The Christian life is characterized as a battle; and that for good reason. We battle the flesh, Satan, and the world against sin. At the same time, the church is constantly being attacked from within and without. In this increasingly secular culture, Christ and His church are under mounting attack. This reality has spurred some Christian leaders to host a conference that will consider the war on Christians.
WorldNetDaily reports "A first-of-its-kind conference on 'The War on Christians' will be held in Washington, D.C., this month to examine attacks from the news media, Hollywood, courts and activist groups. Conference convener Vision America says 'The War On Christians And The Values Voter in 2006' will be the first 'to consider the savage and accelerating' attacks by groups such as the ACLU and Anti-Defamation League."
"Speakers at the March 27-28 event will include Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.; Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas; Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas; conservative leader Phyllis Schlafly; radio host Janet Parshall; and former Republican presidential candidates Gary Bauer and Alan Keyes."
"'During the past Christmas season, the airwaves were abuzz with talk of the war on Christmas,' said Don Feder, a former syndicated columnist and the spokesman for the event. 'Yet efforts to purge Christmas from the culture are but one aspect of a coordinated campaign against Bible-believing Christians.' Feder says that while the mainstream media may not 'get it,' a December poll by Fox News showed 59 percent of Americans believed 'Christianity is under attack' in the United States."
"Vision America was founded in 1998 by Rick Scarborough with the aim to 'inform and mobilize pastors and their congregations to become salt and light, becoming pro-active in restoring Judeo-Christian values in America.'" In response to a local dynamic that drew national attention, 'the pastor mobilized his congregation and members began running for public office and volunteering for various political activist organizations. In 1996 he published the Book 'Enough is Enough; a Call to Christian Involvement.'"
Some comments are warranted here. First, in one sense, this idea is one whose time has come. Christianity is indeed under attack in America. This estimation should come as no surprise for those who stay informed; yet, many remain grossly ignorant of such things. At the same time, for those informed in regard to our nation's history, we can only watch this attack unfold with increasing shock and awe, and that in a negative sense. It seems that not only are our Christian moorings being eroded from under our feet, but the First Amendment has no real meaning any more and long-held American virtues such as freedom of religion are no longer embraced. Again, on the contrary, Christianity is on the way to ban.
Second, while this idea is one whose time has come so that solutions can be sought in regard to the increasing marginalization of Christianity, let us offer an affirmation and two cautions. We affirm religious freedom for all and should work through the political process to maintain such freedom as is guaranteed by our Constitution. However, in the end, for those who may design to proceed further, we must avoid the twin evils of co-belligerence and civil religion.
Third, Scarborough and his group demonstrate that Christians can still make a real difference in this world. It only takes a little effort and the blessing of Almighty God. Part of the gospel commission (Matt. 28:18f) and cultural mandate (Gen. 1:28f) given to us by our Lord involves influencing this culture with the gospel in every area for the glory of God.
Fourth, having said the above, we must also remember that political action and/or change is not the ultimate means or goal of the aforementioned commission and mandate. Those dynamics are accomplished ultimately by the gospel itself as it holds sway in our culture through our witness and proclamation of the truth in love.
Let the name of Christ be exalted in this land. And, let His means and ways be exalted at the same time.
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About Paul Dean
Dr. Paul Dean is a pastor, cultural commentator, and author. He serves as a Regional Mentor with the International Association of Biblical Counselors, speaks at several conferences throughout the year, and provides training for ministers and churches on a regular basis. Paul resides in the Upstate of South Carolina with his wife and three children.
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