New Evangelical Viewpoint

New Evangelical Viewpoint ... 06

From Jerry Beavan ... here is your copy of NEV-6, the current edition of New Evangelical Viewpoint ... a bit late, perhaps, but we have never set a definite schedule for this condensed version of the former weekly ANC (American News Commentary).

So here we are ... we have watched the crystal ball descend on the shivering hundreds of thousands in Times Square, and then followed the new year 2014 as it made its way Westward across the United States to the Pacific coast and on to Hawaii. We have handled the removal of Christmas decorations and the disposal of the Christmas tree. Now we have reached, or are about to reach, the time for the abandoning those always short-lived "New Year Resolutions." And we have learned to write 2014 on our checks. So now we get into NEV-6.

But first, this brief personal word from me. The "occasional schedule" of issues of NEV was interrupted by the month of December during which I spent all but a few days in hospital or rehab facility. And my allowable time seated at the computer has been drastically reduced. But some great fellow Christian friends have stepped up and a wireless lap-top will soon be available to me, and I will be able to produce NEV from my bed. But developments in Washington under the rule of Barack Obama have so concerned me, that I have put together this sharply focused review of the disastrous path down which he is attempting to take our nation. So please consider this an emergency issue of NEV, and give it the same wide forwarding circulation you have given the previous 5 issues.

Statements expressing the convictions of our nation's Founding Fathers always seem appropriate to introduce an opening thought or theme. Consider this quotation from Samuel Adams in 1781: "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that ... he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." Surely this is an appropriate viewpoint to hold when we are criticized for getting involved in "politics." John Jay, our nation's first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court said in 1816: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Remember that Jesus said we were not only to be the light of the world, but also the salt. (Matt 5:13-14) So involvement as Christians, in "politics"— even if it is simply to exercise our privilege to vote—is an important responsibility, particularly for those of us who profess to be Evangelicals.

And consider also this quotation in 1833 from Noah Webster, who is rightly called a Founding Father, as he looked back over the first 50 years of the new American nation: "The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. All the miseries and evil men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible." Thus it is evident that the founders of our nation clearly held to the conviction that the Bible-based Christian faith should prevail in these United States.

There were 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence which was the primary document leading to the birth of this new nation. Of those 56 men, 32 were Anglican (Episcopal), 13 were Congregationalists, 12 were Presbyterians, 2 were Quakers, 2 were Unitarians and 1 was Roman Catholic. Obviously a rather heavily Christian-oriented group—and one with certain exceptions: there was not one atheist among them, and not one Muslim (Islamist). This despite President Obama's claim: “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” Hmmm . . . "Always, Mr. Obama?"

But that statement shouldn't have surprised us. One of his first pronouncements in 2009, his first year in office, was "I consider it part of my responsibilities as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear." Strange—that obligation doesn't appear in Article II of the Constitution where the responsibilities of the president are clearly set forth. An even after all the terrorist attacks by Muslims/Islamists, he offered this word of assurance: "The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam." It's difficult to explain that promise to the families of our military who were killed in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have never called this president a liar, but we have often said that he has a credibility problem. And this is particularly true with respect to his views of religion. On his first trip abroad after becoming president, he went to the Islamic world and again and again declared, "What ever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation." This is obviously his prevailing opinion. In a recognition of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the president, in his recitation of the address, omitted "under God." Lincoln wrote, "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom," but Obama said, "that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom." Of course, he has a long history of omitting references to God, such as his repeated omission of "endowed by our Creator" when referencing the Declaration of Independence.

His lack of credibility as to his views of religion is as evident at the personal level as at the national level, where on a personal basis he claims: "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian." Yet he supports same-sex marriage and assists in aiding and abetting the LGBT legislative agenda, and fulfilled his pledge to repeal DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act). He has refused to make any observance of the National Day of Prayer, but each year holds a gala White House observance of Ramadan, an important element of the Islamic faith. This is indeed strange, because the 43 presidents who preceded him all professed to be Christians and gave deference to the faith embraced by the vast majority of American citizens.

Just recently, in reflecting on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, he reconfirmed his support of that Supreme Court decision by stating: “Every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom." And he expressed some very liberal views on the decriminalization of marijuana in an interview in the New Yorker magazine by voicing his support for Colorado and Washington’s legalization of the drug, saying that "It's important for it to go forward."

