Religious Liberty Battle Plan

The battlefield for the hearts and souls of Americans is heating up. President Obama’s promise to radically transform America has shifted into high gear, and the “hope and change” agenda has taken on an ominous character against religious expression. What should be the religious liberty battle plan for concerned Christians to overcome the transformation?

First, let me list three caveats to this blog:

  • I’m a Bible teacher, first and foremost. I’m not a political thinker nor a political strategist. Although the thoughts in this blog are political, no real, positive change occurs in the physical without change in the spiritual. Repentance of the saints and prayer must come before any lasting political change,
  • The “transformation” of America has been ongoing for generations and is not something new, and
  • Only a “radical re-transformation” of America will suffice. Nibbling at the edges of the problem won’t work.

If we don’t radically re-transform America, I believe we will face a time of unprecedented religious persecution which may include loss of Christians’ property, mass imprisonments, and even death. Do not take the threats of those posed against the Church lightly. We are already seeing the first glimpses of this persecution. The time to react is now.

History Lessons

If we are going to undo the left’s transformation of America, we need to first understand how our nation began to be first subtly, and now more radically changed.  In my opinion there were two major, political turning points that have led America to where we are.

  1. Separation of Church and State: a Supreme Court decision in  Everson v. Board of Education, (1947)
  2. The Johnson Amendment. A 1954 change in the tax code preventing tax-exempt organizations (churches) from endorsing or opposing political candidates

From these first two landmark laws/decisions have flowed the plethora of unrighteousness that plagues our nation: the teaching of evolution in schools, abortion, and now same-sex marriage. These first two turning points have had the chilling effect of causing the citizens of this nation to believe that our religious beliefs should not influence our political actions. Interestingly, our churches (grounded in a rule of divine law) have obeyed these laws.  For the most part, the unrighteous have ignored them themselves and used them to their advantage against us.

Unfortunately in the 1940’s and 50’s, the Christian community did not see the ominous shadow that these laws would cast on their American dream. Many even supported these laws in their original form. But just like a cancer, these two laws have morphed and metastasized into something very destructive. If we are going to “radically re-transform” religious liberty in America, we need to cut out the primary tumors: these two  laws/decisions. We must resist efforts to nibble at the edges, we need to perform surgery on the cancer out of which all the other unrighteous decisions flow.

Strategic Thinking

Same-Sex Marriage and Abortion are incredibly hot issues in the USA right now. Overturning these Supreme Court decisions would be enormously contentious and extremely difficult. Overruling the foundations of those unrighteous decisions, however, would be vested in less emotion. Now I don’t suggest that Christians not strive to continue to work on efforts to minimize the effects of Abortion and Same-sex marriage decisions in a myriad of ways such as defunding Planned Parenthood, but overcoming the root cause of the attack on religious liberty should be our primary effort. Anything less will not work.

Undo the Foundations

I propose an effort similar in scope to the “Tea Party” movement to overrule and replace these foundational laws.  Once schools, board rooms, and city and state governments are free to teach and speak about God; and once pastors are again free to be the primary voice  in elections, our entire nation can be transformed. While we still have the freedom to work towards over-ruling these laws, we must do it.

If the Church of Jesus Christ is galvanized around this one central issue, we have the political power to undo these evil laws which have slowly eroded our freedom. We must overcome petty denominational differences. We must not let side issues like economics, immigration, abortion, same-sex marriage, or the charisma of candidates sway us from the determination to achieve this goal. If overruling these laws becomes the central focus of the 2016 election for the Church, we can do it, but it will take a unity the Church has not yet seen. Only God and his power can do it. Let’s cover this issue with prayer.

Once we undo the foundations, we will have room to maneuver and the freedom to educate all Americans. Winning back the hearts and minds of America is necessary to take on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage and the rest of the unrighteous decisions that are pilling upon us. Education is also a Gospel issue. Giving Creationism equal standing in our schools may have an enormous impact on generations of Americans who have trusted the false theory of Evolution as fact. So overruling these laws is the first and fundamental step to change.

