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

The Impending Crackdown On Christianity

Jan 26, 2021

Yes a very real crackdown on Christianity is now underway in the West:

In many parts of the world over the past two millennia Christians have had to learn how to live out their faith in places where heavy persecution takes place. But now that the West is increasingly joining in this anti-Christian bigotry and ugly persecution, all of us need to wake up real soon and try to understand just how we will cope with all this.

Some of us have been warning for decades now that a real crackdown on Christianity is coming to the West, often at the hands of the various sexual militants, joined by the cancel culture, political correctness, identity politics, wokeness, cultural Marxism and the social justice warriors.

The secular left has declared all-out war on believers, and in the new Biden administration we’ll see this ramping up big time – and pronto. At the end of the day, all the radicals and leftists know that it is biblical Christianity that is the one last major obstacle to their plans to fundamentally transform the West into their sordid radical image. So the church is in its sights, and all Bible-believing Christians are now Public Enemy Number One.

And this is NOT just a matter of political differences. This is very real, visceral hatred of Christians. It is demonically driven. It is not just a slightly different take on politics and social issues: this is full-on hatred of Christianity and those who fully run with it.

We see obvious examples of this every single day. Here in Australia for example we have the palpable hatred and demonic rage against Christian leader and tennis champion Margaret Court. Hardcore lefties like the ABC’s Kerry O’Brien are so full of rage that they are refusing to be associated with her.

Thus he has refused to receive his Order of Australia award, saying her beliefs were “deeply insensitive” and “divisive.” Um, it is of course O’Brien who is being deeply insensitive and divisive here. And a trans doctor in Canberra handed back his award that he had received in 2016, also because of Court.

Good grief, what is wrong with these people? They are obsessed with their hatred. Court is one of the most loving and caring persons that I know. But for daring to believe in biblical truth, she is the object of despicable scorn and vilification. See my earlier write-up on her here: billmuehlenberg.com/2021/01/24/australias-most-shameless-christophobe/

Let me look at two more aspects of this. The first has to do with how some folks are saying that all the world’s problems are somehow due to Christian Trump-supporters. Some of these Never-Trumpers with such a bad case of TDS are getting more intolerable by the day.

One American social media friend of mine, Laurie Higgins, just wrote about yet another attack on Christians who dared to support Trump by the increasingly irrational David French. She said this:

I had some additional thoughts about David French’s marching orders for Christian Trump voters, including some thoughts about his claim that Trump is responsible for the instability in America. But first, when reflecting on the woulda, shoulda, couldas of the 2020 election, it’s important to remember the awful decision Christians had in 2016. For many evangelical Christians, Trump was not anywhere close to their first choice but Hillary was worse yet.

If, or rather when, the left establishes policies so malign and oppressive—policies that rob parents of their parental rights; rob conservatives of the right to speak, assemble, and exercise their religion freely; rob scholars of the freedom to teach and publish; rob Americans of the ability to earn a living; rob citizens of the right to bear arms; and rob those deemed unfit for life of their lives—who or what will be culpable for the revolution that eventually comes? Will it be the rhetoric of those leading the revolution, or will it be the words and deeds of the oppressors?

The rest of my thoughts here: illinoisfamily.org/faith/david-frenchs-marching-orders-for-christians-in-america/

Yes quite right. And let me say this: four years ago I liked French and worried a lot about Trump. Now after time and some maturation, I like Trump and am worried a lot about French. I was never a Never-Trumper, but I am quickly becoming a Never-Frencher.

As another social media friend of mine, Robert A. J. Gagnon put it, commenting on a Washington Post article, “Biden’s ambitious LGBT agenda poises him to be nation’s most pro-equality president in history”:

Not “pro-equality” but pro-oppressor of persons of faith and suppressor of free speech and free exercise of religion, science, and logic. And still we have deluded NeverTrumpers like David French and Russell Moore thinking that we should apologize for casting an effective vote against the gay/transgender & abortion idolatry of the Biden/Harris administration. Nothing that Trump did threatens my speech, free exercise of religion, employment, Christian schools, my family, or my church. I wish I could say the same about Biden.

