Some years ago, I worked at a job where another colleague and I had to go out of town on an assignment for a week. Since I was going to spend a considerable amount of time with my co-worker, I asked her some questions in order to find out what we had in common and what kinds of things we could talk about. Some of my questions were about religion. I wanted to know if she was a fellow Christian. If she was, then we would have a lot in common and we could share openly about our faith. I was not in any way trying to convert her. I just wanted to have some idea of where she stood. She never gave any indication that she did not want me to ask those questions about religion.
When we came back to the office, she filed an official complaint. My supervisor informed me that if I talked about religion with co-workers again, I would be in danger of losing my job.
That was persecution, but it was mild and easily remedied. All I needed to do was either change jobs or else not talk about religion. If you compare it to cancer, it was stage zero–a small event, which has not spread, and which can be fixed easily.
I have a friend who went to prison. (Some Christians did bad things before their conversion. Sometimes their past catches up with them.) Friends who visited him were allowed to give him a Bible. They also ordered some Christian magazines to be sent to him directly from the publisher. The prison refused those magazines and sent them back. However, when I spoke with prison officials, I was informed that magazines could be sent, as long as they came directly from the publisher, and as long as they were not “inappropriate.” I asked what “inappropriate” meant. I was told that pornography and violent material were not acceptable. Evidently, somebody at that prison considers Christian material to be as offensive as violence or pornography.
This was not a serious situation, because my friend had a Bible, he was able to go to chapel with other Christians, and his prison term was short. His situation was more serious than mine, but it was limited in the scope of damage caused. Comparing it to cancer, I would call it stage one. It seems to be an isolated incident and it has not caused serious damage.
I have a friend whose son is in prison, and is expected to be there for many years. He is not allowed to receive Christian literature, and the prison officials will not allow him to have a Bible. The prison has is a lot of Muslim literature and a lot of Wiccan literature. (Wicca is a pagan religion that has become popular in America, especially with young people. It is associated with witchcraft, nature worship, and goddess worship.) However, Christian literature is not allowed.
This is a much more serious situation. The young man is not able to remedy it. He needs to have a Bible. Being a Christian in his environment could result in violence. It could make his life difficult, threaten his health, and possibly result in his death. In terms of the entire country, it is a small, localized problem. But for him, it is very serious.
Comparing it to cancer, I would call it early stage two. You could compare it to a more serious cancer in one location. It causes destruction in one area of the body (Christians in this particular prison), but it has not spread.
Many prisons have volunteer Wiccan “chaplains.” A Wisconsin prison hired a full-time Wiccan “chaplain” (a Wiccan priestess who calls herself Rev. Witch). In that prison, I would expect to find a lot of Wiccan literature. Life there is probably difficult for Christian prisoners. [Note 1]
Comparing it to cancer, it is like having multiple locations in the same organ (the prison system). This would be like having several cancer spots in one lung. If cancer stays in one organ, it is stage two. If it has spread to the lymph nodes, it is stage three. If it spreads to other organs, then it is stage four, which is the last stage of cancer. Early stage four cancer can be reversed. Some people survive it. But it requires determination and aggressive action.
I know a man whose daughter was given an English assignment that requires her to read anti-Christian literature and write a paper about it. This is involuntary, anti-Christian indoctrination. Its purpose is to undermine the faith of Christian students, and to make it more difficult for non-Christian students to become Christians. Mercifully, this girl is a strong Christian, and she comes from a solid Christian family.
I have an adult friend who told me about something that happened when she was in high school. Her English teacher required the students to read literature about witchcraft, including how to cast spells. Since students can’t graduate without passing English, she was under pressure to read the literature in order to avoid getting a bad grade.
The Bible strongly condemns witchcraft, spells, and fortune telling. (See Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:9-13; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8) So this assignment required her to do something that was contrary to her Christian beliefs.
Wicca is a modern pagan religion that involves witchcraft and spell casting. This English assignment openly promoted Wiccan beliefs and practices. It was religious indoctrination in the name of public education.
I used to think of witches as being fairy tale characters–ugly hags riding broomsticks. However, many modern Wiccans openly call themselves witches. The real picture of a witch these days is an American teenager or college student. I have had Wiccan waitresses when I went to restaurants. They were attractive (but confused) young ladies who were sincerely devoted to “the goddess.” The Bible warns us:
“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
If these are isolated incidents, then they are spiritually challenging for the children who are involved, but they are not a widespread danger. However, if this kind of thing occurs at many schools, then we have a serious problem.
I know a Christian minister who was falsely accused of child abuse by someone who resents his ministry. As a result, his children were taken from their home and from their parents. Eventually, they were returned. A representative of Child Protective Services later apologized to him, because the case was so unfounded. His children were traumatized, but they live in a home with mature Christian parents, and God is healing the emotional wounds.
This was a serious situation, but it was resolved. God promised to make all things work out for our good if we love Him. (Romans 8:28) This minister and his children love the Lord. So God is using their situation to make them become stronger, more mature Christians. Again, this seems to be an isolated incident. You could compare it to stage one cancer.
I know a social worker whose supervisor tried to prevent Christian families from adopting children. She considered Christian homes to be a bad environment for raising children.
A federal court has ruled that it is illegal for students at the Virginia Military Institute to say a nondenominational prayer before meals. (Information about this is online.) [Note 2]
Now that a legal precedent has been established, it is likely that the ACLU will bring lawsuits against military academies in other states. It could come to the point that chaplains on aircraft carriers are not allowed to pray with military pilots before they fly into dangerous situations. [Note 3]
If this happens, then we will have the equivalent of cancer that has developed independently in another organ (the military). It could spread throughout that organ. In this case, the law courts have the potential to cause it to spread.
One thing that is important in assessing the stage of a cancer is whether or not the lymph system has become involved. The lymph system can enable cancer to travel throughout the body. Our court system is doing something similar.
Every stage of cancer has challenges. So does every stage of persecution. At each stage, there is a temptation to deny the problem, because it will cost a lot to deal with it. The further it has progressed, the more temptation there is to deny it, because it is painful to recognize that we have such a serious problem. The further it has progressed, the more it will cost to reverse it. In order to reverse it, we will have to be willing to make sacrifices, be disciplined, persevere in the face of hardship, endure suffering, overcome frustration and inconvenience, and spend more money than we want to.
As cancer (or persecution) progresses, there is an urgently increasing need to face the facts and do whatever it takes to deal with it. If we don’t deal with it, then it will keep getting worse. It will become more widespread, cause more suffering, and be more difficult to deal with.
If the cancer (or persecution) progresses to stage four, there will be a lot of suffering. Unless aggressive action is taken to stop it, it will progress to advanced stage four. At that point, it is terminal, unless God intervenes. In terms of persecution, it would mean the kinds of things that are going on in Indonesia right now, where churches are being burned and Christians are being killed because of their faith.
Cancer can spread in the darkness, and gain a major foothold, before it creates enough pain or difficulty to be clearly identified. For example, colon cancer may not be detected until it causes significant blockage. By then, it is likely to have spread to the lymph nodes, which makes it stage three. It may have also spread to another organ, which makes it stage four. Stomach cancer is often stage three or stage four before it is detected.
The early stages of persecution can also spread quietly, unnoticed except by the individuals who are personally affected by it. By the time the general public becomes aware of it, it may have progressed to the point where it is difficult to stop it.
The Supreme Court ruled that prayer in schools in unconstitutional. When it makes that kind of ruling, the Supreme Court could be compared to a liver that has some cancer spots. One small spot can be surgically removed. One bad Supreme Court decision can be reversed later. This has happened in the history of the Supreme Court.
If the spots become too large, or too numerous, then surgery no longer works. With the Supreme Court, everything depends on whether the school prayer decision is one isolated incident, or whether it indicates a trend that could become more and more destructive in the future. For that reason, it is important for Christians to pray that God will put the right men and women into the Supreme Court and keep the wrong ones out.
The liver’s function is to get rid of toxic things and protect the body. However, if the liver gets cancer, then it can endanger the health of the entire body. The Supreme Court’s function is to protect our nation from unconstitutional laws and court rulings. But if the Supreme Court becomes infected with a mindset that is contrary to that of the framers of the Constitution, then it will become a source of destruction, rather than protection.
There is a web page called “Seeds of Persecution.” It gives detailed summaries of events setting precedents that could lead to persecution and events that actually constitute persecution. Each summary has a title. If you click on it, you will go to an article about the subject. The summaries are listed chronologically, with the most recent ones listed first. The Internet address for “Seeds of Persecution” is below.
David Limbaugh wrote a book called, “Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War against Christianity” (Regnery Press, 2003). He gives documented cases showing how Christian children are being persecuted in public schools and in colleges, and how they are being involuntarily indoctrinated with humanist, New-Age, pagan, and anti-Christian teachings. He also describes cases where the government has oppressed Christians, and he documents public attacks on churches and Christians. (I will discuss these issues later in this article.)