The unrighteous will not see this coming. Just like the Wizard of Oz, they feel these laws are safely behind the curtain of time having been a fabric of American politics for 70 years. But just like Toto, we must pull aside the curtain so our fellow citizens and Churchgoers can see what is truly controlling the loss of religious liberty today.

The Johnson Amendment

I think our first target should be the Johnson Amendment. In 1954, Lyndon Johnson, destined to be a future president, was annoyed by attacks against his ethics by a group of Texas churches. In response LBJ pushed a “teeny, tiny” amendment into a tax bill prohibiting tax exempt organizations from supporting or opposing political candidates. The seemingly innocuous addition went unnoticed by congress and the bill passed by a voice vote. There wasn’t even a roll call vote. No one seemed to recognize it was a clear infringement of the First Amendment.

There are efforts underway to repeal this bill already, but because “sexier” agenda items like immigration and same-sex marriage (these are important also, of course), main stream Christians know nothing about the Johnson Amendment. If overruling these two laws becomes the rallying cry of tens of millions of Christians in the 2016 elections, however, the Johnson Amendment should fall rather quickly.

Once amended, pastors, many of whom have become “milquetoasts” afraid to offend minority groups in their congregations, then need to be encouraged to speak God’s truth on political issues AND candidates.

Separation of Church and State

The thornier issue will be the Separation of Church and State “doctrine.” I think conservatives need to take a “play” out of the left’s playbook. Separation of Church and State, Abortion, and Same-Sex Marriage were all introduced into American law by the Supreme Court. None of these fundamental changes to our religious landscape would have been possible through the legislative process. Passing a Constitutional Amendment is difficult. Passing one overturning the Separation of Church and State might be politically  impossible at this time. A Supreme Court decision “re-defining” and “softening” the original 1947 decision is probably only a few Supreme Court justices away, however. Possibly it is one justice away, especially if “softening” the original decision is our goal not complete elimination.

First, let’s look at how this doctrine became doctrine. In 1947, New York was using tax payer monies to bus Catholic school children. Satan himself used the division and hatred between Protestants and Catholics to encourage attack on this practice, and through a back door, to attack Christianity. The Supreme Court quoted a letter from Thomas Jefferson that included the words “separation of church and state” to redefine what the First Amendment to the Constitution meant in the “Establishment Clause.” Just as with the legalization of Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage, the Constitution was “re-defined” by activist judges. It is amazing to me, that as a society and as a Church, we have allowed this redefinition to stand all these years without challenge.

I think it is time to place Emerson v. the Board of Education clearly in our cross-hairs. The first step is education. Long before November 2016’s election, we need to begin to promote the fallacy of this decision which is thought by a vast majority of Americans (including Christians) to be part of the Constitution. I was discussing this at work the other day. The gentleman I was discussing it with was stunned when I told him that the doctrine came out a letter by Thomas Jefferson (and actually a misstatement of it). He didn’t believe me and immediately googled “separation of church and state;” and the very first item to come up was a picture of Jefferson’s letter. He isn’t a Christian, but now even he understands.

Once the average citizen’s mindset on this issue is transformed, the laws can be transformed.

How to Overrule the Laws

The first step is re-education of Christians. We have the internet. We have social media. We have some of the pulpits. We need to use them.  Most Christians don’t even think it possible to tear down the wall of separation between church and state back to what the Founding Fathers intended.

The second step is organization. If radically high taxes and debt could organize a Tea Party Movement, the threat to religious liberty should triple that fervor. The evangelical vote is crucial to all Republican candidates. What if they realized that overruling these foundational laws was a hot button for all Christians, not just evangelicals? How much campaign spending and rhetoric might be spent on ads that ultimately would educate all of America? The first step is to make this important to Christians. The politicians’ money will follow.

The final step is to radically transform the Supreme Court of the United States after a new President and congress are elected. Might that involve a slow replacement of justices or even  impeachment of some or all of the five justices who redefined the Constitution in the decision on Same-Sex Marriage? I will leave the “how-to” to greater legal minds than mine. But it is imperative that the Supreme Court be transformed if the nation is to be transformed.

