).

False teachers have been around since the early church days. The major issue with the emergent church is that they reject the authority of Scripture. These teachings were not accepted by evangelical Christians overnight. We can trace the rapid advancement of the emergent church to the late 80’s and 90’s, when people began talking about how to modernize and re-create church to be more attractive to the unchurched.

…Many churches in America now have beautiful buildings, sports facilities, coffee shops, bookstores, great music and sound systems, state of the art lighting, and good drama or video presentations, but how much of their service time is spent preaching the solid truth of Scripture? Many seem to put more of an emphasis on programs keeping people within their own walls or on entertaining the flock rather than feeding them God’s Word. Well, at least the youth are kept happy and occupied.

Young people like to take action for a cause, and many works-based efforts call for organizing, social or environmental action and partnership with government agencies and other religions/leaders. This is a clever way to lure those who are not as mature in the faith.

Another controversial message being promoted is that of social justice, which in its modern use is apostasy. Apostasy means a departure from the faith or one who denies the fundamental doctrines concerning the person and work of Jesus Christ. (Wallis’ Sojourners mag for example, puts more emphasis on the environment, immigration, “income inequality,” and poverty than on the Gospel, salvation, repentance, and sin.) The Bible does not teach that the church must work with government or world leaders to implement man’s solutions to our deepest needs and problems. We can no longer deny the fact that humanism, liberalism and secular-progressive influence is alive and well -not only in government, education, media, corporations, and the entertainment industry – but in the Church…

Since not enough Christians know the dangers and the extent of the emergent church movement and their radical teachings, we need to promote awareness starting with what is true. We need to dig deeper in to the Word of God than ever before and know it so well that if we hear a counterfeit message, we’ll recognize it immediately! We need to talk to our pastors and Christian friends. Liberalism, humanism, and secularism are growing cancers in both church and culture so let’s not ignore the causes.

Let’s get out of our comfort zones and take a stand for Christ. The spiritual battle rages all around us and the enemy is on our doorstep. Satan has been at work at a church near you spreading his deceptions. The good news is that we are on to his schemes. Mature believers know that the emergent church teachings are contrary to the gospel of Christ.

Read the full, comprehensive expose on the emergent church here including direct quotes and many resource links:

first amendment truth

We did not get here overnight. Attacks on religious freedoms and on the speech of Christians in America did not just appear in the last several years. The attempted muzzling of Christian churches and religious groups has gradually increased since a pivotal law was passed by a shrewd politician to intimidate people of faith. The repercussions have been devastating.

The 1954 Johnson Amendment passed by Congress stated that non-profits (read: Christian churches and organizations) could not speak in favor of any political candidate. Was this even constitutional?

This key but forgotten event paved the way for the increased squelching of free speech and because of the confusion and misinformation about the law, many religious leaders have been unnecessarily self-censoring for decades.

The following is an excerpt from the chapter, “The Separation of Christianity and State” in the book, The Cost of Our Silence:

“Texas Democrat, Lyndon B. Johnson, was a powerful politician running for reelection as Senator, but two anti-communist, tax-exempt groups were opposing him and passing out literature during the campaigns. He contacted the IRS and found the group’s activity was legal, so he sought other options to fight them.

Johnson shrewdly appeared on the Senate floor on July 2, 1954, and offered his amendment to a pending, massive, tax code overhaul bill. The bill was supposed to modernize the tax code. Records indicate an absence of committee hearings on the amendment. No legislative analysis took place to examine the effect the bill and the amendment would have, particularly on churches and religious organizations. The amendment was simply created to protect Johnson.

The Johnson Amendment was passed by Congress as an amendment to section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code… stating entities that are exempt from federal income tax cannot “Participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of – or in opposition to – any candidate for public office.”

1954 johnson amendment

The Left uses this to bully Christian pastors and groups with threats of losing their nonprofit status should they dare talk about the Bible as it relates to cultural, political, fiscal, and social issues, which all fall under the category of moral issues.

Erik Stanley, author and Senior Legal Counsel of the Alliance Defense Fund, explained the Johnson Amendment was a bill that got inserted into the tax code through back-room deals made by a powerful Senator seeking reelection at any cost. As a result of the bill, freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion have been trampled. Stanley stated:

We have grown up with a generation of churchgoers that believe it is illegal for their pastor to address candidates and elections in light of Scripture or church doctrine when there is no valid justification for believing that.

Johnson knew how to use the political process to silence his enemies. The new amendment not only protected him from the conservative nonprofit groups opposing him, but many pastors stopped speaking about any issue from the pulpit that might be deemed political either out of ignorance of the new law or out of fear. By this self-censoring, the church has chosen to ignore open immorality in culture and in government while at the same time neglecting to call attention to those political leaders who do strive to live according to Christian morals and values.

One might conclude Lyndon B. Johnson not only silenced America’s churches, his legislation has turned many of them into agents of the state. What about labor unions, liberal churches, and leftist organizations? Why have many of them apparently been allowed to not only endorse and support political candidates, but openly fund their campaigns? This is the hypocrisy of selective law enforcement by the (in)Justice Department and the IRS, a partisan government agency recently exposed in the targeting of conservative groups…

Have we also hesitated to address the severe persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters around the world due to radical Islam? I have to believe we all care about Christian suffering and the fact millions have lost their lives because of their faith in Jesus Christ. What I also want to believe is that religious leaders in America are not afraid to talk about why this is happening.

