John, the revelator was shown that "there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him" (Revelation 12:7-9).

There was a time in America when it was perfectly acceptable to talk about God. It wasn't that long ago when all stores were closed on Sunday because it was the Sabbath day when no work was to be done and the vast majority of citizens went to church. Divorce was highly frowned upon and illegitimate pregnancy was considered to be a shocking scandal.

Then, gradually, the religious restrictions began to loosen and people became more tolerant of what used to be called unacceptable behavior. Sexual promiscuity was no longer thought of as immoral, unwanted pregnancies were commonplace, and divorce was something that was almost expected to happen. This was known as the enlightened period where people felt free to live their lives the way they wanted rather than the way they were told by a religious society.

But then something ominous began to happen. Quickly the argument turned to whether or not religion should even be something practiced in public. Soon people were saying that they were offended by a Christian coworker who wore a cross around their neck at work. It was said that placing a nativity scene in front of a government building was somehow "establishing" a government sponsored religion and was therefore unconstitutional.

Then judges ruled that having a display of the Ten Commandments in a court building was unconstitutional, and soon there were those who argued that even saying "one nation under God" in our pledge of allegiance was a violation of our civil rights. During this period schools and other public institutions began banning prayers from being said in class rooms or at school events on the ground that it was forcing Christian beliefs on children whose parents didn't want them to have. Before long, it became incorrect to say "Merry Christmas" because it was offensive to those who didn't believe in Christ. Therefore, to include all religious viewpoints it was better to say "Happy holidays." Soon, the "Christmas tree" was either being banned or it was referred to as the "holiday tree."

Yet, during this same time, the rights of homosexuals were being championed and anyone who spoke out against such a lifestyle was somehow engaging in hate speech. After the twin towers were attacked on September 11, 2001 by Muslim extremists, there were those who said we should be tolerant of the teachings of Islam because toleration of different religious beliefs is what America is all about. And so, there were teachers in public schools who began having their students read the Koran in an effort to help them better understand the views of those who attacked our country. Yet, at the same time, the reading of the Bible was banned because it was deemed to be offensive to some even though many parents were offended that their Christian children were being forced to study what they considered to be a false religion.

Soon it became acceptable to denigrate Christians for what they believed but Christians were branded as being intolerant if they even criticized the actions of others. We were told that Muslims should be allowed to practice Shiria law, which would deny their believers even the basic rights that our Constitution protects, and that employers should allow their Muslim employees time to pray during working hours because we need to respect their religious beliefs. Yet, Christians are not allowed to even say a silent prayer or have any public display of their belief in Christ, such as having a Bible on their desk, a picture of Christ, or even saying "God bless you" because it might offend someone.

The common reaction to these kinds of attacks on Christianity is to defend them with logic and facts, seeking to show the inconsistencies and hypocrisy of the critic's arguments. These defenders point to the words of our Founding Fathers to show that Christian values and beliefs have always been an integral part of American politics. However, such efforts never seem to stop the criticism and that's because this type of approach misses the point of the argument. The critics aren't interested in logic and facts. All they are interested in is destroying Christianity, period, and they don't care what they have to say or do to accomplish their goal.

We can illustrate this point by looking at a different subject that is being treated the same way. There are those who think that if we understand why Muslim terrorists are so upset with us that we can then have a reasonable dialog with them whereby we can help them see that we really aren't as bad as they think we are. It is said that in this way we can resolve our differences through peaceful dialog thereby erasing misunderstandings and building trust.

The problem with this concept of peaceful co-existence is that Muslims don't want to exit alongside of America. Their religious teachings tell them that anyone who doesn't believe in God as they do (and they can't agree on Islamic doctrine among themselves) is an infidel, which is something worse than being a heathen or a pagan. To a Muslim, anyone who doesn't believe in the teachings of Muhammad is blaspheming God and their sacred writings tell them that it is their duty to kill such people.

