Pastor Tullian Tchividjian (pronounced chuh-vi-jin), the grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham and senior pastor at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, “believes that evangelical Christianity has been tarnished by its association with the religious right.” Tarnished by whom? Who is making this claim and where are they getting their information to formulate an opinion?
The following is the essence of Tchividjian’s critique of the “religious right.”
“I think the impression that most non-evangelicals have is that [evangelicalism is] a political movement—it’s a culturally warring movement,” he said. “Closely associating the core message of the Christian faith with a political ideology has always been a huge mistake.”
Is anybody surprised that evangelicals who believe they should get involved socially and politically (non-evangelicals have been doing it for decades) would be misidentified as a “political movement” considering that the mainstream liberal media, special interest groups, apostate religious organizations and denominations, secularists, liberal colleges and universities (are there any other kind?), and evangelical pietists are doing most of the defining?
After the 1973 pro-abortion decision, should Christians have stood by as more than a million unborn babies were killed each year? Was it wrong for William Wilberforce and his fellow Christians to bring Christian moral principles to bear to stop the kidnapping and enslavement of human beings?
Weren’t these efforts “good news” (evangelically) centered? Jesus said that a tree is known by its fruit (Matt. 7:15-23). Speaking out against injustice is the heart and soul of the gospel. Jesus said, quoting the Old Testament (Psalm 6:8), “DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS” (Matt. 7:23; 25:41; Luke 13:27). Who defines lawlessness? Is the civil magistrate exempt? Not according to Romans 13:3-4.
James writes that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-18). Do good works stop at the church door?
Good works are both positive and negative. Helping the poor through volunteerism (Luke 10:25-37; Acts 2:44-45; Rom. 15:25-28) and opposing legislation that hurts the poor and disenfranchised (Isa. 1:21-23) are two sides of the same coin. There are a significant number of special interest groups that do not want pressure put on the government to lessen its role in the life of every American. Money and power are at stake.
Pastor Tchividjian makes the mistake of assuming that the opinions of non-evangelicals are based on accurate information. Where do non-Christians generally get their news? Mostly from woefully misinformed and prejudiced secular sources. I’ve done interviews with liberal journalists, and I can tell you that most of them are neither honest nor knowledgeable when it comes to the topic of religion—when moral absolutes are on the table. (The same can be said of a lot of Christians.) See my article “My Experience with Red-Meat Journalism” for several examples.
How did the enemies of Jesus represent Him before Pontius Pilate? They lied:
“Then the whole body of them got up and brought Him before Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, ‘We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.’ So Pilate asked Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And He answered him and said, ‘It is as you say.’ Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, ‘I find no guilt in this man.’ But they kept on insisting, saying, ‘He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee even as far as this place’ (Luke 23:1-5).
It was propaganda, misinterpretation, and character assassination. And even still, those same false witnesses often shape the opinions of non-Christians concerning evangelicals and their political concerns—which are minimal.
Pilate asked Jesus about the charge that He was a king and a possible political usurper: “Are you asking this on your own, or have others told you about Me?” (John 18:34). Once Pilate heard directly from Jesus about these accusations, he declared, “I find no guilt in this man” (Luke 23:4). Pilate understood something about “objective” news reporting: There is no such thing.
Christians who are involved politically don’t want to “take over the government.” The vast majority of people who have gotten involved politically over the years want to shrink the size of the State. That’s a huge threat to the establishment of both political parties.
The determination made by Pilate didn’t stop Jesus’ enemies from continuing to make false charges.
And so it is with those who oppose evangelicals and their limited attempts to be engaged politically. The enemies of the gospel and promoters of lawlessness will push their agenda until the threat to their domain is removed. In the case of Jesus, they went so far as to have Him crucified. What did He do to anger the opposition? He healed sick people, raised the dead, forgave sinners, and fed thousands. You can’t get any more evangelical than that, and yet they wanted Him dead (John 8:59; 10:33; Matt. 26:62-66; John 5:18).
Pastor Tchividjian is doing little more than rehearsing the history of the New Testament era of people who did not like Jesus’ message because they understood the long-term consequences of it. It can be said that no matter what Christians do there always will be people who will oppose them if that message includes a change in a person’s moral worldview in any “extra-religious” arena—including business, education, and politics, to name just three areas.
