Thoughts to Ponder

Understanding the Times

by Maria Kneas

This is an abridged version of the first chapter of Prepare for Persecution: Perilous Times & Biblical Comfort by Maria Kneas. Her book shows how American Christians are being persecuted and gives Biblical principles for dealing with the challenges of the times in which we live. You can get the book at Amazon.com.

www.amazon.com/Prepare Persecution Perilous Biblical Comfort/dp/1500298964

Humanism is the mortal enemy of Christianity. It denies the existence of God and opposes Biblical morality. Humanism says that man is basically good, but the Bible says that we are all sinners who need a Savior. We need to have God change our hearts. We need to become children of God.

John Dewey was a leading humanist. He is called the "father of progressive education" because he  revolutionized education in America. Dewey was determined to use the school system to promote humanism and undermine Christianity.[1] Unfortunately, he succeeded.

For generations, American children have been taught humanist beliefs and values in public schools. Their Christian morals have been undermined by "values clarification" and other techniques.[2] Thomas Sowell said:

"The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children."[3]

This results in radically changing the beliefs and moral values of the children. The brainwashing techniques result in "acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means."[4]

With humanists using the public schools to promote their agenda, it is not surprising that America has gone downhill spiritually and morally. For example, when I was in high school (1958-1961), there were only a few girls who were not virgins, and everybody knew who they were. They had "a reputation." Fast-forward 40 years to the year 2000 when my nephew got married. He and his wife were both virgins, and that was so unusual that people made a big deal out of it.

To see the extent of the change that has taken place in the United States, look at Yale University. It was founded by ministers in 1701 in order to spread Christianity. All students were required to "live religious, Godly and blameless lives according to the rules of God's word." They were told to spend time in prayer and reading Scripture, both publicly and in private. The stated goal of their studies was "to know God in Jesus Christ" and "to lead a Godly, sober life."[5]

And what is Yale like today, in modern America? In March 2013, students at Yale University attended a four-day workshop called "Sex Weekend." This event was led by a "sexologist," who gave the students "sensitivity training" in "sexual diversity." The students were taught to accept homosexuality, sadomasochism, bestiality (sex with animals), incest, and prostitution. Over half of Yale's students said that they had engaged in "consensual pain" (sadomasochism), and three percent said that they had sex with an animal.[6]

With humanists using the schools to try to undermine Christianity, it is not surprising that many people who were raised in Christian families do not share the faith of their parents and grandparents. According to a 2006 study by the Barna Group, the majority of today's young adults were involved in church and other Christian activities as teenagers. However, when they grew older, most of them became "spiritually disengaged." Among young adults who had a Christian background, only one out of five "maintained a level of spiritual activity consistent with their high school experiences."

The Barna study also showed that three out of four American teenagers have engaged in "psychic or witchcraft-related activity." (This does not include reading horoscopes and exposure to occult media.) One out of ten participated in a seance, and one out of twelve tried to cast a spell or mix a magic potion. More than a third used a Ouija board, and more than a third read a book about Wicca (a religion that is based on witchcraft and goddess worship).[7] Occultism is becoming mainstream.

That study was done in 2006, which was eight years ago. If the same study was done today, I would expect to see the results be even worse, because occultism is being openly promoted by the entertainment industry. It is also being taught in universities and nursing schools. You can read about that in Goddess Unmasked by Dr. Philip G. Davis (Spence Publishing Company, 1999).

Things have now gotten to the point that there is a movement to normalize pedophilia. Instead of wanting to protect children from sexual predators, some psychologists and academics want to protect the sexual rights of pedophiles, which they have rebranded as being "minor-attracted persons" who have a sexual orientation that should be respected.[8]

As a result of America's moral and spiritual free fall, we now see blatant hostility towards Christianity. For example, in 2001, a man in my church was sent to prison. Some of us visited him and asked if we could give him a magazine. The prison officials told us that we could do that, as long as it came directly from the publisher and the magazine was "appropriate." I asked them what "appropriate" meant and was told that pornography and violent material were not allowed.

We subscribed to a Christian magazine, to be sent to him directly by the publisher. The prison refused that magazine and sent it back. Evidently, somebody at that prison consid-ered Christian writings to be "inappropriate." They treated it the same way that they treat pornography, by refusing to let him have it.

I talked about this with a friend from church whose son was in prison. She told me that her son was not allowed to have a Bible. His prison was full of Muslim literature and Wiccan writings, but Bibles were not allowed.