Americans believe in freedom but Muslims believe in complete servitude to God. Therefore, the concept of individual freedom, which is at the core of our American way of life, is exactly the opposite of what a Muslim believes. Americans believe that there should be a separation between the Church and the State, but Islam teaches that the Church and State should be one and the same. The reason why Muslim extremists want to kill us is because they hate our belief system and what we stand for, rather than something we've done to offend them.

Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries want us to be tolerant of their religious beliefs by allowing them to practice their faith according to the teachings of the Koran and Americans, especially, sincerely strive to do that but tolerance is a one-way street for them. There is not one Muslim country that even makes a pretense of tolerating any other religion but Islam. They persecute not only Christians who attempt to practice their beliefs but Hindus, Buddhists, Shintoists and all other religious faiths as well.

Muslims are not interested in toleration. Their stated goal is to convert the entire world to Islam where it is the only religion allowed. If they can't do that by military conquest, then they seek to do that a little at a time through conversion, protesting, street violence, and using our own laws against us.

And the same is true for why there are people who want to get rid of Christianity. It's not that they don't believe in Christ and are therefore somehow offended because they think Christians are forcing their religious views on them. It's not enough for them to be content just to live their own life according to their own belief system. They hate Christianity itself, what it stands for, and what it does to and for people. To them the Christian belief is an obstacle to what they want to accomplish. Therefore, their goal is to get rid of Christianity all together any way they can. Since they are in the minority right now, they are seeking to achieve their goal step by step through conversion, protesting, violence, and using our own laws against us.

To some, this attitude seems so irrational and unbelievable that they wonder how people have come to hate Christianity with so much passion. There are several reasons.

The first has to do with Satan. In the beginning, he tried to set his throne above that of God (Isaiah 13:12-14) but, in the ensuing war, he lost and was cast down to earth. Because of this, he has an everlasting hatred of God and his goal is to destroy God's work of salvation for men. He does this by inciting man to rebellion against God and everything God stand for by filling the mind of man with thoughts of violence against those who believe in God.

This has been his trademark from the very beginning. He inspired Cain to kill his own brother, Abel, simply because Able offered up a sacrifice according to God's word. Satan inspired the Pharisees to kill Jesus and he worked in the hearts of others to have the Roman government kill the early Christians.

As Christianity became the dominate religion, Satan had Christians turn on each other, killing those who dared to believe anything different than what a select group of men dictated. This led to the Inquisition and continued as the Protestant movement took hold. But it wasn't long before Protestants began killing Protestants as exemplified by the seven year war in Europe that lasted from 1756 to 1763. It was this same situation that caused people to flee England in the 1600s and settle in America.

But even in America the killings in the name of Christianity continued. The most extreme case was the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, who was murdered simply because he dared to teach something different than what the traditional Protestants believed. But now it is all Christians who face hostility and anger for what they believe. Today, Christians are being killed in China, Iraq, Iran, and in other countries around the world.

And the same attitude prevails among some Americans but since killing is illegal in the United States they have to use a different approach. They ridicule, intimidate, protest, and seek to pass laws to deny the right of Christians to practice their beliefs. But this attitude is inspired in the hearts of men by the same being who inspired Cain to kill Able

The second reason why people hate Christianity so much is because they don't want any moral restrictions on what they can do. Since Christianity teaches a set of values for people to live by, those who want to steal, cheat, and lie don't want to be told that what they are doing is wrong. What offends them is being told that they are behaving improperly and they resent those who tell them that. And, as men become converted to living a life outside of God's ways, the more susceptible they become to Satan's influence and the more willing they become faithful followers of him in doing his bidding.

The third reason is man's lust for power. The history of mankind is a continual story of one man or a small group of people seeking to control everyone else. The desire to tell others what they can and cannot do seems to be very strong in some people and they become very upset when they aren't allowed to do this. This is the object of war and it is the position on which most kings base their power.

The old adage that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is just as true among religious people as it is among the non-religious but one of the reasons why some people hate Christians is not so much that they disagree with their beliefs but that they want the power to control what others think and how they behave.

And this leads to the fourth reason which is that Christianity teaches that God has given man the right to freely decide for himself what he wants to do with his life. It was just this concept that led to the writing of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. While those who hate Christianity talk about wanting the freedom to express their point of view, what they really hate is freedom itself.