Yes the Biden/Harris administration will be THE major tool of the crackdown on Christianity in America. As I said in an earlier piece:

Simply being able to push through the so-called Equality Act will transform America in ways not even imaginable just a decade ago. Any Christian or other American who dares to hold to biblical and traditional views on marriage, family and sexuality will be targeted big time. The reprisals for daring to differ will be draconian and relentless. Welcome to a whole new round of persecution. billmuehlenberg.com/2021/01/21/on-the-change-of-government/

Let me conclude by running with a new column penned by Rod Dreher. I have already stated that I believe his new book, Live Not By Lies, is the book of the year. While we are only 26 days into the new year, it certainly was the book of the year last year when it was first released, and I believe it will still be the book of the year for all of 2021 – that is how important I view this book to be. See my review of it here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/12/30/a-review-of-live-not-by-lies-by-rod-dreher/

In his newest article Dreher speaks about another person who is convinced that his book is vitally important. And he is someone who is worth listening to. I refer to “an experienced military intelligence officer, now retired: Lieutenant Colonel (USA, Ret) Alexander Braszko.”

He had contacted Dreher to tell him what a valuable book this was, and Dreher returned the favour by asking to interview him. Here is part of that interview. It begins:

Rod Dreher: Thanks for your kind words about my book. Given your background and expertise, what are its most important lessons for Christians?

Alex Braszko: Rod, the most important lessons I garnered from your book are:

  1. That we need to remain vigilant to the academic, corporate, and political efforts within our country seeking to fundamentally change and inhibit our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  2. That there are very real machinations ongoing in our country that mimic some of what we saw in Eastern European and Asian countries prior to their falling under the yoke of Communism.
  3. That there are specific things we can be doing as Christians to preserve our faith, our traditions, and our values as individuals attempt to take away the rights and freedoms we enjoy as Christian Americans.
  4. That we need to be willing to live a life apart from the crowd, but that there are many, many individuals and families like ours, sharing the same sets of values and beliefs we cherish.
  5. Finally, we need to be willing to, “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong!” (1 Cor 16:13) We need to support our brothers and sisters in Christ as they struggle with persecution from today’s secular world.

It is clear that after the January 6 assault on the Capitol, we will all be living in a very different security environment. I don’t want to put you in the position of saying whether that is good, bad, or otherwise. What I would like to know is what specifically should political and religious conservatives be doing now to accommodate ourselves to this new reality?

First, we must understand that the witch hunt we see taking place today against conservative Americans by politicians and mainstream media will continue for the foreseeable future. Dealing with doxing and public criticism for ascribing to our beliefs is something we should all expect. Hacks into our online accounts, monitoring of our online activities are all realities of the world we live in today.

The closing question and answer are certainly worth paying careful attention to:

What would you say to people who believe the things you and I are talking about here are alarmist? 

My grandfather had a typing business in Russia. In 1917, on a dark and rainy night, my grandfather returned home late in the evening from work. Through the rain, he saw the lights on in his house, but noticed men surrounding it and men inside the house. He witnessed some terrible things being done to his family that night by Bolsheviks as he hid in the shadows, the full details of which he discovered much later, and learned that those men were after him, a White Russian, to “give him the bayonet” because of his political leanings and the fact he was a business owner. One of his children was killed that night, and atrocities committed against his wife and daughter. Communists shattered his world. He returned a few years later after escaping Russia with a group of Cossacks to fight the Soviets. People told him he was being alarmist in the beginning, too. Nothing but the grace of God prevents those same things from happening in our own country today. So, no, I don’t think I’m being alarmist. I think we’re being vigilant, I think we’re being observant, thinking critically about what happened historically in many other countries, looking at similarities taking place in our own country today. And it’s really not good what we’re witnessing.

