Religious Persecution… In the USA???

Diana FurrI am re-blogging this from my dear friend Diana Furr’s blog/website. She has been a spiritual mentor, prayer partner and dear friend for years! Please visit her website to read her previous post here about her blog’s new focus and plan to start following her series on Championing Religious Liberty: Kingdom Purpose/Kingdom Persecution/Kingdom Power. I’ve previously posted about her first book written about her Victory in the Valley after a five year battle with breast cancer.  She’s sold out to the Lord for His Kingdom Purpose in her life!

______________________________________________________

Yes. Right here. Right now.

Two days ago, I introduced my new Monday-Wednesday-Friday blog format: Championing Religious Liberty.  (See November 20, 2017). Here’s my first Wednesday post under the NEW category of “Kingdom PERSECUTION.”

Some say we are at a Tipping Point in America… that our Religious Liberty — the free expression and exercise of our faith in any and all areas of life — is at stake…. that Religious Persecution — “hostility or ill treatment because of religious beliefs” — is significantly on the rise.

Each Wednesday, I will share cutting-edge facts about who is opposing Religious Liberty and why, and how they are going about it. As a lifelong businesswoman, my focus will primarily be the marketplace.

Why? Because I (and others, including Billy Graham) believe it is the next great mission field for Christ. It’s the place where we ALL interact daily — as business owners, employees, suppliers and/or customers.

These posts are meant to be a source of LEARNING and LEVERAGE.  So we can all become…

1) more aware of what’s actually happening today (not usually reported in traditional news sources); and

2) empowered to take effective and fruitful action as Ambassadors for Christ, within our respective spheres of influence… in the midst of a culture of increasing compromise.

In the future, I will post about specific business owners and employees whose workplace expression of faith has provoked “hostility or ill treatment” — from bullying or harassment to firings, regulatory and/or legal action. Today, here’s an overview of religious persecution in America.

The International Christian Concern (ICC) — a respected global monitor of persecution — assists international Christians victimized by it. (http://www.persecution.org/) ICC’s annual “Hall of Shame” report citing offending nations included the United States for the first time in 2017, noting America’s alarming rise in hostility toward Christians.

“… the courts, in defiance of the Founders, are pushing religion out of the public square, and into the small space of private expression… deciding that you only have full religious freedom and expression in the church and your home. In the public domain, your religious views and thoughts must be restrained and controlled… While there is no comparison between the life of a Christian in the U.S. with persecution overseas, ICC sees these worrying trends as an alarming indication of a decline in religious liberty in the United States.” http://www.persecution.org/persecutionnl/2017-01/ICC%202016%20Hall%20of%20Shame%20Report.pdf

In the 2017 edition of its annual report, Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America — 420 pages long! — First Liberty Institute cites more than 1,400 religious liberty incidents… up more than 15 percent over 2016, and 133% in the past 5 years. https://firstliberty.org/rights/undeniable-the-survey-of-hostility-to-religion-in-america/

Sociologist Dr. George Yancey published in October 2016: “… with the increase of [progressive] economic power, individuals who dislike conservative Christians are able to harm them in ways they were not able to accomplish in 1988.” https://www.christianpost.com/news/anti-christian-hostility-hasnt-risen-but-has-changed-secular-progressives-hold-more-wealth-power-201806/

In September 2016, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights sent a 306-page report to President Obama — Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles with Civil Liberties — declaring that “the phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ are nothing but ‘code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.’”  http://www.usccr.gov/pubs/Peaceful-Coexistence-09-07-16.PDF

Really? Is this what YOU mean when you advocate for religious liberty and religious freedom? Please post your comments!

Diana Furr (a.k.a. Abba’s Girl)

This blog may have raised questions for you. If you’d like to connect, engage, or get further help from me, you can…  EMAIL me at diana@championsofdestiny.com; CALL me at 863-446-1660; or request a complimentary initial CONSULT with me at  http://tinyurl.com/DianaFurr.

Advertisements

Hatred….

There isn’t a “reblog” connected to this blog post on the Gentle Reformation site by Kyle Borg, but here is the link and here is the text. EXCELLENT post!

Many of us woke up this morning to the absolutely tragic news of a mass shooting on the Las Vegas strip. Videos show the fear and horror as gunshots can be heard breaking through the noise of the crowd. So far, reports indicate a lone gunman opened fire from the 32nd floor of a hotel into a crowd. The initial numbers are nothing short of devastating. Fifty-eight dead and more than five hundred injured. Fifty-eight people. Fathers. Mothers. Sons. Daughters. Brothers. Sisters. Friends. Almost sixty people who will not walk past the threshold of their homes today because their lives have been snuffed out by an act of violence. Events like these trigger our collective memory—Pulse nightclub, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, and the list goes on. My heart is broken and so is the heart of this nation.