In an article for American Thinker, Bill Warner wrote about persecution in Islamic nations “caused by Muslim jihadists who are following the Islamic doctrine of jihad against the Christian as found in the Koran, Sira, and Hadith.” Warner points to pastors and church leaders who have become comfortable operating their churches more like 501(c)(3) institutions that have meetings on Sunday. They have a corporate mentality which he believes is one of the reasons for the denial of Christian suffering.

If you are willing to see the doctrinal roots of the ongoing murder of Christians by Muslims, then you might have to speak about it from the pulpit, and that could be seen as political speech. In spite of the fact that there has never been a 501(c)(3) revoked because of political speech by a minister, the imagined loss silences ministers. Hmmm… if a minister is worried about the IRS revoking his 501(c)(3), then whom is the minster serving? Caesar or Christ?

Are these harsh words any less true of at least a small number of religious leaders in America? If your pastor resembles more of a business person or CEO than a military leader preparing his troops for battle, it may be time to approach him in love and encourage him to address persecution, sin, the culture war, and politics from time to time.

Because many misunderstand why politics were supposedly forbidden in church, some Christians have mistakenly assumed that the process of voting and electing America’s leaders is either unbiblical or unimportant. Only about 25 percent of Christians vote in elections today. Some pastors do talk about their own obligation to impact society by equipping the saints, and do address the controversial issues of today. We need to pray for and rally around Christian leaders such as these.

Though the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment will continue to be wrongly applied to cases involving religion, we can help by raising awareness. We can also elect representatives who revere the Bible they place their hand on when taking their oath of office. Enemies of Christianity and of America have become emboldened, and people of faith need to be reminded we are provided the freedom of religion and its expression under the Constitution.

Our ultimate allegiance and responsibility however, is to the Word of God.

The truth is churches have a tremendous amount of freedom. From the pulpit, actual limitations include: Pastors cannot openly endorse a particular candidate, tell people whom to vote for, or contribute church money to a campaign. A pastor is absolutely free to do so as an individual outside the church. Pastors, churches, and nonprofits can lawfully speak in detail about all biblical issues. They may also quote any Scripture in the Bible, discuss unethical abortion funding and the protection of marriage, and distribute voter guides and information as well as register folks to vote. Churches can invite politicians to come in and speak to their congregations as long as they extend an invitation to both parties.

I do understand the concern some pastors have about mixing religion and government, but we cannot divorce our faith from our politics. If we do, we’d have to leave Jesus at home or outside when we enter the voting booth if that were even possible. Politics affect many areas of our lives, and the Bible has answers and instructions for every single one. Christians must have a voice when it comes to who is elected, what policies get promoted, and which laws get passed.

Someone’s legislation and worldview will surely be enacted and enforced in America – so will it be those who oppose Christianity or those who support it?

Are we willing to remind and inform this generation about who we are and what America once was? Are we willing to speak the truth about Christ and culture no matter how unpopular we may become? The nation has not yet declined to a point of total ungodliness and destruction, and our government needs our prayers and our participation to generate a revival. Concerned Christians must unite again. Every believer should see the need to speak up with a sense of urgency whether you are a parent, a pastor, or a person in the public square.

The Reverend Don Wildmon, founder of the American Family Association, has been instrumental in fighting for the family and Christian values in our country. He wrote the following over ten years ago:

Today, 4,000 innocent precious lives of unborn babies were snuffed out . . . And 300,000 pulpits are silent . . . The networks make a mockery of Christians, the Christian faith and Christian values with nearly every show they air. Greed, materialism, violence, sexual immorality are standard fare. Program after program, movie after movie contains anti-Christian episodes and plots. News articles condescendingly refer to the “fundamentalists, right-wing Christians.” Those who speak out for the sacredness of life are branded as extremists. And 300,000 pulpits are silent.

Teenage suicide is the highest it has ever been . . . Christian morality cannot be taught in schools, but atheistic immorality can . . . And 300,000 pulpits are silent. Rape has increased 700 percent in the last fifty years, and that takes into consideration the population growth . . . And 300,000 pulpits are silent.

Rock music fills the airwaves and our children’s minds with music which legitimizes rape, murder, forced sex, sadomasochism, adultery, satanic worship, etc. And 300,000 pulpits are silent. A majority of states now have lotteries [gambling has been legalized, no longer a crime]. And 300,000 pulpits are silent.

Perhaps your pastor or church leader has in fact been speaking out on these and many other problems in our society. Thank him and encourage him! You are blessed to have him and the church in America needs more like him. Our hope is for Christian leaders to do what Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church in Germany chose to do; put the Word of God above all things. We must not have any gods besides the one true God. Real faith cannot be silenced by government orders.

If we do nothing and the majority remains silent, the secular progressives win. Then, with God removed from all aspects of American society, they will be the ones to rule, deciding what is right and wrong, true and false, moral and immoral.

As the great Reverend Charles Finney once said,

“God will bless or curse America depending on the course Christians take in politics; they must vote for honest men and take consistent ground.”

We have been losing ground because Christians have not first been firmly established in their faith, and second; we have not been openly preaching and living the Word of God without compromise. I admit my past failures in this area and have confessed them to the Lord; how about you?

The most important thing is not winning battles for culture or country, but winning eternal battles for the kingdom of God. To win the souls of men, the whole truth of the whole gospel must be proclaimed. True Christianity cannot be confined behind the walls of any church…

(The Cost of Our Silence, book excerpt, chapter 5, “Separation of Christianity and State”)