Christianity is opposed because it teaches a comprehensive moral worldview. If the gospel is nothing more than “believe in Jesus” with no change in lifestyle and you’ll go to heaven, there wouldn’t be much if any opposition. But that’s not the gospel. Jesus saves us from our sins, and that includes a change in lifestyle. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “from now on sin no more” (John 8:11; also see 4:7-39). There are a good number of people who don’t want to hear this message.
Jesus did not shy away from discussing moral issues. Jesus often offended His audience: “Then the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?’” (15:12). This question from Jesus’ disciples shows that there’s nothing new under the sun. How many times have we heard from critics of the Christian moral worldview that they are “offended” when they are told they are sinners?
Jesus does not hold back so as not to be “offensive”:
“‘Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Explain the parable to us.’ Jesus said, ‘Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man’” (15:13-20).
These aren’t just personal sins. There is a civil aspect to them as we see with abortion and the redefinition of marriage. If the State can redefine marriage, it can redefine anything, including religion. Should Christians remain silent about these issues so as not to offend some people? Should Christians who opposed Adolf Hitler have remained silent so as not to offend?
Without the knowledge of sin there is no need for grace and forgiveness.
Evangelical Christians have gotten involved politically because, for example, the courts have become a law unto themselves by legalizing abortion and same-sex marriage. As Jesus said, “murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts.” If these “defile the man,” then they need to be pointed out or there is no need for a gospel. Furthermore, if the courts get away with redefining some things, the day may come when they redefine everything.
Does the gospel offend? You bet it does (1 Cor. 1:18-25; Gal. 5:11; Rom. 9:33), but not if it doesn’t mention sin. Remember, “everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4), whether it’s practiced by your neighbor or a civil official (Mark 6:14-29; 2 Sam. 12).
Because the gospel is offensive to many does not mean that heralds of the gospel should be offensive. There are jerks and cranks in every movement. Maybe that’s what Pastor Tchividjian is really addressing. If so, I concur. But pointing out personal and national sins does not obscure the gospel, “for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin” (Rom. 3:20).
People will find any excuse not to believe and attack the message and the messengers (Acts 5:17-32; 7:54-60; 12:1-4; 17:1-3, 16-34). Why are Christians in Muslim nations being told to convert or die? Is it because they are politically active? Not at all. The basic tenets of the Christian faith are despised. Anything else is a propagandist’s smoke screen.
The chief of the U.S. Army has ordered that training for the military on “extremists” be halted until the program can be corrected and standardized to eliminate reported Christian-bashing
It was earlier this month that one such “training” course was reported to have labeled the pro-family American Family Association as a hate group – a designation that earlier was applied to the group by the domestic terror case-linked Southern Poverty Law Center.
According to Fox News Radio’s Todd Starnes, Army Secretary John McHugh has given military leaders a memo with the orders.
“On several occasions over the past few months, media accounts have highlighted instances of Army instructors supplementing programs of instruction and including information or material that is inaccurate, objectionable and otherwise inconsistent with current Army policy,” the memo said.
Starnes reported an Army spokesman, David Patterson Jr., said McHugh “directed that Army leaders cease all briefings, command presentations or training on the subject of extremist organizations or activities until that program of instruction and training has been created and disseminated.”
It was a soldier at a Camp Shelby in Mississippi who presented evidence to media that an Army presenter at a briefing identified AFA as a “hate group” because of its stance on homosexuality and marriage.
Army spokesman George Wright later confessed the characterization of AFA was “acquired from an Internet search” and “did not come from official Army sources, nor was it approved by senior Army leaders, senior equal opportunity counselors or judge-advocate personnel.”
Tim Wildmon, president of AFA, one of the country’s largest Christian ministries, said: “We are probably going to be taking legal action. The Army has smeared us. They’ve defamed the American Family Association.”
Brian Fischer, AFA’s director of issues analysis, said the Internet source likely was the Southern Poverty Law Center, which routinely labels Christians who adhere to biblical teaching on homosexuality as “hate groups.”
At the time, he said: “The blatantly false ‘hate’ allegation is coming from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is now a thoroughly discredited source on any subject, especially hate. In fact, for spreading malicious lies about pro-family groups, SPLC belongs on its own hate group list. They’ve made a despicable career out of using lies, distortions and innuendo to whip up reckless and dangerous animosity against groups which defend the values of the Founders.”
Fischer said the “real hate group here is the SPLC.”
