War on Christianity

...now browsing by category

 

War On Christianity

Friday, May 19th, 2006

Author: Marty Martorella

 

   For most of my Christian life I have heard people talk about being persecuted. Christians here in America have an unique concept of persecution which can often border on that of a willful intransigent state of mind like that of a spoiled child. For many just hearing the word “No” to how they want to run something is enough to scream “Persecution!” When we look at the real persecution around the world and throughout history one must wonder what American Christians are complaining about.

Topping the list of countries which have mounted a campaign against Christians are China and Sudan followed by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Burma, Greece, Ethiopia, and Vietnam. (Washington Watch, May 1998). Increasing persecution is also found in Cuba, Laos, and North Korea.

Many Islamic-dominated nations have adopted a fanatical, militant doctrine of persecution against all “infidels.”

The militant Islamic Government of Sudan, for example, is waging a self-described religious war against Christian, non-Muslim, and moderate Muslim persons by using torture, starvation, enslavement, and murder. In Pakistan, the government has declared those that who “insult” Mohammed will be put to death. In Communist Laos more than 250 pastors and Christian workers have been arrested; more than 60 churches and Christian institutions have been shut down; and the government has forced many thousands of believers to sign documents to “renounce” their faith and belief in Christianity. Link

   In the video clip we see an Afghanistan man on trial for becoming a Christian (with his life on the line.) Thankfully, the man was allowed to leave the country. In China it is not only Christians that are under persecution, but all faiths.

In this report, Human Rights Watch/Asia focuses on the persistent crackdown against religious expression of Catholics and Protestants. We note, however, that repression in China is directed against all religions, the five that are officially recognized (Buddhism, Daoism, Islam. Catholicism, and Protestantism) and all allegedly aberrant and superstitious sects. In Tibet, for example, the Chinese government has violated international standards of religious freedom by insisting on its own choice for the new Panchen Lama, the second most important religious authority for Tibetan Buddhists. Link

The report was released by a division of Freedom House and based on official Chinese documents. It claims that in underground Christian churches alone, 129 people have been killed and nearly 24,000 arrested in crackdowns since 1983. Link

   When we see such sites as NewsMax.com saying that, “All across America, Christianity is under attack” we must ask how many Christians have died for their faith in the Lord in America? How many have been arrested for just being Christians? I do not mean to imply that we are free of anti-Christian forces; as that is not the case. There are those who hate anything that looks like it is godly, but it is not equivalent to persecution.

   What many Christians miss is that there are those who will try to manipulate them for nefarious reasons. They will use hot button issues to detract from their own crimes. As Tom DeLay faces the trial of his life for his involvement in the culture of corruption he is trying to claim that he is a victim of such Christian persecution. DeLay said that our society “often treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition. Seen from this perspective of course there is a war on Christianity.” Link. Where many Christians are being mislead by such rhetoric those out side of the Church are recognizing the goals of those who claim that there is a war on Christianity.

A “war” on Christianity is simply a rhetorical slight-of-hand used by the Christian Right to avoid admitting that what they are really fighting is the loss of privilege and status that was once according Christianity in America. Link

   Atheists do have a skewed view of Christianity and of those who fallow Christ, but they are right about this war on Christianity being rhetoric, at least in America. I summit to all that we do not want to see a true war on Christianity we need to project in our lives the true vision of Jesus. Too many who call themselves Christians preach another gospel than the one of Jesus. The Apostle Paul wrote;

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Galatians 1:8-9

    We might not be able to stop those who would muddy the message of Christ, but we can refrain from aiding them. 1 John 4:1 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” We would do well to heed these words.    With that said I do not want to imply that Christianity is free of it's attackers. From jokes to movies like 'The Da Vinci Code' our faith is under assault, but that is not like being fed to the lions. Movies like 'The Da Vinci Code' or ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ misrepresent the message of Christ, but then so does the Church. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up…I will draw all men to me.” Jn. 12: 32 In the another article we looked at the most radical forms of Islam and the question came to mind how could that religion ever have come into existence? The answer is quite simple, Christianity had just become another powerful world religion with little emphases on Jesus. Today we see the same problem, the Church grows stronger while the saving message of Christ grows weaker. If we are preaching the true whole message of Christ (thus lifting Him up to the world) all men will be drawn to Him. If the Church leaves out to nice political distractions that we often like to add movies, jokes and false stories about our Lord will fade away. Some will ask if that means we are not suppose to be political or talk politics? The answer is when we preach about Jesus or are representing Him from the pulpit we should not talk about lesser things. We can save all those other wonderful subjects for other times, for we must not muddie the gospel of Christ.

   Maybe this is why persecution in the United States is so for less than in any other part of the world – we might just not be a threat to the powers of darkness. For me I will try to have the courage of men like the one in the video clip who was on trail for his faith. The question is what believes would you be willing to die for? We all believe in something, but to what degree?