It’s much easier to stick our heads in the sand, to divert our eyes from Truth and turn to the ease and conveniences offered up to us. We like to tell ourselves, “If we just trust our political leaders, buy into mainstream narratives and secular dogma we hear every single day, things will be easier!.” But we know our hope is in our Savior, in Christ Jesus. As much as he suffered for us, buying into the lies the world feeds us is an insult to His sacrifice and love for us. We need to fight the good fight and run the race for our salvation, because in the end, that’s what truly matters. www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/how-to-prepare-for-coming-crackdown-live-not-by-lies/

Yep, those who have been there and done that must be carefully listened to. Dreher features many folks in his book who lived under Communist tyranny, and they all say that what is happening in America and the West is greatly alarming them.

And the worst part is this: most Westerners simply do not know and do not care. These dissidents, and Dreher, and myself and others are seeking to sound the alarm. The question is this: will we take heed before it is too late?

Postscript

I just noted on the social media that the American evangelical group The Gospel Coalition – the outfit that assured us that Christians could not vote for Trump, and Biden was not so bad – now has an article warning us about how dangerous the Democrat ‘Equality Act’ is and how it must be opposed. Of interest are all the comments under that FB post slamming TGC for being the ones who helped to bring all this about in the first place.

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26 Responses to The Impending Crackdown On Christianity

  • Thank you, Bill, for another insightful article. Religious persecution, however, does not need to be rooted in politics or any social group because it can be much more subtle. For four years I tried teaching in the public school system of the United States and found the upside-down morality, the way other teachers ridiculed the Christian students, and the dirty politics so abhorrent that I switched to medical-secretarial work. At Ieast in the medical field, discovered, the patients appreciated kindness and the overall attention I showed to them. For the most part, If a person lives a godly, Christian life, it is quickly noticed by co-workers and supervisors who are not believers. Such people can tell a difference by how a believer behaves on a personal basis, what a believer considers right or wrong, and, in a school setting, how one disciplines children according to a Biblical standard of right and wrong. More often than not unbelievers feel uncomfortable around believers and quickly will start an undercurrent of hints or trouble to “persuade” the believer to change his moral standards or leave the position to find work elsewhere. In non-teaching situations, I have found the same silent undercurrent of unbelievers who are made uncomfortable by the slightest things. Suppose a Christian wears a wedding ring while most of the co-workers are shacked up? In this case, the believer does not have to say a word because a symbolic piece of jewelry “says it all.”

    I am sure many believers have to forget about achieving a certain level of success because they are not offered certain jobs or promotions because the unsaved people in certain businesses already know the believer will not play certain “games” to get ahead. As a result, I believe many Christians will need to learn to be content as the Apostle Paul suggested in his writings to the early churches. At the same time, believers must remember that what is esteemed by God is seen as little value by the natural man and that what the natural man values is seen by God as the wood, hay, and stubble of this world.

    Recently I looked for passages in the Bible that explain why the wicked often prosper. The internet took me to a Christian advice website, where I was rather disappointed in the Christian leader who said, “It must be that the wicked prosper because God loves them.” Well, what kind of God does this “leader” have? My own interpretation is that the wicked prosper because Satan is the god of this world, that Satan is rewarding them, and that the earthly reward is all the wicked will have until and unless they come to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. The second-class status of Christians in the world is not a very pretty picture, but a faith that sustains a person throughout life is essential in overcoming the world. The ultimate reward, of course, is realized when the believer is promoted to eternity with God in heaven.

  • I tried to buy Rod Dreher’s book from Koorong in Perth – they did not have it. Is it coming to WA?

  • What do you think about this article by John Jalsevac?

    https://johnjalsevac.com/2021/01/12/why-im-so-angry/

    Rod Dreher endorsed this article in one of his tweets. It seems to me that there are some extremism going on in the fringe part of the pro-Trump evangelical movement.

  • Thanks Terence. I only had a very brief look. Yes, he seems angry – and embittered. So he is probably not the best sort of guy to run with as to how to assess the Trump years and the best way to proceed.

