Persecuted For Being A Christian in America: A First Hand Account

While in college, I was personally singled out by my professor regarding the illogical stance of Christianity in a reason and religion class for the entire duration of the semester. It was such a pointed attack and weekly debate, that when I was late to class one day, the class was actually delayed until I could arrive–seeing as I was the one to speak on behalf of Christianity. The professor, a once Christian turned atheist, took sincere pride in trying to derail the claims of the Holy Bible and Jesus Christ as a whole.

Yet, despite his efforts to silence Christians and turn believers in Jesus Christ into atheists at best or agnostics at worst, the opposite affect was birthed. Through weekly phone calls to my pastor at Evangelical Free Church at the time, Pastor Worthington, began an equipping in Christian apologetics against such hate speech on a university campus. And as a result, a love for the defense of the faith of Christianity grew deep within me…and that professor, took note that I enjoyed and genuinely welcomed the debate in a lecture hall of close to 200 students. And in the end, the professor’s attack was silenced by the truth of God’s Word.

With college now ten years behind me, why would I bring this up??? Ladies and Gentlemen, if you are not aware, the culture of America has grown increasingly HOSTILE toward the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And this was made most evident in our own family a few months ago with our own SIX YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WHILE AT HER PUBLIC KINDERGARTEN.

While in social centers, our daughter (who accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior while we lived in the Middle East) turned to her friend–during a time where talking was permitted and stated “Jesus loves you.” The response of the hired adult leading the table was quick and audible to the entire class. “RUTH, YOU CANNOT SPEAK OF THE NAME OF JESUS HERE AT SCHOOL. YOU CANNOT SPEAK OF JESUS HERE.”

When my daughter shared this with me, I called our local church for prayer before going into the school immediately to address the matter directly. As many of you recall, I also sent out a mass text asking for prayer and the Lord’s guidance. I was able to speak to the individual as well as the principal. The individual apologized and I made a point that my daughter would also receive an apology…in my presence. This was done outside the classroom while my daughter sat on my knee. After the individual apologized, I asked my daughter, “What do we say?” Our 6 year old daughter took a deep breath and looked this individual straight in the eyes as her small and gentle voice rang forth, “I forgive you.”

In addition, the principal went on to say that the “separation of church and state” as stated by the individual was COMPLETELY OUT OF LINE AND MISUNDERSTOOD. I continued to point back to the 1st amendment of the United States Constitution and the fact that MY HUSBAND AS A U.S. SOLDIER has fought to defend the right of our children to be able to speak freely upon school grounds in America–be them public or private. The principal agreed that I was fully in the right and stated that SHE WAS GOING TO CALL A MEETING OF HER ENTIRE STAFF TO MAKE SURE THAT SUCH CONFLICTS DO NOT ARISE IN THE FUTURE.

IN FACT, the principal went on to state that a teacher UNDER LAW indeed has the legal right to answer the question of a student regarding religion. I stated that if teachers were allowed to dress as witches on campus during Halloween, and the Grinch was promoted at Christmas, then YOU BET my daughter is able to say “Jesus loves you” to a friend at a social center.

My husband and I could not be more sincerely proud of our little girl. She took a stand for Jesus Christ her Savior, and was able to have an impact on an entire school! PRAISE THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!

–Why do I share this tonight? Why now?–
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time that we OPEN OUR EYES to the realities of our day in America. The very fabric that our nation was founded on is fraying…and what are we, as believers in Jesus Christ doing about it? I implore you, DO NOT BE SILENT…take a stand for Jesus Christ…and it will inspire others to do the same. The time is here to WAKE UP CHURCH…It’s time to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and remember “our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the dark powers and rulers of the air”…yet, take heart…because Jesus Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33). WE CANNOT BE SILENT…SPEAK OUT FOR THE TRUTH OF JESUS CHRIST IN LOVE…AND DON’T FORGET THE TRUTH.

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Life Lessons From A Lanai    

While swinging in our backyard with our children a few weeks back, we noticed the most beautiful butterfly! It was a big tiger swallowtail and it truly could have been one of the biggest I’ve seen in all my life. Across our fence into our neighbor’s yard, they have a large screened in porch, more commonly known as a lanai here locally.

