Fear Not the Fiery Furnace
Around 600 BC, during the reign of Jehoiakim (who “did evil in the eyes of the Lord”), Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon invaded Judah and laid siege to Jerusalem. This was, as the prophet Jeremiah reveals, because the Israelites refused to listen to and obey God. Nebuchadnezzar eventually captured King Jehoiakim, robbed the magnificent temple that Solomon had built, and carried the goods back to the temple of his god.
Additionally, Nebuchadnezzar ordered his court officials to bring to Babylon select young Israelites “without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand” and otherwise qualified in every way possible to serve in the king’s palace. Among those selected from Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Of course, most of us know the latter three by their Chaldean names: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. As recorded in the Book of Daniel, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are great examples of a faith that runs counter to the culture -- even the legal code of the culture, and even when it means facing the harshest of consequences. Though such faith is required in many parts of the world today, few Americans have ever had to make life or death decisions because of whom or how they worship.
However, given the vengeance-minded left and their literal lust-driven desire to redefine marriage, kill children in the womb, and the like, more and more Americans are facing, at minimum, harsh financial consequences through fines, the loss of their jobs, the loss of their businesses, the loss of television shows, and so on.
Given increasingly friendly judiciaries and legislatures that are intent on accommodating the Gay Gestapo, it is likely to become more and more difficult, and the consequences more and more severe, to stand for the truth when it comes to the moral issues facing us today. It will not be enough simply to try to keep our heads above water in such matters -- to “live and let live” as some might say. We must either stand against the swelling tide that seeks to remake our culture forever, or be swept away into the sex-obsessed sewers occupied by today’s liberals.
In other words, the choice before us is somewhat like it was in the days of Nebuchadnezzar and his ninety-foot high “image of gold:” fall down and worship at the altar of the modern-day Baals, or defy those bent on immorality and face their consequences. Those with Christian, or similar, worldviews, will soon face, if they are not already facing, some stark choices.
As same-sex marriage is forced on more and more states, what will be our recourse? If you’re a Christian adoption agency, business owner, church, or school and you don’t want to hire, marry, provide, or otherwise compromise with abortion and homosexuality, what will you choose? If you are sued and the courts rule against you, what then?
As a pro-homosexual curriculum becomes more and more a part of our government schools, where will parents turn? When churches are forced to allow or perform ceremonies for homosexuals, what then? Are we never to speak out in favor of or contribute to causes in which we believe?
As Al Mohler recently pointed out, “We are in the midst of a massive revolution in morality.” He adds that, “sexual morality is at the center of this revolution.” Mohler refers directly to a “crossroads” and alludes to an unavoidable showdown that is looming within the evangelical church. However, I believe this is the case for our nation in general.
Should we simply retreat into our churches, homes, private schools, and home-schools? Should we acquiesce to immorality in the name of keeping our jobs? As I implied above, even then we will still unlikely be safe from the long arms of the demons that are bent on destroying us. Make no mistake, if the culture continues its collapse into the ever increasing depths of debauchery, the consequences will continue to be far reaching.
Rev. Mark Creech elaborates on this point in his Mother’s Day column when, using the historical example of the upbringing of Josef Stalin, he wisely warns us that we often “fail to recognize that we are all interconnected in ways that we would never imagine. What happens in the culture plays a huge role in the outcomes of our lives and the lives of our children (link is mine).”
Thus, when it comes to the grave truths of life in the womb and the sacred institution that consists of a husband and a wife -- the most important relationship in the universe after our relationship with our Creator -- it is time for more of us to take our stand.
This is especially the case in the political, information, entertainment, and education industries. Not because these industries are the most important, but because they reach so many lives, and because they are so corrupt. As Michael Sam the homosexual (not Michael Sam the football player) is being celebrated by the NFL, ESPN, and others, where are those who know the truth and will stand up and be heard?
We need people who will look at their “fiery furnace” and boldly declare: “We do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we lose our jobs or our positions, the God we serve is able to provide for us, and He will deliver us from your immoral hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know that we will never support the killing of children in the womb, a redefinition of marriage, or any kind of sexual immorality.”
In other words, we need more folks like the Benham brothers. As you are probably well aware by now, HGTV dropped the reality show featuring the Benhams due to pressure from liberal groups. The pressure was the result of the pro-life, pro-family activities of the two Christian brothers. Upon losing their show, and sounding a bit like Esther, who, as the Old Testament describes, was willing to challenge the law of her time declaring, “if I perish, I perish,” the Benham brothers announced, “If our faith costs us a television show, then so be it.” Americans need to witness more of this, especially from those with high profiles.
As we stand against the immorality that liberals seek to legitimize through our legal code, who knows but that the end result could be, as it was with Nebuchadnezzar and a later Babylonian king, Darius, recognition of the truth and subsequent repentant actions. Whatever the result, the very fate of our culture depends on it.
Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason. www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World