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The Scripture Reading: Daniel 11:3-5.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
The Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie/

"In Times Like These" by Ruth Caye Jones (1944).




SECULARISTS ATTACK SERIOUS CHRISTIANITY
IN TIME OF WAR

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord's Day Evening, September 30, 2001


"Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory" (Daniel 11:39).

Secularism, not Christianity, is the popular "religion" of those who control the media of America. Secularism is tolerant of nearly everything - everything except serious religion, especially serious Christianity. The secularists are strangely tolerant and yet intolerant. They have a "strange god" who is accepting of all people and all views and all deviations - except a strong and literal view of the Bible!

Eugene Wilkerson has been my friend for forty years. He is more liberal than I am on most things. He is a member of the United Methodist church and is a moderate in politics. He taught biology and chemistry for twenty-five years in Los Angeles high schools. He is over seventy years old. No one on earth except an extreme secularist would consider him a danger to anyone.

Mr. Wilkerson was passing out free Bibles on the sidewalk to students leaving Hollywood High School last week. He was giving the Bible free to these students under the auspices of the Gideons International, a well-known mainstream Bible-distribution group. He had the permission of the principal of the school, and was violating no law.

Suddenly a teacher named Miss H appeared and started screaming at Mr. Wilkerson, "You can't give them Bibles! It's against the law! They're minors!" Mr. Wilkerson explained that he had permission from the principal and was on public property, violating no law. He told her that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled not long ago that the Gideons had the Constitutional right to give high school students free Bibles, if it was done on public property. If the majority of Americans are like Miss H, can we expect God to bless America in this time of war?  (If you are reading this on the Web, why not telephone the principal, Dr. Floria Trimble, at Hollywood High School 323-461-3891, or write to her at 1521 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028.  Let Dr. Trimble, the principal, know exactly how you feel about the actions of Miss H!!!).

Miss H wouldn't listen. She started knocking the Bibles out of the students' hands, still screaming at Mr. Wilkerson. Miss H is a "secularist." She is one of a growing number of people who want to stamp out serious Christianity from American life.

For years the secularists have painted Christians as yahoos, red-necked, brainless idiots. In 1925, H. L. Mencken did that to William Jennings Bryan during the Scopes Trial. In his nationally syndicated newspaper columns, originating from the Baltimore Sun, Mencken portrayed Bryan as a fool, a raving old backwoods jackass who believed in a literal Bible. He painted Bryan as an crazy bungling farmhand from the backwoods. Never mind that Mencken later fawned over Hitler and thought that Hitler and his Nazi followers could save the world. Mencken's fascism and Hitler-worship are forgotten. But his portrayal of William Jennings Bryan as a deranged country bumpkin lunatic still stands in the popular mind of the secularists.  Never mind that Bryan was actually a brilliant lawyer who ran for President three times on the Democratic ticket, and nearly won twice!  Clarence Darrow, Bryan's opponent in the Scopes Trial, said at the time of Bryan's death that he himself had voted for Bryan twice!  Never mind that Bryan was an editor of a nationally-read newspaper.  Never mind that many of his "progressive" ideas were later put into practice by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Bryan was actually a fine Christian gentleman and a great political leader.  But none of that mattered to the secularist H. L. Mencken.

Vicious portrayals of Bible-believing Christians have gone on for years in secularism. Erskine Caldwell's Tobacco Road was first a best-selling novel, then a New York stage play, and finally a highly lucrative movie. It portrays Bible-believing Christians as little better than vicious animals. It was applauded wildly, and played for more than ten years, to packs of secularists, failed Catholics, secularized Jews, and modernist Protestants, who came in hordes to New York City to see the Bible-believers ridiculed and crucified afresh on the Broadway stage. The play has Bible-believing Christians singing hymns while they claw at each other sexually, groveling in the mud. They would have screamed bloody murder if the left-wing Catholics, liberal Jews, or modernist Protestants had been lampooned in the same way. That would have been "intolerant" and unacceptable in a pluralistic society. But go ahead and blast the fundamentalist Christians. Tar and feather them. Make them the scapegoats of your hatred against a literal Bible and the God of Scripture.

