Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's Anti-Christ Time In The City

I bet you thought I was about to gripe about the lack of traditional decorations on Starbucks cups. Nope!  Starbuck cups were never about "Christ in Christmas," so I don't really have a dog in that fight. This is also not really a "Keep Christ in Christmas" post, either, except to lay a foundation for what I do want to write about.

With a few exceptions, the opposition to Christ in Christmas in the public square has won the battle. The courts have adopted a progressive interpretation of the establishment clause of the constitution and have used it to restrict Christian expression in public. So, there are virtually no municipalities, schools, or corporations that are willing to stand up and fight anymore.

This is not bah-humbug. I think it's just a realistic assessment of our country. I hope I'm a realist like Nehemiah, who God called to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem in the face of great opposition. He did not deny the existence of the enemy. He took steps to protect the people, and kept right on trusting God and building the wall. I believe that 'Christmas' has quickly become 'Mas' in America for a very simple reason. I think we are no longer a Christian nation. And, I think we are quickly becoming an anti-Christian one.

Since to live for Christ requires a Christian to live according to the teachings of Christ in all areas of life, forbidding a Christian from living according to their moral principles at work is anti-Christian. Since to live for Christ requires a Christian to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever she goes, it is anti-Christian to forbid her to do so anywhere she goes. Yet, that is exactly what our nation has done. It is forbidden to live according to the moral principles of the Bible, since that requires the expression of those principles in action and in speech, in virtually every workplace in America. Are these prohibitions not quickly becoming the status quo outside of the four walls of the church? Am I alarmist, unsound, or extremist?

Public schools employ and enroll 1/4 of the US population. Add the families of those teachers and students, and the public school system is the dominate influence in the life of over half of Americans. The expression of the true Christian faith of teachers and employees is forbidden at work, and the same expression of Christian students is increasingly restricted. Public school employees must approve of moral standards that conflict with their faith and they must not speak about their own Christian faith under penalty of law, or at the very least loss of employment. Anyone working for the government at any level, is forbidden to practice the true Christian faith at work - again, living it and proclaiming it. Add all government employees and major corporations to public school employees and students, and it is easy to see that the spirit of anti-Christ controls more than one-half of the population's expression for much of every week.

Yes, we enjoy great freedom in this nation, but we are not nearly as free as we were just a decade ago, and this trend toward anti-Christian public policy is snowballing.

Removing Christ from Christmas is no longer about over-commercialization. It is just one more facet of the attack of the spirit of antiChrist. So, what are we to do? Should we politic, protest, or just continue to placate the opposition? God gives us clear guidance for living in a world that has always been dominated by the spirit of anti-Christ since Jesus ascended (1 John 4:3).

Rejoice in the opposition.  They hated Jesus, so they hate us and our faith. Be glad you are opposed by those who oppose Christ. (John 15)

Reject the intimidation.  We must obey God, not man. Trust Him to take care of you in life and in death. (Acts 4)

Refrain from being oppositional.  Jesus told Peter to put up his sword. We wage war with the good news. Be as wise as a serpent, as gentle as a dove, and as persistent and stubborn in your faith and in proclaiming the Gospel as a donkey. (Mathew 10)

Remain faithful to Christ How can we help but talk about our great and gracious Savior. As Peter and John said, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:19-20)