With grateful hearts, we share our thoughts on redemption through Jesus Christ and His saving blood and what it looks like in our daily walk.

We gladly welcome your comments and input.
AND since we hold our conservative values dear, we might have a thing or two to say about politics... and we can almost guarantee it won't be politically correct.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Stop Christian Fascism?

I happen to drive past two of the largest churches in my city on my way to & from my (might I say averagely attended) church. The churches I’m referring to are well attended into the thousands on any Sunday morning. Both offering numerous service times from which to attend. Several of my friends & acquaintances go to each of these churches.

On my way home this past Sunday I was quite caught off guard by what I considered a disturbing sight. Just like every other Sunday, at their dismissal, there were hundreds of cars spilling out onto the roadway from the church -- all directed by the privately hired county Sheriff. Only this week each car was passing by a protester. It was an ordinary looking man who had positioned himself on the easement (not church property) with two large signs about his body.

These were not your run of the mill hand-painted or marker-written signs. No, these were obviously produced at a print shop in full color. The sign hanging around his neck was about 3’ x 6’…a little wide and a little awkward looking extending a few feet beyond each side of his standing position. The words on that sign were: Stop Christian Fascism. There was another sign resting against his legs sort of propped on the ground; it was as wide but not as high … maybe 18 inches by 6’. That sign said: Teach Tolerance.

I have to tell you this was disturbing. I haven’t quit thinking about it off and on since then. Imagine, of all the things this man could be doing and he chooses to hold up signs with this nonsense message in print at the exit of a local church on a peaceful Sunday morning.

Just what was he trying to accomplish? Did he want people to stop going to that church? Did he really think any of the attendees would be changed by his sign messages? I mean why not stand in front of that group of folks that run around with bombs in their backpacks blowing up buses and open air cafes? Now that might mean something to hold up signs saying Teach Tolerance. Isn’t it THAT group of people who have radically hateful ideas about which other groups of people should be allowed to live and die?

Tolerance? When I think of how tolerant our Heavenly Father is it makes me weep. If God wasn’t tolerant THAT man could have been smote instantaneously just for his utter gall to disrupt a simple Sunday morning of church goers.

Okay so fascism is a little much. PUH-LEEEZE. I looked it up. Fascism: A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

According to this definition I still don’t get it.


Jane said...

Hmmmm...I'll admit that I don't get it either. See what I miss out on when I am out of town. Since reading your post, I am thinking about going to church a little differently tomorrow since I attend one of those large churches.

Meems said...

It was your church!... and it was on the back street... I wondered if there might be a fellow-protestor on the main street as well. Maybe you could ask around to find out if anyone you know happened to witness this disturbing and (now) irritating person littering the exit.

Jane said...

I went in the back entrance this morning and I will confess it was quit disturbing. Not only was a man there, but also a woman. I definitely got this creepy feeling as I pulled in...of course maybe it was the car that was parked across from their little protest that had the offensive language on one of those magnetic signs. As I got out of my car and began the trek inside I wondered how many of the parents were explaining the scene to their children. I don't know if there was anyone on the main street, but I did find out that some of the guys in the college ministry did talk to them last week. It wasn't confrontational, but it didn't seem to keep them from coming back this week. It will be interesting to see what happens next week.

Nathan Talbot said...

My first thought is that this poor man is lost. He is confused and misguided. It grieves me that he has those feelings about the "church". Obviously, I disagree with him vehemently and his choice of words is quite clearly wrong. However, I don't know what has caused him to feel this way. Maybe he was badly mistreated by a church or church members. Sadly, many churches are not tolerant. That does not mean that churches shouldn't speak the truth. The truth is paramount, but the truth spoken in love is what shines most brightly.

I am also reminded that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

This man is clearly deceived. I pray that his eyes would be opened to see and his ears open to hear so that he can see the truth of God's love and that love will set him free.

Meems said...

Jane: we saw him again on our way TO church this morning and there were two women with him -- I kind of got the idea they might be trying to talk "to" him but maybe they were "with" him... I don't know. It is a quick pass and I had a hard time reading the new signs today... something about real freedoom and silencing the religious nuts... I did read the sign on his vehicle... sheeesh!

None of the distractions were present on my way home.

Nathan Talbot: your thoughts are absolutely correct... he is confused and misguided... and we don't wrestle against flesh and blood. So we know the enemy is behind all the distraction. Hubby and I discussed the idea that he may have been mistreated and angry at the church (not sure if it is this church in particular).

Regardless it makes me wonder - just what is it an intellegient soul expects to change with the crowd he is appealing to? This is the thing that puzzles me.

pilgrim said...

Sad to say, you do 'get it'. You get irritated, puzzled, disturbed, moved to tears and talking about it. How much more could one lone individual protester accomplish on his mission? Multiply you by hundreds, even thousands, and he has successfully stirred up controversy that effects churches, households and communities, ad infinitum. All he needs now is for someone to call the local newspaper or TV station, and he can be even more widespread with his effort.

He could be a paid stooge for some other group, financed by someone not bold enough to take the heat, or just some misguided individual with an axe to grind that hasn't found the satisfaction of having his complaint attended to. He wants his viewpoint to be heard, his discontent noticed, his disagreement with the church, the Bible, or the actions of some Christians to be put on trial. He has chosen the best possible venue available, to his way of thinking, to let this be known. He could even "thank God" that he lives in a country that does allow freedom of speech and the right to protest whatever, as long as you do it peacefully.

He could be part of any number of other minorities; ethnic, religious, lifestyle choice, political, moral preferences, etc. The Word of God is so absolute in its many teachings that the world's current society denies or detests, it is no wonder that you would witness what you did. Street corner demonstrations are very common in this day & age. Since he has appeared again, the story will likely continue to unfold until you finally do really 'get it'.

What comes to my mind about this is what Jesus said. "If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my names's sake, because they know not him that sent me." John 15: 18-21

Get ready, God's people, we are in the last days. It is only going to get worse. There is "darkness covering the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee". Isaiah 60:2 So keep shining that light of yours. It only takes a little light to dispel a whole lot of darkness!

Meems said...

Update: I didn't see the protester today on the way to or from church. I hope he realized he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.