  • Bill,

    Please take your time and have a good read at John Jalsevac’s article. He made some very good points. From my following of Rod Dreher on Twitter, he is on the same page as John regarding the legacy of Trump. In fact, Rod Dreher dislikes Trump a lot. He couldn’t bring himself to vote for Trump in the previous election by voting for an independent candidate.

    I think Rod Dreher’s view is that while Trump is very friendly to evangelicals, there are also costs to supporting Trump.

    To be fair, Trump is a mixed bag. He has done a lot for Christians in his term. But lately, he’s also not done the things that is in the best interests of conservatives. For example, he’s distracted by his own ego, that he had not done enough to help (and arguably, undermine) the Republicans to win the Georgia Senate seat. The end result is that the Democrats now also control the Senate, which is not in the best interests of conservatives and Christians.

  • Thanks again Terence. Although I quite like Dreher’s new book, that does not mean I think he is infallible. I do not necessarily agree with everything he has said. I of course have never said that Trump has been right in everything either. And I am not quite sure how Trump is responsible for the two Georgia Senate seats going to the Dems.

  • Dreher’s book is available (still in hardback and therefore dearer) from the Book Depository (https://www.bookdepository.com/). Post free. I borrowed a library copy while I wait for the paperback edition which must be out soon.

  • Terrific call-to-action from Alex Braszko, in context of Christians compromising with (or silently tolerating) “the mainstream narratives and secular dogma we hear every day”:

    “But we know our hope is in our Savior, in Christ Jesus. As much as he suffered for us, buying into the lies the world feeds us is an insult to His sacrifice and love for us.”

    I think Lie #1 is Evolution; millions-of-years. (= No God; death-before-sin.) An insult to Christ’s love and sacrifice.

  • Bill,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I think as Christians, we need very difficult conversations ahead regarding how we proceed in the post-Trump years. We need to make very painful assessments on what we have done right and what we have done wrong and fallen short in the eyes of God.

    I’m concerned that parts of the evangelical Christian movement has gone off the rails. The reason is clear: some has veered to the error of relying on man (Trump) instead of on God. As you said 4 years ago,

    Politics cannot save us. No human can make a nation great again – only God can. Paul Washer was quite right to remind us that “The judgment of God against this nation will not be turned by a more conservative President, but by the repentance of its people”.

    This US election outcome is a humbling reminder to Christians to rely on God and not on man and politics. Many evangelical Christians leaders in the Pentecostal/Charismatic side have to repent of leading the flock astray. For example, Jeremiah Johnson prophesied that Trump will win the election. But he, to his great credit, apologised for getting it wrong. For this act of courage in repenting of his error, he got death threats instead, unfortunately from the more fringe extremist parts of the evangelical Christian movement. As this article reported,

    Evangelical prophet Jeremiah Johnson said he’s now getting death threats from Christians after apologizing to his followers Thursday for “inaccurately prophesying” that President Donald Trump would win a second term.

    Johnson, who also called out Christians for their idolatry of the outgoing president, revealed in a statement on Facebook Sunday that the attacks have shown him that “parts of the prophetic/charismatic movement are far SICKER than I could have ever dreamed of.”

    “Over the last 72 hours, I have received multiple death threats and thousands upon thousands of emails from Christians saying the nastiest and most vulgar things I have ever heard toward my family and ministry. I have been labeled a coward, sellout, a traitor to the Holy Spirit, and cussed out at least 500 times. We have lost ministry partners every hour and counting,” said the leader of Jeremiah Johnson Ministries.

    It is very alarming to see that parts of the evangelical Christian movement have fallen into idolatory of Trump.

