- What went wrong in Florida shooting? 4 crucial things that were missing
- Cultural elite markets & glamorizes transgenderism to teens, percentages rising
- Where does sexual anarchy lead? Look to Europe’s incest & polygamy legislative initiatives
- Should the evil misuse of liberty mean we give up liberty?
- How to interpret those alarming church statistics
- Why the televangelist who claims there’s no flu is dead-wrong
- Should colleges be required to provide abortion pills?
- The inspiring Super Bowl faith stories showing coaches and players on mission
- Did you know these little known facts about Abe Lincoln?
- Do American teenagers now feel like they ‘should’ have an attention-getting sexual orientation?
- SHOCKING: Dutch woman’s euthanasia horror story and what this means in our death culture
- Here’s what the 38-year-old pedophile who claims he’s a 9-year-old has in common with Netherlands euthanasia case
- Hundreds of Yale students cram into prof’s class on happiness — Here’s what they are looking for
- Revisiting Trump’s State of the Union and the Democrat leaders’ ‘morose’ reactions
- STEP UP LEADERS: Shocking Evangelical statistics, abortion positions should wake us into action
- What happened to ‘safe, legal & rare’ rhetoric? Media, Senate cheerlead abortion practice that puts us with N. Korea, Russia and China
- BORN ALIVE: Abortion legislation is step forward, reveals absurdity — a team to kill baby or save it
- Christians should stop acting like children are a burden
- What the British ‘Minister of Loneliness’ position tells us about culture
- Is the Bible historically accurate? New archaeology find in Israel raises recurring questions
- Be sure your (Twitter) sins will find you out
- Reasons for pro-lifers to rejoice — and double-down — on abortion issues
- How to debate with decorum … and why profane, vulgar arguments reveal weak arguments & minds
- WAKE UP: Pornography is not victimless — it destroys lives and kills people
- Persecution, violence against Christians significantly increased world-wide in 2017
- 3 things contributing to the U.S. drop in life expectancy
- Gov’t attempted to silence this Christian who’s bringing Martin Luther King’s fight to modern times
- Iranian Christians fleeing persecution should get U.S. care and refuge
- What we can learn from the Alabama & Georgia quarterbacks’ post-game responses
- What does academic intolerance of real debate mean for free speech?
- Do you know the frivolous programs your tax dollars fund?
- Blaring Bannon coverage begs question: What’s happened to journalism?
- Call to Christians: Engage in politics & evangelism out of love for neighbor
- New York City votes to fine Biblical counselors for gender dysphoria therapy
- 10 campaign promises Donald Trump kept — or attempted to keep — in his first year
- Is it pointless to make New Year’s resolutions?
- The top 11 news, faith and culture headlines of 2017
- American attitudes about children contribute to our shrinking birth rate
- Here’s what Trump got right (and wrong) in his national security speech
- Tax reform explained: How it helps our culture, our families, our economics
- Advent and Christmas, ever wondered what’s the difference?
- Reformed Christians have lost one of their great theologians, pastors
- The 2 ungodly reactions to politics, current events that Christians must avoid
- Want our trust? The 7 things an elected official MUST do to gain it
- Christian voters faced 4 options in Senate race … only 1 is inexcusable, says Evangelical pastor
- Where the death culture leads: Lawsuits over disabled children who ‘should’ have been aborted
- What’s at stake in the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court decision
- How to put Trump’s U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem in historical and biblical perspective
- Pastor Harry Reeder: There is hope and a way forward for the Matt Lauers in our lives
- Pastor Harry Reeder: If Supreme Court gets Colorado cake baker, same-sex marriage case wrong, it will be culture tipping point
- Pastor Harry Reeder: Liberal ‘Christianity’ is antithetical to Christianity
- Pastor Harry Reeder: Abortion industry ‘doulas’ try to normalize killing of unborn, but we know abortion is not normal
- Pastor Harry Reeder: Trump’s judicial nominee list shows his commitment to originalists and constitutionalists
- Pastor Harry Reeder: Some evangelicals disagree, but here’s why it’s good to emphasize church celebrations during Christmas
- Pastor Harry Reeder: Our military is weakening and here’s why we need it strong
- Pastor Harry Reeder: Why would we be surprised when culture lives out sexual sin it has promoted for years?