Some persecution takes the form of pressuring Christians to do things that are contrary to their religious convictions. For example, a Catholic nurse was forced to assist in performing an abortion. If she refused, she would be fired. She complied, but regrets it, and is now suing the hospital. This is part of a larger problem. The ACLU is trying to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.[9]

Sixty-three Christian businesses have lawsuits about provisions in ObamaCare that would force them to go against their religious convictions. One attorney said:

         "The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living."[10]

Jack Phillips is a Christian baker from Denver, Colorado. He politely refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, saying that he would be happy to bake things for them "for any other occasion." There were demonstrations outside his shop, and he received so many death threats that he called the police.

Then the couple charged him with discrimination. The judge ruled that if he refuses to make wedding cakes for homosexual marriages, he will be fined and he might be sent to prison. The baker said that he would rather go to jail than violate his religious beliefs.[11]

A Christian photographer and a Christian florist have also been taken to court for refusing to provide services for homosexual weddings.[12]

If such things can be done to bakers and photographers and florists, then what will happen to pastors and priests and rabbis who refuse to marry homosexual couples? What will happen to freedom of religion?

Using the courts to try to force people to endorse homosexuality is done by militant homosexual activists, as opposed to homosexuals who just want to be left alone to live their own lifestyle. The radical activists want to force everybody else to actively support what they are doing.

In contrast, that baker had turned down requests for wedding cakes from a number of other homosexual couples who respected his right to see things differently than they do. They just quietly looked for another baker who would be happy to get their business.

When I was a freshman in college (1961-1962), I had a friend there named Jessica. She was bisexual. Back then, I had never heard that term before. I didn't even know that such a thing existed before I became friends with her.

She was desperately looking for love, and had become promiscuous. Men would use her and treat her like trash. When that became too painful, then Jessica would turn to women. But then she would get hurt by them, and go back to men again. It was a cycle of pain, going back and forth between men and women, and getting hurt by them all.

Jessica was a sweet, vulnerable girl, and her heart was broken by so many people. I wish I could have helped her back then, but I didn't know how. If Jessica married a lesbian, she would never try to force a baker to make a wedding cake for her. She cared about other people, and respected them. I've often thought about Jessica over the years, and prayed for her. I hope that she found the Lord.

During the recent government shutdown, the military chaplains were banned from performing any kind of services or ministry on military bases. They were not even allowed to minister as volunteers (which would not cost the Pentagon a penny), and they were threatened with arrest if they did any ministry on base. Congressman Tim Huelskamp said:

         "Time and time again this Administration demonstrates it is waging a war against the very religious freedoms upon which America was founded."[13]

Obviously this had nothing to do with saving money, because the chaplains offered to serve for free as volunteers. In addition, it costs money to arrest people  and hold them in jail, and it is expensive to have lawyers prosecute them. So this was overt persecution of Christians. And it was done by our government, to the men and women who risk life and limb in order to protect our nation.

The Pentagon has threatened to court martial soldiers who share their faith. This includes military chaplains.[14]

On March 21, 2014, the Family Research Council published a report titled A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military. It is 21 pages long and very thoroughly documented. You can get a free PDF file of it online.[15]

There have been some cases where American Christians have been murdered because of their faith.

On September 15, 1999, there was a rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. A gunman entered the church and methodically shot Christians who were attending the service, and then shot himself. Seven people died and others were critically wounded. The gunman was shouting, cursing Christianity, and cursing the Christians for believing it. The FBI found anti-Christian writings in his home.[16]

However, in spite of this evidence, when CBS and CNN reported the shooting, they were "unable to assign any motive to the shooter." [17] Why? Because it is not politically correct to portray Christians as being persecuted. The mainstream media avoids such stories, or else covers them in ways that omit or deny the element of persecution.

I found out about that 20 years ago when I learned that Christians in Sudan were being slaughtered by Muslims. I contacted every newspaper I knew to tell them about it. None of them responded, with one exception. One reporter told me, "I wish I could write about it." So evidently he wanted to cover the story, but was not allowed to.

On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shot and killed 12 of their classmates and a teacher, and wounded 23 other people. They also killed themselves. They asked three Christian girls if they believed in God, and killed them when they said "Yes." The girls were Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott, and Valeen Schnurr.

Rachel had shared her Christian faith with the boys several weeks earlier. (Some classmates overheard the conversation.) The boys made a video in which they cursed Jesus Christ and cursed Christians. They singled Rachel Scott out for an insulting tirade, mocking her by name.[18]

I read about the shootings in the newspaper, but those reports didn't mention the element of persecuting Christian students. It took me years to find out about that, and I got the information from a story on a Christian website about Rachel Scott's father. I never heard anything about it from the mainstream media. Did you?

NOTES

1. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men, 3rd edition (Toronto, Canada: TFE Publishing, 1991), p. 425.

