Drawing the Battle Lines: Engaging America for Christ
Are you worried about America’s future? I am. On September 11, 2012, U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, including two former Navy Seals, were brutally murdered in Libya. Afterwards, we saw countless news stories and images of angry Muslims, mobbing the streets and protesting hatefully against America. They attacked U.S. embassies in the Middle East, stomped on and torched American flags, and spewed vile curses at our country. We now know that al-Qaeda and other radical Islamic groups were responsible for the first assassination of an American ambassador since 1979. Occurring 11 years after the infamous attack of September 11, 2001, it serves as a stark reminder of the deep hatred for America that still exists in that part of the world.
Along with radical Islam’s animosity for America, there is a host of other socio-political problems plaguing our world, leaving it tottering in very delicate balance. What may appear on the surface as a planet generally at peace is really a volatile powder keg ready to detonate at any minute. On October 4, the Baltimore Sun reflected on this desperate state of affairs reporting that the U.S.-Israel relationship has become a bad “soap opera” and stating that: “Afghanistan is slipping away, as our troops are being killed by the men they're supposed to be training for the handover. Egypt is now run by the Muslim Brotherhood. Russia casually mocks and defies us. China is rapidly replacing us as an Asian hegemon and rattling sabers at our ally Japan.”
Inviting God’s Wrath
Each day the slender thread that keeps our world from falling into total chaos can only be seen as a gift from our Heavenly Father. In the midst of such potent human diversity and man’s utter depravity, it is only God’s grace that keeps our planet from spinning out of control. The Lord alone holds the Creation together, including all the nations with their self-seeking and conflicting political agendas. As God’s Word reminds us, “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist,” Colossians 1:16-17 (NKJV). In these troubling times, we in America would do well to remind ourselves of this.
Our nation was founded on biblical principles and based on faith in a sovereign Creator, a God who created everything, including all of nature, man, natural rights and absolute moral laws. This undergirding philosophy enabled America to become a great nation, which God has blessed in magnificent ways. With such a godly heritage, isn’t it ironic that one of America’s main political parties sought to eliminate any mention of God from its platform at its recent presidential convention? (After this created a controversy, the word “God” was later re-inserted over the objection of the delegates.) How, in a nation so blessed by God, can a group that seeks to lead our government dare to censor out the Creator of the universe—the One who gives us life, liberty and eternal hope—from its statement of national priorities? How foolish and arrogant it is to refuse to acknowledge our dependence on Almighty God, Whom we are all called to glorify. I don’t know about you, but I am alarmed to see things like this take place in America.
This is no trivial matter, especially in light of the upcoming national election. In the September 27 letter from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Franklin Graham wrote, “It’s clear that America is quickly hurtling down a road toward God’s judgment.” He also urged Christians to be involved, engaged and aware of the issues and where the two parties stand on them, stating:
One party affirms a belief in the sanctity of life. The other party does not. One party supports the traditional, biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman. The other party enthusiastically endorses and promotes same-sex marriage.
In addition to seeking to banish God from its midst, for a political party that represents about half of America’s population to publicly declare its support for “same-sex marriage” and the killing of innocent lives through abortion, it is a slap in the face to the God that made us. I believe Franklin Graham’s warning about God’s imminent judgment is right on the mark. It echoes the message of Psalm 2:1-5:
Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.
Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure…
Censored in America: God and the Bible
Unfortunately, this kind of despicable anti-God behavior has been seeping into every aspect of our society for decades. You really don’t have to look very far to find it. Check what is being taught in your neighborhood schools and you’ll not only find that God has been eliminated from the curriculum, but that Christian students’ First Amendment rights are being routinely denied. As I was writing this letter, CSI board member Dr. Scott McOwen e-mailed me this example. While they took place a few years ago, they clearly demonstrate the confusion, arrogance and hostility towards God that exists in our public education system. They come from a 2004 “Truth and Consequences” blog posting from Summit Ministries, a well-known Christian apologetics group (http://www.summit.org/resources/truth-and-consequences/politics-and-the-christian/#comments):
When Wisconsin public high school senior Rachel Horner provided the school faculty with the lyrics of a song she planned to sing at her graduation ceremony, they came “unglued." The reason? The song mentions God three times. The school principal told Rachel that "God" might offend some of the audience and would violate the "separation of church and state." The principal suggested Rachel replace references to "God" with "He," "Him" and "His." When Miss Horner filed a federal lawsuit, the school reversed its decision concerning the song but nevertheless insisted she not mention God in the introduction to her performance.
Why on earth would anyone in America think that God’s name should be censored from a song at a public school graduation ceremony? Censorship is traditionally reserved for vulgar language or acts that demean others, but to censor the One America’s Constitution identifies as the Giver of our rights is a mockery of the highest order. As with the reference to “God,” any reference to the Bible is being removed from our classrooms
Situations like this become all the more outrageous when we understand how important faith in God and the teachings of the Bible were to our founding fathers. From our nation’s beginning, they held church services in government buildings and hired chaplains to conduct church services. In a US News and World Report interview from December 30, 2010, Baylor University history professor and author of God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution, Thomas Kidd stated:
Early congresses hired chaplains and put them on the payroll to lead sessions in prayer and so forth. Even Jefferson, who is known as this kind of far-reaching, strict separationist—we view him that way today—would attend church services in government buildings.