I suspect that what David Limbaugh has reported is just the tip of the iceberg. These are documented cases that have become public knowledge. For every documented case, how many unreported cases are there? Earlier in this article, I told you about cases that I am personally familiar with. Not one of them has been reported.
As Christians, we need to remember that nothing is impossible with God. (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27) Also, God promised to make everything work out for our good if we love Him. (Romans 8:28)
Some things can only be cast out with prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29. Also see 1 Corinthians 7:5) What would happen if the time that we spend on television or other forms of entertainment was spent in prayer instead?
We may even have to fast. That may seem un-American in our country, where snacking is a national pastime. But if you read about fasting in the Bible, the combination of prayer and fasting often resulted in God’s intervention. Things looked hopeless–but then God stepped in and turned everything around, and He rescued His people. The Bible says:
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
PERSECUTING CHRISTIAN STUDENTS
A fourth-grade student named Raymond Raines was in the habit of thanking God for his food before meals. While in his school cafeteria, he bowed his head to pray. A teacher publicly humiliated Raymond in front of the other students by ordering him to get out of his seat and go to the principal’s office. The principal ordered Raymond not to pray again. This happened three times. This 10-year-old boy was publicly ridiculed for his religious beliefs, subjected to school discipline because of them, and was eventually put in detention for a week. His family sued the school and the principal. Finally, the school board decided to allow students to pray at school as long as it is not “disruptive.” (David Limbaugh, “Persecution,” pages 21-22) (You can read about this online.) [Note 4]
A kindergarten student named Kayla Broadus was used to saying grace out loud before meals. She said: “God is great. God is good. And we thank Him for this food.” Her school ordered her to stop praying. Her parents sued the school, and she was finally allowed to pray again. (This is online.) [Note 5]
These children and their parents had the courage to stand their ground. The children kept praying and their parents took the matter to court. How many other children have caved in and stopped praying? How many other parents were not willing to sacrifice the time and money that are required to sue a school?
Two middle-school students (sisters) carried their Bibles to school. Their teacher confiscated the Bibles and took the girls to the principal’s office. She contacted the girls’ mother, and threatened to call Child Protective Services. In other words, she accused the mother of child abuse because her daughters took Bibles to school. When the mother came to the school, the teacher waved the Bibles and said: “This is garbage!” Then the teacher threw the Bibles into the trash can. (“Persecution,” page 45) (This is online.) [Note 6]
Three middle school students had school books with the Ten Commandments on their book covers. School officials threw the covers in the trash. They said that the Ten Commandments are “hate speech.” (“Persecution,” page 45) (This is online.) [See Note 6]
A federal judge in Texas ruled that students are forbidden to say the word “Jesus” during their school’s graduation ceremonies. He said that a U.S. marshal would attend the graduation. Any student who said “Jesus” would be arrested and sent to jail. Students would face up to six months in jail. (“Persecution,” pages 5-6) (You can read about this online.) [Note 7]
In Vermont, a child in kindergarten was forbidden to say that God is not dead. He was told that such talk is not allowed. In a Kentucky public school, administrators told a student that he was not allowed to pray or to talk about God. In Florida, a teacher told two elementary school students that they were not allowed to talk about Jesus while they were in school. (“Persecution,” page 6)
In Connecticut, police officers told a man that they would arrest him if they had evidence that he gave religious tracts to a student. They said that giving such literature to a student constitutes “corrupting the morals of a minor.” (“Persecution,” page 6)
In 2002, a California atheist named Michael Newdow sued his daughter’s school because her class recited the Pledge of Allegiance, including the words “under God.” The Court of Appeals ruled in his favor. (“Persecution,” pages 60-62) The Supreme Court has agreed to take this case. If it decides in favor of the atheist, then nobody in the United States will be allowed to publicly use the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. (This is online.) [Note 8]
Michael Newdow also sued Congress. He wants to abolish the practice of having paid chaplains for the House and the Senate. America’s very first Congress passed the law that established government-paid chaplains for Congress. James Madison was personally involved in that legislation. He was one of the authors of the Constitution. So having Congressional chaplains be paid with taxpayers’ money can’t be against the intention of the framers of the Constitution. (You can read about this online.) [Note 9]
IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
John Dunphy is a secular humanist. He wrote an essay called, “A Religion for A New Age.” It was published in “The Humanist” magazine in 1983. In this essay he said that there is a battle going on for the future of humanity, and it must be fought and won in the public schools. He said that teachers should see themselves as evangelists of a new faith–humanism. They should teach humanist values in every subject they teach, at every level of education from day care and preschool to state universities. He said that the school classroom will become a place of conflict between the “old rotting corpse of Christianity” and the “new faith of humanism.” (You can read this online.) [Note 10]
In 1994, Dunphy published an articled called “Dunphy Strikes Again” in the “Secular Humanist Bulletin.” He reaffirmed what he had previously said in “A Religion for A New Age.” In addition, he said that there is a “cultural civil war” going on in America, and “humanism is going to win.” (This is online.) [Note 11]
Other humanists have said similar things. Horace Mann said that public schools must get rid of the concept of God. John Dewey said that God does not exist and there are no moral absolutes. He said that schools should exclude “dogma and creed” so that “immutable truth” will become “dead and buried.” Charles F. Potter said that American schools are a powerful tool for humanism. Paul Blanshard said that the purpose of schools is to promote a secular society by eliminating “religious superstition.” G. Richard Bozarth said that if humanists can make sure that schools only teach secular knowledge, then they can “kill the god of Christianity.” (Quotations from all of these men are online.) [Note 12]
In the United States, humanism is a tax-exempt religion. In the 1950s, when humanists were seeking tax-exempt status as a religion, they openly declared that humanism is a religion. But then some Christians claimed that humanist religion was being taught in the public schools. So the humanists changed their tactics. They now claim that humanism is not a religion. But they still keep their tax-exempt status as a religion. (Articles about this are online.) [Note 13]
There are humanist “ministers.” They have the same legal rights and privileges as Christian ministers. There are even humanist “churches.” (You can read about this online.) [Note 14]
In 1961, the Supreme Court declared that humanism is a religion. It stated that one reason for its decision is the fact that the American Humanist Association has ministers who perform weddings and funerals. (An online article includes a fairly long quotation from the Supreme Court.) [Note 15]
Some people are trying (with considerable success) to have secular humanism become the established, governmentally-endorsed religion in our educational system. This is contrary to the Constitution, which prohibits the state from establishing any religion.
A United States Congressman said that “fundamental Bible-believing Christians” do not have the right to teach their religion to their children. A university professor said that children belong to the state. It has even been said that, in order for children to have “equality of opportunity,” they should be taken away from their families and raised communally. (You can read these quotations online.) [Note 16]
Dr. Chester M. Pierce (a Professor of Educational Psychiatry at Harvard University) said that American children are “insane” because they are loyal to America, to their parents, and to their belief in God. He said that it is the job of teachers to heal these “sick children” by turning them into the “international children of the future.” (You can read his statement online.) [Note 17]
Dr. Paul Brandwein is a leading child psychologist. Evidently he agrees with Dr. Pierce. In his book, “The Social Sciences,” Dr. Brandwein said: “Every child who believes in God is mentally ill.” (You can read this online.) [Note 18]
Public schools have psychologists. If they agree with Dr. Brandwein, then they could make life difficult for Christian students.
When “experts” say that Christianity constitutes mental illness, I take such statements very seriously because of things that have happened in other countries. Do you remember when Russia was communist? It used to be part of the U.S.S.R., which was a block of communist nations.
In the U.S.S.R., the authorities said that Christians were mentally ill because they believed in God. Christians were put in mental hospitals for “treatment.” They were not considered to be “cured” unless they renounced their faith. Some of these Christians were given medications that impaired their mental functioning so badly that they were reduced to a “vegetative” state. One Christian man spent 25 years in a mental hospital because he refused to renounce his faith. [Note 19]
Today, in Communist China, Christians are being forcibly committed to mental hospitals. So are members of other religious groups. Political dissidents (people who are politically incorrect) are also being put into mental hospitals. Some of these people are being tortured in the hospitals. [Note 20]
Public schools are using history textbooks that rewrite American history to eliminate any mention of Christian influences. They have removed information about the Pilgrims and the Mayflower. Many public school textbooks say that Thanksgiving was the American colonists giving thanks to the Indians (as opposed to thanking God). One high school textbook on American history has 6 lines about George Washington and 6½ pages about Marilyn Monroe. The calendar of the California Teachers Association leaves out Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. But it has an “Internment of Japanese Day” and a “Buddhist Nirvana Day.” (“Persecution,” pages 65-77)
Seventh-grade students in California were required to study Islam for three weeks. This included mandatory role playing. The students had to pretend that they were Muslims. They prayed to Allah, chanted praises to Allah, and adopted Muslim names. They played a game that simulated a jihad (a holy war against enemies of Islam) and they planned a pilgrimage to Mecca. Students were encouraged to dress like Muslims and to use Muslim phrases. They were required to memorize Muslim prayers. During Ramadan, they had to fast at lunchtime. Teachers told the students that, while they were taking this intensive course about Islam, they would “become Muslims.” The textbook about Islam did not mention Islamic conquest or Islamic violence against Jews. The Muslim religion was only shown in a good light. (“Persecution,” pages 76-77)
I have heard from two sources that some American public schools are showing an anti-Israeli film that was produced by Hamas (a Muslim terrorist organization that sends suicide bombers to Israel). However, I have not been able to find written sources to verify this information.