That isn’t news to anyone familiar with the terror attack on the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council, an organization with standards and beliefs like those of AFA.
The convicted assailant, Floyd Lee Corkins, said he chose to attack FRC because the organization was listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by SPLC on its website.
FRC promotes traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about the family and homosexuality, but SPLC claims the organization’s “real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians.”
Corkins, a former volunteer at an LGBT community center, pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism. It was on Aug. 15, 2012, when the heavily armed Corkins walked into FRC headquarters and began shooting with the intent of killing “as many people as I could.” He managed to shoot and injure just one person, facilities manager Leo Johnson, who is credited with heroically stopping the attack.
In a speech at recent the Values Voter Summit 2013, Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr., condemned the practice of labeling Christian organizations “hate” groups.
She said Corkins “came to FRC as a gunman, fueled by hate mongering from the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
“The shooter admitted he was directed to FRC’s location by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website. While SPLC claims to fight against hate, they have been saying hateful things about the Family Research Council and perhaps other groups who are represented her today,” she said.
“Today the shooter is behind bars as the result of being convicted for domestic terrorism. But the SPLC and many others, who couch hate and anger in false claims of civil rights activism, still roam free to confuse the masses with their deceptions,” said King.
See King’s speech:
Sandy Rios, another vocal advocate on behalf of Christian organizations, also spoke at the summit.
“We have 2.5 million constituents, we have 190 radio stations, we have a journal. And just, not that long ago, the SPLC has decided that we are in fact a hate group,” she said.
It was the SPLC’s own letter asking members of Congress to boycott the summit that gave supporting evidence, she said.
She quoted from the SPLC letter: “Given the demonizing lies about the LGBT community spread by the host, the Family Research Council and another major sponsor of the event, the American Family Association, we urge you not to lend the prestige of your office to the summit.”
Rios continued: “We all know that a little more than a year ago, Floyd Corkins came into the offices of the Family Research Council because he had looked on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website, checked their list of ‘hate’ groups, found FRC and a couple of others, gone into the building with the idea that he would commit mass murder. With a bag full of Chick-fil-A sandwiches that he was going to stuff in their mouths after he murdered them.”
She noted SPLC has refused to apologize and remove FRC and AFA from their list of hate groups.
“But let me tell you something about why this is important,” she said. “The Southern Poverty Law Center sounds great, doesn’t it? You know it’s always had a reputation, sort of a history of helping people in the civil rights movement. And they had a good reputation. That’s what people think they do. But that’s not really what they do.”
Rios said SPLC “now has millions of dollars in funding, endowments in excess of $223 million, and lots of off shore accounts.”
“Let me just say that the American Institute of Philanthropy has given an F grade to the SPLC for their excessive reserves,” she said.
Rios charged SPLC’s “main business is attacking and suing conservative organizations.”
“They are out to destroy people like the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and people like you,” she said.
“Hate is a cottage industry for the SPLC,” charged Rios.
“And let me give you just an idea of some of the things that they do. They have a hate map and they list on their hate map, at least at this writing, they listed 1,018 groups,” she said.
“So, the interesting thing about it is the statistics on crime, the hate crimes, between 1996 and 2011 decreased by 29 percent while the number of hate groups the SPLC identified rose 69 percent. A little strange. So when law enforcement and others looked into this list they found that many of these groups don’t even exist. So the SPLC I have to say is not to be trusted. And yet, the reason I am spending so much time telling you about them is that, in fact, they are used as a resource by the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Pentagon, and thousands of local law enforcement agencies. They conduct trainings all around this country, informing these groups of who the haters are and we are on that list. We are on that list.”
See Rios’ speech:
Starnes’ latest report noted that Ron Crews of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty welcomed the orders from McHugh.
“Men and women of faith – who have served the Army faithfully for centuries – have been likened to those who regularly threaten the peace and security of the United States. It is dishonorable for any U.S. military entity to allow this type of improper characterization,” he told Starnes.
The Camp Shelby episode also drew the attention of Congress, where Reps. Doug Lamborn, Steve Scalise, John Fleming, Joseph Pitts and Tim Huelskamp joined in a letter to the Pentagon stating: “This most recent mislabeling of a Christian organization reflects what appears to be a troubling trend of religious intolerance in the military.”