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Summary

In conclusion we need to think outside of the very narrow box that is suffocating our liberties.  It is time to be radical; radical in a way that restores Godly foundations (Ps. 11:3) rather than tears them down. This is not a time to play it “safe.” We are not “safe.” Let’s become radical in a Godly way.

I am a simple Bible teacher. We need those in authority in the Christian community to catch this vision and run with it. If you are a simple Christian as I, lets do what we can to get this message out to the leaders so they apply their greater access to resources and followers to begin to make a difference.

 

20 thoughts on “Religious Liberty Battle Plan”

  1. Hello Nelson,
    I read your article this morning it was very good. Jeanne had some good comments also, but she always does.

    Hopefully this isn’t too long. Here is a Word of the Lord through Kenneth E. Hagin
    1980
    “The end of the age is coming upon this generation. The powers of darkness, the forces of evil are rampant as never before and they will be increased in intensity and velocity. And even many Christians will see and look upon these things and say “Oh, there is no use”; throw up their hands in futility and say “Well, I guess it’s all over. We’ll just have to hold on and pray for Jesus to come shortly because the Devil is about to take over everything.”
    But thus saith the Lord, “In this day, I am searching the body of Christ to enlist soldiers. I’ll raise up a new band. I’ll raise up a new army who will know how to pray against the powers of darkness. And the light will dispel the darkness and the truth will set men free and prayer will break the bonds that bind men’s minds and spirits and bodies. (Halleluiah, glory to God).
    “Yea, there are those who will learn to take their place hurriedly. It must be hurriedly, it must be. Quickly it must be that they learn. That they enter in quickly to stand against the forces of darkness and evil that will try and come against the land, against the church, against the home, that would try and disrupt and destroy all that is good and all that God has endorsed.
    But the hand of the Lord is upon those who will listen and at the urge of God in the spirit to those who are attentive, they will pray.
    The Spirit of God will help you to pray. Do not try to do it yourself.
    Though there must be labor on your part, yet at the same time rest in Him. Let the Spirit flow through you like a river. Like a mighty wave let it flow through you. Give vent to those inner most groanings. Let them escape your lips. Take the time to get alone and wait.
    Sometimes not even saying anything but on the inside of you there is an agonizing. There is a flowing out of your spirit by the Holy Spirit to the Great Spirit, the Father of spirits. And thou shalt be sustained. Thou shalt be kept and thy family and thy home will be sure and stand fast and thy children shall grow up strong and stalwart in the Lord and they shall have no fear.
    “Thou shalt intercede for thy neighbor. Thou shalt intercede for thy friend. Thou shalt intercede for those even in the church that have not come in to the knowledge of the truth; making sincere prayer on their behalf so the light will shine. The work of God will go forth and the work that is to be accomplished in the next few days and years shall be because you were faithful.”
    The Spirit of God is saying, “Just ahead in the realm of the Spirit there are some great and glorious and marvelous things. In fact, all of those adjectives do not nearly describe, they do not even begin, that’s just the tip of what is to take place, but what cannot take place without you as an individual taking your place in the arena and the realm of prayer. And without a good part of the body of believers, all will not necessarily do it but there must be many that will be faithful, some will not be faithful, but without a good part of the body of believers taking their part and place in prayer.
    For you see at this time God has great things, marvelous things, wonderful things, things that will happen in the spirit realm that will manifest in the seen realm, things beyond the comprehension of most. At the same time, the enemy is making his move. Darkness will loom up like a mountain in front of you. The devil will throw up every kind of road block in front of you and that’s the reason you need to be alert.
    Walk softly before the Lord. When I say walk softly before the Lord, I mean walk carefully before Lord. I mean, see to it that you keep yourself uncontaminated from the world and worldly thinking. See to it that you keep yourself clean and pure in every way from evil and unclean thoughts that would come your way. See to it that you walk carefully before the Lord not to be in bondage but yet to be free, knowing that the Lord has set your free and will not allow Satan to entangle you.