Public school students are being indoctrinated with New Age teachings and practices. Children are taught to put themselves into a trance and get counseling from imaginary friends, including Pumsy the Dragon. This teaches children to use “spirit guides,” which is a New Age practice. The Pumsy curriculum is used in 40 percent of American public schools. A similar curriculum, using Duso the dolphin, is also popular. (“Persecution,” pages 79-81) (Information about this is online.) [Note 21]
Some Christians believe that spirit guides are really demons. Other Christians believe that they are a self-hypnotic deception. Either way, they aren’t Christian, and they aren’t wholesome. This is a pagan practice that is associated with some pagan religions. The Bible warns us not to participate in pagan religious practices.
There is a reader called “Impressions” that is used in the second and third grades of some public schools. It teaches the students how to cast spells. One of the exercises is to pretend that some children have had a magician cast a spell on them. In order to help the children, it is necessary to reverse that spell. The students are told to write the spell that the magician used, and then write another spell to reverse it. Then they are told to chant their spells. By making them chant the spells, the teacher is requiring them to do role playing. They are taking on the role of a sorcerer or a witch. (You can read about this online.) [Note 22]
This exercise requires Christian students to act like witches or sorcerers. This is contrary to their religion, because the Bible strongly condemns witchcraft and sorcery. (See Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:9-13; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8) The exercise also promotes the Wiccan religion, which involves witchcraft, rituals, and spell casting. Wiccan rituals and spell casting can involve chanting.
Another “Impressions” exercise involves a story about a witch who goes shopping for items such as bats’ wings in a grocery store. Students are supposed to discuss spells before reading the story. After reading it, they are told to create a chant that is based on what the witch wanted to buy. Some Christian organizations believe that this will desensitize children to witchcraft and make it easier for them to become involved in such things later in life. They believe that the book promotes the acceptance of things that are contrary to Christian values. (This is online.) [Note 23]
Some school children have been taught to make “worry dolls” to ward off evil spirits, and to make representations of Hindu gods. One Earth Day assembly taught students that their mother is the earth and their father is the sun. Some schools teach children to perform Medicine Wheel ceremonies (a Native American ritual) and to use “dream catchers” as protection against evil spirits. Students are taught to do Native American ritual drumming and dancing. They are taught New Age teachings about crystals. (“Persecution,” pages 81-82)
This overtly promotes pagan religions. It also makes Christian children do things that are contrary to Christianity. The Bible tells us not to engage in pagan religious practices.
A school in Pennsylvania had children from the third to fifth grades act out the Aztec practice of ritual human sacrifice. A school in California taught children about the Day of the Dead (a pagan custom that is commonly practiced in Mexico) and encouraged them to participate in rituals, including making altars. (“Persecution,” pages 83-84)
Not only are these pagan practices, but they also glorify death. According to the Bible, death is an enemy. (See 1 Corinthians 15:26) In addition, participating in the enactment of human sacrifice desensitizes children to the horror of murder and the evil of human sacrifice.
Some public schools teach reincarnation. This is is contrary to Scripture. The Bible says that we die once (as opposed to being recycled) and then we are judged. (Hebrews 9:27)
One student said that death was portrayed as being glamorous and living was portrayed as being hard. She said that students were taught that reincarnation would solve their problems, because they would return in a better life form and eventually they would “become like God.” (“Persecution,” page 84)
I have watched children play video games where a good strategy for winning is to deliberately get your character killed so that he will come back into a better situation and in better condition (more strength, energy, “powers,” weapons, etc.). I have often wondered if doing that over and over and over might make an emotionally vulnerable child more susceptible to suicide.
Some public schools teach “death education.” Some even have a “suicide talking day.” On that day, students write suicide notes. They write their own obituaries and discuss what they will look like in their caskets. One student said that before “suicide talking day,” she never considered the possibility of suicide. After that day, she began to contemplate it. She thought that it would “liberate her spirit” so that it would no longer be “enslaved to her body.” In addition, it would help with the problem of global overpopulation. She said that the suicide training made her “brave enough” to commit suicide. (“Persecution,” pages 84-85)
Do remember Columbine High School in Little, Colorado, where two students shot a number of their classmates and then committed suicide? That occurred in 1999. Since 1985, Columbine has been teaching death education classes. In 1988, the “Atlantic Monthly” had an article about death education. It said that thousands of schools had the classes. Some of them only lasted a few days. Others took a full semester. In addition, many schools incorporated death education into other classes, including health, home-economics, social studies, and literature. In 1977, the National Education Association wrote a report saying that, just as sex education resulted in “wider acceptance” of a number of sexual practices, death education classes will radically change attitudes towards death. (“Persecution,” pages 84-86)
Earlier in this article I mentioned a teacher who called the Ten Commandments “hate literature.” Well, if you want students to feel free to engage in unbiblical sexual practices, and to see no problem with committing suicide, then the Ten Commandments are a hindrance to your agenda.
A school in Massachusetts had an unusually high rate of suicide. The death education teacher said that it would not necessarily be better to have fewer students kill themselves. (“Persecution,” page 86)
Wesley J. Smith wrote a book called, “Culture of Death” (Encounter Books, 2000). It is about modern bioethics and its impact on our society. There are “experts” in bioethics who actively promote death in various forms. These include “voluntary euthanasia” (killing patients who want to die, which is assisted suicide) and “involuntary euthanasia” (killing patients who have clearly said that they do not want to die, which is murder). It looks as if the bioethics approach towards suicide has influenced death education in our public schools.
In addition, there are some physicians who could be called “suicide evangelists.” Dr. Kevorkian is well known, but there are others. One physician in Australia promotes suicide for teenagers. I have an article called “Deadly Downhill Slide” that discusses these things. It includes links to articles by Wesley J. Smith. The “Recommended Reading” section of this paper gives information about it.
Some popular sex education books include graphic pictures of sexual acts. Not many years ago, these pictures which would have been condemned as pornography. The books promote homosexuality. They teach children how to perform the kinds of sexual acts that are done by gays and lesbians. Some sex education books also say that it is normal to have sex with animals. (You can read about this online.) [Note 24] Such things are obviously contrary to Christian morality.
Values clarification is a technique for getting school children to make moral decisions that conflict with Christian values. It denies the reality of good and evil. It often manipulates children into making a decision between two morally wrong choices. One prominent educator has openly stated that the purpose of values clarification is to change the moral values of school children in a way that protects teachers from “getting caught.” In other words, the name of the game is to systematically destroy moral values that are based on Christianity. (You can read about this online.) [Note 25]
Goddess worship is being promoted in publicly funded, accredited colleges and universities. Some nursing school textbooks overtly promote goddess worship. Nursing schools also teach New Age practices. For example, “therapeutic touch” (passing one’s hands above a patient’s body in order to manipulate auras and energy-fields) has reportedly been taught to thousands of nurses in 80 North American nursing programs. [Note 26]
Wicca has brought back the ancient pagan practice of worshiping pagan goddesses. This pagan religious practice is condemned in the Bible. (See Jeremiah 7:16-18.) Schools that teach goddess worship are openly promoting the Wiccan religion.
DRIVING WEDGES BETWEEN
CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS
A high school health textbook encourages students to “test” their “ability to function sexually.” It recommends doing this in early teenage years, with children of the same sex. It tells students that they might come to the conclusion that growing up means rejecting their parents’ values. There have been reports that students are not allowed to take this health textbook home with them. (“Persecution,” page 78)
Students were required to sit through a full week of school assemblies about “homophobia.” Parents were not told about the assemblies. (“Persecution,” page 78)
In one school, classes about sexual harassment were substituted for algebra classes for four days. A student’s parent had the student removed from the class. The teacher urged the student to attend the class in spite of the parent’s objections. The teacher said that the child’s parents “don’t have to know.” (“Persecution,” page 78)
An eighth grade student told his teacher that “health” materials that were given to the class were against the beliefs of his parents. The teacher told the student to inform him if the parents caused any problems. The teacher said that he would “handle them” (the parents). (“Persecution,” pages 78-79)
I have a friend who is a high school teacher. He is a member of the National Education Association. He told me that the NEA sent its members information about how to “handle” Christian parents who object to what their children are being taught in school.
