Opinion: Christians, Silence Is Not an Option

Monday, 13 Aug 2012 01:51 PM

By Matt Barber

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With the exception of one column previously penned, I pray this becomes my most widely read to date.

The secular left has mastered use of the Internet to further its extremist goals. In fact, President Obama’s web-based “Organizing for America” propaganda machine may have given him the 2008 election.

jerry-falwell.jpg
The late Rev. Jerry Falwell captured the crux of the church’s apathy problem.
(Getty Images)
Let’s beat them at their own game.

To that end, I have a strange request. I’m asking each God-fearing, freedom-loving American who reads this column to forward it, post it, tweet it, print it out and give it to every pastor, priest or cleric you know. If you don’t know any, give it to someone who does.

Why? I agree with Barack Obama that November 2012 represents the most important election of our lifetimes — perhaps our history. Of course, that’s where my agreement with President Obama both begins and abruptly ends.

Here’s the operable question: Do we want America “fundamentally transformed” to mirror the secular-socialist ideals of the radical leftist currently “occupying” the White House?

In Barack Obama’s America, individual freedom is trampled beneath jackboots as a matter of course. It’s already happening at an unprecedented rate.

One need only look to the HHS mandate forcing Christian groups — both Catholic and Protestant — to violate, under penalty of law, biblical prohibitions against abortion homicide.

Or consider recent attempts by multiple elected officials, all Democrats, to shut down Chick-fil-A — a private, Christian-owned business — simply because its leadership holds the biblical view of marriage.

Is this George Washington’s America, or Joseph Stalin’s Russia?
It’s definitely not your father’s USA.

Instead, wouldn’t we prefer the America envisioned by our Founding Fathers? A constitutional republic wherein individual liberty — whether economic, First Amendment or Second Amendment-related — is sacrosanct and off limits?

Pastors, you’re it. You’re our front line of defense. It’s up to you to rally the troops. Now begins the second American Revolution and, as with the first, it’s on you — men of the cloth — to take the lead.

That is, if you hope to remain free to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Speaking of chicken: In recent years there’s been an epidemic of cultural inaction exhibited by far too many ministers of the gospel. It’s fear-based. “Oh, I don’t talk about political issues,” they say. “You know, ‘separation of Church and State’ and all that.”

Baloney.

If this is you — and only you and our Lord knows for sure — you’ve been deceived by the enemies of God. You’ve chosen the easy way out — the path of least resistance. This is something Christ, whom all Christians are called to emulate, never did — not once.

So, respectfully, man-up, Padre! Be the “salt and light of the world,” as Christ so admonished.

But you don’t have to go it alone. There are detailed, easily digestible tools available. Civil rights firm Liberty Counsel, for instance, is distributing more than 100,000 copies of “Silence is Not an Option,” a concise, though comprehensive, DVD and printed material collection informing pastors and churches about what is permissible regarding political activity (Please, get it for your church at LC.org or by calling 1-800-671-1776).

“The church must be empowered to confront the assaults on our culture, our faith, and our freedom,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel. ”I don’t want any pastor, church leader or lay person to say, ‘What more could I have done to protect life and liberty?’”

“Silencing people of faith in the public square has always been the goal of those who realize the influence that pastors, churches and people of faith have on elections. I want pastors to remove the muzzle and replace it with a megaphone,” he said. “Pastors and churches have a lot of freedom to address biblical and moral issues, to educate people about the candidates, and to encourage people to vote. Not one church has ever lost its tax exemption for endorsing or opposing candidates or for supporting or opposing local, state or federal laws.”

Did you get that? Despite hundreds of thousands of threatening letters sent by hard-left groups like the ACLU and Barry Lynn’s Americans United, not a single church has lost tax exemption for socio-political activity — zip, zero, nada. Not even for endorsing candidates from the pulpit.

Indeed, if these anti-Christian bullies had been around two-and-a-half centuries ago, and our forefathers had paid them any mind, we may never have had the first American Revolution.

Don’t let them halt the second.

We’re on the precipice of the abyss, and, pastors, I think you know it. But know this too: There’s a whole lot relating to both culture and politics you can both say and do, and very little — if anything — you can’t.

Churches can educate about political, moral and biblical issues. These kinds of issues — whether abortion, marriage, feeding the poor or any community issue — are never off limits from the pastor’s pulpit, even if politicians are also talking about them. “Silence is Not an Option” systematically addresses the misrepresentations used to muzzle America’s pastors and Christian leaders.

Leading up to Ronald Reagan’s landslide presidential victory in 1980, Rev. Jerry Falwell captured the crux of the church’s apathy problem: “What is wrong in America today?” he asked. “We preachers — and there are 340,000 of us who pastor churches — we hold the nation in our hand. And I say this to every preacher: We are going to stand accountable before God if we do not stand up and be counted.”

Dr. Falwell’s words ring no less true today.

Imagine the benefit to our culture if thousands of churches across America registered millions of Christians to vote. How about pledge drives wherein pastors ask tens of millions of Christians to simply commit to voting biblical values?

The possibilities are limitless.

Proverbs 4:18 reminds us: “The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.”

Shine bright, salt and light. Don’t be choked into dark silence.
Because silence is not an option.

It can’t be.

Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating on constitutional law. He serves as vice president of Liberty Counsel Action.

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