Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is the Christian Church in America Being Forced Underground?

Is the Christian Church in America Being Forced Underground?
By: J. D. Longstreet


“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” - First Amendment to the US Constitution

My old Pappy used to say that the persecution of the early Christian Church was the greatest thing to happen to the church since the Resurrection. It forced the church to spread through out the modern world of that era. In doing so, it spread the Gospel, the “Good News” of the newly formed Christian church and sank its roots deep into what had, until that time, been pagan soil.

Judging from the news coming out of San Diego, California, it’s a mighty good thing they don’t have coliseums and lions there. For if they did - well, you get the picture.

Wait a minute! You DON’T get the picture! Haven’t you heard of the strident measures the government is taking there to squelch religion taught in the home? Apparently, many of you have not.

Well, now. It would behoove us to fill you in so you can have a solid foundation upon which to build your opinion of what is going on in this particular part of California.

To get a good grasp of the situation you need to go
HERE. The piece is titled: “Home: No place for Bible study.” Drew Zahn wrote it.

It seems a San Diego Pastor and his wife were questioned by officials from the county and told they would be fined if they continued to hold bible study courses in their home. Yep, that’s what I said: “Their H O M E!”

The incident dates back to (the) Good Friday before Easter when a county government employee paid them a visit. According to the couple they were asked a number of questions about the bible study they were conducting. Among them were questions about whether or not there was hymn singing and the verbal expressions: “Amen” and even “Praise the Lord ” spoken aloud.

It seems the county has this permit they refer to as the Major Use Permit, or the MUP. The Pastor’s wife says she was informed that she and her husband MUST have an MUP before they continue to hold those services in their home. Now, a MUP oft-times involves lots of money. Depending upon the activity, they may require a traffic study, and/or an environmental study. Plus, the applicant for a MUP must comply with parking and sidewalk regulations, as well. We’re told that the costs for all this often exceeds ten thousand dollars could exceed that several times.

We have warned a number of times about the complete disregard for the US Constitution and the shredding of it by others. It seems to us, this is a good example of simply ignoring the law of the land and making up law on the fly.

Of most concern, though, is the obvious ignoring of the US Constitution - the First Amendment that makes up the Bill of Rights, no less.

While some may argue that the First Amendment only applies to laws made by the Congress of the United States, the Supreme Court has interpreted it as applying to the executive and judicial branches of the US government, as well. And – during the last century - the Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the limitations of the First Amendment to each state, including any local government within a state.

Now, as if that is not enough, along comes something called the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. This one is SO bad it prompted A Texas pastor to write an open letter to the US Senate asking ANY Senator to filibuster the bill! The Pastor, Rick Scarborough, pastor of Harvest Point Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, and founder of “Vision America” refers to the recent Congressional actions as a "maddening march to the destruction of our First Amendment right to freely practice our religion."

In the outside event that you don’t know - this bill would provide special protections to homosexual people while leaving Christian ministers open to prosecution – if - their teachings were to be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual person.

Now, to understand the import of this bill to a Christian church, one must understand that the Christian faith teaches that homosexuality is a sin, one of the gravest of sins. As the vast majority of Christian churches teaches that the Bible is the “infallible” Word of God or, at the least, the “inspired” Word of God, then a Christian pastor is bound by his/her faith to teach the same and, from time to time, he/she will be “lead” to preach against homosexuality as the sin that he truly believes that it is.

Under this law, as I understand it, a pastor preaching such, from a pulpit, will be liable (would be in violation of the law) and subject to imprisonment, a fine, or whatever the court and the law decree, should one of his parishioners, or simply a listener, go out and commit a “hate crime” against a homosexual, especially if that perpetrator should mention that he did the crime after hearing one of the good pastor’s sermons.

The act has already been approved in the US House of Representatives as HR 1913 and is sitting in the queue and waiting in the Senate as S. 909.

In his letter, Pastor Scarborough says: “The legislation pending before you will make me an 'inducer' to hate crimes if I preach Romans 1:18-32 and someone who hears me then commits a criminal act against a protected class. It is clear that this bill will criminalize biblical preaching and will prevent me and thousands of other clergymen from practicing our faith without threat of penalty from our own federal government." (You REALLY NEED to read Romans 1:18 - 32 in order to understand the Christian church’s take on homosexuality.)

Here is the text of the letter Pastor Scarborough sent to the Senate:

Dear Members of the Senate of the United States:

As a pastor of a local congregation, I humbly request that at least one of you stand up on behalf of all God-fearing Americans and stop this maddening march to the destruction of our First Amendment right to freely practice our religion in America via "hate crimes" legislation including the protection of pedophiles and other aberrant and destructive behaviors. As you are fully aware, the hate crimes bill that recently passed the House and is now before your body will seriously erode that freedom.

