I am glad I am a citizen of the United States, but there are times when “American values” conflict with “Christian values”. I have witness many a Christian become paralysis with fear and muzzled because they know that to speak the truth of God in Jesus Christ will single them out as opposition to the majority and with that comes names like bigoted, prejudice, and intolerant. However I would like to set the record straight that while freedom of speech is an American right serve to most;
It is not a Christian’s right anymore!!!
The church today has been effectively muzzled and brought to a point of apathy and political correctness in attempting to not offend. Jesus offended many people when He walked the earth. Not deliberately, of course, but it happened. He brought new truth, so it was unavoidable.
While He did not intentionally offend Paul did state in Galatians 4:16 “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”
Even today, we see the masses of society falling prey to the “lying wonders” of Satan. It couldn't be any more blatant that The White House administration openly supports abortion and sodomy as a normal lifestyle and uses the might of the USA to push these agendas to the American people.
“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2nd Thessalonians 2:9). Satan is a master liar, he knows exactly how to deceive the masses of ignorant people (those who love not the truth).
Satan inspired, Adolph Hitler, said... “People are more likely to believe a big lie than a small one.”
Sadly, America's Christians are blinded to the truth because they love not the truth. Too many people have religiosity without truth, churchianity without Christianity. The truth couldn't be any more obvious, but the masses of society are sleeping. Tragically, America's born again Christians are sleeping as well. “Awake to righteousness...” (1st Corinthians 15:34). Wake up!
The TRUTH is the TRUTH, even if no one believes it; a LIE is a LIE, even if everyone believes it!
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law." -Matthew 10:34,35
The Gospel of Jesus Christ Has Always Offended the Wicked! Romans 9:33 refers to Christ as a “stumbling block” and a "Rock of Offence.” Jesus clearly taught in Matthew 10:34, 35 that He did NOT come to this world to bring peace.
Let me clarify, Jesus' did come to die upon the cross for our sins; thus, enabling us to have peace with God through the precious shed blood of Jesus Christ. BUT, Jesus also expects us to PREACH the Gospel, which OFFENDS most people.
Let me define “Gospel” so there is no misunderstanding. 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 defines the “Gospel” as the DEATH, BURIAL, and RESURRECTION of Christ Jesus. This includes the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9).
I too believe we should remember our call to be Christ – like. It’s a topic that has had my attention for some time. However, I’m wondering if part of the reason we are where we are isn’t this very thinking.
Isn’t it possible to ATTEMPT to take what Christ has written and try to offend NO ONE – to the point that the Gospel loses its power? We don’t want to offend, so we say nothing to point out that others are not following Christ’s teachings.
Let me give you an example. I know there are couples in my church who are living together but aren’t married. Since living together has become socially acceptable in our country, we Christians often make the choice to tolerate this choice because we don’t want to offend them and we don’t want them to leave the church. However, by doing this very thing we negate the teachings of scripture that it is a sin to have intimate relations outside of marriage.
So, we dilute the teachings in favor of being non-offensive. I believe this is at the core of the decline of the church. It makes us hypocrites, and totally repulsive to those who seek a way of life whose followers actually follow the teachings.
On a secular level free speech is a gift that the framers of the constitution valued above most every other right in this country. The backdrop of the Revolution was the expression of ideas by the Anglican (English) Church, and deists, freethinkers, Baptists, Calvinists, Methodists, and the like desired the universal ability to be free to espouse their ideas without a fear of retribution.
However, this freedom is increasingly in duress, and has been in the news recently in several different manifestations. Furthermore, this phenomenon has begun to assert itself that the Christian ideas are not truth that can any longer stand up and be accepted as such.
I give you the example of the dilemma created when Jason Collins a 3rd string 7 foot tall NBA player came out of the closet as being gay. He was immediately accepted and praised by the American public even to the President of the USA, but when ESPN sports analyst came out and stated that he believed that personally homosexually was a sin many condemn him as homophobic, a bigot, and demanded that he be fired from his career employment for using his right to free speak.
Remember when San Francisco cornerback Chris Culliver apologized last year for comments he made in revealing his true feeling about an openly gay player in the locker room/shower? He was force to recant his freedom of speech by the pressure imposed on him by the media and employer.
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver answers questions Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, in New Orleans, regarding anti-gay remarks he made during Super Bowl media day Tuesday. Culliver apologized for the comments he made to a comedian, saying "that's not what I feel in my heart." The 49ers are scheduled to play the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game on Feb. 3.
