The Criminalization of Christianity!

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Around the world, people who profess belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ are increasingly being treated as criminals for taking a stand on biblical principles. Why is this happening, and what does it mean?


"Can you believe that in the United States—which claims in its Pledge of Allegiance to be "one nation under God" and on its coins proclaims, "In God We Trust"—citizens are facing lawsuits and jail time for quoting the Bible or professing to believe in biblical teachings?

Can you believe that in the United Kingdom, Canada—and across former British Commonwealth nations where "God Save the Queen" is sung—people are being threatened with fines and penalties for professing the same beliefs as their Anglican, Methodist and Baptist forefathers?

Around the world, people who profess belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ are increasingly being treated as criminals for taking a stand on biblical principles. Why is this happening, and what does it mean?

Case After Case

In 1954, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill adding the words "under God" to his nation's Pledge of Allegiance. Fifty years later, those words are under attack. Prayer in public school is forbidden, and inscriptions of the Ten Commandments are barred from schools and public buildings. Teachers who dare to utter almost any word or perform any action hinting at a professed Christian belief are increasingly subject to legal attack.

Not long ago, a California schoolteacher was charged with violating school regulations for assigning readings in the Bible and reading the Bible in class. A school in Idaho was threatened with the loss of its charter for planning to incorporate the Bible into its curriculum. A teacher in Colorado faced disciplinary action for leaving a Bible on his desk where students might see it. A social worker in Maine faced the loss of his license for telling a co-worker his belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman. In Michigan, a graduate student in counseling was dismissed for declining "on religious grounds" to provide counseling to a homosexual who was having problems with his partner, and a man filed a $10 million lawsuit against two religious publishers because their Bibles accurately conveyed God's prohibition against homosexuality (see The Culture of Disbelief, Carter, pp. 11–12). All this has happened in a nation once known for its "freedom" of religious expression.

The U.S. is not the only country where professing Christians face attack. Not long ago in western Canada, after homosexual activists completed a week-long "Pride" celebration, a man and a newspaper were fined and charged with a "hate crime" for publishing an advertisement containing Bible references—not even quotations—describing God's condemnation of homosexual conduct. Mere reference to Bible verses was termed "dangerous" because it was said to expose homosexuals to "hatred and ridicule." In Ontario, a mayor was fined $10,000 for refusing to proclaim a "Gay Pride Weekend." In Sweden, a clergyman was sentenced to prison for reading Bible verses about homosexuality. In England, police investigated a bishop for stating that some homosexuals can "reorient" themselves (see The Criminalization of Christianity, Folger, pp. 17–31). The Council of Europe has announced plans to step up pressure on countries that still allow corporal punishment of children (Mail Online, June 22, 2009)—even though the Bible advises that parents may use corporal punishment responsibly to correct their children (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 29:15, 17). Violations of Council directives will be subject to criminal charges—meaning that EU directives will supersede God's instructions in Scripture! Will a time come, as some legal experts now predict, when "hate crime" laws could be used even to outlaw the Bible and to criminalize expressions of biblical truth?

Prophecies Come Alive!

To millions who accept the modern secular liberal mindset, these moves to prohibit plain biblical teaching may seem long overdue. However—especially in the U.S. and in the northwestern European nations—a significant number recognize these actions as little more than "political correctness" and even a kind of "theo-phobia" and blatant attempt to let vocal secularists silence peoples of faith.

Jesus Christ's disciples asked Him, "What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matthew 24:3). He told them: "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake" (v. 9). On another occasion, Jesus warned His followers, "But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles" (Matthew 10:17–18).

To whom did God's warnings apply? Not to the non-Christians or to false Christians—this was a plain warning to His "spiritual Israel" that they would be a testimony to the "Gentiles." Yet we live in a world today where simply the word "Christian"—even when applied to false teachings Jesus Himself would have condemned—can be enough to stir persecution!

Calamities Ahead!

Where will today's anti-Christian sentiments lead? What are the current consequences, and will there be future unanticipated results of this shocking

phenomenon?

In the U.K., weekly attendance at Protestant worship services has fallen dramatically in the last few decades, and aggressive atheists make headlines. In such an environment, it is no surprise that surveys find that nearly two-thirds of British teenagers do not believe in God, and that nearly half feel that organized religion should not have any place in the world.

Another U.K. study revealed that in some parts of the increasingly secular nation, almost three-fourths of births now occur outside of marriage (The Sunday Times, April 18, 2010). This shocking figure confirms the ancient prophecies by Hosea, regarding the Israelite peoples, that because they have "walked by human precept"—chosen to "do their own thing"—they have "begotten pagan children" (Hosea 5:7, 11). Long ago, God warned the Israelites, to whom as His chosen people He had revealed His laws—"if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes… I will even appoint terror over you… you shall be defeated by your enemies… I will break the pride of your power… I will lay your cities waste… I will scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you" (Leviticus 26:15–33).

In light of these ancient prophecies, it is hardly a coincidence that America, Britain and other modern Israelite nations are facing serious financial woes, increasing social strife and a loss of influence in the world—at the same time that they are turning away from any pretense of worshiping God—and are even making it a criminal offense to speak out or stand up for biblical truths or, indeed, any teachings in the name of "Christianity." It is certainly a sad day when governments decide that it is appropriate to ban the Bible in public schools, and when nations that once proclaimed themselves "Christian" now suffer from what U.K. Member of Parliament Mark Pritchard has called "Christianophobia" (BBC News, December 4, 2007). Unless we repent as nations, acknowledge our mistakes and turn to God, the "handwriting is on the wall" for the modern nations descended from ancient Israel!

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