Recession-proof Christian Life
12/9/11 at 12:47 PM 0 Comments

Nero and Criminalising of Christianity

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In my recent book Perfect Fall Wedding:The Coming of Christ I wrote on how we can easily find ourselves loving the things Christ hated and even hating Christ Himself simply by trivialising the instruments of His murder.

Rather unsurprisingly we read “In remarks on Tuesday in Geneva to the United Nations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said religious and cultural beliefs are standing in the way of homosexual human rights worldwide.”  At a time when we remember the birth of Christ, one receives statements like this as suggesting Christ and His followers are the “new enemy” of progress and early stages of seeding thoughts on Criminalising of Christianity.

Hilary’s statement is not just an accidental statement in politicking but represents a clear position and consistent mockery of religion –especially Christianity that has typified current US leadership even from when Obama made his Call to Renewal speech in June 2006 before his election.  Quoting Obama...

“We all know the story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham is ordered by God to offer up his only son, and without argument, he takes Isaac to the mountaintop, binds him to an altar, and raises his knife, prepared to act as God has commanded.  Of course, in the end God sends down an angel to intercede at the very last minute, and Abraham passes God's test of devotion.  But it's fair to say that if any of us leaving this church saw Abraham on a roof of a building raising his knife, we would, at the very least, call the police and expect the Department of Children and Family Services to take Isaac away from Abraham. We would do so because we do not hear what Abraham hears, do not see what Abraham sees, true as those experiences may be. So the best we can do is act in accordance with those things that we all see, and that we all hear, be it common laws or basic reason.

Finally, any reconciliation between faith and democratic pluralism requires some sense of proportion. This goes for both sides. Even those who claim the Bible's inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages - the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ's divinity - are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.

The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counselling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics....  people are tired of seeing faith used as a tool of attack. They don't want faith used to belittle or to divide. ... Because in the end, that's not how they think about faith in their own lives. …”

How do we say we love Christ and celebrate His birth and openly disdain His Church...and all it embraces?

Quoting another extract from Perfect Fall Wedding : The Coming of Christ ...

“If you had a son that you loved dearly who was murdered and the weapon used—a sharp knife was left at the scene. Would you wash the knife and use it in your kitchen like other appliances. I think not. You will hate it and have it cast out of your sight and if you saw it even slightly or accidentally again, you will be filled with painful memories. Our sin is the sharp knife that murdered our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The Federal Government of Nigeria on Wednesday, reacted - irritated at the position the US President Barack Obama has taken on same-sex marriage, has said the country reserves the right as a sovereign nation to make its own laws to protect her own interests.

Most of the legislation we see in countries like Nigeria against same-sex marriage would have been unnecessary but for the observations on how the west appear not just to be embracing this lifestyle but actively marketing it as acceptable alternatives at very important forums such as the UN. Another example of what the Obama sense of proportion has produced is portrayed in another strange headline US Senate legalizes US soldiers to have sex with horses screaming through facebook.

Clinton and the faith and government she represents are of course entitled to their opinions, and can continue lighting Christmas trees while more of their actions suggest they hate the very Christ they purport to celebrate.  Can we decree justice and have fair laws without bringing God into the equation?

Proverbs 8 [15]  By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

Deuteronomy 5[9]  ... for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

Proverbs [22]  How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? [23]  Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. [24]  Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; [25]  But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: [26]  I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; [27]  When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. [28]  Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: [29]  For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: [30]  They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. [31]  Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. [32]  For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. [33]  But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Will exclusion and hatred of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob eventually lead to criminalising of Christianity.   Before you say no ... do remember that this was what led to Daniel’s indictment and being sentenced to the Lion’s Den. We also know how that story ended. 

As Christians watch and pray ... remember the Emperor Nero. The Great Fire of Rome erupted on the night of 18 July to 19 July CE 64. The fire was said to have started at the south eastern end of the Circus Maximus in shops selling flammable goods. The population searched for a scapegoat and rumours held Nero responsible. To deflect blame, Nero targeted Christians blaming them instead. He ordered Christians to be thrown to dogs, while others were crucified and burned.

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