A picture of Pisgah Baptist Church in Four Oak...America, land of the free…but just how free are we these days?  Are we headed down a dangerous road to a Fascist state in America?

Adolph Hitler rose to power in the midst of a horrible financial crisis in Germany.  The first thing he did was artificially inflate and prop up the economy.  The state began to provide for those in need.  Well today, more than half of all Americans are dependent on some sort of financial assistance from the government—social security, welfare, food stamps or unemployment compensation.

Hitler then proceeded to get religious institutions on board with his proposed reforms.  The church was basically told to continue to exist in Nazi Germany, they would do things his way or no way.  While we have not yet gone that far in America, we are seeing not so subtle pressure on American Christianity to conform to what the government thinks is best.  Trying to force Christian employers or ministries to provide free abortion drugs or contraceptives to employees is, in my opinion, a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution regarding religious freedom.

On the day of 9/11, my son came home early from school as they were dismissed from class.  We discussed all that was happening and where our nation might go in the aftermath of the tragedy.  I remember telling him what I thought the greatest challenge to our nation might be moving forward.  I told him that today Americans came to realize that we are not immune to fanatical terrorists.  The challenge we would face moving forward was this:  How much freedom would we be willing to sacrifice to be safe?  Would we be willing to sacrifice liberty for safety?

Over the past 10 years we have seen the Patriot Act, which most people believe has kept us safer—but what long term price might come with that safety?  Just in the past three years we have seen attempts by the federal government to seize control of the internet, another failed attempt at a so called “fairness doctrine” to regulate free speech on radio and television, and now an attempt to force Christians to embrace abortion drugs and contraceptives as a mandatory part of health insurance coverage.

And now a kindergarten girl has the lunch her mother packed for her confiscated because officials didn’t think there was a proper balance of nutrition in the lunch.  Is this really the land of the free anymore?

Just what price are Americans willing to pay for safety and security?  Well apparently they are willing to pay a very high price to have the government take care of us these days.  80% of Occupy Wall Street demonstrators polled said they think the government owes them a home, a job and a retirement fund.  Folks, Elvis and sanity have left the building!

Will the American church stand up and be heard as this tyranny expands?  Or will she sit silently and just roll over like a nice little puppy?  There was a time in this  nation when the church was a check against immorality.  When the government or society started heading down a path that was against God’s law, the church intervened and applied the pressure necessary to snap things back in place.  Are those days behind us?  They certainly seem to be.

If the time comes and we are told who or how to worship; what is sin and what is not; and what can be said from the pulpit, our reaction as a church will be to find someone to blame.  A few short steps to the closest mirror will provide the answer.