Wednesday, June 3, 2009

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.


The Growth of Islam


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.



The Sanctity of ALL Human Life


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."


Another Shift


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.


Blessings,

Jeff

4 comments:

Kristen said...

I have to tell you that the Little Rock shooting hit very close to home for me, as my husband is a recruiter. As a soldier working in the community he is really in more danger on a daily basis than a soldier working on a base. Also, since he does not carry weapons and does not wear body armor he is in some ways more at risk than soldiers in the war zone. I was incensed because at the same time the shooting was taking place, my husbands command had them (the recruiters)carry on with business as usual. I think they all should have been sent home or somewhere safe until it was verified that they were not at risk.

Anyway, I don't worry about my husbands life - because his life is in God's hands- but you would think that his command would be more concerned for his safety.

Jeff Crawford said...

Kristen - I thought of Joe as well and said a prayer for him last week. The war against terrorism and Muslim extremism is not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is right here in USAmerica and even in our beloved Arkansas. The events of last week are a reminder of that for all of us. We would do good to not forget.

Bless you and your family and your service to our country!

Jeff

CINDY GRANT said...

THE MURDER OF ANYONE IS A WRONG AND SINFUL ACT AND GOD IS VERY CLEAR ON THE MATTER. EVEN IN THE MURDER OF DR. GEORGE TILLER, THIS WAS NOT THE ANSWER. HOWEVER I AM COMPLETELY AGAINST ABORTION AT ANY STAGE, GOD IS THE GIVER OF LIFE. I CANT HELP BUT TO KNOW IN MY MIND ABORTION IS MURDER AND I CANT IMAGINE ANYONE ENDING THESE LITTLE LIFES SO BRUTALLY. OH, IF ONLY THEY COULD SPEAK. HOW CAN A MAN THAT GOES TO CHURCH, LISTENS TO THE WORDS OF GOD THINK THIS IS OK. CERTAINLY THERE MUST OF BEEN SERMONS FROM HE PULPIT ABOUT THE PRICE JESUS PAID FOR OUR LIFES WHO WAS THE VERY CREATOR OF LIFE. WAS HE NOT LISTENING? IF THESE BABIES WERE BORN AND THEN MURDERED HE WOULD HAVE WENT TO PRISON. JUST THE VERY BIRTH OF THE BABY IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEGAL AND ILLEGAL, BOTH BORN OR UNBORN SHOULD BE CONSIDERED MURDER.WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? I FIND IT HARD TO BELIEVE THIS MAN WAS A CHRISTIAN AND WALKED A LIFE WITH GOD. IN SOME WAYS I WONDER IF THE CHURCH WAS GUILTY OF THE MURDER OF INNOCENT LIFE. DID THE PASTOR EVER SPEAK TO HIM ABOUT HIS SIN? DID TWO OR THREE GO? AS I UNDERSTAND IT HE WAS VERY ACTIVE IN THE CHURCH AND HIS FAMILY. WHAT IS GOING ON? MURDER WAS NOT THE ANSWER TO DR TILLER, BUT IT NEVER WAS THE ANSWER FOR THESE INNOCENT BABIES. IF DR. GEORGE TILLER WAS A SAVED MAN I HOPE HE IS ENJOYING HEAVEN RIGHT NOW WITH ALL THOSE WONDERFUL CHILDREN.

Jeff Crawford said...

ALL excellent questions, Cindy.

JC