Darryl's thoughts on the Christian Faith, Facts, and World Events
Should Christians Retreat from Serving in the Military (Public Education, Government, and Bakeries?)
For some reason, this article has disturbed me more than all of the more blatant attacks on Christians by Muslims or Progressives over the past couple of weeks.
According to former pastor and governor, Mike Huckabee. the US military has become "openly hostile" toward Christians. The military has probably never been an easy place for committed Christians to live out their faith. Complete this sentence "________ like a sailor." However, there are lots of examples of Christians being put under greater official pressure than before. example 1 example 2 example 3 example 4 example 5
However, I feel the need to address one part of his message. " I’d wait a couple of years until we get a new commander in chief". I don't think Gov. Huckabee is, "Ready for Hilary," because she has already come out in support of Same-sex marriage and it seems unlikely that she will be more understanding of Christians in the military who oppose it on Biblical grounds than President Obama. So Gov. Huckabee is probably trying to say, "wait for a Republican president who will fix everything." I have to say, I am tired of waiting for Republicans because regardless of whether they have the House, Senate, and the White House, most of them still lack the convictions or courage to do more than "believe ‘one nation under God’ and believe that people of faith should be a vital part of the process of not only governing this country, but defending this country." Republicans may still "believe" in good things, but we only have to look Indiana and Arkansas to see how fast they will "believe" new things when they come under intense pressure from activists, journalists, and corporations.
Christians, we can't keep withdrawing from situations that are hostile toward Christianity, because no matter how far we withdraw (become Amish) Satan will keep inspiring those "who don't know what they are doing," to come and attack the Bible and those who sincerely believe in it more and more. Christians withdrew from Hollywood when it was still producing movies like The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur and things got worse. We withdrew from public schools and universities, and things have gotten worse. I want to make it clear that I am supportive of homeschooling, as well as Christians schools and universities. However, Christians should at least make an effort to enter those places as staff and teachers, even if we can't send our kids there. If we follow the advice of Gov. Huckabee, Christians will retreat from the military, bakeries, flower shops, and pizzerias now, and we will retreat from other places later. This is what the "Christophobes" want.
This is why Christians must once again learn to depend on God's Word the Bible instead of human's advice (don't blindly trust me, read the Bible for yourself).
1. Christians are to be salt and light of the earth (Matthew 5:13-16). Even though most Evangelicals see the United Nations as "hostile to Christians," I know personally, very committed Christians working in the UN, while we all know that there are "fake Christians," who manage to work in Christian organizations.
2. We are to be in the world but not "conformed to the pattern of the world" (Romans 12:2).
3. "But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior." (Philippians 3:20)
4. We are Ambassadors for Christ. This means that, as Christians, we must represent Christ's (our King of Kings and Lord of Lords) interests to the world. Good ambassadors live in the foreign country, they learn the host country's language and culture so that they can communicate effectively. They remain loyal to their sending country. (2 Corinthians 5:20)
5. We should pay our taxes and obey governments' laws unless they violate God's law. (Matthew 22:21) (Act 5:29)
6. We should communicate the message of God's Word as clearly and as effectively as possible in order to overcome cultural or linguistic barriers, but we cannot change the meaning of God's Word, in order to match the latest cultural trends. Some churches in the past made this mistake by trying to gain the favor of the pro-slavery crowd, we cannot make mistake again. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23) (1 Peter 3:8-18) (Galatians 1:8) (Revelation 22:18-19)
7. Even though Satan is deceiving certain groups to persecute Christians, we must remember to love and forgive them "because they don't know what they are doing." We must remember that our real enemy in all of these situations is Satan and demons. "Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world." (Luke 23:34) (Matthew 5:43-48) (Ephesians 6:12)
8. Because our battle is spiritual, we can't depend on physical weapons. Politics, lawsuits, and protests, cannot protect us. Instead, we must first "put on the whole armor of God," "stand firm," and "resist Satan and he will flee from us." Once the spiritual battle is won, we can deal more effectively with the physical aspects.
"So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you. Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure." (Ephesians 6:10-18) (James 4:7-8)
9. We cannot allow ourselves to be afraid that if we stand firm in our faith, that we will lose our jobs, financial, security, and even houses. Instead we must all be willing to give up those things at anytime that God leads us to leave them behind for the sake of the Gospel. If we give up our faith in order to keep those things, we will have gained the whole world but lost our soul. Retirement plans and personal wealth of all kinds can be taken away at any time. Heaven is the only truly secure investment. (Matthew 19:27-29) (Mark 8:36) (Matthew 6:19-24)
Christians throughout the centuries and around the world have been persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. This persecution has lead to great revivals. The USA has been blessed to have had growth of the Body without suffering persecution. However, if we look at Church History, we see that the blessings that were on the USA are the exception rather than the rule. Now it seems that it is our turn, as Americans to be "blessed" as our brothers and sisters throughout history and geography have been.
'They are blessed who are persecuted for doing good, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them. “People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do, you will be blessed. Rejoice and be glad, because you have a great reward waiting for you in heaven. People did the same evil things to the prophets who lived before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)
Hebrews 12:4-8 could easily be applied to the Body of Christ in the United States, "You are struggling against sin, but your struggles have not yet caused you to be killed. You have forgotten the encouraging words that call you his children: “My child, don’t think the Lord’s discipline is worth nothing, and don’t stop trying when he corrects you. The Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as his child.” Proverbs 3:11–12 So hold on through your sufferings, because they are like a father’s discipline. God is treating you as children. All children are disciplined by their fathers. If you are never disciplined (and every child must be disciplined), you are not true children."
The time may come, when Christians in the USA, will be killed for our faith in Jesus Christ. We have long prayed for "revival" but we often forget that it Tertullian, who lived under the severe persecutions that the Roman Empire inflicted on the early Christians, said, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church"
Jesus said to them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to receive his glory. I tell you the truth, a grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die to make many seeds. But if it never dies, it remains only a single seed. Those who love their lives will lose them, but those who hate their lives in this world will keep true life forever. Whoever serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will honor anyone who serves me.
“Now I am very troubled. Should I say, ‘Father, save me from this time’? No, I came to this time so I could suffer. (John 12:23-27)
If we must suffer or even die for our faith we should do so with joy. Salvation is free for us but it was expensive for Jesus. No matter what it costs us, it is worth it.
A Christian Apologist, Author, Missionary, Husband, and Father. Darryl has an MA in Christian Apologetics from Biola University (CA), an MA in TESOL from Azusa Pacific University (CA), and a BA in Political Science from Truman State University (MO).