Other secularist attacks on serious Protestant Christianity are too numerous to catalogue. But we should recall E. L. Doctorow's Ragtime. In this secularist attack on serious Christianity, Doctorow portrays the Protestant, we who is the main character, as an insane fool, and the atheistic, Communist anti-hero as a good and normal person. The atheist gets the conservative Protestant's wife, while the Protestant "having obtained his release from the insane asylum, marched annually at Newport in the Armistice Day parade" (E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, Random House, 1975, p. 270). Ragtime was made into a highly publicized movie in the 1980s. My wife and I saw it in a large and lavish stage production three years ago in Century City, a rich, liberal suburb of Los Angeles. I read the book years ago, but I had forgotten what it was about.  The play ended with the audience giving the actors a prolonged standing ovation. My wife and I did not stand, and we did not applaud. We felt like a little Jewish couple, who happened to get into one of Hitler's rallies, would have felt. Our beliefs and our way of life, as Bible-believing Christians, had been trashed, denounced, ridiculed, and pulverized by the narrow-minded, intolerant, Antichrist play, based on Doctorow's equally slanted and doctrinaire Antichrist novel. Men like Doctorow are strangely intolerant while all the time claiming they are tolerant. They have a "strange god" who is accepting of all people and all views - except for someone who believes the Bible!

The secularist novelist Norman Mailer published The Gospel According to the Son in 1997. Mailer had Jesus call His death on the Cross a "debacle and disaster." He had Jesus say, "While I would not say that Mark's gospel is false, it has much exaggeration. And I would offer less for Matthew, and for Luke and John, who gave me words I never uttered." Mailer's Jesus includes homosexuals among his disciples (cf. Calvary Contender, June 1, 1999). People like Mailer never seem to understand how insensitive it is for them to attack the religion of thousands of Bible-believing Christians across America. They are so insulated from mainstream America that they have never had a close friend who was a serious Baptist, Assembly of God, or even a traditional Catholic. You see, we don't count in their secularist world. Blast us, malign us, ridicule us - all in the name of tolerance and pluralism, you understand - all in the name of open-mindedness, and understanding, and fairness, of course!

The secularists are strangely tolerant, and yet intolerant. They have a "strange god" who is accepting of all people, and all views, and all deviations - except, of course, those who take a strong view of the Bible and are serious in their religion. They are to be marginalized, ridiculed, and harangued. What next? A yellow Star of David or Cross on our sleeves - as in Hitler's Germany?

You and I see it every night on TV. No Protestant preacher is ever shown on TV without being depicted as an evil, frightening, twisted person. This is almost as true of Catholic clergy. The Christian clergy are not to be trusted; they are bad people, according to virtually every portrayal you see on television, in movies, or situation comedies (sitcoms), and even in the news.

Christians in general are painted as numbskulls, freaks, wierdos, terrorists, malcontents, and imbalanced lunatics on TV, and in the movies, and on the news - hour after hour, day after day, year after year.

We are actually very tolerant. Although we outnumber the secularists by multiplied millions, we do little to defend ourselves. We have no organization equivalent to the Anti-Defamation League, the ACLU, or People for the American Way. We do not control the airwaves, the content of movies, the slant of mainstream news, or the curriculum in the public schools or universities. All of these things are controlled by the secularist minority. Yes, the secularists are a minority, about 25 to 30% of the country, but they control all the media, all the schools, all the entertainment. But you already knew that, didn't you? It's common knowledge among us. Our kids are made to understand that our views are unacceptable on the first day of class, in almost any subject, on any secular college in America. They let our kids know right away that they had better shut up because their religion isn't going to be tolerated.

But even though 75% of the American people think like we do on most things, we don't count to the secularists. "Beat them down! Shut them up! Attack them and silence them!" That's what the secularists do on a regular basis to conservative Christians, Jews, Mormons and others who hold traditional values based on the Bible.