2. "A New Way of Thinking," by Berit Kjos (chapter 3 from her book Brave New Schools).
www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/3-NewThinking.htm

3. Thomas Sowell, "Indoctrinating the Children," in Forbes, February 1, 1993, p. 65.

4. Ibid.

5. "Yale Founded to Fight Liberalism."
www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html

6. "Yale Students Receive Bestiality, Incest Sensitivity Training During 'Sex Weekend,'" March 10, 2013.
http://christiannews.net/2013/03/10/yale-students-receive-bestiality-incest-sensitivity-training-during-sex-weekend

"What the Yale? Ivy League Students Admit to Bestiality, Desires about Incest, During 'Sex Weekend' Workshop," March 6, 2013.
www.nydailynews.com/news/national/yale-students-admit-beatiality-sex-workshop-article-1.1280746

7. "Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years," September 11, 2006.
www.barna.org/barna-update/article/16-teensnext-gen/147-most-twentysomethings-put-christianity-on-the-shelf-following-spiritually-active-teen-years

"New Research Explores Teenage Views and Behavior Regarding the Supernatural," January 23, 2006.
www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/164-new-research-explores-teenage-views-and-behavior-regarding-the-supernatural

8. "Pedophilia the Next 'Sexual-Rights' Revolution? Academica, psychologists expanding LGBT argument to 'minor-attracted persons,'" January 2, 2014.
www.wnd.com/2014/01/pedophilia-the-next-sexual-rights-revolution

9. "Nurse Sues Hospital Over Forced Abortion Assist," April 20, 2010.
www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nurse-sues-hospital-forced-abortion-assist-article-1.448478

"Can the ACLU Force Catholic Hospitals to Perform Abortions?" December  5, 2013.
www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/5/knight-treating-the-mother-by-killing-the-baby

"President Obama Starts Process of Removing Doctors' Protections on Abortions," January 1, 2009.
www.lifenews.com/2009/01/01/nat-4865

10. "Supreme Court Sets Date for Hobby Lobby's Challenge to Obama's HHS Mandate," January 8, 2014.
www.lifenews.com/2014/01/08/supreme-court-sets-date-for-hobby-lobbys-challenge-to-obamas-hhs-mandate

11. "State 'Imposing' Its 'Gay' Beliefs on Cake Artist," January 7, 2014.
www.wnd.com/2014/01/state-imposing-its-gay-beliefs-on-cake-artist

"Judge to Colorado Baker: Bake Cakes For Gay 'Weddings'… Or Else," December 10, 2013.
www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-to-colorado-baker-bake-a-cake-for-gay-weddings...or-else

"'Tolerance' Now Means Government-Coerced Celebration," December 16, 2013.
www.wnd.com/2013/12/tolerance-now-means-govt-coerced-celebration

"Baker Says He's Rather Go to Jail After Judge Orders Him to Bake Cakes for Gay 'Weddings.'" December 11, 2013.
www.lifesitenews.com/news/baker-says-hed-rather-go-to-jail-after-judge-orders-him-to-bake-cakes-for-g

"Judge: 'Gay Rights' Trump 1st Amendment," December 10, 2013.
www.wnd.com/2013/12/judge-gay-rights-trump-1st-amendment-for-christians/

12. "Weighing Free Speech in Refusal to Photograph Lesbian Couple's Ceremony," November 18, 2013.
www.nytimes.com/2013/11/19/us/weighing-free-speech-in-refusal-to-photograph-ceremony.html

"Florist Sued for Refusing to Decorate Gay Wedding Demands End to Attacks," October 29, 2013.
www.charismanews.com/us/41541-florist-sued-for-refusing-to-decorate-gay-wedding-demands-end-to-attacks

13. Government Shutdown Results in Ban on Military Chaplains," October 11, 2013.
www.militarydefensefirm.com/Military-Criminal-Defense-Blog/2013/October/Government-Shutdown-Results-in-Ban-on-Military-C.aspx

14. "Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith," May 1, 2013.
www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/01/Breaking-Pentagon-Confirms-Will-Court-Martial-Soldiers-Who-Share-Christian-Faith

15. A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military, the Family Research Council, March 21, 2014. (This is a 21-page document that takes a long time to download. You may have to try doing it several times.)
http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF14C52.pdf

16. "Shooter's Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted."
www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp

17. "Fort Worth Shootings: Tragedy at an Unarmed Church."
http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/hate_crime.htm

18. "Shooter's Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted."
www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp

 "Do You Believe in God?" April 26, 1999. (Christian teenagers were shot at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado after being asked if they believed in God, and answering "Yes.")
www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14726

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