In the eyes of many Christians today, the most newsworthy article in today's headlines is the massacre of Christian ( genocide, really ) in certain areas of the Middle East! While this is a most disturbing & unconscionable trend, we, as American Christians might ask ourselves several haunting questions; 'why are they being killed?' & 'if we were in the same situation, is our own witness enough to get us killed?' Have American Christians adopted a practical stance of 'country first, then God'? When it comes right down to it, are we willing to forsake our country rather than God? Sadly, we as American Christians are not!
Two of the most glaring examples of our blasphemous idolatry are the 501(c)3 status & most recently, the fact that we clamor for the U.S.Inc to defend the status of an ancient institution, that instituted by our Creator, marriage! We bow to the Government in order that our religious organizations & institutional churches so that we can have the benefits of comfortable servitude! We are afraid to preach against certain 'sacred cows' because we might loose our favored status ( that, and our congregations might yell, 'put the prison bare back )!
Abortion is probably the best & worst example of how Christians in this nation have 'bowed the knee to Caesar'! Do you think that abortion would be as rampant today, even among Christians, as it is, if back in 1973 ( really, much earlier than that ) we had taken a stand, for life or death ( probably what it would have come down to ), and said, 'we will not stand for this abomination, especially in our own country!'? Likely, child murder would still be a festering sore on the face of the world, but I can only imagine how much less of one, if it did exist!
Those Christians over in the Middle East could probably escape the knife by renouncing their Christianity & by accepting the barbarism of Islam, but they are being killed because they don not value their temporal life above their Eternal Life! Their comfort & security, such as it is in those heathen lands, is not so important that they would sell out their Savior & bow the knee to some foreign god!
Christians, in this day & age especially, are 'a dime a dozen'! Anyone can claim to be a Christian, and as long as they adhere to a certain set of regulative principles & attend one of any number of denominational ( institutional ) churches, then we usually take their word for it and as long as they keep it behind the eyes & between the ears,the Government of these United States usually will too!
One would almost think that American Christians, to a large extent, have been bought & paid for! While it is partly own own fault for clinging to a faulty theology & eschatology, the aforementioned government has taken advantage of this weakness, and bullied us into thinking that we must seek & receive their permission to worship our Creator as we are commanded! We don't need the permission of any government in order to do what our Heavenly Father gave us the natural right to do; Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness are the most basic of these rights!
The 501(c)3 status & the governmental intrusion into marriage are only symptoms of a greater problem, 'the tip of the iceberg', so to speak! 'If only we could get the government to keep homosexual 'marriage' illegal, we'd have it 'made in the shade', some Christians seem to be thinking; 'if only we can get these ( institutional ) 'churches' to get rid of, or stop applying for, the idolatrous 501(c)3 status.......'! What about the institutional servitude that we have place generations of our young in because 'they' said that we had to get an S.S. number? What about the fact that, to do anything of consequence, we must jump through governmental hoops just to get them to give us license?!
America has many problems & at the base of the larger part of them is weak-kneed, doe-eyed, touchy-feely Christianity! Christians around this nation need to cinch up their belts, retrieve their balls from wherever they've lost them, and decide whether they are going to continue to let the government of these united States regulate their principles, or whether they are going to follow the Word of God at all costs! If things keep going the way they are, it might not be too long before we, as American Christians are forced to choose between our God or the knife ( bullet, more likely ), Life or Death, so if & when the opportunity presents itself, will we take a stand, as those Middle Eastern Christians have, or will we continue to prostrate ourselves before a foreign god?
Charles Haddon Shank