The general consensus is he should have held his tongue but his views are probably shared by a very large majority of players. Just because the politically correct media tries to castrate anyone who opposes the gay lifestyle for whatever reason does not change human nature.
Supposedly gays make up around 6% or less of the population but their agenda has gone from demanding tolerance to almost demanding that the lifestyle be looked upon as normal. Because of the political correctness and stigma associated with speaking out Christian many are choosing to muzzle the Word and allow this sin and many others to go uncheck and this will most definitely cause them to go to hell and live in eternity without God.
Still don’t believe that Christians are losing the right to free speech?
Listen to this.
SWEDISH PASTOR JAILED FOR PREACHING HOMOSEXUALITY A SIN
A Swedish pastor who preached a sermon on the Biblical prohibitions against homosexual behavior is waiting to see if the Supreme Court of Sweden will send him to jail for six months for doing so.
Ake Green, the pastor of a small-town Pentecostal church, delivered his sermon in 2003 and has been in the prosecutor’s crosshairs ever since. Charged with violating a Swedish hate speech law that protects homosexuals from “intimidation” and “agitation,” he was sentenced to a month in jail last year by a district court. An appeals court overturned his conviction, but the prosecutor has appealed to the Supreme Court and has asked that the 68-year-old pastor’s jail term be increased to six months.
The Supreme Court heard arguments this month and is expected to rule sometime next year.
Pastor Green’s sermon, entitled “Is Homosexuality Genetic or an Evil Force that Plays Mind Games with People?”, carefully cites Bible passages demonstrating that sodomy, in the eyes of God, is a sin. He warns that Sweden, because of its embrace of homosexuality, may be in acute danger of God’s judgment. He teaches that persons guilty of this sin, by repenting and relying on God’s grace, can be freed from bondage to it and saved.
The pastor backs up everything he says with verses from the Bible. At no point does he advocate violence against homosexuals, condone hatred or rejection of them, or recommend any action but prayer and the preaching of the gospel
(for the complete text, see http://www.faithandaction.org/10604Oscarsson.htm.
Nevertheless, homosexuals complained and the prosecutor went into action. This is because Sweden has a law that “prohibits the expression of ‘disrespect’ towards favored minority groups,” explained Jared Leland of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty (www.becketfund.org), who has written a “friend of the court” brief that has been accepted into the record by the Swedish Supreme Court.
The Becket Fund, Washington, D.C., is an official nongovernmental organization (NGO) that consults with the United Nations.
“Pastor Green’s entire speech was based on Biblical interpretation,” Leland said. “It does not threaten anyone; it does not call people to action to place the public order in disarray.”
The Swedish law, he said, is similar to a notorious Pennsylvania law against “ethnic intimidation” under which 11 Christians were arrested and jailed in Philadelphia last summer when they tried to preach at a city-funded homosexual street fair. A city judge dismissed the case.
“Ultimately what’s at stake here is religious expression,” Leland said. “A religious expression was made that offended a prominent minority, and the offense was in the eye of the beholder.
“The issue is not homosexuality. It’s religious expression and conviction, and the right of preachers to preach about religious interpretation from the pulpit.”
Leland wrote an article in defense of the pastor. It was widely published in Sweden last year, and the response surprised him.
“It got a very hostile response from Swedish newspaper columnists,” he said. “They all say, ‘You don’t understand our culture. This man should go to jail for two years — not six months!’”
Can It Happen Here?
Hate speech bills — usually aimed at making the homosexual agenda immune to public criticism — come up in the U.S. Congress every year.
According to Leland, the U.S. government has signed on to most of the human rights treaties, including the ICCPR. What concerns us is that “domestic law does not trump international law,” as Leland put it. Have we subordinated our Constitution and Bill of Rights to international treaty? These treaties, as applied in Europe, have been used to support homosexual militancy and persecute its opponents — including, now, a preacher in his pulpit.
California last year enacted a hate speech law very similar to the one Sweden is using against Ake Green. The Pennsylvania law used against the “Philadelphia 11” has not yet been repealed.
What with international treaties, state laws, and proposed federal laws, for how much longer will America be without a case like Ake Green’s?
If this continues Americans, especially Christians, as well as those throughout the world who enjoy free speech, could find themselves in a 1984 George Orwell type society where doublespeak is the only allowable language.
In closing I suggest that there has to be a balance. We stand up for what we believe in at all costs (as did the Apostle Paul), and yet mind our conversation so that it gives life, even when it isn’t popular. Criticism and hate speech are never welcome, but perhaps loving honesty and guidance are necessary.