Starnes noted that Fort Hood soldiers also were warned that contribution to evangelical Christian groups could result in military punishment, and earlier this year a training brief listed Catholics and evangelical Christians as extremists.
WND reported that the U.S. military already had been caught teaching that the Founding Fathers, whose beliefs and political positions could accurately be described in today’s terminology as conservative, were “extremists.”
Also, a study at the West Point Military Academy asserted people who are part of the ideological right wing of American society constitutes a danger to the nation.
Then it was revealed that SPLC was caught providing information to a terrorist later convicted of a domestic attack who was “advising” the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
‘Hostile to Christian faith’
AFA’s Fischer suggested that if the “military wasn’t headed by a commander in chief who is hostile to Christian faith, these allegations would be laughed off every military base in the world.”
“The truth is that AFA doesn’t hate anyone,” he said. “We love everybody. We love homosexuals enough to tell them the truth about the moral, spiritual and physical dangers of homosexual conduct.”
… The Obama administration’s attacks on conservatives date back to just weeks after he took office.
At that time a newly unclassified Department of Homeland Security report warned against the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists,” including opponents of abortion.
The report was followed days later by a report from the Missouri Information Analysis Center that warned law enforcement officials to watch out for individuals with “radical” ideologies based on Christian views.
DHS officials later told WND they would refuse to identify the authors of the report or comment on any actions taken in response to the controversy.
But the steady drumbeat of statements from the administration even prompted members of both parties in Congress to blast the reports.
The Department of Defense later was caught teaching that those who oppose abortion are “low-level terrorists.”
Weeks later, SPLC confirmed to WND it published a report and delivered it to law enforcement officers across the nation that lumped adherents of constitutional principles with crazed killers.
It further was revealed SPLC was advising DHS formally on how to “combat violent extremism.” The DHS also was caught monitoring a blog posted by a Christian who was forced to flee Brazil because of the conflict between that nation’s pro-homosexual “hate crimes” agenda and his advocacy for traditional marriage.
The Obama administration declined comment on its decision to monitor Julio Severo’s unabashedly Christian Last Days Watchman blog.
Early this year a West Point study from the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center linked opposition to abortion and other “fundamental” positions to terrorism.
The study, “Challenges from the Sidelines: Understanding America’s Violent Far-Right,” cites “anti-abortionists” as an active threat for terrorist activity.
“The anti-abortionists have been extremely productive during the last two decades, amassing 227 attacks, many of them perpetrated without the responsible perpetrators identified or caught,” author Arie Perliger wrote. “And while, in both cases, the 1990s were more violent than the last decade, in the case of anti-abortion, the trend is much more extreme, as 90 percent of attacks were perpetrated before 2001.”
American Life League President Judie Brown called it a smear tactic.
“I can see exactly what is going on with reference to the pro-life movement. The use of two words expose the bias and hatred for what we stand for as a movement. Those words are ‘attacks’ and ‘violence’,” Brown said.
Herb Titus, a constitutional law professor, former dean of the Regent University School of Law and distinguished fellow with the Inter-American Institute for Philosophy, Government, and Social Thought, says it’s an attempt to link conservative thought with violence.
“Professor Perliger has adopted the strategy of many left-wing members of the professoriate, concentrating on the behavior of a few in order to discredit many who hold similar views but who do not engage in any form of violence,” Titus said.
“His theory is that of the iceberg, that which as seen may be small, but it hides what is a much larger threat just below the surface. Obviously, the professor disagrees with those who favor small government, cutting back of federal government encroachments upon the powers of the state and to discredit this movement focuses on a few gun-toting militia,” Titus said.
Titus turns his attention to whom he believes is the source of the study.
“Like so many in the Obama administration, Perliger does not want to engage in any dialogue on the issues, but just discredit an entire political movement by ad hominem charged words,” Titus said. “Perliger is not a serious scholar, but a propagandist for the existing regime.”
The military teaching that the colonists were “extremists” was traced back to SPLC.
Judicial Watch, a government corruption monitor, said it obtained records regarding the “preparation and presentation of training materials on hate groups or hate crimes distributed or used by the Air Force.”
The teaching claimed: “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
The 9/11 attacks by Muslims who killed nearly 3,000 people are called a “historical event.”
