Extremists at work
K. Allan Blume, BR Editor
August 12, 2014

Extremists at work

Extremists at work
K. Allan Blume, BR Editor
August 12, 2014

It is not uncommon to be convinced you are right, believing that your way is the best way or the only way. The sin nature enforces the element of pride that insists on self-superiority. Extremists are generally described as those who demand that others submit to their way under the threat of force or death. You must believe their way or die. The prelude to this worldview is the practice of bullying.

Bullying is legal. No, I do not favor the practice of bullying in the least. I understand it is common among children in elementary and middle schools.

But apparently some adult organizations believe the childish practice is not only acceptable, it is preferred. Some use legal maneuvering in order to enforce bullying.

Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem gave customers a 15 percent discount on their meal if they were seen praying – giving thanks – over their meal. The discount was offered to people of all faiths.

But the bullies at the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) objected. The organization seems to believe in selectively promoting the freedoms they want for themselves and aggressively deny others the freedoms they would like to enjoy.

The attacks on religious freedoms are increasing significantly.

It appears FFRF does not only want to free themselves from religion. They want you to be freed from your religion, and they want all of society to be sterilized from all religion – except their own. Theirs is a religion of self-sufficiency. The weapon of choice is force, not freedom. They have learned that the way to make converts to “anti-religion” is by force. So bullying is a handy tool.

The FFRF is certainly not promoting any goodwill campaigns. Their public image is not their concern.

They just want to force others to adopt their worldview.

If not, they will sue or shut down your business.

Mary’s Diner is not guilty of proselytizing. Mary’s Diner is not guilty of pressuring anyone to adopt their values or their worldview. Apparently they want to honor gratitude. Mary’s Diner wants to enjoy religious liberty, but FFRF seems intent on denying those liberties. The diner ceased giving discounts to praying customers when threatened with a lawsuit by FFRF. This is most unfortunate.

It should be noted that FFRF is the same organization that recently worked out a deal with the IRS to force the government agency to increase scrutiny of churches who address moral, social and political issues. The organization has filed lawsuits to halt prayer at university athletic events, halt prayer at city and town council events, stop the practice of housing allowances for ministers, halt the public display of nativity scenes at Christmas, remove a cross from a public utility water tower, halt the National Day of Prayer and a long list of other egregious onslaughts.

A mall near Macon, Ga., reportedly barred a group of women from praying out loud at the shopping facility. Dublin Mall, which is owned by MCK Properties, became the center of controversy after a security guard stopped a women’s group from engaging in prayer. The guard also told the group the prayer ban included praying over their meals in the mall’s food court.

Known as Dublin Girls Run, the small group of women was known to do fitness walks at Dublin Mall and pray together in a circle.

They have been following this routine every Tuesday since last November according to one member of the group. They no longer use the mall for their exercise routine, but they continue to pray – elsewhere.

Religious minorities in Iraq are facing genocide under the oppressive dominance of Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), a militant Islamic group. Christians are one of the group’s primary targets. It is estimated that 3 million Christians live in Iraq. Those numbers are dwindling in Hitler-like fashion. They are being shot, buried alive, beheaded and persecuted.

It is reported that hundreds of women from the Yazidi religious minority have been taken captive by Sunni militants. According to an Iraqi official the Islamic State group has “vicious plans” for the women. The plight of Iraq’s minorities is not good.

The terrorist group Boko Haram and other extremists have killed nearly as many Nigerian Christians in the first seven months of this year as were killed in all of 2013, the advocacy group Jubilee Campaign reported. Approximately 1,505 Nigerian Christians have been killed for their faith to date this year, compared to 1,783 Nigerian Christians killed in all of last year.

Bullying, persecution, genocide – this is standard practice for tyrants, extremists and dictators who insist that others must adopt their beliefs, or else.

We are witnesses to serious problems in our own country and in the nations of the world for whom Christ died. The solution to our problems is beyond talking and thinking. Political diplomacy is failing. It’s time to pray. Talking about the problem will not resolve the hatred of extremists.

Thinking about it convinces no one and goes nowhere. Prayer brings God and all of His resources into the resolution of a crisis.

That is what is needed. God’s people hold the key.

God has used the United States to rescue many around the world from genocide, oppression and persecution. But there is an important truth we must keep in perspective: the United States is not the savior of the world. Jesus is.

Moral governments should use the resources of influence, materials and military might wisely and generously to preserve basic human rights as much as humanly possible. There are moral obligations in our quiver of responsibilities.

But, the lessons of history demonstrate that divine intervention is supremely more effective than political dynamics. For this reason believers have a major responsibility to pray and to publicly declare the eternal truth of scripture.

Has it occurred to anyone that the moral and structural decline of America is happening in an environment dominated by organizations pushing for redefining marriage, censoring Christians and denying religious freedoms? This nation has prospered and grown when the Bible and prayer were welcomed everywhere and Christians were free to live their faith without harassment or bullying.

Those who put our faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior must leave the artificial bubble of a safe environment. We must stay informed, be alert and pray for God’s glory to shine through us.