Is it right for our churches to start "selling out" to the fear of government persecution?
Our pastor, the founder of our small country church has ordered all signage taken down that identifies us as a church to any passers by. His fear is that with all of the "up coming persecution of Christians, ISIS, and government crackdowns" that we are just "asking for trouble" if we are identified as a Christian Church. Isn't this selling God out? Isn't this the same thing as someone threatening to kill us if we profess our faith in Jesus? All of these fears are pumped into his 85 year old head by people like Jim Bakker and other televangelists.
This is part of the culture of fear that I often see from the christian right. Christianity holds the majority of this country, with approximately 80% of people claiming to be Christian. No one is persecuting Christians. No one is threatening them or taking away their freedom of religion. No one is imprisoning them because of their faith. How can the majority claim persecution? It's absurd to me. You cannot claim both the "moral majority" and the "persecuted minority" card simultaneously. They're mutually exclusive. I live in an area where there's a church every few blocks. How exactly are they supposed to hide?
It has now become a world where some can speak their mind; other cannot. It seems if you agree with the subject what you say is more than accepted. If you do not agree then you are being a bigot or worse.
If you are truly a Christian; how can you be an example by taking down all signs and hiding? God states that if you are ashamed of me; I will be ashamed of you. If you hide your Christianity you are not believing or have the faith in God/Jesus that Christian Churches teach. He has said He will take care of you as you are His child. It is fearful to think about and no we do not know what is coming in the future but one must trust God Almighty.
One must follow the Bible not another minister. The Bible is what will carry a person through to the end; not what someone has learned, taught or believes. The Bible rightly divided and there is scripture after scripture of God's great love for those who follow Him and do His will. Fear can lead in the wrong direction. If a person is truly living a God Filled Life; they must believe the words Jesus has said and his disciples. When people get mixed up with the devil; it is a fearful thing but in Romans 14:11-
"For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."
Another scripture: Isaiah 41:10 "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
You can look up scriptures on how to trust God. That is the only thing you can do without living in total fear of what might happen. Christians in our country are not being punished at this time; it could come but when and if it does, if it is my time to go; death will find me, doesn't matter where or when, and any one else.
I am far from being perfect but I try not to live in fear. What can they do but take your life. They cannot take your soul.
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven." In short, I think your pastor is confused. What good is a church if those on the outside don't know it's a church? That would require the church to be fully insider focused which violates the great commission in my opinion. Honestly, if he can't turn it around I would probably lobby for a new pastor or find another church.
I wonder if those people in South Carolina would still be alive if they had taken down their church signage. That's completely nonsense!
According to a recent ABC News poll (83 percent) of Americans identify themselves as being Christian. 13 percent, have no religion and 4 percent as adherents of all non-Christian religions combined — Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and a smattering of individual mentions.
In fact many gays and lesbians consider themselves to be Christian. Some of them are even ministers and priests.
The government's role is to ensure equality and the rights of all citizens. Some people however believe they should have the right to discriminate! Discrimination is the opposite of equality.
Clearly they're not following the "love thy neighbor as thyself" or "judge not lest yea be judged" scriptures.
Churches and religion in the U.S. are here to stay!
Anyone who believes otherwise is selling unfounded fear. Then again there are many people in religious organizations who use fear as a tool to increase their memberships and control their loyalty.
"It's us against the world!"
There seems to be two forms of Christianity in the U.S.
There are ministers like Joel Osteen and Bishop T.D. Jakes who seek to "inspire their congregations" to live happy fulfilled lives by following the positive teachings of the bible and there are other ministers who are "preaching fear", doom and gloom or the end days are at hand!
Both groups consider themselves to be Christians!
Whichever group one follows says something about them self and how (they) feel. Unhappy people want/hope the world end soon!
It sounds like your Pastor has fallen prey to conspiracy theory paranoia. America has Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion and is majority Christian.
Why not? They have "sold out" appeasing "mere man's" "itching ears" (II Timothy 4:3) to maintain membership, etc., so why would "religion" stop doing what they are currently doing?
Did He not suffer? Did the disciples not suffer? Are we not disciples? The Scriptures say in I Peter 4:13-14;16 "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that, when his glory be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you; on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. Yet, if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God on his behalf."
Therefore, thank God for the "sufferings!"
Do as He says and "... Follow thou me!" (John 21:22)
Some view suffering as a gift--as it brings them closer to God.
Lolita: Amen! I do! When persecuted "for His Name's sake" It's a joy & I've acquired a lot of "joy" on HubPages! (lol) Matt 5:10-11!
Slowly, but surely, persecution is making its way over to America. Maybe not by killing or imprisonment, but in subtle ways. Your church taking down the signs is what I am talking about. Many can call themselves a church, but that doesn't mean they are real Christians--they can be lukewarm, hence the seven churches John was addressing in Revelations.
Your Pastor needs to find a backbone. Maybe he can go to the hospital and have them install one. Why is he listening to Jim Bakker and not God?
Now, this is what I have learned about the SCOTUS decision. Unless I haven't found all the info on it, it says same sex marriage is recognized in all 50 states and DC. The decision came after a case where a couple was married in Maryland then went back home to Ohio where same sex marriage was not legal. One of the men died and on the death certificate, because Ohio does not recognize same sex marriages as legitimate, it was written that he was single.
Like I said, unless I am mistaken and haven't found all the info, it is not about making it legal for them to get married in all 50 states, but that all 50 states recognize their marriages.
This is very sad! The light of Christ in your church, if it's truly there, is being hidden under a bushel, thus keeping hope and good news under wraps! Where are the lost supposed to go?
This pastor is running in fear, not faith!
To add to what JMcFarland and Titen-Sxull said, this is a sign of a cult. This "gloom and doom, persecution scare" tactic was used by Harold Camping, and we all know where that led. As for what the Bible says about this, "The wicked flee when no man pursueth" - Proverbs 28:1.
Right now, I would say yes, it is selling out.
However it is important to note that Christians in other countries (where Christianity is illegal) the church operates underground, no signs, often times meeting in homes.
This does not mean they are "hiding their light", they still continue to preach the Gospel and reach out to those around them, knowing that it could mean death.
yes since you are talking about the "churches of men" that operate under the corporate veil of the governments of men and are not of God.
There is ONLY ONE church of Jesus Christ and it operates under the auspices of Jesus Christ, the head of all things in this final age of man.
HIS church has nothing to do with a building, clergy or any of the trappings of apostate men. HIS church is MADE OF LIVING STONES (people) and answer to Him not to men. we trust in Him not in man. We fear not anything other than being disobedient to our God and His Son. We daily see His protection and provision and trust our very lives to Him. We honor no man who thinks he is sent by God to control and lead, we have the Holy Spirit and follow Him alone.
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