Wednesday, March 07, 2018

LGBT Forces Another Christian to Close Their Business

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This latest causality once again affirms how difficult it is for a Christian business owner to fight the LGBTQ crowd.

Ironically, this latest attack on a Christian owned bridal shop was a national attack, not only local.

Beyond the perverted passion, what fuels this relentless attack on Christian beliefs and the people who hold them?

Thirty-seven years ago, W.W. Bridal Boutique of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania opened for business and prospered---until 2014.

Because of her biblical Christian beliefs, owner Victoria Miller declined to do business with two lesbians who planned to get "married."

Same thing happened again in 2017. In both cases Miller referred the people to another shop that would serve them.

But it isn't about being served---it's about being affirmed.

Following the episode in 2017, all hell broke loose against Miller and her business.

She says, "Some phone calls were made, but most of the attacks were via Facebook. It was very much a social media attack," primarily from people out of state.

She says it became so intense at one point that she was forced to temporarily close the bridal shop and only open it for "appointment only" customers.

Miller had hoped to pass her business down to her daughters, but this assault has forced the Christian family to close the business after 37 successful years.

Not for lack of business, but for lack of religious freedom.

Having deceived the public and "redefined" marriage, these activists are now committed to controlling what people say and even what they believe about human sexuality.

How did we get to this place in a land where religious freedom is foundational to America's very existence?

The kind of power the LGBTQ folks are demonstrating against anyone---and all---who disagree with their sexual behavior and personal beliefs, is not new to the world, but we've traditionally not seen it at this level in our times in this country.

The attempt to destroy religious and other God-given freedoms has long been the preferred tool of the despots and totalitarians from Nazis to dictatorial communists. We know their names.

In the spirit of what our country was about, Harvard University, America's first college, was founded by Pastor John Harvard for the expressed purpose of "training Christian ministers."

Harvard University's seal testified to the very exclusivity it now rejects, with the word "Veritas" (Latin for "Truth") encircled by "Christo et Ecclesiae" (Latin for "Christ and Church"). The seal bears witness to a very inconvenient historical truth of why it was founded in 1636.

In recent years, Harvard has generally held to the pretense of at least being tolerant toward, if not consistent with its seal and charter statement.

However, now its mask of tolerance has slipped and fallen off in dramatic fashion in the past couple of weeks.

Ron Henzel has written an article for the Christian Post titled, "Harvard Has Abandoned God and Its Christian Principles" in which he explains a recent episode involving Harvard's largest Christian student group, Harvard College Faith and Action (HCFA).

The Christian group recently asked one of its leaders to step down after they became aware that she was involved in a lesbian relationship.

A few days later, Harvard demanded that the HCFA disaffiliate from its parent organization, the Christian Union, whose Statement of Ethics includes "The reaffirmation that sex belongs only in the context of marriage between a man and a woman."

When HCFA affirmed that belief and declined to renounce their biblical beliefs, Harvard placed the largest Christian organization on campus on a one-year "administration probation" because of what they believe, and because they acted on what they believe.

There is no longer even the pretense of religious tolerance at America's first college.

Harvard, born in the spiritually fertile ground of a national Christian consensus in early America, inspired others to found Christian colleges for the same purposes---including Yale, Princeton and others.

By 1701, however, the Christian zeal that had led our Founders to the New World, had waned.

A spiritual revival was needed and it came to America. The First Great Awakening of 1730-1755 held back the tide of unbelief and restored the spiritual health of America.

In 1782, with the end of the American Revolution in sight, historian Nathan Hatch says only two students professed Christianity at the newest Ivy League school originally established for ministers at Princeton.

By 1800, he says, only 5 students belonged to Yale's college church.

Another historian, J. Edwin Orr, says a poll was taken at Harvard at that time and it found that none of its students were actual believers, and eventually the president was forced to resign.

Orr says in his lecture, "The Role of Prayer in Spiritual Awakening," that the Great Awakening was accompanied by violence and persecution of biblical Christians. Christians and Christianity were both openly mocked. The message linked above was given to the National Prayer Congress held in Dallas in 1976. While the video is not blue ray, the message is.

During the Second Great Awakening (1790--1840), Princeton returned to its biblical roots---Harvard never did, and today it is a center of Unitarianism, secular progressiveism and atheism.

Henzel says that today Rev. John Harvard's school, dedicated to train Christian ministers, "drinks deeply from the wells of dogmatic pluralism which teaches that anyone who makes exclusive truth-claims must be a hateful person and is therefore to be hated."

Abraham Lincoln noted, "The philosophy of the school room in one generation, will be the philosophy of government in the next."


What can save us?

Christian historians agree that the United States was rescued from the brink of disaster by two things.

  1. The powerful zealous preaching of the Word of God (as opposed to "5 ways to have a happy day").
  2. Sustained prayer. Corporate and personal.

The very two things that are mocked in the media in 2018.

Theologian and preacher Jonathan Edwards coined the phrase "concerts of prayer" to describe how Christians responded to spiritual decline in their time. Christians gathered across denominational lines asking God to forgive their sins and heal their land.

And there was the powerful, biblical preaching of men like Edwards, himself a graduate of Yale Seminary, who preached sermons like "Sinners in the hands of an Angry God" warning people from his text in Deut. 32:28 that they were a nation "void of counsel" and that without repentance, "their foot shall slide in due time."

Our current moral crisis is not new to our generation, nor is it new to the history of our country. Or to the history of the human race.

About 2500 years ago the Prophet Jeremiah, facing similar circumstances, implored God's people (6:16) "Thus says the Lord, stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and you shall find rest for your souls."

The response to Jeremiah was similar to Harvard's response: "We will not walk in it."

Our nation can be restored. And I believe it will be; but only when Christians bow in sustained prayer for our nation and preachers and churches abandon trying to "relate" to the culture, and begin preaching the "Truth"---yes, the absolute Truth---of God's Word.

Be Prayerful. Be Bold. Be Faithful.