    1. Thanks BJ and Alisa. 1980 was a time much like today in terms of anticipating the Lord’s return. I was not a Christian until 1992, but from what I’ve read many were thinking the Lord would return by 1988 (“88 Reasons the Rapture will be in 1988” was a popular book.) This wasn’t a reason then to be inactive then and anticipating the Lord’s return isn’t a reason now to not be active in the Lord’s work. It is a reason to be more active. This article is based SOLELY on working on Religious Liberty issues and I tried to explain things SOLELY from a political framework. Prayer is more important, but brothers and sisters need to hear what others in the Body are hearing from God as far as practical steps as well.

  2. (New to the site. First time commenting. Found you through Joel Richardson’s website.)
    I’m 26 and was born-again 4 years ago, so I guess that makes me ‘young in the Faith.’ You know what I’ve noticed about the American Church in these last 4 years? Weakness & lack of focus. There seems to be such a stress on families instead of individuals along with a bizarre inability to affect real change in their respective communities. Didn’t Paul speak about how it is better to stay single if you come to the Faith single? Kids take up too much time and money for many Christians. I’m sorry if it sounds harsh, but kids seem to be a total waste of time if you are truly serious about doing God’s work. Jesus never got married, right? I want to get married myself, actually, but I do not want kids. Maybe I will change my attitude on that, but I hope not.

    I grew up in a very liberal part of the country (hint: 98% Obama voters), so I know that one thing that keeps many of those types from ever even thinking about attending Church is the cringe-worthy services offered at way too many of them. I hate to say it, but much of contemporary Christian culture is rightfully regarded as “cheesy”. Maybe it’s because I am old-school and grew up listening skilled organists and an incredible choir, but, oh my, to me, there is nothing worse than attending a Church with super loud music where everyone is shouting and clapping and dancing. I come to Church to contemplate listen, and focus. Then, after the service, commune with like-minded believers. Give me Bach, not rock. We don’t need to be viewed as “modern”. That is what I actually like about the Catholic Church. They’re old-fashioned and non-apologetic about it (maybe less with Pope Francis). Oh yeah, they don’t preach about “The Gospel in Disney”, either. If we want to create real change in our country we need to band together all the true believers in the country and put denominational differences behind us. I don’t even care to study how all these different Protestant denominations started in the first place. Waste of time. We should be beyond that by now.

    Sorry if this seems rambling or angry, but I’ve heard great things about Churches in poorer countries and the energy they have. Joel talks about it a lot, and he has some great pointed criticism of American Church culture as well. Most importantly, however, if we want this kind of political action plan (PAP) to work, we need to band together and pool resources. Real miracles do happen, I’ve been the recipient of one.

    1. Welcome to the site Nick. I love your final sentence “Real miracles do happen, I’ve been the recipient of one.” Me too. If you have read my book you know that I believe the majority of the Church is “asleep” right now and what we need to do to “wake up.” So I am with you there, but I’d be careful about judging worship styles. I happen to be among those who lift hands and shout. To each his own. God desires we worship him in Spirit and in truth. Music volume is not important to him. I am sure that the divisions in our churches over worship styles saddens our Lord when so many pressing needs surround us. Nothing is a stronger apologetic than others seeing “Christ in us, the hope of glory.” Thanks for your comments.

      1. You’re right. I kind of disproved my own point.To each his own. I’ve become a stranger and outcast in my hometown from becoming a Christian and willing to defend it. I have a lot to learn, but I so greatly want to serve Christ because I truly know he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It’s hard to increase in holiness when you are recovering from total brokenness. Jesus saved my life and I owe him everything. Please pray for me.

  3. Matthew you said,’You have a gun culture that allows you to kill each other with gay abandon. You call it the second amendment.’

    That is patently false and reckless statement. No law-abiding gun owner supports killing people with “gay” (seriously?) abandon. Criminals will always find a way to disobey the law. Any responsible owner of firearms hopes they never rpt never need to use them.