- Pastor Harry Reeder: Churches must stay on-mission as evangelists, not cultural acceptance-seekers
- Pastor Harry Reeder: The Museum of the Bible is a great idea…provided we don’t worship the Bible
- Harry Reeder on sexual reckoning: Our conscience tells us ‘something’s wrong here’ even while our culture promotes sin
- Reeder: We have to be honest despite history rewrites– Pilgrims gave thanks to God
- Reeder: It is ‘absolutely ludicrous’ to think a mother’s absence in crucial first 3 years has no effect
- Reeder: Australian same-sex marriage survey a ‘profile in cowardice’ not courage
- Reeder: Believers ‘speaking up’ made real difference in adoption tax credit provision
- Reeder: Secular culture wants more than ‘tolerance’, insists upon abortion and sexual anarchy ‘celebration’
- Reeder on Roy Moore chaos: ‘Do the next right thing’
- Reeder: Here’s what Christians should say when traditional marriage views are labeled ‘bigotry’
- Reeder on church leaders not meeting privately with the other sex: ‘I’ll take the criticism….I learned it from Billy Graham’
- Reeder on LGBTQ campus activists: ‘They don’t want to debate what a marriage actually is. They want to silence those they cannot answer.’
- Yes, it’s ridiculous there’s a new religion dedicated to AI….but here’s why it matters
- Reeder on Tuesday’s elections: ‘To see this as a referendum on Trump is overstating it’
- Lots of older pastors, not many young ones — what’s going on?
- Elitist ‘gender-isn’t-real’ culture has descended into sophisticated imbecility
- Feeling any Christmas guilt? Here’s the type you should ignore and the type you should face
- Two terminally-ill patients who refused assisted suicide to help others & show life’s sanctity
- HuffPost in a huff about Christian who says she is no longer lesbian
- Religious freedoms under attack — lukewarm, mushy middle Christians will have to choose hot or cold
Listen to the 10 min audio
Read the transcript:
STRONG BELIEFS, WEAK BELIEFS
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, a fascinating story out of The Free Beacon: as America grows less religious, strong believers persist. Let me read you a key out of this recently published paper that suggests that drops in religiosity are confined to the moderately religious while America’s strongly religious stay as firmly dedicated to their beliefs as ever.
“This trend plays out in other measures of religiosity,” the report says. “The proportion of Americans who attend religious services multiple times a week has remained constant, while the number attending ‘sometimes’ has dropped and the number attending ‘never’ has risen. Belief in Biblical literalism has also been constant, while belief that the Bible is divinely inspired but not literal has fallen and that it is a book of fables has risen.”
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RULES ARE CHANGING
DR. REEDER: Let’s set the backdrop, Tom. The backdrop is we are in a concentrated almost 75 to 80-year attempt to secularize America and to sanitize the religious influence to declare it a secular nation with Christianity as a “philosophy” allowed to be tolerated but not any “favored status”, which means not simply that it has the freedom to practice, but to try to prohibit its practices.
The notion today is that the secular cultural elite are telling religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular, and with great virulence that, “You are free to believe these things in your head, in your heart, in your home, and at your church, but nowhere else. Your view of Christian marriage, your view of Christian sexuality, your view of Christian work, your view of Christian ethics – wonderful, believe them, keep it, but not here.”
Now the cultural elite are using governmental enforcement. A lot of these new ordinances that are coming out about businesses is an attempt to tell Christians, “We don’t want you to tolerate the sexual revolution – you must participate, you must propagate, you must perpetuate, you must celebrate it. If you don’t, we will punish you with our newly established ‘human rights commissions,’” fining them and putting them out of business. It’s already happening and it is spreading to multiple states.
A DOUBLE STANDARD SEEKS TO SILENCE CHRISTIANS
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, and it’s happening on college campuses as we’ve cited in a number of times. Interestingly, today, as we’re recording this program, a federal court has just come out and ruled that the University of Iowa must reinstate a Christian organization that was banned from campus for refusing to allow non-believers in leadership positions.
DR. REEDER: Yeah, wasn’t that an interesting story, Tom, because the university put them off because they said, “Listen, our organization must be run by professing Christians who believe what the organization stands for.”
Do you think that Iowa University – which, by the way, was the home of one of the great Christian academics of all time, George Washington Carver – let’s say the Greenpeace organization tells them, “As your vice-president or your treasurer, you must allow someone that believes that climate change is a hoax. You’ve got to have them represented in your leadership.”
Our doors are open in these Christian organizations to anybody and everybody – that’s what Jesus has called us to do is to reach the world – but, leadership, that just stands to logical consistency. That’s just an attempt to shut them down. Thankfully, a sensible court had a sensible order and a sensible ruling on that matter.
