‘Christian Nationalism’ Isn’t Cultural Coercion, It’s A Moral Imperative

‘Christian Nationalism’ Isn’t Cultural Coercion, It’s A Moral Imperative

A governor of a highly populous Western state has erected billboards adorned with a verse from the Bible in other states advocating for specific policy positions. A U.S. senator running for reelection equates voting to “a kind of prayer for the world we desire” and defines democracy as “the political enactment of the spiritual idea that each of us was created, as the scriptures tell us, in the ‘Imago Dei’ the image of God.” 

Is this the sinister emergence of Christian nationalism — the right-wing, fascist, “Handmaid’s Tale” hellscape that’s supposedly lurking just around the corner? No, in fact, that’s far from the case.

The first vignette actually speaks to a recent push by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had pro-abortion billboards installed in multiple red states, with ones in Mississippi and Oklahoma featuring Jesus’ words from Mark 12:31: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” And in the second example, these words were spoken on the campaign trail by Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock.

The usual takeaway is to point out the hypocrisy behind the adulation that’s typically showered only on the left’s public use of Christianity. But the deeper point is that Newsom and Warnock both show that using Christian arguments and verses from Scripture for the purpose of securing political victories is unexceptional — and even good. As Stephen Wolfe argues in his pathbreaking and provocative book “The Case for Christian Nationalism,” Christians should follow suit, though certainly not in enacting those particular policies. 

Rigorously and relentlessly argued, Wolfe uses the freighted term “Christian nationalism,” a phrase often deployed as a cudgel against evangelicals, to rally Christians behind a positive conception of public life that is grounded on the rich doctrines of 16th and 17th-century Reformed theology and the American political tradition. He builds on the important work of ad fontes, or a return to the source, that Protestant scholars and institutions have undertaken in recent decades.

Above all, Wolfe aims to cultivate “a collective will for Christian dominion in the world” — a will that has been crushed by a combination of elite evangelical rhetoric that buttresses 21st-century pieties, a bicoastal ruling class that is hostile to orthodox Christians, a conservative movement that has mostly failed to preserve American institutions, and a suffocating psychological malaise that has gripped the West. He gives Christians the intellectual tools to break through the nearly impregnable wall created by a combination of “third way” politics, neo-Anabaptism, and unprincipled pluralism and reestablish a way of life that is conducive to Christian flourishing.

Christian Nationalism Explained

Wolfe’s simplest definition of the controversial term “Christian nationalism” is a “Christian people acting for their own good in light of their Christian nationhood.” It encompasses the myriad ways Christians should be working to establish Christian conditions not only in their homes and churches — but also in their villages, towns, cities, states, and, yes, nations. Key to this project is recovering the solid ground of what the Reformers and their heirs frequently called the book of nature, which they saw containing truths that were consistent with the book of Revelation. They understood that God gave us minds to act within the confines of the created order — that Christians do not need a positive command from the Bible for every action they take.

Wolfe teaches that the concept of the nation flows from man’s very anthropology. Standing with Thomas Aquinas and the New England Puritan Samuel Willard, he contends that even if Adam and Eve didn’t follow the serpent’s wiles, mankind would still have “formed distinct civil communities — each being culturally particular.” This is because weaved into man’s nature are social and political faculties that irresistibly “lead him to the fundamental things of earthly life, such as family formation and civil society,” writes Wolfe. “The nation, therefore, is natural to man as man, and the matured earth would be a multiplicity of nations.” 

Implicit in this argument is the Reformed teaching that while Adam’s fall infused man’s entire nature with sin, it “did not eliminate the natural gifts,” as Wolfe notes. This doctrine is popularly known as total depravity, the often misunderstood first point in the TULIP acronym (an anachronistic 19th-century pedagogical device). As Dutch theologian Herman Bavinck wrote, though “numerous institutions and relations in life of society such as marriage, family, child rearing” and “man’s dominion over the earth through science and art” have “undoubtedly been modified by sin … they nevertheless have their active principle and foundation in creation, the ordinances of God.”

The cornerstone of Wolfe’s project is the well-known theological doctrine that grace does not destroy nature but instead perfects it. In other words, Christianity does not overthrow civil order, the non-sinful traditions of the people, and general decorum — the natural sinews that preserve society for posterity. 

As John Calvin taught in a sermon on 1 Corinthians: 

Regarding our eternal salvation, it is true that one must not distinguish between man and woman, or between king and a shepherd, or between a German and a Frenchman. Regarding policy, however, we have what St. Paul declares here; for our Lord Jesus Christ did not come to mix up nature or to abolish what belongs to the preservation of decency and peace among us.

Grace elevates the natural gifts, completing them because they are now aimed at both earthly and heavenly goods. For example, once a husband puts his faith in Christ, he and his family receive baptism and his work is directed to his home and then outward to the temporal world, what the Reformers called the civil kingdom. Grace does not make him into an androgynous being or cause him to leave his family behind to live in a church with other autonomous Christians. 

One of the many controversial aspects of Wolfe’s project for modern readers involves his teachings on civil laws and magistrates. Laws should reflect the natural law, protect natural rights, and, as legal historian Timon Cline has taught, direct “men to virtue,” pointing him to “higher truths.” Though the civil magistrate “cannot legislate or coerce people into belief,” Wolfe argues that he can “punish external religion — e.g., heretical teaching, false rites, blasphemy, sabbath-breaking, etc. — because such actions can cause public harm.” In fact, he proposes that the magistrate can even point citizens toward Christianity as the true religion. 

For dissenting Christians, Wolfe counsels that “wide toleration is desirable.” While non-Christians should be “guaranteed a basic right to life and property,” he contends that they should not be allowed to undertake activities that could harm Christianity. 

Though these were standard features of Christendom throughout Christian history, modern Christian statesmen would need to exhibit careful judgment in applying them today.

Christendom and America

Wolfe’s project is not a theocratic endeavor, with the church lording its power over the civil realm. Instead, he writes that the “classical Protestant position is that civil authorities” should “establish and maintain the best possible outward conditions for people to acquire spiritual goods.” And these goods are acquired through the church, whose ministers preach the Word and administer the sacraments. This doesn’t imply that Christianity is naturally weak absent state support. Rather, it means Christianity should infuse all of life, causing the magistrates of all nations to guide their citizens toward the highest ends.