Oct 23 2013 // 5:27pm
Soldiers attending a pre-deployment briefing at Fort Hood say they were told that evangelical Christians and members of the Tea Party were a threat to the nation and that any soldier donating to those groups would be subjected to punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
A soldier who attended the Oct. 17th briefing told me the counter-intelligence agent in charge of the meeting spent nearly a half hour discussing how evangelical Christians and groups like the American Family Association were “tearing the country apart.”
Michael Berry, an attorney with the Liberty Institute, is advising the soldier and has launched an investigation into the incident.
“The American public should be outraged that the U.S. Army is teaching our troops that evangelical Christians and Tea Party members are enemies of America, and that they can be punished for supporting or participating in those groups,” said Berry, a former Marine Corps JAG officer.
“These statements about evangelicals being domestic enemies are a serious charge.”
The soldier told me he fears reprisals and asked not to be identified. He said there was a blanket statement that donating to any groups that were considered a threat to the military and government was punishable under military regulations.
“My first concern was if I was going to be in trouble going to church,” the evangelical Christian soldier told me. “Can I tithe? Can I donate to Christian charities? What if I donate to a politician who is a part of the Tea Party movement?”
Another soldier who attended the briefing alerted the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. That individual’s recollections of the briefing matched the soldier who reached out to me.
“I was very shocked and couldn’t believe what I was hearing,” the soldier said. “I felt like my religious liberties, that I risk my life and sacrifice time away from family to fight for, were being taken away.”
And while a large portion of the briefing dealt with the threat evangelicals and the Tea Party pose to the nation, barely a word was said about Islamic extremism, the soldier said.
“Our community is still healing from the act of terrorism brought on by Nidal Hasan – who really is a terrorist,” the soldier said. “This is a slap in the face. “The military is supposed to defend freedom and to classify the vast majority of the military that claim to be Christian as terrorists is sick.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, tells me the Pentagon is pushing anti-Christian propaganda.
“On the very base that was the site of mass murder carried out by a radicalized Muslim soldier, it is astonishing that it is evangelical groups that are being identified as a ‘threat,’” he said. “Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel must immediately intervene to stop this march against the rights and freedom of our soldiers.”
The soldier said they were also told that the pro-life movement is another example of “radicalization.”
“They said that evangelical Christians protesting abortions are the mobilization stage and that leads to the bombing of abortion clinics,” he said, recalling the discussion.
An Army spokesman at the Pentagon tells me they do not maintain or publish a list of organizations considered extremist.
“None of these slides [shown at the briefing] were produced by the Army, but by soldiers who included information found during an Internet search,” the spokesman said.
He said commanders and other leaders were cautioned that they should not use “lists of extremists, hate groups, radical factions or the like compiled by any outside non-governmental groups or organizations for briefings, command presentations, or as a short cut to determining if a group or activity is considered to be extremist.”
Meanwhile, the public affairs office at Fort Hood is denying the soldiers’ allegations.
“The allegations you are asking about were brought to the attention of the Fort Hood leadership immediately and a (sic) inquiry is occurring,” read a statement from Tom Rheinlander, the public affairs director at Fort Hood. “At this time, initial information gathered about the training and what you claim occurred is not substantiated by unit leadership and soldiers present at this training venue.”
I sent the public affairs officer additional questions about the specific content of the briefing but he declined to respond.
But this is not the first time an Army briefing has labeled evangelicals as extremists. Last April an Army Reserve briefing classified Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as “religious extremism.”
In a letter to Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Secretary of the Army John McHugh said the briefing in April was an isolated incident and the material used was not sanctioned by the Army.
McHugh said it was a “misguided attempt to explain that extremism is not limited to a single religion.”
Two weeks ago, several dozen active duty troops at Camp Shelby in Mississippi, were told the American Family Association, a well-respected Christian ministry, should be classified as a domestic hate group because it advocates for traditional family values.
Again, the military called it an isolated incident with a trainer using material that was not sanctioned by the military.
That explanation is wearing thin with American Christians.
“How much longer can the Army claim no knowledge or responsibility for these things?” Berry asked.
“These repeated incidents show either that this training was directed from Army leadership at the Pentagon, or else the Army has a real discipline and leadership problem on its hands because a bunch of rogue soldiers are teaching this nonsense.”
The most recent allegations at Fort Hood have drawn sharp rebuke from religious liberty groups around the nation.
“Why is the Army engaged in these anti-Christian training propaganda briefings?” asked Perkins, himself a veteran of the Marine Corps. “The only explanation is that this is a deliberate effort of the Obama administration to intimidate and separate soldiers from Christian groups that they support and that support them.”
