CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Throwing Believers to the Lions, 21st Century-Style

Jun 11, 2008

In the old days things were much simpler, and much more direct. In the early days of the Christian faith, pagan rulers could say, ‘Hey, I hate you Christians’, and throw them to the lions. Today our pagan elites (in academia, the media, and especially the courts) don’t tell Christians how much they hate them (that would be seen to be intolerant – a really big no no in contemporary culture). Instead they pass all sorts of nefarious and mischievous legislation, such as vilification bills, and hate crime acts. These do the job just about as well as the lions used to do.

Indeed, they are much more insidious. In the old days you pretty well knew where you stood in a pagan society. To be a believer was a life and death proposition, and you were either in or out of the Christian camp. There was no place for sitting on the fence – too much was at stake.

But today it seems that being a believer is not so costly, and direct persecution does not appear to be happening. But there is plenty of indirect persecution taking place, in the form of discrimination laws, equal opportunity legislation, and those wretched hate crime laws. And one never quite knows where one stands in relation to these laws, especially the religious vilification laws.

These laws are notoriously vague and arbitrary, so that one can in good faith be doing one’s Christian thing, and the next moment be dragged off to some tribunal for offending someone or vilifying somebody. No one is safe under such draconian and malicious legislation.

Let me give you a pretend example. Let’s say you are concerned about the well-being of children, and are tired of so-called artists taking liberties with children (as happened in Sydney recently), and being allowed to live above the law in this regard. So you might preach a sermon one Sunday on such activities, and denounce the sin of child abuse and paedophilia.

The next thing you know you are dragged off hand-cuffed to some equal opportunity commission, forced to account for the way you vilified and offended some poor paedophile. After all, our laws are quite clear about messing with someone’s sexual orientation. And as more and more of our amoral intelligentsia are proclaiming that paedophilia is just another sexual orientation which people are born with, they have a right not to be offended or made to look silly.

OK, you say this is all a bit far-fetched. It may be – for the time being. But the exact same thing is now happening concerning homosexuality; another “sexual orientation” that people are supposed to be born with.

Consider a recent court case in Canada where a Christian pastor was accused of a hate crime because he warned about the homosexual agenda. The Alberta Human Rights Tribunal found evangelical pastor Stephen Boisson guilty of hate speech, and ordered him to stop expressing his biblical perspective of homosexuality.  He was ordered to pay $5,000 for “damages for pain and suffering” as well as apologise to the activist who complained of being hurt.

The pastor was effectively told to renounce his Christian faith. It is on the par with a court ordering a greenie to no longer speak out on the sin of global warming, because that could be considered to be hate speech to a corporate polluter. We must tolerate these environmental vandals, the court would say, and not vilify them or make fun of them. So by all means, continue your green activism, but simply never say another word about global warming or carbon footprints again.

Of course our leftist judiciary would never do such a thing, but that is the equivalent of what they are doing to the Christian church. They are saying, ‘Hey, feel free to practice your faith – just don’t let us ever catch you expressing your faith in the public arena again. You can make moral judgements, but keep them to yourself (until, that is, we decide to fully ban all politically incorrect thoughts, as well as words and deeds)’.

Our secular courts and Christophobic elites are telling the church that it can exist, but only on their terms, not on the Church’s terms. ‘You can nominally exist, but make darn sure you never let your faith affect any area of real life – just bottle it all up and be content with that.’

The full story of the Canadian case can be read in the link below. But believers in other parts of the Western world had better wake up, because what is happening in Canada is coming to a church near you, real soon.

www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=66704

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17 Responses to Throwing Believers to the Lions, 21st Century-Style

  • It appears to me that there is no point trying to get people to change their minds on these matters because everyone, without fail, knows they have the right to express their opinions. This is done already! It is more about making people aware. The issue here is we need to make the law makers aware that we are awake to their pushing their personal biases. Especially when they are not trying to fix something, they are just trying to apply bigotry. In this situation Christians have the right to speak what the Bible says the same as a Muslim has a right to speak what the Koran says. Let the truth speak for itself. But as for us “average Joes” we need to know who these politicians are. The ones that are not interested in the opinions of the people, but only push there own personal biases. Then we vote them OUT! At least the Greens are very open with their Homosexual agenda, it is the other politicians that have agendas that we don’t find out about until they have been elected; that worries me.
    Peter Baldry

