Ministers ordered to fight for freedom, against criminalization of Christianity Web News WorldNetDaily
America has become a morally bankrupt society that embraces intolerance against Christians, including a new push for "hate crimes" legislation, according to one pastor who believes itâ€™s all because church leaders have failed to do their jobs.
But this Memorial Day weekend he is calling ministers to fight for those freedoms â€“ from their pulpits.
"Pastors, if you wonder who is to blame for Americaâ€™s slide from the â€™Ozzie and Harrietâ€™ morality of yesteryear to the â€™Brokeback Mountainâ€™ immorality of today, look in the mirror," said Pastor Paul Blair of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Okla.
Blair is founder of a group called Reclaiming Oklahoma for Christ, an outreach to pastors that encourages church leaders to take a stand against the spread of immorality in American culture. He is urging pastors across the nation to stop being silent and muster the courage to speak out against efforts to criminalize Christianity. He said church leaders have abandoned the prophetic call and have chosen instead to be CEOs of competitive church businesses rather than proclaiming "faith in Christ alone and repentance from sin."
"Pastors used to speak strongly about issues â€“ like when Billy Sunday led a crusade, and the next thing you know, liquor was outlawed. So they made a difference," he said. "The year 1954 is when pastors began to grow timid because, all of the sudden, they had this misguided notion that they might lose their tax exemption if they made too much noise."
Shortly after ministers grew silent, prayer and Bible reading were taken out of schools. The sexual revolution immediately followed, along with Roe v. Wade. Now, he said, attacks on Christian liberty and morality have become more brazen and coordinated than ever â€“ with widespread movements to legalize homosexual marriage, the Department of Homeland Securityâ€™s efforts to profile Christians as "potential terrorists" and strategies to silence pastors through hate crimes legislation.
Blairâ€™s video on the criminalization of Christianity may be seen below. http://www.alainsnewsletter.com/read/254/religious-freedom/patriot-pastors-called-to-crush-hate-crimes-bill/
As reported the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 would provide special protections to homosexuals but leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual.
A hearing on the act, already approved by the U.S. House as H.R. 1913 and pending in the Senate as S. 909, is expected in the Senate Judiciary Committee soon.
Under a comparable law in Sweden, a minister was sentenced to 30 days in jail for preaching from Leviticus. Similar state laws have resulted in similar results. In Philadelphia several years ago, a 73-year-old grandmother was reported to have been jailed for trying to share Christian tracts with people at a homosexual festival.
WND columnist Dave Welch, founder and executive director of the U.S. Pastor Council and Houston Area Pastor Council, has warned, "Hate crimes legislation, which assigns different levels of punishment for the same crime, is a perversion of equal justice on its face. Compound that injustice by criminalizing the preaching of Scripture as "hate speech" and therefore evil, while protecting unimaginable and abominable sexual behaviors as good, and we are building a perfect storm for national calamity."
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of letters have been dispatched to members of the U.S. Senate suggesting that the bill is the wrong way for the country to move. WND columnist Janet Porter, who also heads the Faith2Action Christian ministry, launched the campaign to send thousands of letters to every senator by overnight delivery.
To date, at least 4,500 people have participated, dispatching 450,000 letters to members of the Senate.
But now Blair is stepping up the effort by calling on "patriot pastors" to lead their congregations in three areas: 1) evangelizing and leading people to Christ to change the culture 2) educating people about the truth of Americaâ€™s Christian heritage and real threats like the Hate Crimes Prevention Act and 3) contacting elected representatives by writing letters and participating in petition drives.
His church is planning a special Memorial Day weekend sermon where he will bring in a 150-foot crane to fly the American flag as he warns his congregation of attacks on freedom.
"We absolutely will be addressing the fact that freedom isnâ€™t free," he said. "Weâ€™ll talk about the great sacrifice that was paid for the liberty we enjoy and how there are attacks on that liberty not just abroad, but here at home."
Ministers should never underestimate their roles in preserving Americaâ€™s freedom, Blair said. According to President John Adams, colonial pastors were the single group most responsible for Americaâ€™s independence.
"They were the best educated of citizens, understood the precious value of liberty from tyranny and taught their congregations a true biblical worldview," he said. "As Pastor John Witherspoon, a signer of the Declaration and member of Congress, recognized, â€™There is not a single instance in history, in which civil liberty was lost, and religious liberty preserved.â€™
Patriot pastors led in the great spiritual revival of the 18th century known as the Great Awakening, Blair noted. And patriot pastors educated their communities and led them in the fight for liberty in America.
"Thank God that our patriot pastors of yesteryear werenâ€™t trained with a modern seminary education," he said.
Representatives told Blair if they get five calls on a particular issue, they take notice. So, he would like to see what would happen if hundreds or thousands of people called lawmakers.
"Just think, if pastors would get up on their pulpits and teach folks about how the issues of today are going to affect them and then lead them, we can make a difference," he said. "The problem is we donâ€™t hear the truth. We donâ€™t hear it in the media, we donâ€™t hear it in schools and our pastors have been taught to remain silent."
But Blair said he intends to change that.
"Brethren, itâ€™s our turn," he said. "As we reflect this Memorial Day weekend on the great price paid for the liberty that we enjoy, let us not lose that same liberty on our watch. Join with a group of patriot pastors across our nation and teach your flock about this dangerous hate crimes legislation and lead them in combating this brazen effort to criminalize Christianity in America."