A pastor in Sweden was put in jail for preaching
against the gay life style. He was arrested on a
hate crime law. A very similar law has been
passed in California. The law may not put pastors
in jail (at first) for their preaching, but it could take
the church tax exemption status away. This may
crush many small churches. We seem to have
freedom of speech for anyone and anything, but
for Christians.

By H. Witmyer
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Index 3
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Page 86

A friend of mine recently installed voice-recognition software on his
computer. Instead of “keyboarding” thoughts, he now speaks them in. He
tested the software by saying a wide range of words and sentences and
found the software did reasonably well, even on technical vocabulary.

But then he spoke the word exegesis, meaning the explanation or
elaboration of a biblical passage or other text. He nearly fell off his chair
laughing when exegesis came up on the monitor screen as exit Jesus—a
computer Freudian slip, but prophetic nonetheless.

Later that day several news dispatches reminded him that there is a
concerted effort to “exit Jesus” from public discourse. For example, Pastor
Richard Parker was ready to deliver the customary invocation prayer at the
Warren County, Virginia, Board of Supervisors meeting. Just before he was
to speak, the county attorney alerted him that he could say “Lord” or “God,”
but not “Jesus.” Pastor Parker rightly walked out, explaining that as a
Christian pastor, he would not pray if he had to “exit Jesus.”

Literally hundreds of violations of religious freedom in the United
States have been documented by a Texas-based group, the Liberty Legal
Institute. On October 20, it presented the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee
on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property a fifty-one-page report titled
“Examples of Religious Hostility in the Public Square.”

Just a few examples: A Houston teacher trashed two students’
Bibles, then marched them to the principal’s office and threatened to report
their parents to Child Protective Services for allowing them to bring their
Bibles to school. A ninth-grader got a zero on her research project because
she chose Jesus as the topic; worse, her teacher refused to let her submit
a substitute project. A St. Louis public school student was “caught” praying
over his lunch. As punishment, he was lifted from his seat, reprimanded in
front of classmates, and ordered never to pray in school again.

At a New Jersey Veterans’ cemetery, an honor guard member
was fired for telling a deceased veteran’s family, “God bless you and this
family.” A Minnesota state employee was banned from parking in the state
parking lot, because his car had stickers saying, “God is a loving and caring
God” and “God defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman.”

McKinney, Texas, “has no problem with people meeting in their
homes for football watch parties, birthday parties, or even commercial
gatherings to sell Tupperware.” But when a few couples gathered in a
pastor’s home, they were told, “The City prohibits a church meeting in a
home unless the home sits on at least two acres.” And on it goes, for fifty-
one well-documented pages.

Make no mistake: Well-financed organizations are working hard to
expel Christianity from public discourse. If agitators try to do this in your
city or school district, there are Christian attorneys and organizations that
can help you. Call us here at BreakPoint (1-877-322-5527) for resources or
for more information about worldview issues, something all Christians need
to be aware of.
If we stay alert and resolute, our adversaries
will not succeed in “exiting Jesus.”

By Breakpoint
Copyright © 2002 Prison Fellowship Ministries. Reprinted with
permission. "BreakPoint with Chuck Colson" is a radio
ministry of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Prison Fellowship
Ministries® may withdraw or modify this grant of permission at
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