  • Thanks, Bill, for commenting on the issue I brought up on a previous thread.
    The Boissoin case (I think that’s how you spell it) is deeply disturbing, because it does not merely tell the Church that it can exist, but only on the secular state’s terms. It tells a Christian pastor, in his capacity as such, and the organisation he represents cannot speak on the matter of sin, righteousness, and judgment. These are now held to be vilifying! When the state tells the church that it can only speak about “nice” things, it presumes to edit and control what God has commanded.
    But Stephen Boissoin has not only been told to apologise for expressing his deeply-held Christian convictions, both he and his organisation have been told NEVER to speak ill about homosexuality, and homosexuals, again – for the rest of his life, and the life of his organisation. That includes public forums (which would include sermons), letters to newspapers (where the whole affair began), literature, literature sales, material on websites, even emails. How long before sale of the Bible is banned, or only expurgated editions can be sold (i.e. minus Gen.18-19; Lev.18; Romans 1 etc.)?
    That a pastor can be convicted for holding and expressing his convictions we have entered the very scary Orwellian world of “thought crimes”!
    But it does not end there. Look at the clause in the CHRC’s verdict here:
    “Any remedy awarded by this, or any Tribunal, will inevitably serve a number of purposes: prevention and elimination of discriminatory practices is only one of the outcomes flowing from an Order issued as a consequence of these proceedings. There is also a significant symbolic value in the public denunciation of the actions that are the subject of this complaint. Similarly, there is the potential educative and ultimately larger preventative benefit that can be achieved by open discussion of the principles enunciated in this or any Tribunal decision.”
    Do you see that? There is “symbolic value” in the judgment, i.e. it is meant to send a message to all others who hold similar views, i.e the entire Christian community of Canada. They are coming after you; they will monitor your correspondence and emails, your websites, your publications etc. etc. THIS IS TOTALITARIANISM!!

    For commentary on the case by the Christian apologist James White:
    http://www.aomin.org/podcasts/20080610fta.mp3

    Murray Adamthwaite

  • Bill, it is worse than you say. The Uniting Church sided with the Islamic Council against Catch The Fire Ministries and vilified the two Dannies in its journal ”Crosslight’. It is a case of the Apostate Church siding with ‘The Spirit of this Age’; moreover, U.C. officials used ‘Hate Speech’ in the Church Paper Crosslight to persecute them viciously by calling them ‘vicious’. You may wish to expand this point using overseas examples of the Apostate Church persecuting Christians.
    Stan Fishley

  • Thanks Murray

    Yes it is totalitarianism – a creeping totalitarianism that many believers are sleeping right through. It is time to wake up before it is too late to do anything about it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Thanks Stan

    Yes you are quite right. It is one thing when the secularists persecute believers. It is quite another when so-called believers join in the persecution. Of course Jesus experienced this in his day, and warned us that it would be the same for us. But he had pretty strong words for these wolves in sheep’s clothing, and he would not be too impressed with their modern counterparts.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • A similar example to the one referred to above which once again, concerns Canada’s laws regarding “hate-speech”: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23816891-25192,00.html.

    The article appeared in last Friday’s Australian (6/6/08).

    Paul Radford

  • Thanks Paul

    Yes, I refer to that Canadian episode, and the Australian article about it here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/06/10/how-free-is-the-free-west/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Mark Steyn refers to this creeping totalitarianism as ‘smiley-face facism’.

    http://podcast.shirenetworknews.net/mark%20steyn/

    Ewan McDonald

  • A wise man once said (Matthew 5:10-12):
    “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

    Stephen Frost

  • Thank you for the article, Bill. Governmental tyranny is indeed alive and well not just in Canada, but within even my home state of Colorado, where it is now illegal to publicly speak out against homosexuality. This draconian decision was, unsurprisingly, not put to a vote. You know, in case the people as a collective whole did not approve of the decision? That would get in the way of the elitists’ agenda, would it not?

    What the heck happened to free speech, in America, the very country which has been the greatest champion of freedom of expression!? The white supremacists and pedophiles are allowed their say, but I suppose it’s the latest fad among the politically correct to go after so-called “Homophobes” at any cost. Anybody who speaks about the gay lifestyle in any negative light can, in my state, now be branded with a charge of committing a hate crime, even if the person’s anti-gay words do not even remotely resemble an actual case of slander! What happened to the people who said “I may disagree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”? I would fight to the death if it meant giving the gays (and everyone else) the right to express their opinions in a free society. All I ask for in return is cooperation, where they would do exactly the same thing for me. I guess the problem is that the homosexual lifestyle, in the mind of Western elites, has now become inextricably tied with the actual people involved. And thus, any speech going against the lifestyle itself is perceived as slander and a personal attack against the people, when the vast majority of Christians actually do “hate the sin and love the sinner” (which is certainly my position). The despicable behavior of Fred Phelps and his followers get the most publicity, and so they represent, in the world’s eyes, the “Church’s” official position, and the government tumbles into a gross overcorrection based on that superficial judgment.

