You may have heard about this: “Pentagon Taps Anti-Christian Extremist for Religious Tolerance Policy.” The individual mentioned, Mikey ______, is the founder of a religious foundation that purports to protect the public from religionists. He was quoted in the Huffington Post: “Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”
Wow, lots of adjectives. It appears that Mikey has an inside track on a new theology—that “weaponized version of Christianity” sounds formidable. Sure enough, Mikey and his group are going to consult with the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance. Mikey cites Dr. James Dobson—the founder of Focus on the Family—as “illustrating the extremist, militant nature of these virulently homophobic organizations’ rhetorically-charged propaganda.”
He continues: “We MUST vigorously support the continuing efforts to expose pathologically anti-gay, Islamaphobic (sic), and rabidly intolerant agitators for what they are: die-hard enemies of the United States Constitution. Monsters, one and all. To do anything less would be to roll out a red carpet to those who would usher in a blood-drenched, draconian era of persecutions, nationalistic militarism, and superstitious theocracy.”
One wonders why this blood-drenched draconian era hasn’t already ruined the military. As awkward as this rant is, it’s nevertheless part of an emboldened effort to erase Christianity from our culture. Will we survive? The underground church in China has gotten stronger, in spite of violent oppression. Tertullian said that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” However, in his home region—North Africa—the church was wiped out by Muslims aggression by 800 A.D. Coptic Christians constitute 10% of the people in Egypt and they’ve existed there for 1400 years. Increasingly, they have been under attack by the new regime. The difference between flourishing and falling seems to be how far the church establishes itself among the mass of people and doesn’t just become the church of a particular segment, class or ethnic group.
Christians and Christianity are under attack in this country. Maybe it hasn’t reached your workplace, home, or school but it’s on its way. Two thousand years ago, Jesus warned his followers that they would suffer persecution: “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).
Christ also promised rewards to those who endure persecution: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).
It’s hard to give credence to the Mikeys of the world, but the very fact that the Pentagon has engaged the services of a hater should give us pause. We need to speak out against his willful distortion of truth while presenting Christ to a hurting world.
Do you know of religious discrimination in your workplace or school? Have you been told you couldn’t pray or read your Bible at your work setting or public gathering?