Now What's Next? By Randy Nettles In March of last year, I wrote an article…
Troublers of Society
By Dr. Nathan E. Jones
Are Christians the troubles of society?
Tim Moore: That’s the question that has echoed down through the ages, all the way back to when the prophet Elijah showed up at Mt. Carmel and King Ahab bitterly asked him, “Is this you, you troubler of Israel?” (1 Kings 18:17). Well, we’ve come full circle, as many in our society would label Christians as the new troubles of our society. Christians are being accused of holding back the “progress” Progressives believe they are making.
Nathan Jones: All throughout the history of the Church, somewhere Christians have lived under persecution. Even the New World was founded by Christian Separatists and Puritans who needed to escape religious persecution. Americans have been so blessed since the 1600s to live in a country that historically has stood on Judeo-Christian values. Therefore, Christians in this country have felt safe. But, no longer. Many Christians in the West are not feeling particularly safe anymore. Today’s society is instead defined by people calling good evil and evil good, as Isaiah 5:20 warns.
Tim Moore: Even non-Christians have understood that for many years the Christian foundations of America have provided liberty to all. Jewish commentators such as Dennis Prager have spoken about how Christianity has been a very positive influence on society, providing both moral and legal foundations that guide how we interact as a civilization. Prager also warns that as our Judeo-Christian foundations are broken down, the result will be our society pitching over into chaos. Our society is indeed breaking down, and not just in the “crazy corners” of America, but in places that are quite surprising.
Nathan Jones: Yes, for example, earlier this year, a school district by a vote of their board disassociated itself from a Christian university. The article from the New York Post reads, “Cat-ears-clad school board member says the district should not hire teachers from Christian university.” The article by Hannah Grossman of Fox News reveals that the Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix, Arizona had held a five-year contract with Arizona Christian University for student-teacher placement. One of their three LGBTQ+ board members, Tamillia Valenzuela, blasted the university over its Christian beliefs and said she was disheartened by their relationship with this Christian school.
Valenzuela, who claims she is “a bilingual, disabled, neurodivergent, Queer Black Latina who loves a good hot wing,” went on to claim that people should be able to have religious freedom and practice whatever faith they have. (Yeah, right, I don’t believe her.) She went on to express her concerns regarding the Christian university and suggested it was a good time for the board to take a moment to see “where our values lie.” So here’s where our society’s values lie, according to her, despite a teacher shortage across the nation, our society’s values should not reflect Arizona Christian Universities’ “commitment to Jesus Christ, accomplishing His will and advancing on Earth as is in Heaven.” So she has a problem with Christianity having an influence in society. She goes on to reveal her bias that Christianity is hostile to LGBTQ+ people and Judeo-Christian values are hostile towards her and the other two gay board members. She supplants what the Bible would deem pagan values over biblical morality.
Tim Moore: Christianity being kicked out of school boards is not just happening in Phoenix, Arizona, but everywhere. I read in the L.A. Times about a Los Angeles community that became outraged that a church that had for years been meeting in a school facility on the weekend. The church had been renting space from the school on the weekends when there were no students or teachers present to hold their worship services. The church had invited a speaker, a lady who had self-identified as gay but had come out of that lifestyle, to testify how she felt that she had been deceived into the gay lifestyle. She recognized that to gain a right relationship with God she had to put aside the false ideology of her LGBTQ+ identity and embrace Jesus Christ. Her testimony, of course, outraged some among the leftists in Los Angeles, and they told the school they couldn’t possibly allow this church to continue meeting on school property. Although, there is clear court precedent that if the school is going to allow anybody to meet, it cannot exclude churches and religious organizations. Despite churches meeting at schools being quite legal, the school will simply disallow anyone to meet out of fear of LGBTQ+ activists and the Gospel being preached on their campus.
This slide of our schools away from appreciating and adhering to our Judeo-Christian heritage goes all the way back to a Supreme Court case that pulled the Ten Commandments out of our schools. Back in 1980, the United States Supreme Court decision in Stone v. Graham struck down a Kentucky law requiring that a copy of the Ten Commandments be posted in every public school classroom. It was like the Supreme Court was saying, “We’re afraid that if the Ten Commandments were to be posted children might read them and adhere to the Ten Commandments, and we just can’t have that.”
