| Anti-Faith Sentiment Sweeps U.S. |
'Jesus Not Allowed': Anti-Faith Sentiment Sweeps US
Could you imagine going to jail for your faith? A recent report warns that it could happen.
CBN News investigated the growing wave of hostility to Christianity in America that's led to hundreds of court cases.
No Religion Allowed
Angela Hildenbrand faced the very real possibility of going to jail for her faith. The trouble began when a federal judge ruled that no one at her Texas high school could pray or even use words like "prayer" or "amen" during the 2011 graduation ceremonies.
As class valedictorian, Hildenbrand felt God deserved the praise, even if it meant jail for her.
"I was definitely preparing myself to have to make that sort of tough decision and mentally prepare myself for what well could be coming next," she told CBN News.
Hildenbrand's case is just one of more than 640 cases of religious hostility cited in a new report by the Liberty Institute. General Counsel Jeff Mateer, who takes on many of these cases, helped put the survey together.
"The atheists and the secularists are well-organized and they're well-funded," the Liberty Institute attorney told CBN News.
"The rate of hostility to people of faith is overwhelming," he said. "It's increasing. Every day, we're getting calls."
One call involved the Veterans Administration demanding to preview Scott Rainey's prayer for a Memorial Day ceremony at Houston National Cemetery.
They told Rainey, who pastors the Living Word Church of the Nazarene in Houston, he couldn't pray "in Jesus' name."
"I have never said a prayer in my life where I didn't end it saying 'in the name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen,'" Pastor Rainey said.
Contending for the Faith
Mateer is also working to save this veteran's memorial cross in San Diego, one of several cases that could have serious national consequences if courts order their removal.
"Are we going to bulldoze all those crosses?" Mateer asked. "We're going to sandblast God from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?"
But Mateer says the good news is, when believers fight back, they usually win.
"You need to stand up and fight," he said. "And that's exactly what Angela did."
Just one day before Hildenbrand's graduation, an appeals court ruled she could pray and say whatever she wanted.
"I thank You for Your great love for us and for our great nation, where we are free," she prayed at her graduation. "And it's in Jesus' name I pray, amen."
Courts eventually ruled that Pastor Rainey -- and all veterans at burials -- are allowed to freely express their faith.
But there is an across-the-board assault of religious hostility, and Americans' religious liberty hangs in the balance.
| 2012/9/28 9:42||Profile|
| Re: Anti-Faith Sentiment Sweeps U.S. |
I do agree that an anti faith movement is sweeping the U S and even Canada. But is fighting these cases what God is calling us too? Because we see the threat of persecution on the horizon are we to run to the Constitution and cry foul? My religious rights are being violated?
Believers in restricted nations do not have that option. They suffer and carry the cross for Christ. And they do it with Joy. Why should we expect any differently? Why do American believers think they are so special because we think we are blessed with first amendment rights. Yes, many think we are blessed because we have the illusion of religious freedom. But what type church has this produced in America.
I ask where is the church the strongest? Where do we see the power of Jesus being manifested? Where do we see the gospel bearing fruit and growing? What do China, Afghanistan, Iran, Tunisia, Egypt, etc. all have in common. There is a thriving church in those nations that is being persecuted. Yet it is thriving and growing. I ask what has our religious liberty produced.
History records that for the first three centuries or so the early Christian church thrived under persecution. The devil, being ever so crafty, realized persrcution was not working. So using a fellow by the name of Constantine Christianity became legalized. The church stopped growing. The gospel stopped going forth.
God countered by raising up various remnant movements. The legalized church that once was persecuted became the persecutors. But the gospel went forth under persecution.
We need to stop crying about our religious rights being violated and ask God what his will and mind are regarding persecution coming to America. Could it be to build a thriving, remnant church that will take the gospel forth?
I hope many will be listening to the SI persecution conference next weekend. I hope many will come out and pray on the con call this coming Sunday.
| 2012/9/28 10:21|
| Re: |
I like your heart Bearmaster. I enjoy your perspective.
I personally leave politics for the world to worry about and worry about my own salvation and my sphere of influence. I like how SonsofLevi said something like: "I just want to keep my lamp trimmed and ready for the Lord"
bless you buddy
| 2012/9/28 12:28|
| Re: Anti-Faith Sentiment Sweeps U.S. |
I teach at a Missouri public high school. We still have a Baccalaureate. It is held one hour prior to the actual graduation ceremony. If you desire to come, you come one hour earlier. Last year we had a valedictorian who spoke unashamedly and frankly about the need of the students to turn their hearts to God. I thank God for this openness to the gospel. It really boils down to, I think, the pulse of the leadership of the school district and the community. I am grieved that these things are happening in our nation. But, if the persecution comes, I am living for another world. I pray, and vote, that we retain our freedoms. But if not, God is still God.
| 2012/9/28 15:39||Profile|
| Re: Bearmaster|
Amen. That is exactly what i had wanted to say, we really need to be prepared.. and if we notice the joy that martyrs and persecuted Christians have... its amazing.
Let's look at Stephen in the Bible.. He was JOYFUL while they were STONING him to death after he had pleaded on their behalf.. just as Jesus did when they crucified Him, God is just so awesome that everything in the world should be worth giving up... even your life!!!
what is the number of the con call for Sunday?
| 2012/9/28 18:36||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: |
"Dear saints this coming Sunday will be our last prayer call to cover the Sermon Index conference in prayer. It is hard to believe we have had 13 calls where God has shown up marvelously. Lord willing, Paul West, one of the SI moderators will lead out our last call.
Saints I cannotunderscore the importance of keeping this conference covered in prayer. Both on this coming Sunday's call and in your times in the prayer closet. If your schedule allows, please join this Sunday's call.
Time of call is 9pm EST, 8pm CST, 7pm MST, 6pm PST. U S callers please call in on 209.255.1000. Canadian callers please call in on 559.670.1000. Access code for both numbers is 109083#.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2012/9/28 18:39||Profile|