In fact, as Joe Rigney has noted, civil government favoring and promoting Christianity “has been the dominant position in the history of the church for the last 1500 years.” Key confessions and catechisms of the Reformed tradition, including the original Westminster Confession and the Second Helvetic Confession, teach the good of religious establishments and charge those in political authority to uphold both tables of the Ten Commandments.

Early Americans were influenced by this understanding of Christian political order. According to Davenant Institute President Brad Littlejohn, the Founding Fathers “were certainly ‘Christian nationalists’ by the contemporary definition — that is, people who believed it important that America should publicly describe and conduct itself as a nation within a Christian framework.” Most state constitutions privileged Christianity — in most cases specifically a Protestant kind — and featured mentions of God, religious tests for public office, taxpayer funding of clergy and churches, Sabbath laws and laws against blasphemy, and Christian prayer and instruction in public schools well into the mid-20th century.

Christianity in a Negative World 

What about the place of “cultural Christianity,” an important pillar of Christian nationalism that has been heavily criticized by public theologians such as Russell Moore and Ray Ortlund? Wolfe contends that the critics commit a category error because it was never intended “to bring about anyone’s salvation.” Having a robust culture infused with Christian themes and imagery instead prepares citizens “for the reception of the Gospel.” It is a social power that internalizes the normal patterns of life that revolve around regular participation in Christian practices. 

As Wolfe rightly asks, would these critics look to subject families to “relentless hostile social forces” such as drag queen story hours, transgender ideology being taught in public schools, rampant porn use, and worse? Are active hostility and open persecution — that is, the circumstances first-century Christians faced — the only cultural conditions suited for the spread of Christianity? The history of Christendom renders a rather clear verdict on these questions.  

Christians are not called to conserve mid-20th century Supreme Court rulings. Begging for the table scraps of religious liberty carve-outs will not suffice, and “prudence” that is actually capitulation to the regnant cultural ethos will only hasten our nation’s slide into anarchy. To appropriate a famous G.K. Chesterton quote, the business of Christians “shouldn’t be to prevent mistakes from being corrected.”

In a “negative world,” to use Aaron Renn’s useful taxonomy, in which our magistrates oversee an establishment complete with a “regime-enforced moral ideology” that is hostile to Christianity, Wolfe gives Christians a coherent intellectual foundation that can withstand the gale force winds of our age. But political theory cannot enact itself. Christians must have the courage, manliness, fortitude, and strength to lay the groundwork in the decades ahead for what will assuredly be a multi-generational effort.

Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics portal. He is a graduate of the Van Andel Graduate School of Statesmanship at Hillsdale College. He and his wife live in Cincinnati, Ohio.


WaPo Confused Why It’s Wrong For Catholic Priests To Use Hookup Apps

WaPo Confused Why It’s Wrong For Catholic Priests To Use Hookup Apps

A recent Washington Post article slammed a Denver nonprofit known as Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal (CLCR), saying the organization “spent millions on app data that tracked gay priests.” Elsewhere, the Post cited anonymous sources and no other evidence to claim that “those familiar with [CLCR’s] project said the organizers’ focus was gay priests.” 

In reality, the organization legally used data to uncover both homosexual and heterosexual priests and seminarians who used hookup apps. “…[T]hese sorts of hookup apps are designed specifically for casual, anonymous sexual encounters — it’s not about straight or gay priests and seminarians, it’s about behavior that harms everyone involved, at some level and in some way, and is a witness against the ministry of the Church,” wrote CLCR President Jayd Henricks in First Things, responding to The Post.

The Post mischaracterized CLCR efforts as both “political” and “anti-gay” and failed to understand why it’s wrong for Catholic priests, who take vows of celibacy during their ordinations, to use hookup apps. 

“To [The Washington Post], discussions about sex and celibacy, sin and salvation, are just fodder for clicks and titillation for readers,” wrote Henricks. “I disagree, and so does the Church. Ignoring the importance and reality of human sexuality and its expression isn’t healthy, and pretending problems aren’t there only stores up worse trouble for everyone…”

According to Henricks, Catholic Laity and Clergy for Renewal kept its work entirely private to “protect the privacy of those affected.” Without setting any expectations, CLCR handed the information directly to the appropriate church rectors and bishops to address the issue as they saw fit. 

But it appears some of these church leaders have not appreciated CLCR’s work. Several of them participated in The Washington Post article, anonymously telling the Post that they “disapprove of the project” and consider it “un-Catholic.” Another anonymous source smeared similar work done by Catholic news site The Pillar in 2021, describing it as harmful and sinful. 

It is not sinful to hold Catholic priests accountable to their vows, however, especially considering that the weight of entire congregations’ souls rests on their shoulders. “…[I]t is incumbent on all of us to do what we can, to help bishops to care for their clergy, and to help priests to take care of their own spiritual, emotional, and physical health,” wrote Henricks. 

The Post article focuses heavily on data privacy despite the fact that the data was obtained legally. The outlet might have a point that the information used by CLCR should be kept private, but that’s a separate argument. It has little to do with the matter at hand, which is that Catholic priests should not be using hookup apps. The church has a duty to make sure clergymen are not breaking their vows and are doing their best to lead parishioners to heaven. Lay people have a vested interest in that, which makes what CLCR did entirely defensible.

It’s also worthwhile to note the rank hypocrisy here. If it were a group of conservatives experiencing a privacy breach of this kind, having their unsavory or humiliating secrets exposed, The Post’s framing would be the opposite of what it is in this case. Instead of hand-wringing over privacy concerns, the Post would be broadcasting the dirt far and wide, reveling in it. As always, the corporate media outlet’s outrage is selective, as is its judgment about who deserves privacy and who doesn’t. Indeed, reporters for the Post routinely attack private citizens, like last April when Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz doxxed Chaya Raichik, the woman behind Libs of TikTok, who now says she receives regular threats.

The Post also neglected to mention that investigating priestly celibacy is not the only thing CLCR does. According to Henricks, it uses technology to assist bishops in a wide variety of ways. For example, CLCR “has used data to identify models of parish and diocesan life that flourish, as well as those that were less successful.” It learned that seminarians who spend a year without technology upon entering the seminary are “able to discern better and faster if they have a vocation” and “conducted studies on why Catholics leave the Church.”

