Cultural Shift: UPDATE
The last three weeks, I blogged about Three Cultural Shifts That Every Christian in America Needs to Watch. These three cultural shifts are:
1. The Growth of Islam
2. The Mainstreaming of Homosexuality
3. The Sanctity of ALL Human Life
As if on cue, there has been significant shifting occurring in the last week or so in each of these areas.
On Monday of this week, Pvt. William Long was gunned down as he stood outside an Army recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula was also wounded in the attack. The murderer of Pvt. Long is Carlos Bledsoe, also known as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, a convert to Islam. And it is now being reported that Muhammad not only had the firepower to kill more, but a joint FBI-Homeland Security intelligence assessment points to additional targets that include Jewish organizations, a child care center, a Baptist church, a post office and military recruiting centers in the southeastern U.S. and New York and Philadelphia.
The majority of Muslims are content to peacefully infiltrate and subdue a culture via immigration, but the percentage of radical Muslims who do not want to wait for immigration to takes its natural course are willing to wage war now…today…even in Arkansas.
The Mainstreaming of Homosexuality
Watch California. The issue of same sex marriage has flipped a switch in “we the people” in the State of California. Last November, Californians voted by a majority of 52% to pass proposition 8 which changed the California Constitution to add a new section (7.5) to Article I, which reads: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” The people spoke but that is not good enough for the homosexual community. They are persistent and immediately appealed to the California Supreme Court. Because this was a vote of the people, the Court did not want to touch it so last week (May 26), they upheld proposition 8.
But the fight is NOT over. Gay rights activists vow to bring the matter back for public vote. 52% is barely a majority. And that’s how the gay agenda works. They keep coming back over and over until they wear down those who hold to biblical morals and values and until we are the minority. But the reason I am so interested in California is that we are seeing some things there that we have not seen in other parts of our country, namely mass organized marches which support traditional marriage. The world of rallies, protests and marches have almost been the exclusive turf of those seeking to shift the culture, not preserve it. Watch California.
On Sunday morning, 51 year old Scott Roeder walked into the Reformation Lutheran Church and murdered Dr. George Tiller, the infamous abortionist. Dr. Tiller had been dubbed “The Baby Killer” by certain pro-life groups because of his willingness to abort a baby at any point in the pregnancy even after the baby was viable. Tiller was one of only three doctors in the U.S. who would perform the controversial late-term abortion. It is estimated that Tiller aborted over 60,000 babies many of them late-termers and thus viable.
Before I continue, let me be clear that I personally condemn the killing of George Tiller. His murderer will have to face the full force of our justice system and this is as it should be. I want to be clear here because certain voices in the pro-abortion crowd are using the killing of George Tiller to point a finger of blame at all those who criticize abortion in general and Dr. Tiller specifically. This type of politicizing is not only wrong but also sick.
As I read news reports of the Tiller murder, I was struck by statements coming from his family and friends. I list some of them here:
“an unspeakable tragedy,”
“This is particularly heart-wrenching because George was shot down in his house of worship, a place of peace.”
“I am stunned by this lawless and violent act, which must be condemned and should be met with the full force of law.”
“We join in lifting prayer that God’s grace and presence rest with Dr. Tiller’s family and friends.”
The reason these statements struck me is that similar statements could and should be applied to each of the 60,000 babies that Dr. Tiller murdered. “Each one an unspeakable tragedy, particularly heart wrenching because the womb should be a place of safety and peace. The death of each of these babies must be condemned and should be met with the full force of the law – law that needs to be changed. And we should all join in lifting prayer that God’s grace and presence rest with the families and friends who have lost the blessing of these lives.”
Sunday night, our church pulled off an event that we called Dinner for 8. The idea was to set aside a time for people in our church to get to know each other by being matched up in groups of 7-9 and eating dinner together in someone’s home. Our preliminary feedback is telling us that the event was a huge success. New friends were made and the church was…very simply, the church.
BUT had our church been located in San Diego County in California (watch California!), this Dinner for 8 event might very well had been illegal! The blogosphere lit up over the weekend with the story of Pastor David Jones who holds a weekly dinner fellowship and Bible study in his home for about 15 church members. They’ve been doing this for about five years now, but this last Good Friday, while they were eating and meeting, a San Diego County sheriff came knocking. He asked questions like, “Do you all say ‘Amen’?” “Do you say, ‘Praise the Lord,?” At the end of the discussion, they were told there meeting was illegal and that the group must break up. A few days later, the couple received a written warning that cited “unlawful use of land,” ordering them to either “stop religious assembly or apply for a major use permit.”
My initial reaction to this was, WOW! What country are we living in? Answer: A country where the culture is shifting. As I said in a previous post, it is open season on Christians in America. I wonder if, had this been an Islamic group meeting, would the sheriff have ever knocked?
Of course this will all be challenged in court and Pastor Jones will (should) win. BUT the whole story is just another indication of the shifting culture in America that we as Christians need to watch.