The secularists are strangely tolerant and yet intolerant. They have a "strange god" who is accepting of all people, and all views, and all deviations - except, of course, those who take a strong view of the Bible and are serious in their religion. They are to be maligned, ridiculed, and harangued. What next? A yellow Star of David or Cross on our sleeves?

Intolerance never sees itself as intolerant. Intolerance always sees itself as right. Intolerance always sees the rejected person or group as so basically wrong that they have to be silenced - for the good of the majority.

You see, secularism teaches that serious religion is dangerous. One of the dogmas of secularism is that religion must be kept in the background and must not be important in anyone's life. If religion becomes important it is dangerous. All secularists believe that. It is part of their dogma, accepted as unassailable truth. Never mind that no Baptist group has ever persecuted anyone for the 600 years of our history. No matter that no Methodist or Assembly of God group has ever persecuted or harmed anyone. Facts don't count to the secularist. Dogma reigns supreme: "Religion, if taken seriously, is dangerous." That's what they believe and no one can change their minds. I hope you are capable of seeing that the closed-minded belief-system of the secularist is actually quite dangerous to everyone who takes his religion seriously, no matter what that religion is. They believe serious religion must be silenced because it is dangerous. End of argument.

This was believed in Hitler's Germany and it's believed on Dan Rather's CBS News program. It's believed in the movie industry, and it's believed in Time magazine. They just can't tolerate a difference of opinion - because they know that we are wrong - and dangerous! People that are wrong and dangerous have to be silenced! Can't you understand that? Thus, it makes perfect sense to the secularist to censure and silence conservative Christians and Jews.

Look what the secularists did to Bob Jones University last year! They tarred and feathered BJU for alleged "anti-Catholic" bigotry (As though they cared! What about the anti-Catholic bigotry that is shot through the secularist media? What about The Last Temptation of Christ and Corpus Christi, a movie and a play replete with anti-Catholic bigotry - which the media fawn over?). But, though they themselves support anti-Catholicism on a daily basis, the secularists blasted Bob Jones University. They failed to point out that Alan Keyes, a black Catholic, spoke to the Bob Jones student body, and so did Pat Buchanan. Buchanan and Keyes are both conservative Roman Catholics, and the media knows it.

They singled out Bob Jones University for a "scorched earth" attack simply because BJU is conservative and Christian. Secularist-supporter Senator John McCain screamed at one liberal Republican rally after the other:

We are the party of Ronald Reagan, not Pat Robertson!

We are the party of Teddy Roosevelt, not Jerry Falwell!

We are the party of Abraham Lincoln, not Bob Jones!

It was a perfect secularist message: reject the preachers and embrace the secular politicians. The secularist crowds loved it! Their cheers of religious intolerance matched those of any Hitler rally of the 1930s. Intolerance for conservative Christians and Jews reigned in these secularist political rallies!

Now we have a reign of secularist outrage over a few off-the-cuff remarks by Jerry Falwell, remarks which were no different than what he has been saying on TV for over twenty-five years. In a conversation with Pat Robertson on the "700 Club," Falwell gave a few sentences, repeating his little statement, which is a quarter of a century old, that the ACLU and other secularist groups are at least partly responsible for God taking His protective hand away, and letting the World Trade Center be demolished. Falwell even apologized for saying this at the wrong time - and he withdrew the statement.

This wasn't enough for the secularists, though. They smelled blood, and they came after Falwell like a pack of hungry wolves. "There they are! There's the conservative Christians! They dared to get a couple of sentences in! How dare they give a sentence or two to express their views! Stone them! Gas them! Put them in Auschwitz! Society can't stand their views! They must be silenced!"

What was it that Falwell said that drew such a firestorm from the secularists? Here is what they hated to hear:

The ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them that tried to secularize America - I point the finger in their face and say, "You helped this happen" (Los Angeles Times, September 25, 2001, p. B13).

Robert Scheer, a Los Angeles Times columnist, launched a stone-throwing assault on Robertson and Falwell last week ( Los Angeles Times, 9/25/01, p. B13). He called Falwell's religion "frightening," "religious extremism," "fanning flames of hate," "outrageous," and "hatred." He fulminated and spewed and stomped and screamed - until I could almost hear his secularist supporters shouting back, "Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!"