What CLCR really wants is not to embarrass or humiliate wayward priests but to help them “live out their vocations faithfully.” There is nothing wrong with wanting the spiritual leaders of the church to be in communion with Christ. The secular Washington Post clearly doesn’t understand Catholic theology nor our culture’s imperative need for holy priests in a world of hookup culture and moral decadence. 

Evita Duffy-Alfonso is a staff writer to The Federalist and the co-founder of the Chicago Thinker. She loves the Midwest, lumberjack sports, writing, and her family. Follow her on Twitter at @evitaduffy_1 or contact her at evita@thefederalist.com.


Closing the Door on the Light: Abolishing Protections in Anti-Discrimination Laws

First I want to address the issue of the protection of religious bodies. Once legislators started to add to discrimination law protected attributes such as for sexual activity, which we have in Victoria and one other jurisdiction, sexual orientation, and gender identity, we were no longer dealing with attributes like age, sex, or race, where there would be a 99.9 per cent consensus that it was wrong to treat anyone differentially on the basis of those attributes in most circumstances.

Once we moved into law for sexual activity, sexual orientation and gender identity, we entered into an area of controversy because “lawful sexual activity” would include sex outside marriage and adultery. Some people think adultery is fine, but other people do not.

So, when these attributes were introduced into legislation, the pressure came on to think about the groups – mainly but not exclusively religious groups – that will not be happy with a law that says they cannot differentiate or treat people differently on the basis of lawful sexual activity, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Now, instead of taking a nuanced view of this, the architects of anti-discrimination law back in the 1980s just said, let’s describe what it is to discriminate as broadly as possible. We’ll put in a really broad definition of discrimination. So, any adverse conduct in employment in relation to a person or any adverse conduct in relation to a student limiting any benefit that a student might get; really broad.

And then they thought, oh, there is going to be a problem at religious schools, because religious schools might not treat everyone the same, if a person’s sexual conduct is contrary to the religion. So, we’d better have an exemption – I prefer to call it a “balancing provision” – for religious bodies and educational institutions.

The classic form of exemption is like the one in the Northern Territory Anti-discrimination Act, which permits religious educational institutions to discriminate in relation to who they employ as staff in schools. If the discrimination is on the grounds of religious belief or activity, or sexuality, and is in good faith to avoid offending the religious sensitivities of the people of the religion to which the school adheres, it has to be in accordance with the doctrines or tenets or beliefs of that religion.

So, if it is the case of a teacher who engages in serial affairs or serial adultery, for instance, you do not have to employ that person, even though that would be unlawful under an anti-discrimination act that prohibited discrimination on the grounds of sexual activity. When it came to sexual orientation, a similarly broad definition of discrimination was applied, with pretty broad exemptions.

Looking again at the Northern Territory. Late last year, the NT removed that exemption totally. So, now religious schools in the NT do not have the benefit of that exemption in the case of employment and they have to prove a genuine occupational requirement. That is, they have to prove that the staffing position in question, whatever it is, genuinely requires that the person the school is looking to hire personally holds the same religious belief and adheres to the same moral standards as the school.

Now, under this amended legislation, the school has to show why in practice it is applying filters about sexuality, sexual conduct and religion to staff. These rules about not discriminating also apply in relation to students and board members and so on.

In Victoria, last year, a new law came in, through the Victorian Equal Opportunity (Religious Exceptions) Amendment Act, that limits the freedom of religious schools to discriminate in employment decisions and regarding students. So, for example, in terms of employment, the Victorian law says religious schools, colleges and universities have to prove the following things:

That it is inherent to the staffing position that the person conform to the doctrines, principles or beliefs of the religion of the religious educational institution.

Before the religious educational institution can take any adverse action on this basis, it has to prove that the person cannot satisfy the inherent requirement because of the person’s religious belief or activity (Note that it is about the person’s belief, not about the person’s sexual conduct, whether the person has a lawful occupation as a sex worker. That is a lawful occupation in Victoria, and the ACT now. You cannot look at those things. You can only look at whether their religious belief or religious activity does not conform to that of the religious educational institution.)

You also have to be able to prove that whatever action the school or college or university took in respect to the staff member or the applicant for a job was reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances.

It is causing religious educational institutions considerable heartburn to work out how to deal with this, in terms of their staff, their hiring process, their ongoing performance review and performance management of staff; and also, in respect to students.

Which brings us to the federal Sex Discrimination Act and the federal Fair Work Act. These have some exemptions for religious bodies when they engage in discrimination or differential treatment for religious reasons.

The federal Sex Discrimination Act currently says that a religious educational institution can discriminate in employment in good faith in order to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents to the religion or creed.

The Federal Government referred the matter to the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), asking for recommendations on how to do two things:

How to remove those freedoms of religious schools to discriminate in employment decisions and regarding student conduct.

And how to allow religious schools to maintain a community of faith by selecting staff who have the same religion as the school.

The ALRC produced its consultation paper in early February. It is amazingly unbalanced, thin on international law, and its analysis is not a good starting point to come up with any sort of balanced solution to the dilemma.

Let me give you a quick flavour of what the ALRC is recommending. It has some pretty bizarre proposals. It proposes that the rights of religious schools to preference people of faith in the selection of staff should be limited only to teaching roles; not the nurse, not the administration staff, not the maintenance person. And only those teaching roles where the observance or practice of the religion is a genuine requirement of the role having regard to the nature and ethos of the institution. For example, the religious studies teacher or a chaplain.

Another proposal that the ALRC has come out with is to say that religious schools must employ teachers who may not share or support the religious beliefs of the school. That employment, though, can be terminated if the teacher actively undermines the religious ethos of the school.

Yet even religious education teachers cannot be required to teach beliefs concerning sexual orientation, gender, identity, marital or relationship status, or pregnancy, in accordance with the religion of the school, unless such teachers are given the freedom to discuss with students alternative views about other lifestyles, other relationships, other sexualities.

It is worth noting that such strictures do not apply to a political body.

‘Conversion Therapy’

The second issue which we might discuss in more detail relates to suppression practices laws. These laws are being passed around the country. They started in Queensland and the ACT and Victoria, Tasmania will have a bill this year. It’s not clear where Western Australia is going; it said it was going to pull back a bit.