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance, called the military’s behavior dishonorable.
“Far from mere ‘isolated incidents,’ as the Army has dismissed previous occurrences, this latest incident demonstrates a pattern and practice of Army briefings identifying mainstream religions, such as Evangelical Christianity, Judaism, and Catholicism, as examples of ‘religious extremism’ similar to Al Qaeda, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan,” he told me.
Perkins said it’s time for the Pentagon to “ensure that instructors carry out their role to train our troops to defend our freedom, and not push anti-Christian propaganda.”
April 8, 2013
Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America? Once upon a time such a notion would have been unthinkable, but these days things are changing dramatically. All over the United States, evangelical Christians are being called “extremists” and evangelical Christian organizations are being labeled as “hate groups”. In fact, as I will detail later on in this article, a U.S. Army Reserve training presentation recently specifically identified evangelical Christians as “religious extremists”. This should be extremely chilling for all evangelical Christians out there, because as history has shown us over and over again, when you want to persecute a particular group of people the first step is always to demonize them. And that is exactly what is being done to evangelical Christians today. Just look at how evangelical Christians are being portrayed on television and in the movies. Just look at how much hate is being spewed at Christians on the Internet. The Southern Poverty Law Center and the ACLU, both of which are considered to be among the most prominent “civil rights” organizations in the United States, are seemingly obsessed with attacking evangelical Christians. It has become trendy to bash Christians, and that is a very frightening thing. After they have finished demonizing evangelical Christians, what will the next step be?
A U.S. Army Reserve equal opportunity training presentation entitled “Extremism and Extremist Organizations” actually included “Evangelical Christianity” as an example of “Religious Extremism” in a list that also included al-Qaeda, Hamas and the Ku Klux Klan. You can find a copy of the entire presentation right here.
Is this how evangelical Christians will be treated in the future? Will evangelical Christians be treated like members of the Ku Klux Klan or like members of al-Qaeda?
The following is how a Christian Post article described this chilling report…
A U.S. Army Reserve Equal Opportunity training brief describes “Evangelical Christianity” and “Catholicism” as examples of “religious extremism,” according to the Archdiocese for the Military Services and the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, who shared a copy of the documents with The Christian Post.
“The number of hate groups, extremists and anti‐govt organizations in the U.S. has continued to grow over the past three years, according to reports by the Southern Poverty Law Center. They increased to 1,018 in 2011, up from 1,002 in 2010 and 602 in 2000,” reads the first page of the slide presentation labeled “Extremism & Extremist Organizations.”
Listed alongside “extremist” groups and organizations like the Klu Klux Klan and al-Qaida, the U.S. Army slideshow has “Evangelical Christianity” as the first bullet, followed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and farther down on the slide, Catholicism.
Posted below is a picture of the slide entitled “Religious Extremism”…
Below that slide there is accompanying text that condemns any religion that believes that it is the only “right way” and that believes that other religions are wrong…
Extremism is a complex phenomenon; it is defined as beliefs, attitudes, feelings, actions, or strategies of a character far removed from the “ordinary.” Because “ordinary” is subjective, no religious group would label itself extreme or its doctrine “extremism.” However, religious extremism is not limited to any single religion, ethnic group, or region of the world; every religion has some followers that believe that their beliefs, customs and traditions are the only “right way” and that all others are practicing their faith the “wrong way,” seeing and believing that their faith/religion superior to all others.
Well, that is exactly what evangelical Christians believe. They believe that the death of Jesus Christ on the cross is the only payment for sin and thus the only way to be reconciled to God. Unfortunately, this belief is now enough to be labeled as a “religious extremist”.
And sadly this is far from an isolated incident. Since Barack Obama was first elected, Christians have been demonized in government report after government report. In a previous article entitled “Patriots And Christians Have Been Repeatedly Labeled As Potential Terrorists Since Obama Became President” I detailed many of these instances.
But of course it is not just the government that is demonizing Christians these days.
Just look at what the reaction on social media has been to the death of the son of Pastor Rick Warren.
A lot of people out there have decided to use the death of his mentally ill son as an opportunity to spew hatred toward Pastor Rick Warren and his faith. The following are a few examples of this hate that have been posted on Twitter…
–@War_of_Kings I wonder if Rick Warren’s son was gay and killed himself because of his father’s anti-gay bashing?