How long will it be before secularists like Robert Scheer call for the opening of concentration camps for "dangerous" religious people like Falwell? Though he probably wouldn't admit it - yet - I bet he secretly thinks that we'd be better off if Bob Jones were silenced - permanently!

Secularist Don Lattin, of the San Francisco Chronicle, compared Falwell and Robertson to the Taliban! ( Los Angeles Times, ibid.). How much of a leap is there between that and calling for the same actions against Falwell as those we are using against the Muslims in Afghanistan? Though I'm sure Lattin doesn't see it, his remarks (given in Scheer's article) reveal a dangerous mind-set. If Jerry Falwell and those who think like him are really the same as Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, then why not bomb Bob Jones University?  Then why not bomb Falwell's Liberty University?  Why not jail Falwell? Why not open concentration camps for conservative Christians - and Jews? After all, Orthodox Jews think exactly like we do on almost every one of these issues.

Yes, the secularists are strangely tolerant, and yet intolerant. They have a "strange god" who is accepting of all people, and all views, and all deviations - except, of course, those who take a strong view of the Bible and are serious in their religion. They are to be marginalized, ridiculed, and harangued. What next? Will it be a yellow Star of David or Cross - as in Hitler's Germany?

In Daniel 11:36-45 we are given a description of the Antichrist, the final world dictator.

1. In verse 37 we are told that he will not "regard any god." He will have a very shallow, secularized religion.

2. In verse 38 we are told that he will "honour the God of forces." This means that he will respect only power, and that he will subtly be influenced by Satan, the "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2).

3. In verse 39 we are told that he will acknowledge "a strange god." Strange indeed! The Hebrew word here means "foreign."

The above points characterize the secularists of our time. From Robert Scheer to the ACLU, from Don Lattin to Dan Rather, the secularists

1. Have a shallow, secular view of religion.

2. Respect only force and power.

3. Have a "strange god," foreign to the Bible.

Oh, and one more thing. The Antichrist, the coming world dictator, will open the concentration camps again. Yes, it's in the prophecies of the Bible:

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:5-8).

The Bible teaches that all of the world religions will be brought together in one super church, headed by the Antichrist (cf. Revelation, chapter 17). The only ones who won't be part of this super church of world religions will be a few people who take their religion very seriously. The true Christians of that time will not knuckle under to the secularized super-church. For refusing to cooperate, they will be severely persecuted, imprisoned, and beheaded (cf. Revelation 17:6; Revelation 20:4).

I believe that there will be a persecution against Jehovah's Witnesses, Orthodox Jews, serious Mormons, as well as Bible-believing Christians during this time,  which is called "The Great Tribulation."  I think it will be a repetition of the days when Hitler was Chancellor of Germany.  Those who will not submit to the "super-church" will be persecuted.  The Bible gives detailed prophecies concerning the persecution of true Christians at that time.  The reaction we have seen, beginning with the Scopes Trial in 1925 and continuing to the present-day attack on Jerry Falwell and Bob Jones University, by these secularists, is but a foretaste of what's coming under the Antichrist.

The days ahead will be very tough for real Christians. Jesus said:

"Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake"

(Matthew 24:9).

That's the way it's going to be. Jesus said to count the cost (Luke 14:28). Don't join the church for the "fun of it." Don't become a real Christian without counting the cost. It will cost you something in the days ahead.

But I believe it's worth it, because Christ died to pay for your sins. He arose from the dead, literally. If you come to Jesus, your sins will be forgiven and you will live forever. But count the cost before you do it, before you become a real Christian.

(END OF SERMON)


The Scripture Reading: Daniel 11:3-5.
The Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag.
The Solo by Benjamin Kincaid Griffith: "This Land is Your Land" by Woody Guthrie/

"In Times Like These" by Ruth Caye Jones (1944).

You can read Dr. Hymers' sermons each week on the Internet
at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."