These laws are usually badged as “conversion therapy” laws, but they run much more broadly than that. For example, in Victoria, suppression practice is defined as any practice or conduct that includes a conversation directed towards a person, regardless of the person’s consent: that they have asked for the conversation or asked for the counselling is utterly irrelevant.

Conduct has to be in relation to the person’s sexual orientation or gender identity and it has to be for the purpose of changing or suppressing that person’s sexual orientation or gender identity or inducing the person to change or suppress their sexual orientation or gender identity.

So, in any discussion – with a group of young people or old people doesn’t matter – where you say, this is our understanding of God’s will for your sexual identity or sexual orientation or your gender, you are at risk of being accused of inducing a person to change or to suppress their gender identity or sexual orientation.

The legislation is not fully explicit in saying that that practice can include religious practice, such as praying with someone, or exorcism or referring someone on to a counsellor or a psychiatrist or psychologist.

The legislation is so broad that it causes concerns about what can be said in sermons, in Bible studies, in discussions; when working with youth, youth pastors; and what teachers or a student welfare officer in a school can say.

We have already seen an example of the consequences in Tasmania. Under Section 17 of the state’s Anti-discrimination Act, a person must not engage in conduct that offends humiliates or intimidates, insults or ridicules another person on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual activity in circumstances in which a reasonable person would have anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated, intimidated, etc.

A complaint was made under this provision against Archbishop of Hobart Julian Porteous when he approved the distribution of a publication produced by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Don’t Mess with Marriage. The complaint was withdrawn subsequently.

Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia currently have recommendations to government to introduce laws like this, which are called, in shorthand, harms-based speech laws.

Interactivity of Laws

How might these three types of laws interact? Let’s say you are at a school and you are saying to someone, that this type of expression of sexuality, sexual relations, sexual activity is not in accordance with the beliefs or ethos of the school.

Someone might come by and say, well, you are inducing me to change or suppress my sexual orientation or gender identity. You can say, no, there was no inducing of anyone to suppress or change.

Then might come the accusation, you are discriminating against me on the basis of my lawful sexual activity, sex orientation or gender identity. Then the exemptions or balancing provisions under anti-discrimination law would come into play in your defence.

A third possible scenario is that someone might say, “I just heard in chapel or in religious studies class about the teachings of the religion on sexual orientation or on what is appropriate sexual practice or on gender identity, and that a reasonable person would have thought that that would offend or humiliate or insult me because of my sexual practices or sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Now, none of this is to say that anybody should be insensitive towards young people in particular or anybody in this regard. It is to say that the law is intruding in at least these three ways very substantially into the freedom that religious schools and colleges and religious bodies have to express, both in word and in conduct, appropriate conduct rules for members, for students, for staff, and to express the religious teachings of the organisation as they relate to sexual activity, sexual orientation and gender identity.


Originally published at News Weekly. Photo by Sora Shimazaki.

Thank the Source

Armageddon – Part 2: Lessons from the Cold War and the Birth of Cold War II

This is the second of a three-part series inspired by the novel Armageddon by Leon Uris (1963). A remarkable, fictional story based on actual history, from the American perspective, of the end of WWII in Germany with particular focus on the administration of Berlin.

If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us!
But passion and party blind our eyes,
and the light which experience gives us
is a lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 – 1834)

The Declaration of the Cold War

The Berlin Airlift was a resounding success! It was an outstanding achievement, but the Cold War was born. When we think of the Cold War, I guess most of us think of the territorial divisions that defined the ‘East’ from the ‘West’. These terms are still with us today, particular the phrases ‘Western Democracies’ and ‘Western Culture’.

We think of Russia and China as the world’s communist stronghold in the case of Russia, and the fascist dictatorship in the case of China, balanced against the western nations’ democracies. Then we think of the arms race and the nuclear threat, hence the term the ‘Cold War’, and the passionate hope and prayer that the opposing nuclear deterrents will be enough to keep either side from repeating the nuclear devastation unleashed on Japan to end World War II.

But let me take you back to the Berliners in the late 1940s. They did not really see any of these physical manifestations of communism that we recognise today. Rather, they would have sensed the psychological warfare raged against them — they were the heroes of the Cold War by their resistance against the communist agenda, their recognition of the threat and their willingness to sacrifice dearly for the prospect of freedom and liberty.

Imagine the culture of the time. Each of these points is a lesson for us today:

  1. The world that survived WWII were on food rations, crippled with grief for lost loved ones. Therefore, they could hardly ever lift their heads above the parapet and look out at other parts of the world. They were simply in survival mode and coming to terms with their own post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  2. With the trauma of WWII and the wounds still open and weeping, who could have imagined the emergence of a new enemy, especially one from within their own ranks of the Allied powers? The natural instinctive reaction would simply be one of denial. They may have seen some ‘news’, but it would not have fitted into their existing paradigm, so they could not have made any sense or order out of the events unfolding around them.
  3. The Russians had marched through eastern Europe and ‘assimilated’ nation after nation on their westward march. But they were halted in Berlin. To their surprise, they met resistance. Not so much a military resistance, but a resistance from the civilian Berliners. Their tried and tested methods sprang into action, and wave upon wave of psychological warfare was unleashed on the Berliners by the Soviets. One example will suffice. They claimed that only they could ensure the permanent defeat of the Nazi threat. They claimed that the western powers were simply a cover for the re-emergence of Nazism.
  4. The Berliners were the new frontline against the new enemy. As a people utterly devasted by defeat and slaughter, they could still see through the communist lies and propaganda. I take my hat off to the Berliners! Arguably, they were the ones who ‘won the peace’ after WWII. They were the ones who fought for the freedom of thought and liberty of allegiance.
  5. From the start of the Cold War, there was intense pressure to conform to the communist vision. Many of the western Allied soldiers’ families wanted to leave and return home. They saw that the Russians had the upper hand, therefore resistance was futile. Back in the United States, federal parliament was bitterly split. The battle for hearts and minds was fierce, and in the end was resolved by courageous leadership.

The Birth of Cold War II

I would now like to suggest that we are witnesses to the birth of the Cold War II in our day and generation.

