‘A Restraining Influence’
By Rob Pue – BarbWire guest contributor
In my commentaries, I have often talked about the fallen state of our world, and the causes of such great evil that we experience and observe every day. Our situation is obvious, and far worse than any of us would have ever believed just a few years ago. We have, indeed, entered in upon depths of evil and wickedness the likes of which we’ve never seen before. It seems to be SO bad that we can’t imagine how it could possibly get any worse. And then the next day, it does.
Today in America, after having been brutally attacked by Islamic terrorists just 13 years ago, we have a president from a Muslim country, who takes every opportunity to harass and persecute Christians, while doing everything in his power to elevate the radical Muslims to positions of prestige and power. Its pretty much common knowledge that Obama does not even qualify to be president, having been born in Kenya, and yet, he is, with no one taking the issue of his citizenship seriously.
Its also pretty much common knowledge that he stole the last election, with some cities registering ZERO votes for Mitt Romney, while various precincts having a whopping voter turnout of 150% — in favor of Obama. Yet no one takes this issue seriously either.
We also live in a land where political correctness has gone berserk. In the news recently, there was a push in California to ban the Scooby Doo cartoons on television. The reason? Because whenever Scooby Doo does something good, he’s given a treat – a “Scooby Snack.” The leftists feel this presents a bad example to children, some who are overweight already, and should not be encouraged to eat more snacks. I’m serious, friends, I could not make this stuff up. It’s just too unbelievable. At the same time, in Minnesota, the legislature has voted to change the name of the invasive Asian Carp fish, because they believe the name “Asian Carp” is offensive to Asians…. even though in China, the fish is called… (you guessed it)… the Asian Carp. These are the things our representatives in Congress are spending their time and energy on, while the nation burns.
The thought police are out in force now, and if you own a business that caters to weddings, you had better be prepared to roll out the red carpet for homosexual couples who desire to be “married,” because if you don’t, our government will impose massive fines on your company and close you down. You “hater,” you! And don’t you dare think about eating a Chick-Fil-A sandwich in public. You ought to be ashamed of yourself!
In states where the majority of citizens have worked hard to pass Constitutional Amendments, expressly describing “Marriage” as the union of one man and one woman, activist judges are now tossing out those amendments, and declaring “Gay Marriage” the law of the land… whether you like it or not.
Our military is not allowed to be seen on Christian church property, even if they’re invited for patriotic celebrations. Chaplains may no longer pray in Jesus’ name, but soldiers are more than welcome to wear their turbans if they are Islamic. Meanwhile, individuals in the military are encouraged to march in “Gay Pride” parades, while at the same time, our Army is reporting a surge in same-sex sexual harassment and sodomy-rape. Heroes who give their lives in battle receive no attention from our White House at all, while the administration, instead, goes out of its way to honor those “brave souls” who have come out of the closet to display their sexual sin arrogantly and pridefully in public. Admirals, Generals and other highly decorated military officers are being purged from the service — removed from their posts in record numbers, because they are too patriotic and don’t fit in with Obama’s plans to fundamentally change America.
Let’s not forget how offensive our American flag is now. In case after case around the country, like Christian crosses and monuments, even the stars and stripes are being torn down, because the flag is now offensive to those who come here illegally from other lands. Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner still wave? No. But then, we’re no longer the home of the free, and we’re certainly no longer the land of the brave.
In public schools, hospitals, government buildings and airports, we go out of our way to praise the false god “Allah,” with foot-washing stations and special prayer rooms. But the name of Jesus is cast out. School children cannot sing “Silent Night” in the Christmas musicals… for that matter, we can’t even say “Merry Christmas” anymore, because of the need for “separation of church and state,” and yet our students are forced to bow down and recite Islamic prayers. In Michigan, a state charter school in suburban Detroit flashes a sign that reads: “To Allah we belong and to him we return,” “Wishing you a blessed Ramadan,” and “Allah is with you in all that you do.” I am not kidding, friends, I have seen this myself, in person. I have pictures I’d be happy to share.