SURVEY SHOWS MIDDLE GROUND SHRINKING
Let’s get back to this other statistic, Tom. Here is this statistic that says, “What about the strongly religious – attends services multiple times a week – those who attend every once in a while and then those who never attend?” What that survey said is those who attend multiple times each week has actually increased during this sexual revolution. Those who never attend has increased.
Well, where in the world did this increase come? Well, on both sides, it came from the mushy middle, as some people call it, where, “I was a nominal Christian, but I really wasn’t practicing my Christianity. I only attended every once in a while – maybe at Christmas or Easter or something like that.”
WHEN PRESSURED, MUSHY MIDDLE GOES DEVOUT OR DROPS OUT
Well, when the sexual revolution hits that person and when the secular culture elitists begin to put the pressure on them, they easily navigate to the, “I’m just not going to go anymore. I don’t want to be identified with this Christianity because it’s being mocked and ridiculed,” and so they win them over.
Now, some of them and some out of the “nevers” are still being pursued in love and truth by Christians and they come over to the other side so you’ve got this significant increase on those who are intentionally committed, you’ve got an increase of those who are saying, “No, I don’t want anything to do with it,” and then those in the middle, that’s the statistic that’s losing all the ground as people get converted, and committed to Christ, and trust in Christ, and follow Christ and they go to the committed side, then the other side.
TIME TO SURRENDER TO JESUS AND TAKE UP THE CROSS
And, believe me, folks, if you think you can hide from this sexual revolution within nominal Christianity, they’re not going to let you. You’re either going to have to become a card-carrying secularist or you’re going to have to say, “Jesus, I surrender. All I have is yours. Let me come to you.”
Now, Tom, one other thing I want to mention, that other set of statistics compares with it. What do those who are committed believe? We believe the Bible is the Word of God – it doesn’t contain the Word of God, it doesn’t become the Word of God – it is the Word of God. Those who believe it’s just a book that kind of becomes meaningful from time to time, well, that’s the mushy middle again. They will dissipate and they’re now over there with those that believe, “The Bible is nothing. That’s why we never attend.”
Those two sides show up rapidly. Tom, your church isn’t going to be able to hide, Christians aren’t going to be able to hide – this secular culture now with fascist power that is using the State and the power of the purse and the power of penalties, you’re going to have to find out pretty soon, “Is Jesus Lord or is Caesar Lord?”
And that’s what we’re seeing and what we’re seeing is, those who are committed, it’s rising. Those who are not committed, it’s rising. Those in the middle, they’re having to make the decision.
IS SOFT PERSECUTION HAPPENING?
TOM LAMPRECHT: In past programs, you have said we are not yet to full-throated persecution but, as the church is being harassed, we’re beginning to see people go to one side or the other.
DR. REEDER: And you’re also seeing what has been true in the Scripture, what has been true in history, that, whenever targeting or persecution – persecution, I define as removing people’s lives or livelihoods. Now, in America, we’re not removing Christians’ lives – we did a program on that persecution – though, in America, you are targeting livelihoods. You’ve seen the bakers and the candlestick makers and the photography people – these artists – that, “You can’t practice your Christian perspectives on art. We are mandating that you participate in what you do not believe is right before the Lord.”
That targeting and that soft persecution against livelihood is happening. I don’t like it, I don’t love it, I don’t seek it, but I know one thing: If it comes, what you’re going to have is those that mean business are going to mean that much more business and more are going to mean business.
Persecution, I always described it like the yard we grew up in: we didn’t have a manicured yard – we were just glad to get some weeds – and one of the great weeds in our yard was the dandelion and it would come up and I would go through and kick them and my mother would go crazy. She would say, “Son, quit kicking those. Every time you kick one, you’re not killing that dandelion – you’re spreading about 2,000 seeds of more dandelions.” And that’s what happens: Satan goes through kicking and all He’s doing is making more of us.
FOLLOW JESUS FOR PEACE IN A TRIBULATED WORLD
Here’s what Jesus says in John 16. “In the world, you will have tribulation; in Me, you have peace. Now you take courage: I’ve overcome the world.” And that’s what we’re going to see so let’s keep doing it, let’s keep proclaiming it, let’s stay ready and we are ready for the persecution or the targeting.
What’s going to disappear are those who say they are Christians but they are not. Here’s the way Jesus said it to the seven churches: “I would that you were hot or cold. If you’re lukewarm” – that mushy middle – “I’ll spit you out of my mouth.”
And, by the way, the world is going to spit you out of its mouth. You’re going to have to make your decision on one side or the other. The world will make you make the decision, but Jesus calls you to make the decision. Come, taste and see: The Lord is good.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.