  1. I think we are in a war, a largely psychological war, but there are military manifestations in various pockets around the world. Perhaps the seeds of this idea were sown for me by Douglas Murray’s The War on the West (2022). Murray identified the enemy of the West as being from within the West. The enemy is a traitor among one of our own, just as the Russians in the late 1940s turned on their ‘own’, their fellow Allies. I see these internal forces as just as determined to enslave us and strangle the life out of our democracy as the communists did at the height of the first Cold War.

  1. The enemy’s tactics within the Cold War II, being primarily psychological at this stage, have most certainly taken ground, as demonstrated by the fact that the majority of people still look to their governments and authorities to ‘look after them’, to subsidise their back-to-work initiatives, and to build artificial price caps on energy costs to cushion us from hyperinflation created by them. Yes, the enemy’s tactics are working in the production of a compliant, submissive populace, willing to do their master’s bidding.
  2. Today, just as in 1948, the majority of us are still traumatised from the Covid panic years and the wounds are still open and weeping in many places, though it’s remarkable that it’s so easy to forget some of the pain, as we were effectively conditioned into acceptance of the pain for ‘the greater good’. Therefore, how can we expect people to put their heads above the parapet and look out across the nations of the world to identify a new threat; surely, we have had enough troubles in recent times, we are not looking for another!
  3. The new frontline against Cold War II can be found all around the world. We are connected digitally in contrast to the tangible community that the Berliners knew in the aftermath of WWII. Yes, the new frontlines are drawn by those people who can see the threat and are prepared to take a stand against it. In this context, I take my hat off to the thousands who have lost their jobs as a result of their stand, and to the thousands whose families and communities have been shattered by division and breakdown in relationships, and to the thousands who have literally lost their lives already in Cold War II.
  4. The battle lines are drawn today between those who recognise the threat of Cold War II and those who don’t. The latter can’t see that there is anything to fear — they simply say, ‘We are all in this together, we must make sacrifices for the common good when called to do so.’ I find that the division is largely one of silence and an unwillingness to name the elephant in the room. This is in stark contrast to 1948, when heated debates were common.

I do not see a new ‘Berlin Wall’ being built, but I do see the new ‘prisoner-of-war-camps’ being commissioned all around the world, to corral agitators, protesters, and rebels. There seem to be all the hallmarks of ‘walls’ around these camps to keep the renegades in; in contrast to the Berlin Wall’s design to keep their own in, preventing them from defecting to freedom.

Whichever way we look at it, division and segregation can never spell freedom and liberty of thought and allegiance. Openness, tolerance, and mutual respect are the qualities of a community I want to leave as a legacy for my children. These characteristics are all built upon personal responsibility and small government, as opposed to the abrogation of responsibility to big governments and global big businesses.

The Cold War II’s Agenda

I have reflected deeply on the nature of this agenda. I believe the mastermind to be the devil and his angels. His fingerprints are all over it:

Therefore, Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10: 7-11)

I believe there are many ‘diversionary tactics’ that distract, divide, dilute and dilute our attention. But if we look at the devil’s core values, stealing, murder and destruction, this will help us identify the true nature of his agenda. This is in direct contrast with Jesus’ agenda to bring life and life to the full. It is interesting that Jesus is the ‘gate’, not the devil. It is Jesus that decides who may come in and go out, and who may find pasture.

Who is the devil using to outwork his agenda? First of all, stealing. Sadly, I suspect there will be much more overt manifestations of theft to come, but so far, we have seen soaring fuel prices and artificial scarcity of sources of energy, resulting in inflation fuelled by planned irresponsible government spending over the past three years. So, the first agent of the devil’s agenda, national governments, in perfect harmony across the world.

Secondly, murder. The perpetrating and legitimisation of abortion, the murder of infants:

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Again, thou shalt say to the children of Israel, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall surely be put to death: the people of the land shall stone him with stones. (Leviticus 20: 1-2)

Yes, child sacrifice has been known for thousands of years, but God plainly abhors it, and notice He holds ‘the people’ responsible for its eradication. I believe we are responsible for allowing the practice of and legitimisation of abortion. So, in this context, our governments who have sanctioned the practice and our healthcare system that carry out the practice are responsible, but we have not stopped them.

Further, evidence of murder would be the administration of un-tested, unsafe, and ineffective medication resulting in sudden adult death syndrome (SADS), increased numbers of miscarriages and the potential for future infertility. All these measures being the responsibility of the global pharmaceutical industry and our healthcare systems overseen by our national governments. This strategy of the devil has been working very well at depopulating the world, with the immediate focus being the western nations.

Thirdly, destruction. War meets this criterion and is the most obvious evidence of the work of the devil. But destruction can be evidenced in a wide array of phenomena. I would illustrate this with wildfires. It seems to me that many wildfires have been fuelled by Green agendas that have left forests untended for too long, resulting in dangerous levels of tinder for fires to consume.

I also note that some catastrophic floods have been exacerbated by the cessation of preventative dredging of tidal estuaries and the indiscriminate land clearing that has denuded the landscape of vegetation, that would otherwise have captured sufficient rainfall and lessened the destructive floods. In these instances, the responsibility for the destruction would again be the Green agendas that have failed to recognise the biodiversity of different habitats. Then in turn, Green agendas have been incorporated into ‘both sides’ of politics, who in turn bear the responsibility for the destruction.

Here I have sought to illustrate the work of the devil under the three headings of stealing, murder and destruction. Naturally, this is a gross simplification of the nature of the fallen world — in reality it is much more complex; but I have found this rationale a helpful vehicle to seek to understand the nature of Cold War II.

We Ignore Cold War II at Our Peril

Just as in the days of the first Cold War, many could not see it at first. There were intense debates on how best to respond. Let us learn the lessons from history and not be caught out in Cold War II. I believe that the writing is on the wall for us all to read.


Photo by Pixabay.

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History Belongs to the Intercessors, Part 1: Our Need for Prayer

Prayer is essential for God’s will to be done, His kingdom to be established on earth as it is in Heaven.

Behind the greatest evangelist of the Second Great Awakening — Charles Finney — knelt a man of intercession: Daniel Nash.

Finney, through his passionate appeals for people to come to God, saw hundreds of thousands of conversions happen all over New York and beyond in the early 1800s. Unknown to most, this move of God contained a secret weapon. Nash.