A survey was made of college professors in 1988. Nearly a third of them said that Evangelical Christians are a “threat to democracy.” Many philosophy teachers advocate atheism. Some students say that their religion was ridiculed during class. One biology professor refused to recommend students for medical school unless they believed in evolution. (Understanding it was not sufficient. They had to say that they believed it.) College professors have lost their jobs because they told students that there are some flaws in the theory of evolution. (“Persecution,” pages 111-118)
One teacher had educational material that included publications saying that Christians and conservatives are subjected to censorship and intimidation in the education establishment. This material was available, but students were not required to read it. The professor made a point of telling them that it was optional. His school administration demonstrated that his educational material made accurate statements. They forced him to stop using those materials. In other words, they censored the conservative viewpoint. Evidently, “tolerance” is a one-way street. It is not used when dealing with Christians and conservatives. (“Persecution,” pages 118-119)
In 1999, a student at Temple University learned that the play “Corpus Christi” was going to be performed. That play portrays Jesus as a homosexual who is sexually involved with his disciples. The student decided to organize a Christian event as an alternative. It included gospel singers and “Final Destiny” (a play about the life of Jesus). The university allowed “Corpus Christi” but refused to allow “Final Destiny.” (“Persecution,” pages 121-122)
Ron Brown was assistant football coach at Stanford University. He was denied the head coaching job because of his Christian beliefs. School administrators openly told him that he was not acceptable because of his beliefs. A Christian student received a scholarship. However, when the college learned that he planned to major in religion and philosophy, he was told that scholarship grants are not given to religion students. (“Persecution,” pages 122-124)
Christian clubs have been denied permission to meet on school grounds because of their religious beliefs. At Rutgers University, a Christian group was told that it was guilty of discrimination because it required its officers to be Christians. At Tufts University, a Christian club was punished because it wouldn’t allow a bisexual to be a leader in the Christian club. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sent threatening letters to 17 Christian groups, threatening to cut off financial support for them unless they did things that compromised their Christian beliefs. (“Persecution,” pages 124-126)
Most universities have speech codes. There are hundreds of cases where professors or students were punished by university authorities for expressing views that were deemed to be politically incorrect. Sometimes they were punished for not saying anything at all. In one case, a residential advisor was fired for not wearing a pink triangle during “gay and lesbian training.” (The pink triangle symbolizes the gay lifestyle.) (“Persecution,” pages 133-134)
I have read that students have been punished for using terms such as “husband,” “wife,” “girlfriend,” or “boyfriend” because they are considered to be an implied criticism of homosexuality. However, I did not keep that information, and I no longer have any written source materials about it.
Although speech reflecting Christian values is taboo, pornography is openly promoted. Some colleges have classes based on pornography. One college course required students to produce a “work of pornography.” James Madison University had a “SexFest.” (“Persecution,” pages 132-133)
OTHER FORMS OF PERSECUTION
A former teacher is a motivational speaker who encourages students to avoid drugs and other destructive behavior. He was not allowed to speak to the students because he is a Christian. The presentation was strictly secular, and he had made over 200 similar talks without mentioning religion, but he was rejected because he was a Christian. When one school cancelled his presentation, others followed its example and also cancelled. (“Persecution,” page 39)
An employee was fired for wearing a necklace with a cross. She was ordered to hide the cross under her clothing because some customers might consider it to be offensive. When she refused, she was fired. (“Persecution,” page 233)
Disney World has had Sunday services for visitors since 1975. It stopped having them. It also instituted an annual “Gay Day.” Kodak had a “Coming Out Day” for homosexuals. When a Christian employee protested, he was fired. Motorola has mandatory “homophobia” workshops and homosexual sex education classes. Sandia National Laboratories gave its employees two days of “diversity training.” It has an annual “Coming Out Day” that to celebrate sexual diversity. Married employees were told to get rid of pictures of their wives and children in order to avoid offending homosexual employees. (“Persecution,” pages 226-233)
Some municipalities are using zoning laws to keep churches out of communities. Churches have even been ordered to leave areas that are zoned for churches. For example, Refuge is an inner-city church in St. Petersburg, Florida. It ministers to poor and needy people. Zoning said that, because of that, it is a social service agency and not a church. They required the church members to abandon their church building, because the area is not zoned for social service agencies. (“Persecution,” pages 205-207)
A church in Portland, Oregon provided meals for low-income families and homeless people. The local government ordered it to stop providing meals. It ordered the church not to have more than 70 people attend services (even on Sunday). And it placed restrictions on evening Bible classes and other church activities. (“Persecution,” page 207)
Zoning laws are also used to prevent Christians from having Bible studies and prayer meetings in their homes. A couple in Marietta, Georgia had a weekly Bible study for six to eight people. Guests parked in their driveway, so they did not take up parking space that was needed by neighbors. The meetings were not noisy. The city government told the couple that they were “operating a church” and ordered them to stop the Bible study. In Onalaska, Wisconsin, the zoning board ordered a couple to have their weekly Bible study (which only had seven people) meet once a month instead of every week. (“Persecution,” pages 209-210)
A church in Hollywood, California had a church member who disrupted church services. The church terminated her membership and told her not to come into the church. She kept coming and disrupting the services. She shouted at members of the congregation, blocked entrances to the church, and ripped religious literature off of the church walls. The church applied for an injunction to bar the woman from coming to church services. The court refused. It said that she had a right to exercise freedom of speech. The church went to court three times, and then went to the District Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals ruled to allow the church to decide who could be on its property. (“Persecution,” pages 212-213)
I’m glad that the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the church. But another Court of Appeals somewhere else might rule the other way in a similar situation. Churches should not be at the mercy of the courts in deciding who can attend their services. That gives the government too much power over them. In addition, there is a financial hardship. How many churches can afford to go to court four times because of one disruptive person?
NEW AGE vs. CHRISTIANS
New Age teachings have infiltrated Christian churches. This weakens the churches and confuses the people. Many things could be said about this, but I will only discuss one aspect of it, namely, goddess worship.
I will also discuss some New Age things that have the potential to contribute to the persecution of Christians.
The following information comes from Philip G. Davis, “Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality” (Spence Publishing Company, 1998).
In November 1993, a Re-Imagining Conference was held in Minneapolis. Most of the 2,000 participants were women. It was an ecumenical church conference attended by Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Roman Catholics, and members of almost a dozen other denominations. They invoked Sophia, the goddess of Wisdom, calling her their Creator. Prayers and liturgies were addressed to this goddess. Communion consisted of milk and honey instead of bread and wine. They openly rejected the doctrines of the incarnation and the atonement. Christian lesbians were applauded for coming out of the closet. “Sex among friends” was encouraged as being normal. This conference was initiated by, sponsored by, and attended by representatives of the major American churches. (“Goddess Unmasked,” pages 3-4, 28-29) (You can read about this online.) [Note 27]
Neopagan and Wiccan themes are amazingly prominent within older religious establishments. One reason for this is the quest for “inclusive” language and the attempt to apply more female imagery to God. Liturgy reform and revised hymnals have featured feminine imagery and metaphors for God the Mother. (“Goddess Unmasked,” pages 24-25, 27)
The Unitarian-Universalist church developed a workshop on feminism that encourages goddess worship and even endorses witchcraft. This workshop is called “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven. ” It has been circulated through the major denominations and adopted for use in many mainstream churches. (“Goddess Unmasked,” pages 24-25) The following quotation from Jeremiah gives God’s perspective on this:
“Do you not see what they are doing in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? The children gather wood, the fathers light the fire, and the women knead the dough and make cakes of bread for the Queen of Heaven. They pour out drink offerings to other gods to provoke me to anger.” (Jeremiah 7:16-18, emphasis added)
A Canadian television station ran a five-part series entitled “Return of the Goddess,” which introduced many people to goddess worship. The National Film Board of Canada produced “Goddess Remembered,” which became one of their most popular productions ever, being featured by public broadcasting TV stations in the United States as well as in Canada. “Cakes for the Queen of Heaven” and “Goddess Remembered” have become staples for study groups in some major denominations. (“Goddess Unmasked,” pages 25-27)
New Agers are, of course, free to believe and worship as they choose. However, some New Agers have expressed themselves in terms of eliminating people who do not accept their views. That concerns me. It could eventually contribute to serious persecution of Christians.
According to some New Age leaders, a “cleansing” must occur before the New Age can be fully established. People who are not willing or able to participate in the New Age will be eliminated. Sources of “negative energy” (resistance to New Age doctrines and practices) will be purged. This will involve huge numbers of people.
Jon Klimo says that channeled communications from “spirit guides” agree that there will be a “painful upheaval.” There is an “impending destruction” that must precede the coming of the New Age. The world must overcome the resistance of millions, or even billions, of people who have “entrenched belief systems” that are contrary to the New Age. [Note 28]
That description includes Christians.
William Irwin Thompson says that the goddess Gaia will emasculate “old gods.” [Note 29]
Gaia is the Earth goddess. Celebrations of Earth Day have become widespread. Schools can use them to teach children that the Earth (Gaia) is their mother. This can cause confusion for Christian children who have been taught that they are children of God (as opposed to being children of the Earth goddess).