  4. I am fast coming to the conclusion that yank land has become the land of loonies.

    You have a gun culture that allows you to kill each other with gay abandon. You call it the second amendment.

    I am disappointed with this woman who refused to sign the gay marriage certificates. She got out of jail and started grand standing immediately afterwards.

    This is typical of the American culture. I have no respect for her. She was happy to draw a salary but wants to pick and choose what she will do for that salary.

    You are right, she simply should of chucked her job in.

    I would make the comment also that your previous President brought all the western nations into war against Iraq based on the lie of WMD.

    How can a nation that was so admired after WWII descend in mana so much ?

    I wouldn’t worry about the Muslims taking over the US. You will be killing each other over a tank full of gas long before that happens.

    I actually weep when I see what is happening to a once great nation.

    If you think I am judging your country, well I am afraid that my country is not much better, God help us all,

  5. A united movement of christians to change laws or erase laws would be considered a coup d’ etat by the non believers, to overthrow the government. Just like the early christians under Roman rule, this would give justification for persecution and outlaw christianity.

    1. Interesting how we view the same actions by other minorities to be “business as usual.” That is why “education” is an important first step. If Christians (not just born again Christians) make up 70% of the nation, it is not a coup d’etat, plus the education should stress it is a return to the original design of the Founding fathers AND an undoing of a misguided judical decision.

      Now it would be a huge threat to those using the unjust laws against Christians, but so be it.

  6. I was wondering if you could explain something to me? Why is it a problem for the church if we loose our religious liberty?

    1. It may actually be God’s plan for us to experience persecution so as to be purified. However, persecution may silence some of the proclimation of the Gospel as well. I certainly pray against persecution. But like Jesus in the Garden, not our will but the Father’s be done

  7. Jeanne, I’ve heard that one of the reasons Christian colleges that are receiving federal aid are dreading the likelihood of having to give up that aid is because the majority of the students who attend those colleges do in fact receive some federal aid, and won’t be able to attend the Christian colleges anymore once they lose the aid because they won’t be able to afford it. Another reason I’ve heard is because the colleges will likely lose their accreditation, which will make it much harder for graduates to get jobs. I’ve heard that many of these schools will be forced to become small Bible colleges, that won’t be able to offer many majors or areas of study. I could be wrong about these things – they are just things I’ve heard from others who work in these institutions. Nice post, Nelson – Like you, I am a simple Christian, and I agree that we must do what we can to get this message out to those in authority and positions of influence.

    1. Hmm after reading a lot of these posts and all about tax exemptions and federal funding etc it seems to me money may be the root of a lot of things.. Yes people may lose funding and organizations may be taxed and lot of things will happen.. What is Money? Here today gone tomorrow. Money is powerful, it adds security, luxury etc.. Money is like a snare and trap and if not careful we may find ourselves caught.. Fight for the Lord and his kingdom.. Persecution will come but are we going to stand up and face it or lay down and take it? So much bickering between denominations.. People are looking left when we should be looking right.. Most things should be difficult, even i am still young but learning narrow is the gate and difficult is the way. A servant is not above his master.

  8. So what is stopping churches or private Christian colleges from voluntarily giving up their tax exempt status right now, or in the case of Christian colleges giving up their Federal funding? According to the Patrick Henry College (VA) website, for example, “governmental funds of any type may not be used at PHC. This includes federally funded Title IV programs, state funds, ROTC Scholarships, and the G.I. Bill.” Hillsdale College (IL) also does not take Federal funding. With government money or tax exemption comes government rules.

    1. I’m sure this a direction they will go initially. My church was discussing this as early as winter of last year. However, the LGBT agenda won’t stop with tax exempt statuses. I’m sure they will attempt to classify True Christianity as a hate group at some point.

      1. I agree with you, Nelson. Despite their statements to the contrary, it is never enough for them. Once they take mastery over the situation, there is no more tolerating.

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