    I apologize for venting so much today, Bill, but I have had it with the special interests of a vocal minority dictating what we can or cannot *say* in Colorado. I want to help in any way I can to get this ridiculous and arbitrary law overturned. Freedom of expression is the only way people can learn anything, and that means even lending the stage to people who passionately disagree with your opinions. Prohibiting free speech, as you have so eloquently stated beforehand, puts America (or Australia, or England, or Canada, etc.) on a slippery slope, with its logical conclusion being not too far at all from George Orwell’s prophetic 1984.

    I beg my fellow Christians to please pray that this law will be overturned, and free speech can once again reign free in Colorado, America itself, and the rest of the world. If we don’t do something fast, the freedoms we still have will evaporate into the ether, and we will never again have the right to say what we want until we arrive in Heaven, the only escape from the imperfection and turmoil of this world.

    Thanks for your time, everyone.

    John Patterson, USA

  • While this is all very sad it is predicable. Did not Jesus tell his followers what to expect. These experiences are what many Jesus followers live with everyday in many countries. We have been spoilt and have come to expect benevolence from the western secular world that we were told not to expect.
    Instead of sadness, rejoice, because persecution means jesus followers are preaching the truth and the evil one who hates the truth is reacting.
    The western Churches have become soft. Fight back, preach the truth and the Lord will be blessed, are we frightened of a bit of persecution? No! No!
    God will be glorified and his Kingdom will grow greater.
    Steven Eldridge

  • Steven, whilst we are not necessarily “frightened of a bit of persecution” for ourselves, those of us with families are very much concerned with what the future holds for our believing children. Therefore we will continue to do everything we can to ensure that the free West stays free.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • This is already happening in a silent way amongst our media as well. Try getting a letter published even drawing people’s attention to the 57 law changes that went through the NSW Parliament last week and you will see none. Also any critique of the prevailing ideology being taught in our Government Schools on say the origins of the universe and letting students make a choice based on evidence and it too will not make it to print. In fact, the legislation changes in NSW were not even covered in the media, were based on a document that the Government had been sitting on for two years and was ‘smuggled’ in along side the budget and a few other controversial bills. At least here our leaders still have some fear of the consequences but appear to be quietly and rapidly moving the bar in the hope that doing so a long way from an election will not harm their cause . Worth keeping up the fight whilst we can and whilst they are still scared.

    One other observation from a person who has had two attempts at running for a Christian party – why is it that a Christian will act with less grace towards a fellow Christian or Christian party because they disagree with them on one issue? Instead they will often give their vote to a party or candidate with who they disagree with lots of things on (without doing the same level of research) and thus weaken a potential stand in the Parliaments of this nation. This does not mean acceptance of poor policy or not challenging poor policy in Christian parties; but why do we lack the grace to work together for the greater good, instead expecting from our fellow brothers and sisters in the political realm a level of perfection that only Christ can bring.

    Geoff Peet

  • Geoff two of us had our letters published in the Illawarra Mercury [10.06.08] regarding the NSW Anti Discrimination Bill.

    How far does this nonsensical leftist ideology go when a fertilized lesbian can have the father’s name expunged in preference to another lesbian.

    The child is denied her / his birthright to say nothing of her / his biological identity being legally denied. Whatever happened to human rights?

    Ray Robinson
    Wollongong

  • Political correctness has gone too far, everyone’s right to free speech so long as it is not sedition is under serious threat. I do not agree with the statements some who have been prosecuted under vilification laws, but I agree with their right to air express such opinions in a public arena. It is one of the fundamental tenets of a Liberal Democratic society.
    Tristan Jones

  • As one who saw active service in WW2, we all reckoned we were fighting for our freedom. Freedom, we regarded in those days, was to express one’s opinion freely anywhere. If you didn’t like what was said, ,you were free to give your opinion. Win or lose, you had to get used to it, and there were some pretty hot discussuions. I believe this has made Austalia the force it is in this world, way beyond the size of our population. We have become a democratic dictatorship. We will end up with the usual unhappy result. Have you noticed the deathly silence of our churches? Weird, isn’t it?
    Tom Wise

  • Bill
    Yes I could not agree more. Recently I have as Church Secretary let our parishioners know about terribly sad even blasphemous statements made by our paid officials. It shocks them as we had a teaching regime here for many years that gave a “sanitized” view of our Church hierarchy. But I must be true to our dear Lord, not man. Most of our people tell me that they hate reading Crosslight as it is full of liberal, pro R.C. stuff with a very questionable alliance with false eastern religions. I also can’t read it as someone said in print that God the Father must have been guilty of Child Abuse crime because of Jesus having to go on His will to the cross. How evil to twist the atonement so terribly. I fear for our church as it released at UCA expense in Tas the booklet by Adeline Mills called “The Heart of Change”. In it she accuses God of Divine Pettiness if we follow certain traditional belief in scripture. You should see the copyright on the back. It forbids any criticism other than in it’s entirety. Well then I say “Throw it out.” Only fifty would replace it as it is modern church view.
    Geoff Dean

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