To them freedom is a one-way street. They want freedom for themselves but they don't want freedom for anyone else and since Christian teachings promote freedom they have to somehow get rid of Christianity as a way of preventing people from believing that they can live without the government regulating their life. But what this always leads to is allowing the government the freedom to kill anyone who disagrees with them, which they do under the pretense that such action is necessary for the good of the community as a whole.

When the motives of those who oppose Christianity is properly understood it becomes obvious that reasoning and debating with them does nothing to change their mind because none of their arguments are sincere. They are merely false claims that are meant to mask their real intentions. What they are doing is trying to find anything they can to justify their hatred but as soon as someone dispels one of their myths, the critics quickly invent another one. If they are confronted with what they are actually trying to do they simply deny it. Therefore, trying to argue with the critics of Christianity becomes like trying to knock a fly out of the air by swinging at it. It is almost impossible to do.

Then what can we do?

The first thing is not to accept the premise of their arguments. Whenever we allow the other side to set the argument we lose every time. It isn't being intolerant to defend one's own rights. It isn't hateful to criticize something that is against one's own values. In America we have as much right to express our view as anyone else. Christians are just as offended by what others say and do as are non-Christians but no one has a guaranteed right to be kept from being offended. The Constitution specifically grants every citizen the freedom to worship as they choose without any government interference but it doesn't prevent anyone from being offended.

The second thing we can do is not to be passive bystanders. The war Satan started in heaven to put himself in power is still being waged here on earth and there are no sidelines to sit on. Either Satan takes everyone's freedom away or he is prevented from taking most people's freedom but either way, he will keep trying to take away as much freedom as he is able to get away with.

If Christians don't stand up and fight for what they believe in no one else will, in which case they will lose the freedom to practice what they believe. But when Christians fight, it isn't through violence but by speaking up for our rights and vigorously defending them. As Americans, our chief weapon is the U. S. Constitution. In it are contained a bill of rights that guarantee us certain protections and, as Christians, we need to know and fully understand what those rights are and vigorously use the law to protect ourselves under them.

Unfortunately, too many judges today have the same attitude toward Christianity that our critics have and on many occasions they have ruled something to be unconstitutional when they are clearly constitutional, so Christians need to become politically active. We need to restore our country's Christian heritage by helping to elect men of Christian virtue to represent us in our local, state, and national governments. It is only by electing good and wise people to government that we can then have them appoint good and wise judges.

The third thing we can do is to live as Christians. The apostle Paul counseled the saints of his day to put on the whole armor of God as the means of protecting themselves against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). That means, our best defense against the designs of Satan is to live the principles that Christ taught because they are based on truth and, in the end, truth always wins over lying and treachery. But when we don't abide by the very things we are trying to preserve then we lose our protection.

The greatest weapon we have at our disposal is the sword of truth but it cuts both ways because it will not only destroy the enemy but it will destroy Christians as well if they are not honest in their lives. Those who tell lies are always afraid that someone will find out the truth about them which makes them hesitant to defend their beliefs with boldness. On the other hand, those who are honest in all they do have no such limitation. As such, they can be fearless in their fight against the adversary.

This then leads to the fourth thing Christians have going for them which is that as long as we stand up to defend the cause of God and His standards then we can be assured that God will help us fight the battle, and when God gets into a fight He never loses. But He will only come to the aid of those who have been true to Him because. He's not interested in having part-time, fair-weather soldiers in His army. Instead, He is looking for committed warriors who are willing to put even their life on the line for Him.

For the sake of His people, God will call upon the hosts of heaven to assist in the fight and in the end they will be victorious. But that doesn't means the fight will be easy or without casualties. What it does mean is that faithful Christians can have hope that no matter how bad things may seem they will eventually be successful in their efforts if they remain true to their God.

There is a real war going on in America for the heart and soul of the nation and the adversary is committed and determined to win it. They will not back down nor relent in their efforts so Christians must be equally committed and determined to repel the attack because the future of our country hangs on the outcome of this war against Christianity.

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