MANHATTAN — The last time, we discussed the phenomenon of an increase of folks claiming no church attendance while the number of those claiming to be committed to religious beliefs remaining stable over the years. This came from an article done by R. R. Reno of Hillsdale College. In his article titled Religion and Public Life in America, he cited a recent study, as well as, federal census statistics to build his case.
One group that he lumps in with the religious Christians and Jews is the Muslims. However, the Muslim religion differs from the other two in one very significant fact. The Koran does not allow for the unfettered existence of any other religious belief. The other two may seek converts, but if they follow the Bible, they don’t force compliance to the point of death. While many Muslims don’t either, the driving forces in the Muslim world do. Witness the well known honor killings or the killing of Christians during the “Arab Spring” as examples.
Mr. Reno suggests four steps to save America. First, defend religious liberty in the courts. This is being done successfully through the services of several Christian non-profit law associations.
Second, Mr. Reno suggests that we fight against emerging legal theories that threaten to undermine religious liberty. There are a number of religious organizations doing this.
Third, Mr. Reno says we must “meet the challenge by showing that religion is indeed special.” This cannot be successfully done unless Mr. Reno’s fourth suggestion is done first.
This fourth suggestion should have been the first. The church and synagogue should grow in their “solidarity of wills through faith.” They have “a divine cause, which is the great force of righteousness.”
That great cause is in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob which is expressed today in the person of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Just as pastors and Christians in the early days of America stood for what was right, we need to stand for what is right today. We are to be a light to the world. We can’t do that by hiding in our churches. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to use us to exhibit Jesus to the world, while spending time in prayer interceding for America. Then we open the door for God to save our nation.
Mr. Reno concluded that, if he had to bet on the liberal social agenda, or on the Jews and Christianity, he would take the Jews and Christianity in a heart beat. As his evidence he cites the fact that nations and empires have come and gone, yet these religions have prevailed and done so peacefully.
God promised Abraham and his descendants that He would return in the last days and restore the world with Jerusalem as His capital. Before that, He promised the Jews would return and raise up Israel out of the deserted land. Since the second has happened, the first is sure to occur. In addition, Jesus said that the gates of hell would not prevail against His church and they have not.
Today we are watching the church grow exponentially in third world countries in spite of deadly attacks against believers. If a sufficient number of folks and the leadership of this nation choose not to repent, the church of Jesus Christ will still prevail. In the face of persecution, the church will grow stronger in the process. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my word will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
Frank F. Clark is the author of the column “Frankly Speaking.” His e-mail address is email@example.com.