Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Want To Become A Christian? 30 Days Notice Required
The act of sharing one's personal faith in Jesus Christ, as He has instructed us to do, has been known as sharing one's Christian testimony---or evangelizing.
It has been re-labeled. It is now called "Proselytizing."
The US military is on high alert to restrict "proselytizing" by our troops or by their chaplains.
Public education is not only indoctrinating America's children with an anti-Christian bias and secular worldview but are taking every opportunity to silence Christian expression or testimony.
One of the most egregious actions I've seen comes by way of a new law that requires people to seek government permission before converting to a new religion. And it must be done 30 days in advance, or face prison time.
Is this a sign of what is to come in America?
I hope and pray not. While it is extreme, it is consistent with the trend in our military, public education and current international bias against Christianity.
The Madhya Pradesh state in India has passed an amendment to an existing law that requires people to seek government permission 30 days in advance before converting to a new religion or face 3 years in prison.
The current law already requires converts to alert government officials after switching religions.
The new law passed July 10, also requires religious leaders to report conversions and includes a provision for police inquiry.
Under the new law, clergy are required to fill out an application that specifies the day, location and names of witnesses of the conversion ceremony, with a list of would be converts.
The application must be submitted, by law, 30 days in advance of the conversion. Failure to do so results in prison time.
The penalty for failing to report the conversion increases to 4 years in prison and up to 100,000 rupees ($1680) if the converts are "minors, women or members of disadvantaged people groups eligible for affirmative action benefits."
Taking a closer look at this issue reveals that the posture of this state is already anti-Christian. While we Christians are very humanitarian in our work, the Muslims are not. Therefore, the state is using this action to silence both, while pointing out the aggressive nature of Islam.
While this may be extreme, it is difficult to ignore because it trends with the sentiments of atheists and other anti-Christian groups and individuals in our own country.
Certainly we're not there yet, but let's look at the trends.
Todd Starnes, with Fox News, reported this past April that the military is vetting their policies on individuals sharing their personal Christian faith with their colleagues. The military was and continues to take advice on this matter from the atheist group, "Military Freedom From Religion Foundation". I wrote a blog about this issue.
The Pentagon has confirmed to Fox News that Christian evangelism is against regulation.
They said, "Religious proselytization is not permitted within the Department of Defense."
When asked about penalties, they said, "Court Martials and non-judicial punishments are decided on a case by case basis and it would be inappropriate to speculate on the outcome in specific cases."
Last summer cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co. re-ignited a smoldering issue when they began sharing their faith with their fellow cadets. That issue continues to smolder.
In Mississippi, a new law was passed and became effective July 1, that protects students who share their faith in Jesus Christ.
The law is worded in a very direct way because the State Legislators saw the threat to the student's freedom of religious expression as very real.
Every person of faith should see it as well.
The law, "Mississippi Student Religious Liberties Act of 2013," specifically states that "student-led, administration supported proselytizing" is legal in the state's public schools.
As expected, the atheists are outraged and trying to create a move against the law.
There is also an international move to silence religious evangelizing. Or "proselytizing."
In 2010, the Washington Post carried an article by Arun Gandhi, the fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, titled, "The Evil of Proselytizing."
In the article he equates Christianity with Islam and says, "I call all proselytizing evil because it is responsible in a tangible way, for all the violence that we experience today."
He says in the old days, Muslim and Christian preachers alike stood on the street corners preaching their message. Now, he says, they have become more sophisticated. They offer medical help to entice people to convert.
I have spent time in India working with the late Dr. Mark Buntain, helping with the building of the Christian Mission of Mercy Hospital. I have personally never seen a purely humanitarian project there or elsewhere run by Muslims.
Christian evangelism has now been labeled with the pejorative term "proselytizing."
Jesus told His followers to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).
There is a move to make Christian evangelism (proselytizing) illegal in a number of countries in the world, as well as here at home.
What is the Christian's response?
1. Vigorously resist these efforts here at home. One way is to work to elect those who share our values and work to un-elect those who do not. Get involved locally, statewide and nationally.
2. Make the extra effort to do the work of the Lord. Be aware there are time limitations to doing the work of the Lord. Jesus said, "I must work the works of Him who sent me while it is day. The night will come when no man can work."
This verse has two applications. One relates to now. The other to later.
I 'll be talking about this in more detail on the radio this morning. I'm live at 9 AM (PDT) and rebroadcast at 7:30 PM (PDT). You can listen on the ACN Network of stations, on your computer, or with a free phone app. Here are the links.
Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Active. Be Blessed.