By Allan Erickson
“It is estimated more followers of Christ have died for their faith in the 20th century than in all the 19 previous centuries combined.” *
(160,000 killed per year. 438 per day. 18 per hour.)
Not long ago I attended a presentation by high school students. They were introduced as the cream of the crop. They gave verbal presentations concerning the in depth knowledge they had acquired studying our democratic republic. After the formal presentations there was a question and answer period. One question posed — Where do we get our rights: from God, or from government?
The students agreed: Americans’ rights come from government.
We hear a lot about rights these days, and not much about responsibility. We hear various groups clamoring for their “rights,” routinely calling on government to secure these “rights.” (My teachers and my folks told me the only rights I had were to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and if I didn’t shape up and fly right, I’d lose those too!)
Homosexuals demand the right to marriage. Many people claim rights to abortion, healthcare, a college education, a job, secure retirement, and, according to some, everyone has a right to believe and act according to the dictates of his/her own conscience exclusively. Indeed, one of the published humanist principles is “personal autonomy is a higher good than responsibility to your neighbor, or obedience to fixed moral duties.”
In our post-modern, secularized world, everyone has innumerable rights endowed by government, a growing list in fact, more rights than we can fund!
Except Christians, doncha know. People today actually call for diminishing the rights of Christians. Some have suggested we not be allowed to vote. Not kidding. Why? Well, that is simple if you understand that Christians are intolerant homophobes, bigots, racists and fanatics. So naturally we are increasingly targeted for ostracism, and worse.
You know, we all hear endlessly about homophobia these days. The word resounds 24/7 and seems to have for years.
In the interests of equal time, let’ talk about theophobia for a while!
By theophobia we do not mean the “fear of God.” Biblical “fear of God” means the due respect and reverence one appropriately feels toward the King of the Universe, and such good feelings are said to be “the beginning of wisdom.”
Proverbs 1:7, Psalm 103:13
However, a healthy fear of the One who has “the power to throw you into hell,” is quite the motivator as well.
(And now, a theological quiz for the inquisitive: How is it possible to fear God yet remain unafraid?)
What we mean by theophobia here is the irrational and prejudicial fear of all things religious, particularly Christianity, and especially the conservative kind.
Considering this definition, is it right to designate theophobic people like Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Michelle Goldberg and Chris Hedges? All tell us religious people are irrational, even deranged, especially Christians, and conservative Christians are the worst for promoting a new nationalism leading to fascism.
“Scholar” Juan Cole, U. of Michigan prof, even went so far recently to say fundamentalist Islam and traditional Christianity are the same: we are ALL theocrats! Now how is that for academic prowess, deep perception and articulation of nuanced understanding?!
Not long ago Cole’s kin—Rosie O’Donnell, Robert Reich, and Bill Moyers—all claimed traditional Christians (all those wild-eyed Jesus lovers opposed to gay marriage and abortion), yeah, all those anti-intellectual knuckle-draggers, well, they are no different than the Taliban, seething masses of morons hell-bent on establishing theocracy.
Who wouldn’t fear theocrats? (It might startle the theophobes to realize Christians are opposed to theocrats too, and that Christians were the authors of the 1st Amendment!)
Still, given the many year’s drumbeat about horrible Christians, there are growing numbers of people who hate Christians, really hate them. So far the persecution has only amounted to a few physical assaults here and there in America, such as the granny confronted by gay activists in Palm Springs last week. They screamed at her, roughed her up, and knocked the Cross out of her hands, then stomped on it. Mild in a sense, but a precursor of much worse?
Kids are routinely hammered in school for any expression of Christ’s love. You don’t have go far to find endless examples of how secular political correctness gives teachers and students permission to confront and denigrate Christian students, from kindergarten through college.
As the anti-Christ sentiment escalates, one wonders how long it will be before we see in America what we’ve seen for years overseas: violent persecution, torture, murder. Vitriol always precedes outright violence. Thugs have to work themselves up to it you see. As the anti-Christ rhetoric escalates here in America, is it unthinkable the persecution could ever reach the level of killing? Are such thoughts plain paranoid?
If theophobia is coming to our shores, what does it look like overseas, and what can we learn from observing the treatment of Christians in other countries? You have to go looking because it’s not roundly reported is it?
It has been called the most ignored news story in decades: the global persecution, torture and killing of Christians.
Glenn Beck walked into a Wendy’s the other day and was assaulted by a man who screamed at him, calling him a racist bigot (which, of course, is redundant).
Beck is a Mormon, and a prominent television news commentator/radio talk host. This incident was reported on the Huffington Post, link below. The comments from readers following the online news story are astounding and revealing. The vast majority of those weighing in are viciously condemning and dismissive of Beck, saying he deserved whatever he got. Many of us in historic Christian denominations agree with Dr. Walter Martin that classical Mormonism presents glaring departures from the tenets of traditional Christianity, yet no one can reasonably challenge the upstanding, family-oriented lives exemplified by the vast majority of Mormon people, and most certainly, Glenn Beck has a right to his faith, and a right not to be assaulted simply for having a point of view having nothing to do with racism or bigotry. He is a good guy, with a good heart, who, by all appearances, hates no one, and cares deeply about the welfare of everyone. For this he cannot take his kids to Wendy’s?