    As for the Georgia run-off election, I’m not saying that Trump is responsible for the loss. But I am disappointed to see that (to put it very mildly), he wasn’t disciplined enough to focus on winning the consolation price (winning the Georgia Senate seats) and got distracted with his personal priority of trying to retain his presidency. I supposed that had he put in the effort of helping the Republicans retain Georgia in the Senate, at least Christians and conservatives might have gotten the consolation prize of keeping the Democrats in check at the Senate. And also, if he has the discipline and temperament to be a leader to help the Republican party focus on the 2022 primaries and wrestle back control of the House, there’s a chance that the Biden may become a lameduck president in 2022 by controlling only the White House. That will severely keep the Democrats in check and prevent the worst of their agenda from being implemented.

    But alas, the Republicans lost control of the Senate. And with Trump threatening to start a new party and splitting the votes, there’s a chance that the Republicans may break apart and fall into disarray. This means there’s no hope of them wrestling back control of the House in 2022. The outcome is that the Democrats may even be more entrenched in power beyond 2022.

    Regretfully, Trump losing the presidency could have been just a setback. But unfortunately, this setback is now turned into disaster.

  • Thanks again Terence. But given that neither you nor I will be able to solve America’s problems – or even give any direct counsel to those there who can try – I will not belabour all this. So this will be my last word here thanks. Yes, I have always said politics cannot save us, that no one leader is the messiah, and God may well be judging America now. I have always held those beleifs, But I am not so keen to try to blame all our loses on Trump. He could only do so much, while he had everything and everyone fully working against him.

    And if I were president and I had every reason to believe that strong evidence suggests that my position may have been stolen from me, I likely would have sought to correct things as well, and not give up without a fight. Sorry but I am much less willing to trash Trump at every turn here. It is easy for us on the sidelines to hand out all the great advice in the world.

    So I will give him some credit for trying at least. As imperfect as he may have been, he has done far more good than his legion of armchair critics. So let’s pray for him and the nation as much as we seek to dissect everything and give the final exhaustive word here!

  • Kerry O’Brien was right to decline the Order of Australia order. His vilification of Margaret Court and, more importantly, fundamental moral standards, proves he does not deserve it.

  • I don’t know if you saw this comment by John MaCarthur, Bill. Refers to the recent Biden Inauguration.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ms-djpp7XLs&ab_channel=ReformedChristianTeaching

  • More potential trouble from the UN level:
    https://answersingenesis.org/college/new-proposal-deny-accreditation-to-schools-based-on-science/

    A warning from China: ‘thanks’ to surveillance efforts needed to combat Covid-19, even being an underground church in China may not be possible anymore:
    https://www.christiantoday.com/article/why.does.china.feel.so.threatened.by.christians/136283.htm

  • There is an excellent new website out of the UK that every church and Christian should take a look at. “Christ Not Caesar: lockdown, love & lordship” https://christnotcaesar.org/

    And, more solid meat for Christians, as we need a “classic orthodox education” in order to remain strong in the coming storms ahead: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwHnxjrwdNQQB6ZMwiFznUA

  • Thanks Bill for your work.

    Today is International Holocaust Reemergence Day. We have said “never again”, but to our considerable discomfort, we see what is lurking.

    I appreciate Dreher because he helps to articulate real-world solutions, learned from history.

    There is an old saying: “stupid people don’t learn from their mistakes; smart people do; and really smart people learn from other people’s mistakes”. As a believer of Jewish decent, a conservative American and Israeli, and middle aged white male, my heart-cry from my last place intersectional perch, is that we will pull together and learn from the past.

    It is late now (John 9:4)..

    Shalom

  • News.com.au ran a piece today about an ex-president of the Uniting Church who wrote a piece in The Age annoncing he is handing back his 2017 award and condemning Court. His criticism is dishonest and Biblicaly illiterate.

    He claims that we worship a welcoming, inclusive God – we don’t. We worship a Holy God who specifies what is and is not acceptable to Him. (Christians sin of course, however there’s a category difference between trying but failing, and not trying, instead seeking to reclassify sin as righteousness).

    Said minister contends bad theology kills people, that it supported Hitler’s racist ideology and the evil said regime produced, which is technically true but disingenuous – it was the church which compromised with the state and preached Nazi\evolutionary values not the church which clung to Scripture that was the problem. Does the Uniting Church today preach Scripture or state approved SJW values? Based on the minister’s piece it reads like the latter.

