By Craig Branch – November/December 2008 Worldviews –
With the dramatic postmodern turn in our culture, standards and even laws are all up for review. But the competition for whose morality will be legislated is resulting in hostility and repression of Christianity.
We see this growing trend in the popularity of the militant atheists and their rash of best-selling books as well as the frequency of appearances in the media. Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Michael Shermer, and Bill Maher are not only saying Christianity is a myth, but they are adding that it is irrational and dangerous to a sane, productive culture.
There are intellectual Christians who are responding in print and in debate, and who are doing quite well, but Christians everywhere need to be equipped and prepared to engage a growing number of atheists and agnostics, whose members have doubled in the last 20 years.
In addition to responding to the atheists, Christians need to be prepared to biblically and reasonably respond to the moral issues like homosexuality, same-sex marriage, stem cell research, gambling, euthanasia, and abortion.
For example, in this past election process, a number of these issues came up for votes. Fortunately amendments to define marriage as between one man and one woman were passed in three states—Arizona, Florida, and California; but they passed on close votes.
On “life” issues, California voted that abortionists did not have to notify parents of minors, Colorado defeated that personhood begins at conception, Michigan voted to allow human embryos to be used to obtain their stem cells, and South Dakota turned down the proposition to ban abortion except in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the mother’s life. Maryland voted to become the 38th state to allow slots and casino gambling.
A homosexual anarchist group, Bash Back, swarmed an Assembly of God church in Michigan during their November 9th Sunday service. They not only picketed outside the church, beating on buckets, using a megaphone to shout “Jesus was a homo,” but on the inside of the church they disrupted the service by pulling the fire alarm, throwing leaflets at the members and hanging a banner over the balcony.
The fliers stated, “We specialize in confronting homophobia and transphobia and every and all other forms of oppression. We strive for the liberation of all people.” Are you able to point out the internal contradiction of this protest?
Does “The liberation of all people” mean that all people are free to do whatever they want? Does “confronting…all other forms of oppression,” mean being against oppressing Christians and their right to assemble and hold their view? The church’s civil rights were infringed upon by oppression.
Granted, some Christians have sometimes wrongly treated homosexuality as the unpardonable sin or homosexuals as pariahs. But we need to defend the faith and respond to the arguments of the homosexual agenda, while still loving the homosexual.
Another example of this trend occurred this past May when a group of lesbians interrupted a scheduled speaker at Smith College in Massachusetts. The speaker, Ryan Sorba’s talk was titled, “The Born-Gay Hoax.” He was the guest of the Smith Republican Club.
As he began to speak a group of lesbians loudly swarmed the podium shouting, “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it,” and were banging on pans. This is a violation of the Massachusetts Civil Rights statutes and an example of the oppression of the rights of others who disagree.
We have been following comedian Bill Maher’s aggressive attacks on Christianity for years, using clips from his previous television show, Politically Incorrect, for teaching purposes. Bill’s comments after the September 11th attacks led to his program’s cancellation from ABC.
But Maher has produced an aggressive film, not just poking fun at Christianity, but providing another platform for the many recent shallow attacks on our faith.
I say shallow because I’ve studied the charges against Christianity made popular by Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, Bart Ehrman’s claims, and the so called contradictions in the Bible parroted by countless skeptics.
Religulous, a parody on ridiculous, successfully displays some of the goofiest displays of the broad Christian movement. But he tries to tie those nonsense examples to our claim of the bodily resurrection of Christ and the authenticity of Scripture.
Maher, the other militant atheists, the underlying philosophy of naturalistic materialism of Darwinian evolution, and the lack of grounding in apologetics by too many of our churches has led to a decline in the life of the Church. In 1990, 90% of the U.S. population identified with a religious group. In 2001, that had dropped to 81%. Today the number continues to decrease.
Worldviews Newsletter – November/December 2008
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