Shirley MacLaine says that there will be a “giant cleanup.” Many people will not be able to participate when an “onslaught of the New Age energy” comes. If they insist on “remaining stuck in the old ideas” then they will be caught in “destructive energy.” [Note 30]
David Spangler has a spirit guide who told him that there will be an “interim destructive period” before the modern New Age is established. Anything that is contrary to the New Age will “disintegrate” and “disappear.” New energies will “shatter” any resistance. [Note 31]
Lafferty and Howell say that there is a “time of opportunity” for people who are willing to take it. If people are unwilling, then “Earth is unsuitable for them” and they will “go on to other worlds.” [Note 32]
John Randolph Price has a spirit guide who told him that there is a “force of negative energy” that must be eliminated in order for the New Age to flourish. Accomplishing this will require “wiping more than 2-billion people off the face of the earth.” [Note 33]
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are religions that cannot incorporate New Age beliefs without destroying their identity. Those three groups represent about 2 billion people.
One spirit guide said that he and other spirits have to oppose a “gigantic system” that has developed for centuries. They have to destroy a system of “falsity” that is “built up upon the foundation of creeds.” [Note 34]
Christianity speaks of “creeds.” I am not aware of any other religion that does.
Alice Bailey has a spirit guide who says that the United Nations should have all of the world’s nuclear weapons. It should use those weapons against “aggressive action” from nations or “any powerful religious organization.” According to Alice Bailey, there is a “war to be waged in the field of world religion.” [Note 35]
William Irwin Thompson says that “religious warfare will continue.” He says that developing a “new planetary culture” will not happen peacefully. [Note 36]
What would happen if people with these kinds of views gain significant political power?
What happens if you combine these views with widespread death education in our public schools? Many students have been taught that when people die, they always come back as a better life form. As a result, they could feel that killing people is good for them, because they will come back to a better life. Instead of feeling guilty about killing Christians, they might feel virtuous about it.
In addition, movies are becoming more violent, and special effects make the gore more graphic. This can desensitize people to violence. In addition, some video games involve killing people, with graphically gory results. Because this action is repeated over and over, it can become a form of role playing. It can get children used to the idea of killing people.
Before Hitler came to power, the German people had a democracy. There was a day when the Germans went to bed as a free people. When they woke up next morning, they found out that Hitler was in power. Then they gradually learned what that meant in practical terms. If that could happen to the Germans, then it can happen to anybody. Americans are not immune. We need to be vigilant. And we need to pray.
GAY ACTIVISTS vs. CHRISTIANS
In February 1987, Michael Swift (a prominent American gay activist) published a homosexual manifesto in the “Gay Community News.” His statement was published in the U.S. “Congressional Record.” His objectives included having people be afraid to criticize homosexuality, and having churches that oppose homosexuality be closed. (You can read about this online.) [Note 37]
Religious freedom can conflict with “homosexual rights.” For example, a lesbian wanted to be artificially inseminated. Two gynecologists (colleagues) refused to inseminate her because of their religious convictions. The lesbian sued the doctors, claiming discrimination. (“Persecution,” pages 245-246)
Homosexual activists are calling for a “showdown with religion.” A professor at Princeton University says that religious freedom is a “challenge” for the homosexual agenda, and therefore people should consider limiting religious freedom. [Note 38]
An article in the homosexual magazine, “Echo,” equates “religious fanatics” with terrorists. It says that a Christian ministry that supports family values is “Arizona’s own Taliban.” It says that, after taking care of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist cells overseas, we [the homosexual readers of the magazine] need to “focus on the religious zealots here.” [Note 39]
It requires violence (military warfare) to deal with the Taliban overseas. The wording of this statement sounds like a rallying cry for radical homosexual groups to do radical (and possibly violent) things. There are precedents. You will read about one of them in the next section of this article.
Homosexual demonstrations against Christians have included people chanting: “Bring back the lions!” This refers to the persecution of the early Christians by the Romans. Many Christians were fed to the lions for public entertainment. The Circus Maximus (Circus of Nero) was known for that. There have also been chants of “Crush the Christians!” [Note 40]
This kind of statement is a call for serious persecution of Christians.
VIOLENCE AGAINST CHRISTIANS
Chuck McIlhenny is a pastor in San Francisco. He discovered that the church organist was a practicing homosexual. This ongoing sexual behavior was contrary to the church’s religious beliefs. The pastor fired the organist. As a result, Pastor McIlhenny and his wife Donna faced years of lawsuits. They received thousands of threatening phone calls, at all hours of the day and night. These included death threats, and threats of raping their three young daughters. Their church was repeatedly vandalized and then set on fire. Their home was set on fire in the middle of the night, while they were sleeping. A fire bomb was used, and the fire spread rapidly. The family barely escaped in time to save their lives. (You can read about this online.) [Note 41]
There have been some cases where American Christians were killed for their faith. These are genuine martyrs. (Don’t let Islamic suicide-murderers steal the word “martyr” from our vocabulary. Remember what it really means.)
On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shot and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher, and wounded 23 other people. They also killed themselves. They asked three Christian girls if they believed in God, and killed them when they said “Yes”. The girls were Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott, and Valeen Schnurr. Rachel had shared her Christian faith with the boys several weeks earlier. Some classmates overheard the conversation. The boys made a video in which they cursed Jesus Christ and cursed Christians. They singled Rachel Scott out for an insulting tirade, mocking her by name. (You can read about this online.) [Note 42]
On September 15, 1999, there was a rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. A gunman entered the church and methodically shot Christians who were attending the service, and then shot himself. Seven people died and others were critically wounded. The gunman was shouting, cursing Christianity and cursing the Christians for believing it. The FBI found anti-Christian writings in his home. (This is online.) [Note 43]
So far, these cases have been few and far between. But there is a lot of anti-Christian indoctrination going on in our schools. That could eventually result in more frequent–and more serious–attacks against Christians.
SOME SOURCES OF PERSECUTION
One of the ways by which persecution is spreading is by means of radical homosexual activists. This is a small group of well-funded, highly-motivated, well-organized people who have significant political influence.
This threat to religious freedom has been studied by Alan Sears, who is the president of the Alliance Defense Fund (a legal organization that defends freedom of religion and other traditional moral values). Alan Sears and Craig Osten wrote a book called, “The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today” (Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003).
Sears and Osten have some well-documented information about the area that they researched, and its influence on our laws. However, there are also other activists who threaten our religious freedom. They include militant atheists, militant Wiccans, militant socialists, and militant Muslims.
“Hate crimes” laws in Canada have enabled homosexuals to successfully prosecute Christians for saying what the Bible says about homosexuality. Christians have also been prosecuted for not promoting homosexuality. For documented information about this, see my paper, “Religious Thought Police.” Look for the section with the title, “Canada.” (Information is given in the “Recommended Reading” section of this paper.)
In America, some politicians are pushing for stronger “hate crimes” laws that include “sexual orientation.” Some people are also pushing for “hate speech” laws. That would make it easier to effectively prosecute Christians for saying what the Bible says about homosexuality. But it doesn’t stop there. Sexual orientation involves more than homosexuality vs. normal sexuality.
Adultery has become widespread in our society. It is condemned by the Bible. It could become a “hate crime” to say that adultery is sinful, or to quote what the Bible says about it.
An American psychologist wrote a book about bestiality (people having sex with animals). The book is, “Understanding Bestiality and Zoophilia” by Dr. Hani Miletski. It says that people who practice bestiality are misunderstood. It discusses at length whether or not the term “sexual orientation” should be applied to bestiality. That would give people who practice bestiality the same rights and protections as homosexuals. [Note 44]
Some popular sex education books tell children that it is normal to have sex with animals. Bestiality is being taught to children in public schools. [Note 45]
On May 19, 2003, the American Psychiatric Association met to debate whether or not to stop classifying the following sexual behaviors as mental illnesses: pedophilia (adults having sex with children), sadomasochism (getting sexual pleasure from causing or experiencing pain), transvestitism (men dressing like women), fetishism (having sexual fetishes), exhibitionism (publicly exposing sexual organs, or having sex in public), and voyeurism (“peeping Toms”). The APA is seriously considering “normalizing” these sexual behaviors. If it does, then laws prohibiting such behavior are likely to be challenged by activists who are working to promote “sexual freedom.” [Note 46]
Pedophiles are adults who have sex with children or young adolescents. This frequently involves rape, seduction, or abuse of authority. Some people want pedophilia to be included in the legal term “sexual orientation.” That would give pedophiles the same rights and protections as homosexuals. [Note 47]
If pedophilia becomes legally included in the term “sexual orientation,” then it would become a hate crime to speak against it. Our children would no longer have legal protection against pedophiles.
Wicca is a religion based on witchcraft. It involves nature worship, goddess worship, rituals, and spells. It is the fastest growing religion in the United States. Some sources say that its membership doubles every 2½ years. It has been estimated that by 2012, Wicca will be the third largest religion in America. Its main means of proselytizing is the Internet, and it is especially attractive to teenagers. [Note 48]
Wicca is officially recognized by the United States government. It is a tax-exempt religion. It has ordained “ministers” who perform weddings and funerals. There are Wiccan “chaplains” in the military and in prisons. [Note 49]
The Bible strongly condemns witchcraft. It says that people who practice it will wind up in the lake of fire. (Exodus 22:18; Deuteronomy 18:9-13; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8) Hate speech laws would enable Wiccans to prosecute Christians who speak against witchcraft, or quote what the Bible says about it.
