Is America Hostile to Biblical Christianity

Yesterday afternoon I was out with my cross, on the cross I carry are the words; “ARE YOU READY” this is in reference to Hebrews 9:27, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment”. So the question is keeping with biblical Christianity, contrary to the modern American gospel. The modern gospel asks: “Do you want to go to heaven?” Biblical Christianity and historical Christianity asks the question; “Are you ready to face God in judgment?” Yesterday afternoon I spent one hour out with the cross at the corner of Broadway & Rice in Tyler, TX. While there I decided to listen to a sermon given by my pastor Phillip Dancy of Sylvania Church, this past Sunday evening called “Persecution and Early Church” (If you want to hear click on the title and it will take you to the sermon on sermon audio). As I was listening to this sermon he said something that I found very interesting, he told the congregation that we don’t know persecution because we live in America. He does allude to the answer toward the end of the sermon. Now while I am listening to this I have had several people drive by with angry looks on their faces, yelling who knows what at me, I don’t know why they think I can hear them over the sound of their motor or the other cars, and sometimes a word or two breaks through and I assure you it’s not nice. There was one woman in particular who was doing this, and then she grabbed her steering wheel in an attempt to frighten me, acting as though she was going to swerve her car into me. No, we are not martyred in America for our faith, but “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Why is the church in America not persecuted? I have read the word of God and believed it; therefore I have set out to do what Christ told his disciples to do prior to His ascension to the Father. In following the word of God in doing this I have discovered a falsity in America. In going to the public square, to the highways and byways of America; preaching the gospel, handing out gospel tracts, and talking with people, I have discovered a truth. The church is not persecuted in America because the church is inside buildings not bothering anyone, which is contrary to what Christ told us to do. Biblical Christianity is so counter cultural to the American culture it is astounding. So how can we have so many people living in America that in some form say that they are Christians yet the culture as a whole is contrary to biblical Christianity? The answer, they are not all Christ who call themselves Christian.

As many of you know I have been memorizing the gospel of John, the last section that I have memorized is John 6:15-27. John’s account of Christ walking on the sea, John does not normally include things that were written in the other accounts of the Lord’s life, so why does he include this? Jesus walking on the sea was covered by Matthew and Mark in there gospels, so why does John include it in his? I think he included it because of what happens before He walks on the sea and after. Jesus had just feed five thousand men and possibly their families with five barley loaves and two fish, with enough left over to fill twelve baskets. The people want to make Him their king because of this, Jesus sends his disciples away and in the other gospels He sends the people away as well, and He then goes up on the mountain to pray. He later crossed the sea walking on it and entered into the boat with His disciples 3-4 miles from the place where they ate the bread, but what happens next I think shows why John includes this; it shows the true and false disciple. Christ’ disciples obeyed Him; they probably didn’t understand why He would have them cross the sea without Him, nor did they want to go without Him, they loved Him and wanted to be with Him. The people on the other hand were disobedient and they stayed on the other side of the sea looking for Jesus, nor did they love Him they just wanted to get something from Him; this shows the difference between the false convert and the true convert. The true disciple of Jesus Christ loves Him and just wants to be with Him, the true disciple doesn’t want anything from Jesus he is just happy to be with Him worshiping Him “Grace is sufficient”. The true disciple is obedient, he doesn’t ask why, if the Lord tells him to do something he does it no questions asked, even if it seems contrary or impossible, even if it will cause that disciple pain and suffering he does it any way out of worship. The false wants to see what he can get from the Lord, what the Lord will give him to make his life better, he doesn’t love the Lord or truly worship the Lord, and he loves himself and worships the creation rather than the creator. The false is disobedient, theirs is always asking the question, why, they are in this for themselves so if something would cause them difficulty why would they do that?

On July 4th a brother in Christ, Seth Capps and I went to Longview, TX, to their Fireworks show. We spent the evening handing out gospel tracts to the crowd, talking with people about the gospel, then just before dark we each shared from the word of God in Open-air and preached the gospel of Jesus Christ. We received no outright hostility on this go around, we were primarily ignored, though I know that Jesus Christ was glorified and the crowd heard the gospel. We do this out of worship and the knowledge that faith comes from hearing the word of God, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17) And I know that the gospel is the power of God for salvation, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) While we were not imprisoned or beaten for preaching the gospel we did face obstinacy from a people who are following a brand of Christianity that says me first. And while we ourselves did not face imprisonment or beatings for our preaching of God’s word that was not the case for other brothers across the country. Jesse Boyd and Ricky Springer of “Full Proof Gospel Ministries” (click on the name to go to their ministry website) were preaching in Holly Ridge, NC at a public fireworks show in much the same way as Seth Capps and I. These two men had just spent one year in Nepal, Tibet, and India preaching the gospel in what is considered to be some of the most hostile places to the gospel in the world, all though they were stoned and beaten once, they never faced imprisonment during that year. They come back to the United States and had only been in country for two weeks, they were preaching the gospel at this public fireworks show in Holly Ridge, NC when a police officer puts a stop to their preaching, Jesse Boyd then rebuked the officers, telling them that they had a right to free speech and that the officers should be ashamed of themselves, he was then arrested. Could he have handled it differently, the answer is yes, would I have rebuked the officer, no, but I do understand Jesse Boyd’s point and the emotion behind it. America is suppose to be free, we are suppose to have a first amendment right to speak freely, yet here is an officer of the law, a representative of the state shutting down that first amendment right because he said that their preaching was bothering people, and in this case, just having left oppressive non-free countries you would think that you could freely speak. So is America hostile to biblical Christianity? With what I have experienced and others like me, I would say yes, despite that Jesus said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)

Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