Every other Thursday some of the men of our church family in Ellijay meet for a period of prayer, Bible study, fellowship, and coffee drinking. LOTS of coffee drinking.
These men’s devotionals allow us to talk about some of the challenges of being Christian men as well as the chance to participate in some service projects. It also provides opportunities for men to study and share some thoughts from the heart.
Last Thursday one of our men began his lesson with the above quote, “evil is real…and it’s evangelizing.” This alarming statement was made in response to a now infamous commercial for the Freedom from Religion Foundation featuring Ron Reagan, son of former President Ronald Reagan. The commercial, which is used to promote the organization’s political agenda, ends with Reagan condescendingly identifying himself as “Ron Reagan, lifelong atheist – not afraid of burning in Hell.”
On its website, the FFRF implores visitors to “come out of the closet” as atheists and sells aprons that say “in chef we trust.” The 22,000+ members also sell debaptismal certificates online so that new converts can formally renounce their baptism and membership in the Church. While I respect this organization’s constitutionally-guaranteed right to spread their message, I abhor their message and the blasphemous way in which they go about mocking my faith.
On a side note, I pray that the Gospel message pricks the heart of Ron Reagan and he becomes a Christian before his life ends. Hebrews 10:31 plainly declares that “it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Last Saturday, I participated in the annual Lads to Leaders convention held in downtown Atlanta in the shadow of the state capitol building. Two days later in that capitol building Governor Nathan Deal vetoed HB 757 or the “Religious Liberty Bill” that would have provided legal protection for churches and ministers in an increasingly litigious society. While this bill may not have been perfect, the governor, who is notably in his second term and will never have to face re-election, offered no indication that a revised bill would be treated any differently.
Governor Deal, who defiantly claimed that he does not respond well to insults or threats, caved to mounting pressure from big businesses who are striving to stay politically correct. The most outspoken organization was the National Football League who publically stated that the passage of the bill would hinder Atlanta’s chances of hosting the Super Bowl. This is AFTER they told Atlanta the only way they could host a Super Bowl was to build a new stadium. It is good to see the NFL standing up for morality after they failed to punish players who participated in acts of domestic violence until the Ray Rice video went public and openly ignored the effects of concussions on their players until recently caving to public pressure. The NFL is also seeking to expand its business in China, a nation where the government is openly hostile towards basic human rights.
Governor Deal proved that the almighty dollar means more to him than the Almighty God.
The reason I bring all this up is to remind us that the world is indeed changing around us. There may come a time when I face legal consequences for refusing to perform a same-sex marriage. So be it.
There may come a time when our churches lose their tax exemption or face lawsuits for not allowing same-sex weddings in their facilities. So be it.
We were never promised a place at the political table and the Church of the First Century was certainly never promised religious freedom.
If evil is real and evangelizing, what is good doing? The unfortunate answer is that good is remaining silent. It is time that Christians start making noise again. I don’t mean make noise by lobbying in Atlanta or Washington. We need to start making noise by openly and boldly proclaiming the Word of God and trying to reach lost souls.
We can no longer be content to meet in our building twice a week and shield ourselves from the rest of the world. We need to be out in the community LIVING Christian lives, LISTENING to the needs of those around us, and LEADING them to Jesus Christ.
No matter what happens to society around us we have been assured that we are citizens of a Kingdom that will last forever (Daniel 2:44). I’m so thankful to be under the authority of a just, righteous King named Jesus Christ. Let us never forget that he has given us marching orders. Evil is real, and it’s evangelizing. We need to be evangelizing too!