There comes a point in everyone’s life where they must make a decision about what they truly believe deep down in their hearts. There will always come a time, or multiple times, where we will have to wrestle with our deepest-held convictions and decide whether we will stick to them, or we will give them up when challenged. Christians, the time is now. Stand up.
Over the past year, we have seen a remarkable erosion of religious freedom by the government as well as cowardice by the religious institutions themselves. Over the course of the pandemic, state governments across the country and governments over the world have attempted to, and many times successfully, keep the doors of churches either shut, or under enormous regulations to make them as hard as possible to operate. Some institutions have relinquished control to the government, others have shut down permanently, while few others have taken a stand and made it clear that Christ, not Caesar, is the head of the Church.
Many churches abandoned their people to lies and fear rather than standing their ground and faithfully preaching the gospel, hope, and encouragement. Many churches shut their doors and deemed themselves “unessential” when they were needed most.
Just how much were churches needed during the pandemic (which we’re still going through)? One example is a poll that was released at the end of 2020 and showed the mental health ratings of Americans for various demographics, one of which was how frequently people attended religious services. The percentage is based off of how many people rated their mental health as “excellent” and compared data from 2019 and 2020.
|2019 %||2020 %||Change % points|
This is staggering. There were actually more people who said their mental health was “excellent” if they attended church weekly during the pandemic as opposed to the previous year. The other two groups, those who attended less than weekly, showed a very significant drop off in how they rated their mental health state. And this is just one reason why churches were, and still are needed during the pandemic, and all the time, for that matter. Let’s not forget the whole mission of the church and the purpose it exists: to make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). This will not be stopped by anything or anyone, including a pandemic.
But as COVID restrictions begin to wane in some states, some people remain optimistic that religion, particularly Christianity, is safe in America for the time being and our esteemed betters in the government who rule over us will give autonomy back to the churches; or will they?
Three weeks ago, on February 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The Equality Act. “Oh, that sounds nice,” you may think, “we should always be working to make sure that everyone is treated equally in society.” But don’t be fooled. If passed in the Senate, which it likely won’t, this bill would be destructive to religious liberty.
One particular tenet of this bill prevents religious people and organizations from using the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 as a defense against “discrimination” lawsuits, which are also being broadened to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The text of the bill says as much, “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.”
To simplify, the bill not only broadens what type of people cannot be discriminated against by law (I have written about discrimination in businesses in the past), but it also removes protection from religions people and institutions for “discriminating” against such people; also known as simply teaching what the Bible has to say about issues of sexual orientation, gender identity, and more. Paul certainly knew what he meant when he said that “the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
It’s not hard to see where this is going. The radical modern Left, inside the Trojan Horse of the “moderate” Biden administration, wants Christianity gone. They hate us, and they hate what we stand for. This bill claims to pursue “equality” for all people, but let me be clear: this bill will not bring equality. It will enact special treatment for some at the expense of others. It plays favorites and seeks to destroy and silence those who oppose it while patting those on the head who are “woke” enough. This, too, is not surprising.
The modern Left is also always pushing for “unity,” but if you dare disagree with them, they will destroy your life as you know it. It’s unity in the form of authoritarianism, where those who hold the right doctrines have a place at the table and those who don’t cave in are cast out.
The top agenda items of the Left are anti-God, simply put. They advocate for the slaughter of millions of children before they are even born when we know they God has known and designed each and every person before they were conceived (Psalm 139:13-14). They don’t believe that people are created “male and female” (Genesis 1:27), and should be able to decide for themselves how they will identify. They praise those who engage in same-sex relationships, saying “love is love!”, all the while God calls it an abomination (Leviticus 18:22). And in the case of The Equality Act, they want to punish those who teach the truth about God. Or, as Paul says again, “Claiming to be wise, they became fools…[and] they exchanged the truth about God for a lie” (Romans 1:22, 25).
So be ready, and do not cower when they come for you. Be on your guard. “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world” (1 Peter 5:8-9).