And seemingly to cap all of those anti-Bible, anti-Christian actions, his own religious views are being asserted as his defense department has issued a new directive regarding accommodations for religious apparel, grooming and appearance, body art, and exercise of religion, including allowance of beards, skull caps, turbans, tattoos and piercings—obviously to be friendly to Muslims and Sikhs, because since its inception, the military has observed a strict code of requiring soldiers to be clean cut and maintain a strict uniformity as a part of their discipline. (This is in sharp contrast to limitations and restrictions placed upon Christian chaplains). But his own religious views have just gone one step further, in a posting on the White House's “We the People” site in which readers are urged to sign a petition to President Obama, including these words: “With the growing population of Muslims in the United States of America ... we believe it is high time that Muslim holidays are recognized by schools throughout this nation ... Muslim school children and staff deserve the same benefits afforded to the followers of other faiths. We call on President Obama to support this petition and advance the inclusiveness of our great nation.”

(This, too, is in sharp contrast to the ban on any mention of God, any public prayers, any reference to the Bible in our schools—where even the names of Christian holidays have been changed; for example: "Christmas holiday" has become "Holiday Break" or "Mid-Winter Recess" and "Easter Holiday" has become "Spring Break" or "Spring Recess.") Yes, that message was circulated from the White House site ... and who is in charge at the White House?

But what about the Obama administration's many other problems? (A few examples would include Obamacare with its goal of destroying the world's finest health care system ... our never-ending failed foreign policy blunders in Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Libya, to name a few ... and siding with the Palestinians and shabbily treating our long time ally, Israel ... and the almost unbelievable increase in our national debt, and mishandling the economy to the point where record numbers of Americans are on food stamps ... and the failure to implement an effective immigration policy to deal with the millions of illegal aliens ... but why go on?) However, our concern is not with the overall problems facing our nation, but rather our primary concern is with those of a religious, or specifically Christian nature.

And how does the Obama view work out through his administration? Consider just this one example from his top person in foreign policy, the Secretary of State, John Kerry, who just condemned a new law in Nigeria (the international leader in Christian genocide. Note just this past Sunday's report: in north-eastern Nigeria at least 22 worshippers died at a church in Yola, while 300 homes were burnt down in a village in neighboring Borno state and at least 52 people were killed.) banning same-sex marriages, in this statement: “The United States is deeply concerned by Nigeria’s enactment of the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act ... Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly, association, and expression for all Nigerians.” Note that he expresses no concern over the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria, but expresses concern only about Nigeria's action in not going along with the Obama-preferred practice of same sex marriage.

After this brief, singular focus, we return to the old question which we have asked in every issue of NEV: "Where is the voice of the church?" First it must be noted that the voice of the church is much less effective today than in years past when the Bible-based Christian faith was a powerful force in instituting and developing this great nation. Overall, Christianity is still the largest religion in the world by far, with currently some 2.2 billion Christians. So Christianity is not in danger of disappearing any time soon, and in some areas of the globe it is experiencing absolutely explosive growth. But in the United States, the situation is different. Almost all churches are shrinking in membership, skepticism is growing and apathy about spiritual matters seems to be at an all-time high. Recent surveys have disclosed that 15% of all Americans say they have "no religion"mdash;up from 8% in 1990. It is reported as recently as 2004 that only 17.7% of Americans attend church on any weekend. And among our young people the decline is even greater, with the highly respected Barna report disclosing that in the age group 15–29 years, 60% have left the church and have no religious involvement.

None of this negates the promise of Jesus in Matthew 16:18, that on the rock of Him being the Son of the living God He would build His powerful and militant church. Is there a positive solution to this apparent enigma? There is indeed! The promise of our eternal, almighty God still stands: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chron. 7:14).

Be of strong heart, American Christians! The present day anti-God, anti-Christian movement will not prevail—but it is our responsibility as God's people to lead our nation back to the renewed faith of our Founding Fathers.

Now in closing, please use your "Forward" key and send this issue to your personal mailing list. And as soon as possible, we'll be sending NEV-7.

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