To the person absorbed in things of this world all might seem well right now. But serious Christians in the Word of God, and aware of it’s teachings and warnings, understand we are headed into very volatile waters. An economy propped up by massive debt; a morally decaying nation; and a professing Church that seems to be unaware of what is happening around us all point to very difficult days in the near future.
The wise man begins to prepare for trouble before it kicks down his door. Pastor Carl Gallups joins us this morning to look at the warning signs and how we begin preparing now for days of economic turmoil and religious persecution.
Donald Trump opened up a can of worms when he brought up the Johnson Amendment several months ago. Trump stated:
At this moment, I would like to thank the evangelical community who have been so good to me and so supportive. You have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.
Trump’s inclusion of his desire to repeal the Johnson Amendment as a component of his strategy to win the White House is something unique: it is an unexpected shot across the bow against the left, whose culture war has blocked Americans of traditional faith from using the power of the pulpit to influence political discourse over the past half-century.
Even a cursory review of American history reveals that Judeo-Christian values were the bedrock of our founding, and they provided the moral and philosophical firepower to eliminate slavery and underpin the civil rights movement. The patriot pulpit of old was unafraid of political sermonizing, in spite of the fact that a minister’s message could get him hanged if the authorities found it objectionable.
From another source:
In practice, the Johnson Amendment discards the Constitutional presumption of innocence. If the IRS accuses a church or religious organization of crossing the line, it can lose its exemption immediately and be subject to punitive fines, while it tries to prove its innocence — bearing the burden of proof, instead of its accusers bearing it. This exerts a chilling effect on churches who are not aligned with the political priorities of whoever is currently President.
The First Amendment to the Bill of Rights begins, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Johnson Amendment makes a mockery of that language, coming closer to the mere hour-a-week-on-Sunday “freedom of worship” that President Obama has often spoken of rather than the actual words of our Constitution.
“Free exercise” includes engaging in commerce, participating in politics and pursuing liberty and happiness as a full participant in the American polity. The Free Exercise right was meant to protect citizens’ deeply held moral and religious beliefs, even outside the walls of their places of worship. It was also meant to give the church a robust freedom to influence and serve the common good. It was never meant to empower the government to censor the church or restrict its participation…
As important as it is to engage our culture and be salt and light in our country, it is just as important for the body of Christ to stick to the basics of our foundation in Him:
This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. John 17:3-5
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44 And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47