Weeks in advance of an outreach by Finney, intercessor Nash — along with Abel Clary — would come, praying within the community, crying out and asking God for His intervention in the hearts of men.

Nash had been a burned-out pastor. But through prayer during an illness, he found personal revival with God. And through prayer, would go on to fuel a national revival.

History belongs to the intercessors — we are the ones who are really stirring up national revival and change.

A Nation in Crisis

We are now in 2022 — a long time past the days of Charles Finney and Daniel Nash. But our nation is in more need now than even then.

It has been 246 years since 1776 when our republic was born. The founders of this republic gave us a gift, and we have a responsibility to protect it and keep it.

In 4 short years, America will be 250 years old — the only democratic republic in history that has survived this long.

This is a pivotal moment, and we all know as Christians with discernment that America is at a crisis point. Will we make it to America’s 250th birthday?

When we think about America right now — the decay in our educational systems, media, entertainment, government, business ethics, and more, we must look ourselves straight in the face and realise that we, as believers in Jesus, are not having the greatest impact on our culture.

Why is that?

National Prayerlessness

I believe the root of this failure is our individual loss of a daily connection with God.

We don’t pray. We don’t spend time with Jesus.

We have many weaknesses in the modern Western Church, but none is as glaring as our national prayerlessness.

If we are honest, the last few years have been an eye-opener within the Church. We have been exposed by fear and unbelief and have seen our personal tendencies to run to anything but God in the middle of a national crisis.

If God doesn’t awaken the Church in this hour in history, we are in trouble.

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (Romans 13:11)

Back to the Basics

Prayer. It is the first spiritual discipline that we all think we know and understand — but really, few of us do.

If we truly understood prayer and realised the value of it, we would prioritise it in our lives and in our local churches. Unfortunately, in our modern Western church culture, our prayer meetings are the smallest gathering on our weekly or even monthly calendars. They are obviously not sexy or entertaining enough.

A woman told me the other day that she is a member of a church with over 3,000 members and their weekly prayer meeting has only two people attending it.

Let’s take a moment to think about prayer in our local churches.

Does your church have a corporate prayer meeting? How often is the prayer meeting? How many people come to it?

Just those questions alone are exposing to the modern church. But when we pile on thinking about the reality of our own devotional lives, we can all see the weakness.

Prayerlessness is rooted in a key problem: We don’t really believe prayer works. 

If we really believed in prayer, the effectiveness of prayer would absolutely change everything in our lives. Our calendars, our priorities, and our goals. Everything!

E.M. Bounds — the famous 19th century Methodist Episcopal pastor — said this:

God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil… The prayers of God’s saints are the capital stock of heaven by which God carries on His great work upon earth. God conditions the very life and prosperity of His cause on prayer.

Prayer is a Real Commodity

Have you thought about prayer being a commodity of Heaven before? It is tangible and real.

Let’s read this:

Now when He (the Lamb) had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (Revelation 5:8)

Look at this powerful picture of the golden bowls full of incense — holding the real tangible prayers of the saints.

When we pray, God hears us, and He collects those prayers. This is an incredible picture of prayer that is something that we can get our heads around.

Prayer is a real commodity.

Just like we go to the bank and deposit a check — prayer is a deposit. Just like we look at our investments on our phones and buy and sell stock — prayer is a stock purchase. Just like we invest in our marriage by spending time with our spouse — prayer is an investment in relationship.

If the world is going to see revival — and better yet, another Great Awakening — we need to cry out to God. We need to ask Him to grow faith in our hearts to believe that when we talk to Him, He hears us. And that when we petition Him, it changes hearts and lives.

This is what the world needs in this hour of history.

The world needs a praying Church.

Prayer is Action — Not Just a Spiritual Buzzword

This is my personal mandate from the Lord for this season: “Go find the awakening church and plug them into simple habits of prayer, voting, and engagement.”

When our little team of politically active Christians started Christians Engaged a few years ago, we identified three areas of weakness in the American church that we felt called to strengthen:

  1. Habitual prayer for our cities, states, and nation including our elected officials.
  2. A call for believers to vote in every election and to vote biblical values, and
  3. Encouragement for Christians to engage in our culture and take action to be “salt and light” in every space of influence.

Prayer wasn’t just a spiritual buzzword that we picked to talk about something spiritual. No, prayer is the only thing that really matters!

What the World Needs Most

In reality, prayer is the only thing that can change our nation.

Hearts are only open to God through prayer. Cities are truly impacted through prayer. Systems can only be reformed by people of wisdom who are covered in prayer.

What does the world need in this important moment in history?

The world needs YOU! Your participation. Your heart. Your care. Your prayers. Your votes. Your engagement in the culture.

Your intercession.

What is an intercessor? We answer that in Part Two of our History Belongs to the Intercessors series.


Originally published at The Stream. Photo by Eduardo Dutra.

Thank the Source

Deion Sanders Shouldn’t Shy Away From His Faith, And Neither Should Any Other Christian

Deion Sanders Shouldn’t Shy Away From His Faith, And Neither Should Any Other Christian

Although his debut as Colorado’s new head football coach is still months away, Deion Sanders has already found himself the target of an orchestrated left-wing attack on his faith.

In late January, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), a nonprofit advocacy group for atheists and agnostics, sent a letter to the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) complaining that Sanders reportedly prays with staff and players before team meetings. The organization claims this is “inappropriate and unconstitutional,” although, as the U.S. Supreme Court recently re-affirmed, the U.S. Constitution protects public expressions of faith, including at football games.

“Multiple concerned Colorado residents have reached out to FFRF to report that CU’s new football coach Deion Sanders has been infusing his program with Christianity and engaging in religious exercises with players and staff members,” FFRF claimed. “It seems that in this case, Coach Sanders has not hired a Christian chaplain to impose religion on [his] players, but has done so himself, creating a Christian environment within his football programs that excludes non-Christian and non-religious players.”

The organization alleges several incidents of Sanders engaging in religious speech with staff and players. They include a Jan. 16 meeting in which a staff member, at the supposed behest of Sanders, led the team in the following prayer:

Lord, we thank You for this day, Father, for this opportunity as a group. Father, we thank You for the movement that God has put us in place to be in charge of. We thank You for each player here, each coach, each family. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

FFRF claims such voluntary practices amount to “religious coercion.”

