The Assault upon Christians Continues

This past Easter Sunday radical Islamic extremists targeted three churches and three hotels where tourists were known to stay on the island of Sri Lanka.  Almost simultaneously suicide bombers detonated their devices in those six locations.  Over three hundred people were murdered and another nearly 500 were injured.  What a strategic time for suicide bombings!  Easter Sunday when churches around the world are filled with worshipers celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.  Entire families were murdered.  Young children were numbered among the dead, as were several foreigners. 


The attacks on Sunday were just the latest in a series of assaults upon places of worship around the world.  Last month it was Muslim mosques that were targeted in New Zealand.  In France, Jewish synagogues and Protestant churches have been targeted.  Even in our country places of worship have not been exempted from the assaults by radicals.  With the exception of the Antarctica, every continent continues to experience the assaults of religious bigotry.  But the primary targets have been Jews and Christians.  It has been estimated that during 2019 fifteen Christians a day will forfeit their lives because of their faith.  This represents a nearly 37% increase from 2018.  Sadly, I believe that the attacks upon Christians for their faith will only increase in the coming years.  Just as the world hated Jesus and His proclamation of truth and grace, so the world will hate His followers who also stand unashamedly upon that proclamation of truth and grace. 


Last week Stephanie Curry posted an article on The Daily Signal website titled, "Colorado Sex Ed Bill Would Force Kids to Learn LGBT Ideology, Ban Talk of Abstinence."  The writer begins: "Colorado's wildly controversial, comprehensive sex ed legislation has ignited national discussions about how far Americans want to expose their children to a radical social agenda.  More than a few eyebrows were raised when Colorado passed its mandatory comprehensive sex education law in 2013, which required students to undergo 'culturally sensitive' lessons.  'Culturally sensitive' meant that sex ed lessons would incorporate minority perspectives on sex that had not previously been represented in sex-ed - including LGBT individuals, but also other groups.  (In practice, this meant teaching and affirming more diverse kinds of sex.)  Though many parents were concerned, those concerns were appeased by the fact that students could discuss their moral, ethical, and religious beliefs on sex and sexuality in the classroom.  It also allowed some schools to be excused from provisions of the law, if requested.  Yet, just five years later, Colorado's Democrat-controlled General Assembly thinks the 2013 law is no longer good enough to address the sexual education of teens.  Enter HB 1032.


"HB 1032 would do away with all the 'concessions' included in the 2013 law and would specifically prohibit religious, moral, and ethical perspectives on sex from being discussed in the classroom.  The bill demands that schools teach about the relational and sexual experiences of LGBT teens.  It would forbid any emphasis on abstinence and sexual-risk avoidance as the only foolproof method against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and even declares that saying so in the classroom is against the law.  HB 1032 would strip teachers, administrators, and school boards of the ability to choose the content of their comprehensive sex ed curriculums and would no longer allow schools to be excused from the requirements of the bill.  The bill is almost militant in its stringent requirements and prohibitions, thoroughly censoring the speech of teachers and crushing parental rights and religious freedom in the classroom."


Now, if school boards and administrators cannot select the curriculum, from where would it come?  The answer to that question should not be a shock.  It is Planned Parenthood...of course!  The writer continues, "It probably comes as no surprise that Planned Parenthood lobbies across the nation for comprehensive sex education bills to be enacted, and Colorado was no exception.  It certainly isn't coincidence that Planned Parenthood is one of the world's largest providers of comprehensive sex education materials in the world, peddling radical content that even the most liberal among us might find too shocking for our taste.  Planned Parenthood's ready-made sex education curriculum just happens to fit the exact requirements HB 1032 would impose on local school districts.  Its materials often promote virtually any type of sexual exploration and experimentation as a 'safe and healthy' part of any relationship, no matter the child's age or biological sex, just as long as you 'say yes.'"


And it is not just in Colorado.  This morning I received information about a bill - HF 2400 - that is before the Minnesota House of Representatives.  This bill, which is an education omnibus bill, includes a section that would force school districts to implement curriculum for elementary students that addresses issues like sexual orientation and gender identity, based on an ideological agenda rather than on science.  Again, this bill is an intrusion into the lives of families here in Minnesota.  If passed, this bill would undermine the authority that parents have to teach sexual and moral values to their children. 


And, as if that bill was not enough to make one's blood boil, along comes HF 12/SF 83, the so-called "conversion therapy ban."  That bill, again if passed, would make it difficult for a counselor to help a young teen explore all the answers to questions regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.  The bill would make it difficult to publish a book or any materials that challenge the whole idea of gender identity, and could even make it difficult for a church to host a ticketed conference addressing the issues of sexuality and gender identity, especially if approached from a traditional religious viewpoint.  In my view, this is a direct assault upon those two inherent principles safeguarded in the First Amendment: freedom of religion and freedom of expression.  Hopefully both these bills will go "down in flames" in the Minnesota Legislature. 


Absolute truth is being targeted today.  Biblical truth is being targeted today.  Those who steadfastly hold to absolute, biblical truth are being targeted today.  We are quickly sliding down the hillside of immorality into the swamp of amorality.  And when we reach that point, the world will truly be "upside-down."  Isaiah, in speaking of Israel during the eighth century BC might as well have been speaking of twenty-first century AD America when he wrote these words: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter" (Isaiah 5:20).  Again, it is time for us to pick up the Sword of the Spirit and the Shield of Faith, putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Belt of Truth, the Shoes of Peace, and the Helmet of Salvation.  It is time for believers to take a stand for Jesus Christ and Truth.  It may soon be too late to do so. 

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