Australia has “anti-vilification” laws. (“Vilification” means to say bad things about someone. In America, we would use the term “hate speech.”) In March, 2002, two pastors in Melbourne, Australia, gave a seminar on Islam. One of the pastors (Daniel Scott) is so fluent in Arabic that he has translated the Koran from Arabic. He is an authority in Islamic studies. Three Islamic Australians attended the conference and took notes. The Islamic Council of Victoria charged the two pastors with violating the anti-vilification laws. Audio cassette recordings of the seminar proved that the notes of the Muslim attendees were distorted and inaccurate. What Pastor Daniel taught about Islam comes from the Koran and the Hadith (the holy books of Islam). It is well documented. However, under the anti-vilification laws, the fact that a statement is true is not a valid defense. The primary consideration is whether or not the people believe that they were vilified. [Note 50]
The anti-vilification laws are not used to protect Christians. Exhibits of blasphemous “art work” are allowed. Blasphemous plays are allowed. Blasphemous pornography is allowed on the Internet. Gay Pride Parades traditionally have floats and demonstrations that mock Christianity. These things are defended as “free speech” in the name of art. Australia even has a “Jesus Sex Church.” That is obviously a mockery of Christianity. That is vilification, but it is allowed.
So anti-vilification laws are a one-way street. They are used selectively. They are used against Christians, but they are not to protect Christians. They are used to give secular politicians more control over Christian Churches. They are used to enable other religions to make life more difficult for Christians.
If America ever adopts laws against “hate speech,” I would expect the same thing to happen here. It would become a crime for Christians to publicly say that the Bible condemns witchcraft. But blasphemous plays like “Corpus Christi” would continue to be performed. (It portrays Jesus Christ as being a homosexual who had sexual relations with his disciples. There has been talk of making “Corpus Christi” into a movie.)
In Australia, some pastors report that people are coming to church services, not to participate, but to take notes, in order to see if they can find a basis for charging the pastors with hate crimes. [Note 51]
The cancer of persecution has progressed further in Australia than it has in America. But we are not immune. If we are not vigilant, it could happen here.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
The mighty men of David were skillful in fighting with both their right hands and their left hands. (1 Chronicles 12:2) We can do something similar. We can fight in two different ways at the same time. For example, if a government official tries to close down a church, then the church can fight in the law courts. It can also fight on its knees, with prayer and fasting.
We can ask God to give us wisdom and strategies. For example, if you want to have a Bible study at your home, ask people to car pool so that there won’t be many cars. That way, the neighbors won’t be as likely to notice and complain to the authorities. You can also take turns meeting at different people’s homes. That way, neighbors won’t see visitors at your home every week, on the same night of the week. You can even change the meeting days, so that one week you meet on Monday and another week you meet on Thursday. That way, there is less of a pattern for other people to notice. We need to learn to be creative and flexible.
We will need to strengthen our “forgiveness muscles.” According to the Bible, forgiveness is not optional. We have to do it if we want to be faithful to Jesus and obedient to His Word. We have to avoid bitterness at any cost, because it is deadly and it is contageous. It is caused by failure to cooperate with God’s grace, and it results in defiling other people. The Bible says:
“Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15)
George Washington Carver was born in 1864. Shortly before he was born, his father was killed in an accident. When he was still an infant, his mother was kidnapped by slave raiders and she was never seen again. Was Carver bitter? No. He said:
“I will not give any man the power to make me hate him.” (George Washington Carver)
Forgiveness is not easy, and it does not come naturally. We have to crucify our flesh in order to do it. We may have to ask God to change our hearts and enable us to do it. Sometimes forgiveness requires perseverence and continued prayer. Sometimes it is a process, like working your way through the layers of an onion.
The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith. This was immediately after Jesus had told them that they had to keep on forgiving their brothers. It is in that context that Jesus said that if we have faith like a mustard seed, we can command a tree to be uprooted and thrown into the sea. (Luke 17:1-6)
What kind of things will we need to uproot? During persecution, we will need to uproot fear and anger and bitterness. We may need to uproot paralyzing emotions and traumatic memories. Jesus promised that if we have faith in Him (even small faith, like a mustard seed), then He will enable us to get rid of these things.
(I wrote an article about forgiveness. Information is given in the “Recommended Reading” section of this paper.)
We need to built up our faith by reading Scripture and having it become more and more a part of our daily lives. Scripture should be our compass, our plumb line, our constant reference point for daily living. It needs to become a living part of us, like a branch that is grafted into a tree. (See James 1:21)
We need to strengthen our personal relationship with God. This can be done through prayer, worship, and obedience to God’s Word. We can ask God to help us love Him more, understand Him better, and have a more obedient heart.
There is a Biblical principle of sowing and reaping. The Bible says that we will reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7) If we want to have people stand with us, to pray for us, and to strengthen and encourage us, then we should develop the habit of doing that for other believers. One good way to do that is to get the newsletter of Open Doors, which ministers to persecuted Christians all over the world. (Several ministries help persecuted Christians. This one seems to be exceptionally effective.) As we read about our persecuted brothers and sisters in other parts of the world, we can pray for them. We can also help them get Bibles and other materials. Open Doors has couriers who risk their lives to deliver Bibles to Christians in countries where there is severe persecution.
Do you remember when Russia invaded Hungary? People were getting out of Hungary as fast as they could. But Brother Andrew (the founder of Open Doors) went into Hungary, with a car full of Russian Bibles. He gave them to Hungarian Christians. The Hungarian Christians went up to the Russian soldiers with a flower in one hand (as a sign of peace) and a Bible in their other hand. They gave the Bibles to the Russian soldiers. The Bibles had such a profound effect on the soldiers that the Russian government called them back to Russia and sent replacement troops to Hungary.
It would be helpful to get to know our persecuted brothers and sisters, to see their courage and learn about their practical strategies for handling difficult situations. The website of Open Doors has an online store with books. Some of them are written by persecuted Christians. It also has videos. Some of them have interviews with persecuted Christians.
Persecution will give us a greater understanding of the Bible. Jesus and the Apostles were persecuted. The New Testament was written by persecuted Christians. It was written to Christians who were being persecuted. Jesus told us:
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12)
God promised to make everything work for our good if we love Him. (Romans 8:28) He is able to keep us from falling. (Jude 1:24) What the world means for evil, God can use for good. (Genesis 50:20)
The Church in China is an example of this. Mao Zedong destroyed churches, burned Bibles, and put pastors in prison. The Christians went underground and became stronger. In the late 1970s, there were 2 million Christians in China. Now there are over 60 million Christians. Mao’s efforts to destroy the Church were used by God to build, strengthen, and purify the Church.
Our God is faithful, and His love is so great that we cannot comprehend it.
David Limbaugh, “Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity” (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 2003).
Alan Sears and Craig Osten, “The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today” (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2003).
Wesley J. Smith, “Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America” (San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books, 2000).
“Religious Thought Police” (my article)
“A Deadly Downlhill Slide” (my article)
“Forgiveness” (my article). If you go to the home page, there are some others articles to strengthen and encourage Christians.
Open Doors (a ministry that helps persecuted Christians around the world)
“Seeds of Persecution.” At the top of the page there are links to other web pages about persecution.
USE OF THIS ARTICLE
I encourage you to quote from this article, copy it, put it on your website, or publish it. Please help get the word out. Christians need to know about this.
1. A Wisconsin Prison has hired a Wiccan “chaplain” who calls herself Rev. Witch.
http://www.madison.com/wisconsinstatejournal/local/8446.html http://www.100megsfree4.com/farshores/pchap.htm http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec01/witch06120501a.asp http://www.jsonline.com/news/state/dec01/3593.asp
2. A federal court ruled that Virginia Military Institute can no longer have a nondenominational prayer before meals.
http://www.ncfpc.org/stories/030429s1.html http://charleston.net/stories/051303/wor_13vmi.shtml http://george.loper.org/~george/archives/2003/May/905.html http://www.nljonline.com/sept03/vmi_prayer.htm http://www.boundless.org/2001/features/a0000545.html http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/11/22/171707.shtml http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26206 http://www.aclj.org/news_focus/nf_010418_vmi_meal_prayer.asp http://www.townhall.com/columnists/terencejeffrey/tj20030521.shtml http://www.inthedays.com/articles.php?articleId=344
Three judges made the original decision. There was an appeal to have the full court reconsider the case. The court has refused to reconsider the case.
3. There is concern that the ACLU will continue to sue military academies. They could even try to prevent chaplains on aircraft carriers from praying with military pilots who are about to fly into dangerous situations.
