[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Esther 4:12, NKJV”]“Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish.”[/pullquote]
Thus spoke Mordecai to his adopted daughter Esther, when he learned of a plot to kill all of the Jews in the Old Testament book of Esther. Mordecai worried that Esther, who was now queen, would feel she was immune to the coming persecution.
There is a coming persecution to Christians in America. It has already started with the harassment of florists and bakers who refuse to compromise their beliefs to endorse same-sex marriages. Perhaps you, like Esther, feel like this will not concern you. But the progressive left will make it your concern, as explained by Erick Erickson and Bill Blankschaen in their new book, “You Will Be Made To Care.”
“You Will Be Made To Care” (YWBMTC) is an outstanding primer on the topic of religious persecution in America that every lover of religious freedom would benefit from reading.
The book opens with the powerful and inspiring story of Kelvin Cochran, the nationally-recognized African-American fire chief of the city of Atlanta, who is also a devout Christian. A dedicated Bible student and teacher, Chief Cochran wrote a devotional book that encouraged Christian men to behave as Christian men and in one brief passage, admonished them to avoid sexual immorality outside of marriage, such as adultery and homosexuality. This was unacceptable to LGBT activists in Atlanta, who successfully pressured the mayor to fire Chief Cochran.
The lesson from Chief Cochran’s firing is stark. He was fired for simply stating his religious beliefs outside the workplace, in his personal life. If it could happen to him, it could happen to you.
When you think of religious persecution, you may think of Bible stories of being stoned, beaten, thrown in the lion’s den or cast into prison. It is hard for us today to visualize what modern persecution would look like.
“You Will Be Made to Care” provides a look at the future of persecution in the US with detailed examples of discrimination that are happening right now.
- Business owners fined by judges
- Non-profits forced out of providing adoption services and foster care
- Court ordered silence about religious beliefs
- Civil lawsuits against individual assets
- Fraud convictions
- Students expelled from universities or forced to change belief to obtain degrees
- Employees demoted at work or fired
- Pharmacists forced to provide abortion inducting drugs
Based on the actions and statements of anti-religious activists we can expect other consequences in the near future such a loss of tax exempt status for churches and religious organizations, or religious individuals being charged with hate crimes.
[pullquote align=”normal”]People should be free to live and work according to their faith without fear of being punished by government. [/pullquote]
Historically, believers have been able to rely on constitutional protections in the First Amendment. YWBMTC contains a detailed discussion of the importance of the First Amendment and the freedom to think as you please.
Unfortunately secular progressives are seeking to redefine our interpretation of First Amendment religious protections. President Obama himself has begun to refer to the “Freedom of Woship” instead of “Freedom of Religion.” This subtle change in terms, the book explains, is intended to limit our expression of religion to the four walls of a church building, but not beyond into the wider society.
Why are leftists doing this? YWBMTC explains in great detail the motivations of the left to compel Christians to conform. In summary, leftists believe in a Utopian view of progress, in which Christians must be made to change in order to achieve human happiness in this world.
[pullquote align=”normal”]Truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth. [/pullquote]
At this time, the battle lines of religious persecution are primarily being drawn along sexual issues. YMBMTC contains in-depth discussions of the specific agendas by which religious freedom is being challenged including the homosexual agenda, the destruction of traditional marriage, abortion rights, and trans-gender issues.
The final portions of the book calls for a resurgence of traditional values in believers, families, churches and as citizens with practical suggestions for action. This section does a good job of encouraging all churches to help equip Christians for the coming battles without getting bogged down in denominational differences.
Final note: This book has 392 footnotes. In other words, it is extensively documented. Because of this, it makes an excellent research reference for anyone who wishes to study or teach on this topic.