According to Kidd’s historical research, our founders understanding of the importance of the Bible and worshipping the Creator was essential to good government. When asked how church-state separation is interpreted today compared to how our founders envisioned it, he gave this insightful statement:
That is certainly not what the founders would have envisioned. It also can easily send a signal that the government is not just neutral on issues of religion, but that in some cases it’s hostile to interests of religion in general, and I think that is an impression the government should seek not to make.
In Kidd’s analysis, our Constitution was designed to create a government that—at worst—was neutral toward religion. However, as in the case cited above, its current treatment of religion is not only not neutral but it’s aggressively hostile. Jefferson’s “wall of separation between church and state,” which is not in the Constitution, has been purposely misinterpreted by the Supreme Court to gain secular ground. It is now commonly used by atheists and other secular groups as a tool to eliminate any public mention of God. In 1802, when Jefferson penned this phrase in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, its essence was to assure them that the U.S. government would never be allowed to impose its will on the church, much less to censor religious expression, due to the “wall” that separated them. That wall is the First Amendment, which states: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
Historically, faith in God has been the binding force in America. Regardless of how this faith has been expressed by various Christian “sects” and other religions, the common thread of acknowledging a Creator as the Giver of human rights has been the glue that united us. As the Pledge of Allegiance says, we are “one nation, under God, indivisible.” However, as we as a nation have departed from God, we have become increasingly divided. And, if we continue on this path, there will be greater consequences to come.
More Indoctrination—Thank Goodness!
A new book on the market, IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity, was written to accompany the film by the same name that we offered as a resource a while back. The IndoctriNation DVD received glowing reviews from around the country. The book is a great complement to the video.
While the film provides a dramatic picture concerning the danger to faith our secular school system has become,
the book offers more detailed interviews with those who have experienced this educational indoctrination first hand. This includes in-depth information, including expert articles.
Each person interviewed in the DVD has a chapter in the book with added facts about their ordeal. Together, these resources powerfully expose the heinous, anti-God philosophy of our schools as well as the decades-long history of creeping secularism in the United States that helps explain the difficulties our nation faces today.
For example, we all remember news coverage of the despicable massacre at Columbine High School in April 1999 where two students went on a rampage, denouncing God and killing whoever crossed their path. One of the shooters, Eric Harris, wrote on his website, “you know what I love??? Natural SELECTION! It’s the best thing that ever happened on earth. Getting rid of all the stupid and weak organisms.” In the midst of the chaos that day, Brian Rohrbough was desperately seeking information about his son who never came home from school. He was told to go home and wait to hear from the police.
However, as you probably don’t know, this terribly concerned father never received a visit or a call from a single investigator. He learned of his son’s death by seeing his picture the next morning in the paper. Mr. Rohrbough said, “I had been standing less than 300 yards away from my son Dan, but he was out of my vision. They left him lying there for 27 hours.” His story is covered in the film, but you can really feel Mr. Rohrbough’s pain and regret for sending his child to public school in the book which quotes him saying, “My son died not because of a choice that he made, but ultimately because of my choice.” This tragic loss opened Mr. Rohrbough’s eyes to the consequences of eliminating God from our classrooms. He says, “It was my responsibility to make sure that my son was educated properly. But, I failed that. I put him in a pagan school where they teach there is no God.” Formally the president of the Colorado Right to Life, he is now a Christian activist who has taken the message of the importance of faith in God to a new level. Recorded closer to the time of this tragedy, Mr. Rohrbough’s testimony in the video is deeply moving, but to read how his life has changed since then in the book makes his story doubly impactful.
In another chapter of the book, R.C. Sproul Jr. states that the true goal of education is to train up our children in obedience to God. How does such a statement apply to our public school system today? It is diametrically opposed to it! Sproul states that, “Everything exits to proclaim the glory of God, and the one place we send our kids seven hours a day God’s name cannot be mentioned. It’s not indoctrination, it’s insanity.” He encourages Christian parents to carefully consider their responsibility to the next generation commenting, “As we make our decisions and work them out, we must think through how our thoughts and actions relate to the commands of God.” Certainly, this is how our schools should operate as well. But America has departed far away from this standard, and it will not be spared from the consequences. God treasures our children and promises the harshest punishment to those who mislead them. Jesus said in Luke 17:1-2, "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than he should offend (entice into sin) these little ones.”
To help make a difference, especially with regard to education, CSI has initiated a new campaign entitled, “Drawing the Battle Lines: Engaging America for Christ.” Its purpose is to train up the next generation of students (of all ages) in the knowledge of the truth of our Creator and Savior, Jesus Christ. To accomplish this, we are in the process of developing a five-course leadership program designed to disciple leaders who can take this vital message to young people in churches across America.
But we can’t do this without your support. Will you consider joining us in making known to a very lost society that Jesus Christ is our Creator and Savior? We are offering the book, IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity, for a contribution of least $30.00. For a gift of at least $40.00, we’ll also send you the DVD. Like many other ministries, CSI has been experiencing challenging economic times for some while now. Whatever the Lord may lead you to give will be most graciously received.
Please also keep us in your prayers as we move forward in spreading the truth of our loving Creator and the Gospel of His glorious grace. God bless you!
In His service,
Executive Director & Founder of CSI