The Supreme Court will take this case.
http://www.channelone.com/common/notfound/index.html http://www.wcco.com/topstories/topstories_story_287111321.html http://www.msnbc.com/news/980091.asp?0cv=CA01 http://www.kidzworld.com/site/p2267.htm
4. A fourth-grade student was ridiculed, disciplined, and put into detention for a week because he prayed before meals in the school cafeteria.
http://www.holysmoke.org/hs00/gingrich.htm http://www.anncoulter.org/columns/2003/092403.htm http://www.christianinformer.org/jimmyray.htm http://www.townhall.com/columnists/anncoulter/ac20030925.shtml
5. A kindergarten student was ordered not to say grace before meals. She was used to saying, out loud, “God is great. God is good. And we thank Him for this food.” Finally, after her parents sued the school, she was allowed to pray.
6. Two girls in middle school were told that their Bibles are “garbage.” The teacher threw the Bibles into the trash can, and took the girls to the principal’s office. Three students at the same school had school books with the Ten Commandments on the covers. School officials threw the book covers into the trash, saying that the Ten Commandments are “hate speech.”
7. A federal judge in Texas said that any student who uses the word “Jesus” during the school’s graduation ceremonies will be arrested and sent to jail.
This article has an extensive quotation from the judge. Search for “Jesus” in this article. [Hit CTRL + F. Type “Jesus” and then hit ENTER.]
This article has brief summaries of cases where Christian students have been persecuted. To find the information about the school in Texas, search for “Jesus.”
8. A California court has forbidden the public use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
9. There is a lawsuit to prevent Congress from having paid chaplains.
http://www.townhall.com/columnists/billoreilly/bo20020706.shtml http://thomas.senate.gov/html/pr5094.html http://classicliberal.tripod.com/misc/hannity.html http://www.thesandiegochannel.com/news/1642562/detail.html http://www.wash.org/pr04sep02.html
10. John Dunphy, “A Religion for A New Age,” in “The Humanist” (January/February 1983). Quotations from this article are online.
This has the quotation from Dunphy. It also has eye-opening quotations from other secular humanists. I recommend that you read them all.
This has an extended quotation from Dunphy in the first paragraph.
“Secular Humanists Give Dunphy Another Platform.” This article is only one page. The quotation is about half-way down the page.
This has an extended quotation, along with information about other things. To quickly find the quotation, do a search for “John.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “John” and then hit ENTER.]
11. John Dunphy, “Dunphy Strikes Again,” in “Secular Humanist Bulletin” (Summer 1994). This article is discussed online, with extensive quotations, including a paragraph from “A Religion for A New Age.”
12. Quotations from humanists who say that public education will be used to replace Christianity with humanism.
Other quotations from humanists. They are contained in an article by a Christian who was shocked to discover that children who are raised in Christian families often do not share the religious and moral values of their parents. He discovered that the reason is humanist teaching in public schools.
This web page is campaign literature, but the quotes are valuable.
13. Humanism is a tax-exempt religious organization.
“The Courts Define Humanism As a Religion.” (An article written for humanists by a humanist.)
These articles are from humanist organizations. They contain statements that the organizations are tax exempt religious organizations. It takes time to skim an entire article to find the statement. You can do it more quickly if you do a search for “tax exempt” on the page. [Hit CTRL + F. Type “tax exempt” and then hit ENTER.]
Articles about the religious history of humanism, including citations from court cases. Originally humanism claimed to be a religion. It received tax-exempt status as a religion. When Christians said that teaching humanist beliefs in schools constitutes teaching a religion, then humanists started claiming that humanism is not a religion.
An online article about humanism in public schools. It says that humanism is the established religion of the United States, and public schools are the main vehicle for promoting it.
14. There are humanist “ministers” who have the same rights and privileges as Protestant ministers, Catholic priests, and rabbis.
http://www.hsof.org/ http://jrcm.faithweb.com/religion/i_school_religion.html http://humanists.net/hat/ http://aha-fw.freeyellow.com/minister.html http://www.lipsio.com/gainesvillehumanists/celebrant.htm http://www.portlandhumanists.org/celbrnts.html http://www.hsof.org/celebrants.htm
There is a “Church of Scientific Humanism”
There is a “Church of Spiritual Humanism” that ordains ministers.
15. In 1961, the Supreme Court declared that humanism is a secular religion. The following article has a fairly long quotation from the Court.
16. These quotations are on the website of a man who is running for the Texas House of Representatives. He supports home schooling.
17. Dr. Chester M. Pierce said that American are “insane” because they are loyal to America, to their parents, and to their belief in God. You can read his statement at the following websites. These articles begin with that quotation. One of the articles is on the website of a man who is running for the Texas House of Representatives.
This article has a number of good quotations. Pierce’s quotation is the third one.
This article has many quotations. Do a search for “Pierce.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “Pierce” and then hit ENTER.]
The second quotation in this article states that in order to rapidly change society, it is necessary to create a “chasm” between parents and their children, because parental authority resists radical social change. It also has the quotation from Dr. Pierce. (Do a search for “Pierce.”)
Do a search for “Pierce” to find the quotation.
18. Paul Brandwein is a leading child psychologist. He said that every child who believes in God is mentally ill. The first website is the campaign site of a man who is running for the Texas House of Representatives. He supports home schooling.
I I have divided this address into two sections because of its width.
19. In the U.S.S.R., Christians were sent to mental hospitals because of their faith. I learned about this from newsletters from Christian ministries that help persecuted Christians. I read about one Christian man who was given drugs that damaged his mind so much that he was unable to remember his own name. Below are some internet articles about Christians being forcibly committed to mental hospitals to be “cured” of the “mental illness” of believing in God.
This article tells of Soviet Christians who were sent to mental hospitals. One man was there for 25 years because he refused to denounce his faith.
Look for the heading “Soviet Persecution of Christians.” It is near the top of the page. It says that Christians were sent to mental hospitals for believing in God, and they were given drugs which turned them into “vegetables.”
A short article about the persecution of Christians in the Soviet Union. It mentions that religion was classified as a mental illness, and Christians were sent to mental hospitals.
I have divided this address into two sections because of its width.
This article only mentions the mental hospitals briefly. It is about half way through the article.
20. Communist China is putting people into mental hospitals because of their religion. Some of these people are tortured in the hospitals.
Articles from Falun Gong websites. They mention that members of the Falun Gong and other religious groups (including Christians) are being put into mental hospitals because of their religion. Some of them are being tortured in the hospitals. People who are political dissidents (politically incorrect) are also being put into mental hospitals.
An article by Human Rights Watch. If the first link doesn’t work, go to the second one and click on “Preface.” That will give you the entire document. This article mentions the Falun Gong but fails to mention Christians. However, according to two Falun Gong websites (above), Christians are also considered to be “religious dissidents” and they are also locked up in mental hospitals. The article says that the reason why these people were brought to the mental hospitals for evaluation is that they expressed views which “offended the political sensitivities” of the Communists. Since Communists are atheists, Christianity offends them.
An article about modern persecution of Christians. It also mentions the persecution of the Falun Gong in China, and the fact that China forcibly commits people to mental hospitals because of their religion.
I have divided this address into two sections because of its width.
These articles mention “dissidents” and “nonconformists” but don’t specifically mention Christians. However, Christians are nonconformists in a Communist society because they believe in God, and because their primary loyalty is to God rather than to the state.
21. This article has information about the curriculum that uses Pumsey the Dragon. Before looking for it, please read the first five paragraphs of the article. Paragraphs 2-5 have some very important information about public education and New Age indoctrination, with informative quotations from secular humanists and New Agers. To find information about Pumsey the Dragon, do a search for “Pumsey.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “Pumsey” and then hit ENTER.]
22. This article is about Halloween. It also discusses occultism in public schools. To find the information about the “Impressions” curriculum, do a search for “chant.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “chant” and then hit ENTER.]
23. The “Impressions” reader is being used in second and third grade classes. It has children discuss spells and create chants.
Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America are concerned about the “Impressions” reader. Some Christian parents are objecting to it. This article is written by people who are opposed to the “religious right.” It is on the website of an organization that promotes “diversity” (including gay rights) and seems to equate Bible-believing Christians with hatred and prejudice.
24. Information about sex education, with descriptions of books
How American sex education changed from teaching students about hygiene to advocating sexual promiscuity and homosexuality. The first article is an overview by a newspaper commentator. Some of the other articles are longer and more detailed.
http://home.att.net/~r.s.mccain/reisman.html http://users.bestweb.net/~russo/gayrevpfv.htm http://www.newswithviews.com/Blumenfeld/Samuel2.htm http://www.issues-views.com/index.php/sect/2004/article/2065 http://www.catholicdoctors.org.uk/CMQ/Indiv_Articles/kinsey_sex_fraud.htm
25. Values clarification denies the reality of good and evil. It gets school children to make decisions that are contrary to Christian morality.
This is an excellent article. I recommend printing pages 3 through 7. (The first two pages are a cover and table of contents.)
This is a good, comprehensive article. However, it is somewhat difficult to read in Adobe Acrobat. I recommend printing it. The article is only 7 pages long.
This article includes a quotation that states that the purpose of values clarification is to change the moral values of children in a way that protects teachers from “getting caught.” To find the statement, do a search for “Sidney Simon.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “Sidney Simon” and then hit ENTER.]