An outspoken Christian, Sanders has often credited God for providing him with life-changing career opportunities. Upon landing his head coaching gig at CU, for example, the NFL Hall of Famer praised and glorified Jesus Christ for putting him in the position.

“Out of all the persons in the world, God chose me,” Sanders said. “For that, I thank Him; for that, I love Him; for that, I magnify Him; for that, I glorify Him; for that, I praise Him; for that, I owe Him. Each and every day, I’m trying to please Him.”

FFRF demanded the school “take action” against Sanders, including that he be coercively “educated as to his constitutional duties under the Establishment Clause” and prohibited from engaging in such prayerful activities “in his capacity as head coach.”

Although the U.S. Supreme Court ruled just five months ago that the U.S. Constitution protects religious exercise and religious speech even of government employees, including many football coaches, CU caved to at least part of the organization’s demands. In a Jan. 31 letter, CU Executive Vice Chancellor Patrick T. O’Rourke notified FFRF that the university’s Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance met with Sanders “to provide guidance on the non-discrimination policies, including guidance on the boundaries in which players and coaches may and may not engage in religious expression.”

FFRF’s Arguments Fall Flat

FFRF’s arguments are extremely flawed, for two key reasons. First, as the group admits in its letter, the alleged concerns about Sanders’s prayers during team activities are from “Colorado residents,” not CU players or other members of the football program.

FFRF fails to name a single player or staff member who was coerced into praying. Nor does the group identify any individual who claimed he felt excluded by such practices. For all we know, these supposed complaints could have come from Colorado residents who don’t attend or have any connection to the university. It’s such a major flaw in FFRF’s justification for filing the complaint that even O’Rourke noted it in his response to the organization.

Second, the FFRF’s claim that Sanders’ use of prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, which stipulates that government cannot establish an official religion, is meritless. As noted by the First Liberty Institute, a legal group that sent a letter to CU defending Sanders, FFRF’s arguments “rely on an outdated legal test the Supreme Court disavowed” in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District in October.

In that case, the Supreme Court affirmed high school assistant football coach Joe Kennedy’s constitutional right to pray on the football field after games. It also made clear that public school employees are permitted to engage in acts of religious expression.

“Just because a coach is engaging in prayer or other private religious expression does not mean it’s ‘coercion,’” First Liberty’s Jorge Gomez writes. “The FFRF’s argument fails to acknowledge the difference between public and private speech, which is a highly important distinction the Supreme Court considers regarding public employee religious speech.”

Be Bold in Prayer

While egregious, FFRF’s bid to prohibit Sanders from exercising his First Amendment freedoms isn’t the least bit shocking. As American culture has become increasingly immoral, activists have increasingly targeted the constitutionally protected rights of religious Americans to worship freely. The attack on Sanders serves as a prime example. In its obsessive secularism, FFRF attempts to compulsively stamp out any public displays of religious devotion.

While Sanders shouldn’t be viewed as any kind of sinless idol, we should all embrace his unapologetic devotion to God. The American founders firmly believed that without a religious and moral citizenry, the form of limited government they created couldn’t function.

We shouldn’t cower when under siege for our beliefs. In fact, it’s during such trying times when we should be embracing God the most and working to share His Word with others. So, take a page from Sanders’ book and be bold in faith and prayer. After all, “For with God, nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37).

Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood


Leftists Don’t Mind NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ Religious Talk Because He Puts Politics First

Leftists Don’t Mind NYC Mayor Eric Adams’ Religious Talk Because He Puts Politics First

New York City Mayor Eric Adams caused quite a stir last week when he questioned the separation of church and state at an annual breakfast of faith-based leaders in Manhattan.

“Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body. Church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies,” declared Adams. “I can’t separate my belief because I’m an elected official. When I walk, I walk with God. When I talk, I talk with God. When I put policies in place, I put them in with a God-like approach to them. That’s who I am.” He also asserted: “When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools.”

That’s pretty remarkable, especially coming from a politician who has sought to expand abortion in the Big Apple and who has claimed that if not for a past partner’s abortion, he would not have become mayor of America’s most populous city. “No other city in the nation or in the world has a public health department that is providing medication abortion. … We are the first,” Adams announced at a January news conference. What Adams’ comments indicate, then, is a deep double standard — and pronounced confusion — when it comes to how Americans understand the separation of church and state.

Stacking the Deck Against Religious Conservatives

Adams’ recent statements about religious faith and public service are not all that different from what other Democrats have quite recently argued. During the 2020 Democratic National Convention, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former First Lady Michelle Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and former President Barack Obama all characterized Biden’s religious beliefs as a motivation and guide for his political career. “I know Joe. He is a profoundly decent man, guided by faith,” said Michelle Obama. 

Biden himself, in 2020, credited his Catholic faith, Pope Francis, and the example of nuns for his career of public service. I don’t remember any liberal or Democratic backlash to that messaging campaign. The problem is that Adams made explicit what Biden and his promoters had communicated implicitly. In doing so, he (unintentionally) gave the game away.

The left doesn’t really have much of a problem with fusing religious belief and politics as long as those beliefs accord with the underlying principles of current liberal ideology, such as those related to abortion, transgenderism, or racial identitarianism. You could even call it “liberal integralism.” Former editor of Commentary Norman Podhoretz called Reform Judaism “the Democratic Party at prayer,” and much the same can be said for mainline Protestant denominations and even some Catholic parishes. Holy Trinity in Georgetown, attended by left-wing elites (and Democratic politicians), displays a Black Lives Matter banner and a rainbow flag outside its building and hosts events to promote so-called diversity, inclusion, and equity — euphemisms for reducing people to their sex and skin color and often using those factors to discriminate against the least-favored groups.

The Double Standard

This is why liberal religious politicians like Adams and Biden are tolerated and, when it serves the left’s purposes, celebrated. Religiously inclined voters can be persuaded that those politicians’ faith makes them “decent” people worthy of their votes. Party elites don’t care if your liberal opinions on abortion, the economy, trade, or foreign policy derive from your religious belief, your parents, your professor, or what you had for breakfast this morning — the important thing is that they are the correct opinions.

