In a meeting with several colleagues last week, we discussed the state of the culture, current events, and specific issues regarding abortion, parents’ rights, and religious freedom.
A look the situation across the country is disheartening.
One week ago, a transgender activist entered a Christian school in Nashville and murdered six Christ followers, three adults and three children. The situation was tragic. Yet news reports have practically ignored the fact that the assault was against Christians. They have even labeled the killer as a seventh victim in the intricately planned and methodically executed assault.
Imagine if those murdered had been members of another religion, or if they had been of one social class, an abortion clinic, or gay nightclub. The headlines would be sounding alarms of hate crimes.
Other than the added horror that children were murdered in Nashville, any of those situations would be equally tragic, equally horrible, equally evil, but why is the media ignoring the fact that Christians were not only murdered, but were targeted outright?
In a post-Roe America over the last several months, abortion strategists have been indefatigable in finding new means to kill pre-born babies: Abortion pills shipped across state lines, a Colorado bill outlawing the abortion reversal pill has passed and is awaiting the governor’s signature, as well as another bill in the Centennial State are aimed at regulating Pregnancy Medical Clinics.
The United States military is employing many means to support abortion among its ranks, including using taxpayer dollars to pay for servicewomen to cross state lines in search of an abortion.
Most pro-lifers believed that when Roe eventually fell it would be our time to strategize at the state level. And while that is true, so far, the other side has hardly rolled over, passing six state referendums in a row which strengthen abortion in those states. And two of those state referendums, in California and Michigan, actually include a swipe at parents’ rights regarding child mutilation under the guise of gender affirming care.
Denver area baker Jack Phillips won his case at the Supreme Court against the state of Colorado, which had sanctioned him for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding.
Mr. Phillips has no ill will toward the same-sex community, having served them with other confections. And his refusal for the cake was not singly about same-sex issues. He also refuses to make other cakes which, he feels, compromises his faith, including cakes with profanity, cakes for Halloween, and cakes promoting pornography.
While usually a win at the Supreme Court settles a matter, the decision basically helped Phillips very little, as his opponents in Denver had a quiver full of other means to counter his religious freedom. He continues to be legally harassed.
Many believe that when the Left is in power, under their control the culture is pulled so far in one direction that it is impossible to correct it fully under future leadership. The Right pulls back as far as it can, but never quite makes it to the starting point. Consider all the otherwise conservative votes for big spending during the pandemic. Look at the allegedly pro-family members of Congress who supported the mis-named “Respect for Marriage Act” last year, which enshrined in Federal law the abandonment of the biblical marriage of one man – one woman, which has existed since the founding our the Republic, as well as for thousands of years of world history.
Another dynamic in our culture are those who boast of their faith, both in office and out, yet represent principles which are in polar opposition to that faith. This includes presidents, members of Congress, and those holding no office at all.
At Focus on the Family, we support both the baby and the mother in situations of crisis or other unwanted pregnancies. Every baby is wanted, by someone, and we work to help the mother as we further orphan care ministries at the same time.
In the meeting earlier last week someone mentioned that the strategy of the Left in all these matters must be to “wear us out,” to keep coming up with advances against family values and religious freedom until we finally give up, until we finally admit that we are either wrong or finally outnumbered, caving to the belief that godly principles have no place in America’s pluralistic society.
That was when it hit me.
Jesus told His followers that days like this would come but that they must endure until the end and then be saved (Mark 13:13). Jesus was not speaking of saved as in a salvation experience, or as a political victory, but as a final salvation from the onslaught of the world in the midst of great tribulation.
He was telling us that we will win in the end, that He has already won the battle, and we should press on and live as if we have won. Jesus tells us to live as if we have already seen the end of the game and know that we will be ahead on the scoreboard when the buzzer sounds.
We all face discouragement, despair, and unsettledness. But we must endure. We cannot give up. We will lose contests here and there, but Jesus has already won the ultimate victory.
In the meantime, and of paramount importance, we must not see our opponents in the culture as enemies, only as lost. We also must not equate political or cultural differences of principle with faith beliefs. A former employer of mine in the political realm was fond of saying that Christians who are conservative on public issues must understand that not all whose who share our faith will share our views on policy issues, and not all who share our views on policy issues will share our faith. And while we can vehemently disagree with them about matters of policy, we cross a dangerous line when we impugn someone else’s faith.
Jesus cast the traders and sellers out of the temple just a few days before He died for their sins. He washed Judas’s feet the same night the disciple betrayed Him.
We were all sinners once, destined for hell, and we still commit sin, but He loves us and died for us in spite of our sin in order to bridge the gulf between God and mankind. We must have that same attitude toward those who need His ultimate grace and forgiveness. And He died for all. His atonement between man and God is universal, even though that great gift must be accepted by each in a personal decision.
At this time of year, especially, we know that Jesus died so that none might perish but all have the opportunity to believe in Him for eternal life.
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