Nathan Jones: What kind of craziness denies churches from meeting in schools after hours, but allows satanic groups access? Reminds me of how before the Grammys this year, the network CBS tweeted “Let’s worship!” knowing a satanic drag song was going to be performed.
And then the deputy police commissioner in Queensland, Australia linked the belief in Premillennialism with terrorism, calling it an “extremist ideology.” This stemmed from a police raid that resulted in a big shootout where two cops died, along with the whole family that was being raided. Deputy Commissioner Tracy Linford blamed the death of the police on a Christian fundamentalist belief in Premillennialism. In one fail swoop, those Christians who find hope in the promise of Jesus Christ’s soon return were lumped in with cop killers. Such an ignorant statement shows she has no idea what Premillennialism believes. We believe that Jesus Christ will return to set up His kingdom on this earth for a thousand years ushering in an age of peace, righteousness, and justice. There’s no violence in this belief whatsoever! And, the police ignored the fact that the shooter was off-balance and had a violent past.
Christianity is often tied to right-wing extremism these days. Australia banned private gun ownership, so they see anything involving gun violence must be connected to Christianity. What did we see in Australia during the Pandemic? Australian society didn’t have guns to defend itself from its own government overreach.
Source of the Hatred
Nathan Jones: A lot of this disdain for Christianity and Christians really goes back to what the Bible says in John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” We’re back to where man calls evil good and good evil. We’ve found ourselves in the downward phase in a society where what is good is considered evil, and therefore, Christianity must be considered evil.
Tim Moore: We certainly are there. Our public officials are turning against Christianity, and it’s happening all over the world. The entire world has become increasingly hostile to Judeo-Christian values.
This reminds me of what Jesus said in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” The world loves their sin and so doesn’t want to hear the Gospel. Satan is raging right now because he knows that his time is short.
Let’s face it, if we think things are bad now, can you imagine what the world is going to be like when the restraining influence of the Church is removed by the Rapture? Imagine all of these corrupt officials and these pagan ideology advocates have free reign of the world.
Nathan Jones: It’ll be like back to the early days of the Roman Empire after the Church had been formed. The new Christians were blamed for everything. Nero blamed the Christians for the burning of Rome. Christians were sacrificed to lions and thrown into gladiator combat. Christians were blamed for the ills of society. They were cut out of commerce and business, which is what we’re just beginning to see in our society today. So, the hatred of Christ and Christians is nothing new. The pagans hate the Lord and so they are going to hate His representatives as well.
Living in a Hostile Society
Tim Moore: How do we as Christians thrive and survive in a world that is hostile to our faith? Well, first of all, we keep our focus on Jesus Christ. Trust that Jesus has overcome the world. Knowing this, we do not let our hearts be troubled. Rather, we speak out, acting as salt and light in an increasingly dark place. Until the Rapture occurs, this is our responsibility. We’re not to cower and hide, rather we’re bold about our faith and are ready to give a defense to anyone who asks why we believe what we do. Our faith is not based on opinion, rather it’s based on the Word of God, and that has power.
While we are being faithful in sharing the Good News, we know that life is going to get more difficult until the moment of the Rapture. But then, heaven help those who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ and so will live into the time of the Tribulation. They will witness the world becoming exceedingly hostile to anybody who would seek to place their faith in Christ.
So, do not delay! Do not wait another day or hour. You’re not guaranteed that you will live through the Tribulation and have another opportunity to embrace Christ.
And, for those of us who advocate for the Christian faith, Christians need to be advocating for and perhaps even running for office. Let’s engage the political realm so it will be filled by people who follow and adhere to the word of God and who live according to Christian principles.
Nathan Jones: Christians, we are the people who have our fingers in the dam stopping it from bursting. By the Holy Spirit, we are holding back the tide of evil. But, one day soon, when the Lord takes us home, the dam is going to burst, and evil will pour out and deluge the entire world. We don’t want anybody to be left behind by the Rapture to endure those horrors, so put your trust in Jesus Christ today.