Of course, the same thinking doesn’t apply to the right, which is why many liberals describe the pro-life movement (and conservative Christian politicians who support it) as imposing a “theocracy” on America. When conservatives, often informed by their religious faith, decry sexually explicit curricula and the promotion of transgenderism for prepubescent children, they are violating the sanctity of the separation of church and state. Simply put, religiously informed liberal policy is good; religiously informed conservative policy is bad. 

The More Foundational Problem

In one sense, Adams’ recent comments — despite their superficiality and incoherency — were a breath of fresh air. But they also reveal a deeper tension in the body politic: namely, the role of religion in the public square and how to reconcile different political opinions that both claim to derive from religious belief.

America is a pluralist country, a reality that will become ever-more apparent as fewer citizens subscribe to a faith tradition or attend religious services, as recent trends concernedly forecast. But in another sense, America has always been a pluralist nation. This is why the framers — coming from a variety of Protestant traditions, and even including a few Catholics — rejected an established church. Nevertheless, that founding generation, and those that followed, recognized that a lowest-common-denominator recognition of God, absolute truth, and morality was required for the survival of the republic, something Robert R. Reilly explains in his 2020 book “America on Trial.” Appreciating that these truths were accessible to all persons, regardless of their preferred sect, the founders appealed to what they called “natural law.” 

Natural law still remains a way to get us out of our current distemper. Indeed, many prominent political theorists and activists have been arguing as much for generations. Take abortion: Sure, many pro-lifers are motivated largely by their religious belief. But opposition to abortion need not be motivated solely by sectarian opinions but by philosophical, scientific, and medical truths about the human person and his inherent dignity. Non-sectarian words honoring — and praying to — God, such as the Pledge of Allegiance, are also defensible on the grounds of the natural law, and those who do not believe in the divine are free to exempt themselves. George Washington’s prayer at the end of his letter to the Hebrew congregation at Newport, Rhode Island, is an excellent example of such a prayer. 

Moreover, if we cannot identify (and accept) these lowest-common-denominator beliefs informed by natural law, a beneficent, indifferent, secular society will not be our future. Whether we are talking about federal targeting of religious organizations and citizens, forced closures of religious adoption agencies, or medical practitioners forced to perform abortions, Americans have already gotten a taste of the coercive tendencies of a secular regime.

Leftist ideology is anything but neutral, and — if the history of the 20th century is any indication — it can be far more ruthless and authoritarian than anything the world has suffered under a Christian regime.

“I can’t separate my belief because I’m an elected official,” declared Mayor Adams. That much, at least, is true regardless of the officeholder or the belief. The nature of that belief, however, makes all the difference.

Casey Chalk is a senior contributor at The Federalist and an editor and columnist at The New Oxford Review. He has a bachelor’s in history and master’s in teaching from the University of Virginia and a master’s in theology from Christendom College. He is the author of The Persecuted: True Stories of Courageous Christians Living Their Faith in Muslim Lands.


The Project’s Persecution of Christians Shows the Bible Is True

By Samuel Hartwich

The vulgar joke by queer comedian Reuben Kaye on Channel Ten’s The Project has once again raised this issue: Why is Christianity the target of jokes, ridicule and even outright persecution? While at the same time, other faiths are not treated with the same disrespect?

Why the disparity?

According to the Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, in his Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians, 80% of all religious persecution is directed against Christians. Yes, that’s 80%! Yet statically, just over 30% of the world’s population is regarded as Christian. This vast disproportionality between the rate of religious persecution versus the number of adherents is a startling fact. How can it be that Christians are the target of just so much religious persecution?

There are of course many varied and legitimate reasons that could explain this phenomenon.

Meek and Mild

Sky News host Paul Murray — a self-professed atheist — in an opinion piece puts forth the reason Christians are “soft targets” is because they won’t riot in the streets or turn violent.

Indeed, Jesus taught His disciples to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:44). Christians may tune out of the program, write letters of protest and call for an apology. But a joke, crassly spoken, will rarely elicit a more severe response than that.

Murray then comments about Reuben Kaye and his willingness to target other religions in this way:

“Let’s see what his reaction would be, and to his ‘bravery’, if he decides to do just a few words about Mohammad, maybe a costume or two. See what the reaction would be.”

As Murray wholeheartedly agrees, there is no room at any time to target people from any religion. “[A]nyone who uses their faith to repeat that hate on somebody from any community, well they are not going to get a champion in me.” And few would disagree with his comments here.

But is the fact that Christians are “soft targets” enough to explain the disparity?


Jesus taught that there was a deeper, fundamental spiritual reality behind the disproportionality. The night before He faced his own violent death, He prepared His disciples with these prophetic words:

“If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you…
If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:18, 20)

And as John would later write, “We know that… the whole world is under the sway of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).

It’s uncomfortable and flies in the face of modern society’s secular and naturalistic worldview. Nevertheless, Jesus and His disciple John point the finger at the condition of the sinful human heart and the evil supernatural realm as the real reason for the disparity.

This understood, the 80% statistic is actually an encouragement. It’s yet another reason to trust the Bible’s words: the situation is exactly as predicted. If the Bible really is what it claims to be ­– the very inspired words of the Creator God Himself (e.g. 2 Tim 3:16) — then isn’t the 80% statistic precisely what we would expect? It’s just as Jesus Himself said, “See, I have told you ahead of time.” (Matt 24:25)


Let’s consider the alternative explanation. Let’s say that Jesus was simply an obscure, deluded individual who thought of himself as Messiah and God incarnate.

What is the chance that such a crackpot could accurately and pinpointedly predict the religious persecution lay-of-the-land some 2000 years later? How could someone so deludedly wrong predict something so accurately right?

It beggars all rational belief.

It is difficult and confronting. But disciples of Jesus are taught to consider themselves “blessed when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven.” (Matt 5:11–12)

We can now add another reason to rejoice. The ‘80% statistic’ confirms the Bible is true. Our Christian faith handed down to us through Scripture confirms the words of Jesus our Saviour, the One Whom we love.

This should ultimately encourage us, galvanise us and keep us pressing on — no matter the cost and no matter our circumstances.

Just as Jesus said: “I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling.” (John 16:1)

May The Project’s disdain for Jesus further strengthen the righteous to be as bold as lions! (Proverbs 28:1)


Photo by Tofin Photography Creations.

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