    And said minister claims that Jesus was open and welcoming to all who were excluded from their community, often on religious grounds, again disingenuously. Jesus would happily converse with anyone true, but He judged according to the level of knowledge of His listener – Pharisees knew better and so He was scathing, the ignorant were treated more gently, but told sin no more. Jesus never encouraged folk to pursue lifestyle choices.

    All in all it the original article was a hit piece attacking Court and those who seek to adhere to Scripture, an attempt to gain the love and praise of the World, or both.

    What future does the Church in Australia face when at least one wing is following in the footsteps of the Reich Church and bad theology? Could it be that God is intending to use Biden in America to make clear the separation between the faithful sheep and the rebellious goats?

  • It’s also alarming to see that many parts of the evangelical Christian movement have fallen into the trap of Trump Derangement Syndrome which is still dividing families and churches because they cannot let it go even after he has been removed from office.

  • Outstanding and important article, Bill. I hope and pray Christians heed your warning. You might appreciate this interview IFI did with Rod Dreher: https://illinoisfamily.org/faith/a-conversation-with-rod-dreher-full-interview/

  • Many thanks Laurie. Keep up your great work.

  • Reading the article and comments it is sad what happens when we fail to be separate from the world. When we are separate, living differently we offer a choice to the world but when we live the same as the world but add Jesus the world all too often say to our offer to join up no thanks. The “choice” we give is be worldly and do everything the worldly way or be Christian and do everything the worldly way AND add Christ. Given that choice most prefer not to add Christ since everything else is the same.

    Republicans have a similar problem in that they are supposed to be a clearly different choice from democrats but for far too long have simply been democrat lite. The big tent philosophy take the away from there roots and closer to the dems. Our big tent philosophy takes us farther from Christ and closer to the world. But no matter how close we get we are still different we are STILL the enemy of the world. The will tolerate us for a while BUT will never accept us.

    I think the reason so many balk at comparisons to Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany is the only know a few thing about each from farther in their history than the beginning. Schools don’t teach about the first years of either or the lead up to either. It is easier to make history repeat if don’t know it. All most would be able to tell you about the Nazis would be the holocaust and other than name and revisionist history most couldn’t tell you much about the Soviet Union. MAYBE they would know about the gulags but that isn’t a given since teachers are sympathetic to communism.

    Tyrants never think they are responsible for their own overthrow it is always the rebels fault. It isn’t MY oppression that is causing your revolt it is YOUR refusal to be oppressed.

  • Just listening now to Alisa Childers interviewing Rod Dreher in a clip entitled “Totalitarianism: How Christians Can Resist the New Cultural Religion, with Rod Dreher”. As I was listening that from my perspective if you want anyone to do a hatchet job on Christians here in Victoria I have two people in mind – aside from Daniel Andrews. Fiona Paton who will do so under the cover of libertarianism, and Farah Tomazin who as a journalist writes for THE AGE/SMH.

  • How much influence is the Pope going to have on the Biden administration? Seems they have a lot in common? Should we be concerned?

  • What will happen in a sense will happen. I have written to the P.M about the Andrews Bill and campaign about various things and who knows what effect this will have. But, out there are thousands upon thousands of bewildered Sheep who only get fed the Trash from the TeLieVision and TilLieMedia to think on. The Foundation of Secular Humanism is Evolution, I ask people who I meet if they believe in Evolution, after a while the gears in their head produce an answer. I think So? I then ask them if they believe they evolved from Monkeys/Apes. 99.9% answer NOOOO! I then give them good Creationist written Evidence, point them to the Trees, Grass, Bacteria, Virus’, Birds, Worms.. etc, and tell them about the Creator of all things, Jesus. 99.999% of those I talk to go away saying they will examine the Evidence. We are called to be Ambassadors, let’s do it while the Light of day still shines!

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