Remember, it all starts with verbal violence.
Excerpt from a WorldNetDaily report six years ago:
“Christian persecution sounds like something from the distant past – conjuring up images of the early followers of Jesus being thrown to the lions, and various apostles being crucified or otherwise martyred for their faith. (All but John died violent deaths.) In reality, more Christians have died for their beliefs in the last century than in all other past centuries combined.
“The Islamic world is a hostile place for Christians: In Saudi Arabia, for instance, Christianity is illegal, and conversion from Islam is punishable by death. In Pakistan, the death penalty is prescribed for anyone who ‘blasphemes’ Islam – something that occurs automatically during Christian evangelism. In Egypt and elsewhere, Christian girls have acid thrown in their face by Islamic extremists if they refuse to convert to Islam, or are raped, or worse. At best, in the more enlightened Islamic societies, Christians (as well as Jews) are second-class citizens, have a special tax imposed upon them, and do not share the rights of Muslims.
“The communist world is no better. According to recent reports from groups monitoring religious persecution, the Chinese government is cracking down as never before on ‘underground’ Christians – those who do not join the ‘official’ Chinese churches. The Committee for Investigation on Persecution of Religion in China published what it said were official documents – implicating top-level Chinese leaders – that outline a campaign that includes torture to stamp out independent worship. Researchers said that in ‘house churches’ (those not sanctioned by the totalitarian government) in 20 provinces, 129 people had been killed recently, 23,686 arrested and 4,014 sentenced to ‘re-education.’ “
Three examples out of 438 per day:
A Christian aid worker, a woman not involved in evangelism, a British citizen, was gunned down recently in Afghanistan. She was targeted for assassination by Muslim leaders solely for her Christian faith. She was there helping the disabled.
Iraq – Two Christian Sisters Killed
“On Nov. 12, two sisters were killed and their mother wounded by a gang of Islamic extremists in the Al Qahira section of Mosul, Iraq, according to VOM contacts. The gunmen shot one of the sisters as she was waiting for a bus outside their home. They then stormed into the home, killed the other sister and injured their mother. A bomb placed by the assailants at the entrance of the house detonated as police arrived on the scene, injuring several officers.”
The situation for Iraqi Christians has been intolerable for years.
“Between 1991 and 2002, 300,000 of them migrated out of the country.”
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced since the 2003 invasion, and many thousands have been slaughtered by Muslim extremists.
And it all goes unreported, though there are efforts to identify and confront the atrocities.
“The persecution of Christians, especially in Islamic and communist countries, gained a much higher profile beginning in early 1996. It is estimated more followers of Christ have died for their faith in the 20th century than in all the 19 previous centuries combined. In his Focus on the Family Newsletter, James Dobson wrote, ‘More than an estimated 160,000 believers were martyred in 1996, and countless others were subjected to unimaginable horrors. And the persecution appears to be escalating exponentially.’”
This site confirms the figure of 160,000 Christians martyred annually.
Most notable aspect of this study:
Total number of Christian martyred through the year 2000: 70 million
Those most responsible for killing Christians between AD 33-2000:
State ruling power 55,871,000
Atheists (overlap with above) 31,689,000
Any wonder Christians are a little leery of government, especially atheists in charge of government, and Muslims too? Oh, but wait: the moment you say something like that you are branded a religious bigot and shouted down, or shot down.
All this comes as no surprise to serious Christians. After all, the Lord told us flat out we would be hated for loving him, and following him, and he says the time comes when people will believe they are doing God a favor killing us.
Even so, God protects us from government because we get our rights from God, at least that’s what the Declaration says, and government is supposed to serve the people. By taking God out of the arrangement, government inevitably replaces God, and then, people are made subservient to government, a prescription for tyranny.
Elementary, high school and college students throughout the country are being systematically indoctrinated, contrary to the Declaration, taught to embrace government as god, and reject God himself, while there appears growing persecution of Christian students. (Natural selection and survival of the fitness don’t you know?)
How is that for a stunning realization: your tax dollars wasted on a massive scale, used to corrupt youth leading to the destruction of America? All of it because Christians have allowed themselves to be cowed by secular humanists, atheists and theophobes of all stripes.
Bill Ayers is grinning in the dark like the Cheshire Cat.
Osama bin Laden doesn’t have to lift a finger.
How can anyone blame sinners for acting like sinners? They don’t even know what they are doing.
On the other hand, the Lord will hold us accountable, especially if we fail to act like the holy-fired Christian soldiers he requires, because, he has opened our eyes and we do know what we are supposed to be doing.
In the end, fellow Christian, we only have ourselves to blame despite theophobes and persecution.
Given the fact we were founded by Judeo-Christian principles, and the fact those principles account for our freedom and prosperity, why would anyone willingly crush this shining city by destroying the foundations? But here we are!