Congressman Louie Gohmert repeatedly sounded the alarm that if the version of the bill which passed the House is finally signed into law, the radical left will be fully armed with the power of federal criminal law to silence any dissenting voice that declares homosexuality or other such behaviors sinful and wrong.

I have been preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ since 1969. I have deeply held religious convictions that the Bible is God’s revealed truth about man and humanity, and I hold no animosity toward homosexuals or anyone who disagrees with me. Let’s debate the merits and the facts and allow all sides to air their opinion. But do not silence pastors nor penalize people of faith.

In the Scripture there are clear guidelines regarding marriage, human sexuality, and social order.

In the first chapter of Romans there is a clear prohibition against same-sex relations. The legislation pending before you will make me an “inducer” to hate crimes if I preach Romans 1:18-32 and someone who hears me then commits a criminal act against a protected class, including those who choose to live in defiance of God’s revealed truth. It is clear that this bill will criminalize biblical preaching and will prevent me and thousands of other clergymen from practicing our faith without threat of penalty from our own federal government.

A congressman who strongly opposed this legislation in the House recently said to me, “They just don’t get it, Pastor Rick!” I believe that some of you do “get it,” and it is incumbent upon you to stand up for what is right and just and stop thistrain from arriving at the station.

I have walked the halls of the Senate Office Building, as have others, begging for someone to lead a filibuster of the bill, only to be told repeatedly that it is a lost cause. Frankly, sirs, there are no lost causes except when good men fail to fight a desperate battle for their God and their liberty.

That’s why we are making this appeal to you. On behalf of God and our freedoms we beseech you to take up the torch. In the words of acclaimed actor and World War II hero, Jimmy Stewart, in one of the most memorable movies of the 20th century, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington": “Lost causes are the only ones worth fighting for.”

Who will step forward and filibuster this wicked legislation? Who will champion Christians, Jews, and even Muslims who will find themselves in jeopardy when this legislation is signed into law? Will you?

When young David approached the field of battle bringing news to his three warrior brothers from his father, and saw Goliath taunting the armies of God, he left his carriage and said, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” When his own brothers rebuked him, he then replied, “Is there not a cause?” That day one courageous follower of the living God showed the world that God could whip a giant and rout an army.

Senators, I plead with you to be our champion, NOW! Surely there is one Senator who believes in the cause of righteousness enough to stand up and do the right thing, whether it’s popular and winnable or not! Is my freedom to practice my religion freely a worthy cause? Is not the First Amendment a righteous cause? Is there not a cause?

You have been honored by your constituents who have elected you to uphold the Constitution.

To get more on this story, go
To answer the question posed in the title to this commentary - yes, I believe, eventually, the Christian Church will be driven underground in America as it has been in other nations around the globe. Otherwise, it will cease to exist in this land many firmly believe was founded by Christians.

As I scribble these few words it could not be any clearer that this bill is a violation of the First Amendment. Will it pass the Congress and be signed into law by the President? Yes, I believe it will. Why? The answer is quite simple: because America is no longer a Christian nation. At least, America’s government no longer governs based on the Judeo-Christian code of laws and beliefs. And very soon now, the Supreme Court of the land will be in the hands of socialists, as well, and that will be the end of the failed experiment called “America” a nation which was to have been governed only by the voice of it’s people and their God.

J.D. Longstreet



Frank said...

Yep these so called "Christians", like my best friend's sister and her husband, go door to door to fight Casinos in Ohio but you can't keep their fat butts out of the Casinos in P.A., West Virginia, Vegas and Atlantic City, Yep there is no salvation for hipocrits like that. I ran into them at a picninc yesterday and said told them that, "If you speak with the forked tounge of the serpant you will not see God". Man I reallt loath those fools who corrupt religion by throwing into the political ring. Myself on the other hand, I don't gamble, not even with buddies on a football game, but I support Casinos, for jobs and the added revenue, every dime they can get someone to freely give up is one less they have to forcibly remove from me.

Oh and by the way, yesterday was memorial day and I just wanted to say, "Thank you, Suh!".

Ron Russell said...

I have no problem with Casino's one way or the other. But I do understand economics 101. Every dollar spend at the Casino is a dollar less spent somewhere else. And I suspect the state gets about the same amount from both. Its the old broken window story. Boy throws rock through window in mans house bad for the home owner but good for the glass company.

Casino's do not prevent tax increases those increases always come with or without casino's.