Hatred. Yes, that’s what it is. Hatred. There’s no other word for it. We can see it. We can feel it. We can hear it. To deny its presence or pretend it’s something less is to willingly ignore the obvious. It would be like closing your eyes and insisting that the sun—bright and warm as it is—doesn’t exist. To admit hatred is to admit that something is very wrong. In response, Country star Jake Owen said: “This isn’t what our America is supposed to be like.” No it’s not. But more, it’s not what our world is supposed to be like. There’s a big problem.

And, in displays of hatred like this, many well-meaning people want to find a cure for the hatred. Gun control. Less political rhetoric. Stricter laws. Statements of solidarity. Positive feelings and well-wishes. Are these cures? Well, a cure depends on knowing the source. When doctors deal with sicknesses they don’t simply treat the symptoms they have to treat the source. Without knowing the source a cure for hatred can only address the symptoms. So, what is its source?

The Bible says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus taught, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of a man come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person” (Mark 7:20-23). What if that’s true?

If it’s true then it means we need a cure that goes more than skin deep. We need a heart cure. Politics can’t change hearts. Laws can’t change hearts. Psychology can’t change hearts. Positive vibes and well-directed thoughts cannot change hearts. Rather, the Bible says, only the gospel of Jesus Christ can—only it can address the problem of the heart. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). The gospel offers a cure for the sickness of the heart. The gospel is a message that does heart surgery and gives a heart transplant, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26).

Today, I grieve the hatred I see and hear. Even more, I grieve the hatred that is in my own heart. But I’m also reminded why we need the Great Physician, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). So let us mourn with those who mourn, and do so for as long as it takes to bring the heartsick to the Physician and the life-giving medicine of the gospel.

Istock

What Christmas Present Will You Give Jesus?

What a fabulous post as we prepare our hearts to celebrate Christmas. We are not big into presents for adults, but these are really the kinds of presents to give….

My God, My Music, My Life

Image result for present for Jesus

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how many presents under your branches are for me?

How many presents are under the tree for Jesus?  It is his birthday. He is the reason for the season.

What presents can you give to Jesus you wonder?  There are many and I bet you have never thought of them. Maybe some of you are giving Him these presents every day.  Maybe some of you give them one day and take them back the next.

Present one:  trust.  Do you give him all your trust?  Do you trust him even when things are going bad? Do you trust his plans for your life? Do you trust him completely, 100%? If not, maybe this year is the year you give him the present of your trust.

Image result for bible verses trust in god

Present two: your heart. Do you give him your heart?  Does he come first in your heart? What does…

View original post 295 more words

I wrote about Max and Beth to defend Christian Trump supporters

I wrote about Max and Beth to defend Christian Trump supporters

Another great post about why I support Donald Trump and Mike Pence!

Mario Murillo Ministries

I wrote about Max and Beth to defend Christian Trump supporters

By Mario Murillo

As I write you, 50,000 people have read the blog that mentioned Max Lucado and Beth Moore. Today I want to clear the air about why that happened.

For me to mention the name of a fellow minister is like getting a root canal.  I only do it when all other remedies have been exhausted.  We are family.  We are all on the same team.  Christian unity is a witness to a dying world.

So then why did I put out the blog?  I did it to defend Christians who are going to vote for Trump.

Whether Max and Beth intended it or not, their remarks had the effect—I am being delicate and kind here—of questioning Christians who support Trump.

Max openly wondered how any Evangelical could follow Donald.

Beth did the same to Christian men…

View original post 1,277 more words

Special Friends Last Forever

Perfect for today, 15th Tragic anniversary of 9/11 here in the USA.

Freedomborn

Town 1Around The CornerAround the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end;

Yet days go by, and weeks rush on,
And before I know it a year is gone,
And I never see my old friend’s face,
For life is a swift and terrible race.

He knows I like him just as well
As in the days when I rang his bell
And he rang mine.
We were younger then,

And now we are busy, tired men,
Tired with playing a foolish game,
Tired with trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow” I say; “I will call on Jim,
Just to show I am thinking of him.”

But tomorrow comes  and tomorrow goes,
And the distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner!  yet miles away …

“Here’s the Telegram Sir. . .
“Jim died today’.”

And that’s what we get and deserve in the end,
Around…

View original post 157 more words

Debbie Lees/ Inspire and Be Inspired

Debbie Lees/ Inspire and Be Inspired

What an honor to meet such an inspiring young lady! All I wanted to do was encourage this young aspiring writer who has great hopes and dreams! And look what happened!

impeccablehopes

Debbie Lees co-author of :  http://thetumblelees.me/  with her husband is a wife, mother and today a grand mother. She and her husband, her life in marriage, her faith in God is truly inspiring and amazing.

She and her husband travels most of the time in their motor home to keep in constant touch with their only daughter, son-in-law and two grand kids. She shares with us her journey, her life in marriage, the hardships and challenges she faced. She hopes to write a book sharing her 40+ years of marriage life with its ups and downs.

This is definitely a must-read interview especially for all the couples out there and those looking forward to be in a relationship.

☆ Who are you? What defines you?

My name is Debbie. I’m first defined by my faith in Jesus Christ. I’m an America of Romanian descent (my dad) and part Irish…

View original post 1,693 more words