This article has some quotations from humanists about the use of public schools to indoctrinate children in humanism. It includes some information about values clarification.
Other articles about values clarification.
http://www.learn?usa.com/er002.htm http://straitway.org/2002/05052002.htm http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~dgs2/theories.pdf http://allanturner.com/clarifyingvalues.html http://www.crossroad.to/Books/YourChildNewAge/YCNA?3.htm http://www.crossroad.to/Books/YourChildNewAge/YCNA?4.htm http://www.catholic.net/rcc/Periodicals/Homiletic/2000?11/contini.html http://www.happinessonline.org/MoralDrift/p13.htm
26. Philip G. Davis, “Goddess Unmasked: The Rise of Neopagan Feminist Spirituality” (Dallas, Texas: Spence Publishing Company, 1998), pages 29-33. The author is a university professor who wrote this book because of his concern about Wiccan teaching at his university. This book can be ordered directly from the publisher (888?773?6782). It is also available through bookstores and Amazon.com.
27. A report on the 1993 Re-Imagining Conference.
A report (with photographs) of the 1998 Re-Imagining Conference.
Conference speakers undermined most of the foundational doctrines of Christianity.
The 1993 Re-Imagining Conference.
The 2000 Re-Imagining Conference.
28. Jon Klimo, “Channeling: Investigations on Receiving Information from Paranormal Sources” (Los Angeles, CA: Jeremy P. Tarcher, 1987), pages 160-161.
29. William Irwin Thompson, “Pacific Shift” (San Francisco, CA: Sierra Club Books, 1985), page 2.
30. Shirley MacLaine, “It’s All In The Playing” (New York, NY, Bantam Books, 1987), pages 136-137.
31. David Spangler, “Revelation, The Birth of a New Age” (San Francisco, CA, The Rainbow Bridge: 1976), pages 67, 85, 92.
32. LaVedi Lafferty and Bud Hollowell, “The Eternal Dance” (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1983), page 153.
33. John Randolph Price, “Practical Spirituality” (Austin TX: Quartus Books, 1985), pages 17-19.
34. Shirley McLaine, “It’s All in the Playing,” page 257. Quoted in Jon Klimo, “Channeling,” page 123.
35. Alice A. Bailey, “The Externalization of The Hierarchy” (Lucis Publishing Co., 1972) (first printing 1957), pages 548 and 453-454.
36. William Irwin Thompson, “Pacific Shift,” pages 36-37.
37. The homosexual agenda. This was originally published in the “Gay Community News.” Later it was published in the U.S. “Congressional Record.” The following quotations are taken from the U.S. “Congressional Record.”
Articles which have the entire quotation.
Articles with excerpts from the quotation. The first two begin with it; the last one ends with it.
38. Homosexual activists are calling for a showdown with religion.
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=33984 http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/printer?friendly.asp?ARTICLE_ID=33984 http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/2003/09?08?2003/insider/vo19no18_un.htm http://www.familyaction.org/Articles/article?pgs/militancy?homosexuals.htm http://www.leaderu.com/theology/wanderingshepherds.html http://www.galaxies.dns2go.com/a_liberal_agenda.htm http://www.investigatemagazine.com/_NEWSTALK/0000121d.htm http://www.citizenimpact.ca/sanctions_anti_gay.html
39. A homosexual magazine says that a Christian organization that supports traditional family values is “Arizona’s own Taliban.” It says that, after we have taken care of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist cells, we [the readers of the magazine] need to focus on “religious zealots.”
This web page has several articles. To find the right one, do a search for “Taliban.” [Hit CTRL + F, type “Taliban” and hit ENTER.]
40. Some of these articles have several stories. In that case, search the article for “lions.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “lions.” Hit ENTER.]
http://www.towardtradition.org/prold_gayactivists.htm http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/03?22?97/cover_1.asp http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/10?09?99/national_5.asp http://www.toobeautiful.org/sfe_901101.html http://freerepublic.com/focus/news/678064/posts http://family.org/cforum/citizenmag/features/a0009457.cfm http://www.otherside.net/rongreer.htm http://www.yesgod.org/body_fact_sheet__bigotry.html http://www.saintignatiuschurch.org/mm0100.html http://www.christianinconnect.com/despond.htm
An article that says it is time to consider banning Christians from America. It includes the statement, “Bring back the lions.”
41. Frank York, Chuck McIlhenny, and Donna McIlhenny, “When the Wicked Seize the City” (iUniverse.com, 2000). You can buy the book online at iUniverse. Search for the title of the book. Frank York helped Pastor McIlhenny and his wife write the book.
There is a website where you can buy a paper that is based on the book. Several papers are listed on this web page. Each one costs 50 cents plus postage and handling. You can find this paper by doing a search on the web page for “wicked.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “wicked.” Hit ENTER.]
An article describing one episode of homosexual mob violence against the church in 1993.
A statement by Pastor McIlhenny that shows his approach towards homosexuals. He considers them to be sinners that need to be saved–just like any other sinner.
An article about homosexual violence towards Christians. To read about the fire bombing of Pastor McIlhenny’s home, search for “fire.” [Hit CTRL + F. Type “fire.” Hit ENTER.] This article also mentions that homosexual mobs that attacked churches and Christians have shouted, “Bring back the lions!”
An article from a pro-life website. It is about violence against Christians. To find the information about the firebombing of Pastor McIlhenny’s home, search for “fire.”
Other articles that mention the firebombing of the pastor’s home. Search for “fire.”
42. Christian teenagers were shot at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.
http://www.thecolumbineredemption.com/ http://www.mcjonline.com/news/00/20000215e.htm http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14726 http://www.family.org/teenguys/breakmag/features/a0007575.html http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/shooting/0425rach2.shtml http://denver.rockymountainnews.com/shooting/0427bern5.shtml http://www.baptistfire.com/articles/other/cassie.shtml http://www.family.org/cforum/feature/a0012870.html
43. A gunman shot Christians at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas.
http://christianteens.about.com/library/weekly/aa091799.htm http://www.mcsm.org/bias.html http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp http://www.mediaresearch.org/bozellcolumns/newscolumn/1999/col19990923.asp http://www.layman.org/layman/news/news?around?church/politicians?don’t-count.htm http://www.probe.org/docs/c-shooting.html http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/hate_crime.htm http://secure.mediaresearch.org/news/cyberalert/1999/cyb19990917.html
44. An American psychologist wrote a book about bestiality. It discusses at length whether or not the term “sexual orientation” should be applied to bestiality.
45. An article about sex education that describes some popular sex education books. Some of them approve of bestiality and sadomasochism.
46. On May 19, 2003, the American Psychiatric Association had a symposium to debate whether or not to stop classifying the following things as mental illnesses: pedophilia, sadomasochism, transvestitism, fetishism, exhibitionism, and voyeurism.
47. Some people want pedophilia to be included in the legal term “sexual orientation.” That would give pedophiles the same rights and protections as homosexuals.
48. Wicca is the fastest growing religion in America.
http://www.catholicdoctors.org.uk/CMQ/Indiv_Articles/kinsey_sex_fraud.htm http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_nbr.htm http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_nbr.htm http://www.edunet.ie/resources/religioninfo/magic.html http://www.gospelcom.net/apologeticsindex/w03.html http://www.angelfire.com/realm2/occult_links/library_wicca.html http://members.cruzio.com/~thezoo/wicca2.htm
Wicca is attractive to teenagers, including ones from Christian homes.
49. Wicca is a tax-exempt religion.
There are ordained Wiccan ministers who perform weddings and funerals.
http://www.geocities.com/rev_pagan_minister/direct.html http://www.goddessmoon.org/Clergy/weddingshandfastings/officiant_listings.htm http://www.mysticgoddess.org/temple_of_mystic_light%20spiritual%20service.htm http://journey1.org/journey-intro.htm http://home.att.net/~macmorgan_design/cuew/li3.html http://home.att.net/~macmorgan_design/cuew/clergy.html http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec01/witch06120501a.asp http://home.att.net/~macmorgan_design/cuew/li1.html
There are Wiccan “chaplains” in the military. The following web pages have the “U.S. Army Chaplains’ Guide to Wicca.”
http://www.gate.net/~weaver/chaplain.html http://www.magicksrealm.f2s.com/handbook.html http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_usbk.htm http://www.waningmoon.com/guide/library/lib0002.shtml http://www.witchery.ca/wicca/handbook1.htm http://www.witchery.ca/wicca/handbook2.htm
50. Two Australian pastors gave a seminar about Islam. Local Muslims charged them with vilification (hate speech).
An article from Pastor Daniel Scott’s ministry. It describes his teaching ministry and tells how some people are trying to use Australia’s anti-vilification laws to silence him.
51. Some pastors in Australia report that people are attending church services to monitor what is said, in order to see if they can find a basis for charging the pastors with hate crimes.
“Freedom of Religion in Australia — Attacks on Christianity.” This report was presented to the Australian Parliament on June 20, 1999.
KC 001 11/19/2003