–@anyprophet so who else is shocked that rick warren drove his gay son to suicide?
Sadly, those are some of the cleaner examples. There are many more which include language that is definitely not appropriate for children to read.
So why are evangelical Christians hated so much? Well, the truth is that they are primarily hated because of what they believe. Attempts to intimidate evangelical Christians into changing their beliefs continue to become more frightening. The following are just a few examples…
1 – A student at Florida Atlantic University was recently suspended from class for refusing “to write the word ‘Jesus’ on a piece of paper, fold it up, and step on it.”
2 – A 14-year-old homeschooler in Maryland received multiple death threats after testifying in favor of traditional marriage before the Maryland state senate.
3 – A 14-year-old student at a public school in Texas was suspended from school for saying that he believes that homosexuality is wrong.
4 – A gay activist group that smashed up a church in Oregon says that it hopes that it will “strike fear into the hearts” of Christian leaders…
The group that allegedly smashed up a Portland church hopes its “small act of vengeance will strike fear into the hearts of” Christian leaders who teach traditional sexual morality, according to an e-mail message the group released to the public. A group calling itself “Angry Queers” has claimed responsibility for throwing baseball-sized rocks through nine church windows in Portland’s Mars Hill Church, including two 100-year-old stained glass panes.
5 – A high school teacher in Oregon was recently escorted from his school by police for objecting to the presence of Planned Parenthood in the school.
6 – Some gay activists up in Illinois actually threw concrete brick pavers through the glass doors of one Christian organization in an attempt to intimidate them…
Pro-homosexual activists attacked the Christian Liberty Academy early October 15th – throwing two large, concrete brick pavers through its glass doors with a hate-note attached– and then issued an online statement claiming responsibility for the crime. The attackers demanded that CLA “shut down” a banquet it was hosting later that evening for the “homophobic hate group,” Americans For Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH).
7 – All over the country people are being fired from their jobs for expressing their belief in the Biblical view of sexual morality.
8 – Street preachers all over America are being threatened with arrest just for standing on street corners and preaching the gospel. Here is one recent example from Illinois…
“I did pretty much the same thing: I preached about twenty minutes, and I handed out a few tracts,” Johnson explained. “[W]hen I got in my car to leave, … and as I was getting ready to start the car, the police zoomed up and turned on their lights, and told me to get out of the car.”
“They pretty much said the same thing,” he continued. “They said, ‘You’re not supposed to raise your voice or scare anybody and tell people they’re going to die.’ I said, ‘Well, what if that building’s on fire and I raise my voice and tell people if they don’t leave, they’re going to die? Is that wrong?’”
And the Southern Poverty Law Center is very open about who they consider the enemy to be. The following are just a few prominent evangelical Christian organizations that the SPLC identifies as hate groups…
The American Family Association
Concerned Women for America
Coral Ridge Ministries
Family Research Council
Anyone that is familiar with any of those groups knows that they are absolutely not hate groups. In fact, they are filled with tremendously loving people. The people that make up organizations such as those are the backbone of America.
But these days there are many liberal organizations that will label anyone that does not agree with them as a “hate group” at the drop of a hat.
In another report entitled “The Year in Hate and Extremism“, the Southern Poverty Law Center mentions the following individuals and groups…
The Oath Keepers
The truth, of course, is that all of those individuals and organizations are deeply patriotic and are trying to turn America around. It is the SPLC that is the one that is filled with hate, and they clearly have a very deep hatred for anyone that does not agree with them.
Sadly, what is happening to evangelical Christians in America is just part of a larger trend that is happening all over the globe. The following is from a recent Reuters article…
About 100 million Christians are persecuted around the world, with conditions worsening for them most rapidly in Syria and Ethiopia, according to an annual report by a group supporting oppressed Christians worldwide.
Open Doors, a non-denominational Christian group, listed North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan as the three toughest countries for Christians last year. They topped the 50-country ranking for 2011 as well.
Persecution of Christians is on the rise, and it is probably only going to get worse in the years ahead.
Remember what happened in Nazi Germany. There was a long program of demonization against the groups that the Nazis hated before they ever started to round them up and take them off to camps.
In the end, those that are now demonizing evangelical Christians will not just be satisfied with calling them names. They ultimately want much more, and what we are witnessing now is just the warm-up act.