The butterfly had flown into the lanai due to a broken portion in their roof screening—after the hurricane that ripped through this area a few months back. And as a result, the strong and robust insect continued to fly around the expansive lanai’s roof screening, hoping to find the same way out that had led it in.

 

As we watched this beautiful butterfly, the Lord showed me a Biblical truth. The butterfly tried every place it hoped to be the ripped screening to exit this large enclosure. And what had initially just been a passing motion, had now found the insect in true peril. There was only one way out and the cobwebs of spiders that had captured other struggling and exhausted butterflies wafted in the wind. I could see that unless this butterfly found the one way back out of the lanai, the same end awaited this breathtaking butterfly.

 

I explained to our children that all people will try to live life that seems right in their own sight, but in the end, the Bible encouraged each person to pursue a lifestyle that is pleasing to God because God weighs the heart (Proverbs 12:15, Proverbs 16:2). We are not to pursue the passions and pleasures of this world, for the devil wants to destroy our eternal focus and the focus of those around us with whatever needed; the good, the bad and the ugly—but praise God, that Jesus came to give us life and life in abundance (Mark 4:19, John 10:10, Romans 12:2 & Ephesians 6:12). We spoke of the urgency of sharing of the saving love and eternal grace offered to all who would confess the wrongs and naughty things done in life and decides to follow Jesus Christ, the Risen Son of God (Isaiah 44:22, John 3:16, Galatians 3:13 & 1 John 4:9-10).

 

It’s not just enough to simply know the way to gain right standing with God through Jesus—even if these facts are memorized! No, that is not sufficient; action must be taken and faith must be established through trusting in Jesus Christ…plus nothing (Romans 10:9-10). Jesus Christ is the only way to freedom from the separation from God that we merit through our rebellion of sin (John 10:9, John 11:25, John, 14:6 & Ephesians 1:7). We didn’t give it much more thought as we played for the rest of the afternoon before coming inside for dinner.

 

1“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4“And you know the way where I am going.” 5Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

John 14:1-6 (NASB)

The following afternoon, as we went out back to play after school, we hopped onto the swings. And as we did, a strange form caught my eye from the top of our neighbor’s lanai screening. In the very top left section of the screen roofing, entwined in a white web, hung the same tiger swallowtail from the day previous. The children watched, as its now lifeless form wafted in the spring breeze blowing through their screened enclosure. I explained that although people do not “have time” to speak of Jesus Christ or matters of eternity, the urgency is real (2 Corinthians 4:3-6). It will never come down to how many good works we do to get out of our own lanai which the Bible calls sin (Romans 3:23). The only way out of our sinful state is not positive thinking or channeling some…that surely didn’t help the powerful butterfly. The only way out of our lanai of sin is the ripped screen known as the shed blood of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:5).

 

You see, when Jesus Christ died a criminal’s death, as an innocent man, He bore the weigh of sin, shame, guilt and regret that belongs to each and every person in all of humanity (John 4:34). He was sinless, but took on our sin on the cross to give us new life (Romans 5:8). After Jesus forgave the repentant thief on the cross next to Him as they died—amidst mocking, spitting and demonic laughter—Jesus asked the Father in heaven to forgive these same people and committed His spirit to the Father. And with these next words freedom was purchased… “IT IS FINISHED” (John 19:30).

 

” 50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

Matthew 27:50-54 (NASB)

 

Ladies, may we receive an urgent charge in the faith. It’s time to share of Jesus Christ to all who are in our spheres of influence. It’s time to no longer care if friendships will be lost or if opinions of us will be changed for speaking passionately of Jesus Christ. It’s a matter of literal life and death. May we choose to speak of life—eternal life—found for all who are seeking through the Risen Lord Jesus Christ alone. Because of the reality that Jesus rose again to life on the third day from the grave (Matthew 12:40, Matthew 28:1-20 & John 10:17-18), there is freedom offered to all: young, old, male, female, freckled faced, hair club member or bingo player….ALL are offered freedom from the bondage of sin through the finished work of our Risen Messiah, Jesus Christ.

16But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.17When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 

Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)