Where is the Freedom From Religion Foundation on this one? They are silent, of course, because they don’t seek freedom from Religion. They only seek the elimination of Christians, and in this, they are in perfect harmony with the Muslims who wish to stamp us all out. Meanwhile in Michigan, the Islamic call to prayer, which Obama has called one of the most beautiful sounds in the world, takes place five times a day over public loud speakers. Earlier this year, the Telegraph reported that the Park View School in Birmingham, England spent 70,000 British Pounds to install loud speakers calling the Islamic students there to prayer, five times a day. Christianity is all but completely dead in the UK now, while Islam spreads its virus of hatred nonstop, taking more territory each day.
In the middle east, as the ISIS terrorists continue their reign of terror, our president has made it a point to insist that the “Islamic State” is not Islamic. About as moronic as wondering what the definition of “is” is. Meanwhile, Israel fights for its right to exist while the world blames them for the war there.
And if all this has not distracted you enough, you might recall that our Southern border is still wide open, with illegal immigrants flooding in by the thousands every day… welcomed with open arms by our traitorous president and his cronies, and then taken by airplane, train and bus to various destinations throughout the country, where they will receive free housing, food, education and medical care… though they will never be asked to assimilate to our culture, never be asked to become Americans, or pass any sort of citizenship test. They’re given a free ride… MORE rights and more benefits than hard working citizens have, and they’re asked to contribute nothing. Nothing at all.
It should also be noted that legal baby killing is still going on as well. We like to forget that, pretend it is not what it is. But just this morning, a friend of mine in Florida reported that she was at the abortion center to witness and offer counsel and alternatives to those about to have their children murdered. This morning, at that Center, six cars arrived — and four of the six had “In God We Trust” license plates; four out of six claimed to be Christians.
For those of us who follow the news — the REAL news, not the sound bytes the mainstream press likes to bottle-feed us — none of this is surprising. We are well aware. Alternative media, and Christian media, especially, follows these stories carefully, and relates the truth to our readers and listeners. To the average American on the street, this may sound absurd. As I said, you couldn’t write this stuff if it were fiction. No one would believe it. But it’s real, folks. It’s real and we know all about it.
The other day I had a reader call me on the phone. She was very appreciative of our newspaper and the radio commentaries I broadcast on VCY America. But she had a question, for which I had no ready answer… “What can I do?” she asked. “I’m just one person, and this is all so overwhelming, I just feel so powerless!” she cried.
Her question took me by surprise. You see, it is easy for me to pick stories from the daily news wire and comment on them. It’s easy for me to read Scripture and draw close comparisons to what is coming upon the earth today. Quite easy to show the correlation between God’s patient warnings for those who despise Him, and the judgment we see taking place in our country and around the world. But what we can do about it — that’s another matter.
The first thing that comes to mind, of course, is “PRAY!” “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” Of course, we all know that Scripture in Second Chronicles. So we should 1) humble ourselves, 2) pray and seek God’s face, 3) Turn from our wicked ways.
That’s what we should do. What are the chances of that happening on any sort of large scale in America today? In any country around the globe today? In the U.S., 84% of us claim to be Christians. Will 84% of us forfeit Sunday’s football game to choose instead an afternoon of fervent prayer for our nation? Not hardly. Will 84% of us humble ourselves, admit that we have fallen drastically short of the mark as Christ-followers? Will we repent, turn aside from worldly passions and desires and make Jesus the LORD of our lives? What will it take to see that happen? Another 9/11? Worse?
Those who follow Bible prophecy often look at 2nd Thessalonians, where the Scripture speaks of the “Restrainer,” being removed from the world. Some point to a future “Rapture,” where believers will be taken up to heaven before the great tribulation. Others have a different interpretation of who or what the “Restrainer” is or was. But regardless of your position on this, the concept is still there, intact. There IS such a thing as a “Restrainer,” or a “Restraining Influence.”
For centuries, the Christian church served as a restraining influence in the world. Even those who were not devout Christians still had their God-given consciences, not yet seared beyond hope by hard-heartedness and sin and evil. The influence of Christian preachers and churches helped to tame the Wild West. In modern times, just the fact that a Christian church was on the corner would keep a community free from crime, even in the toughest of inner city neighborhoods. The church, the Christians and the pastor there, brought to the community, a restraining influence.
I see this influence in action myself sometimes. I’ve been in situations of mixed company, where some people are Christians and some are not. Usually this will be a scenario that has nothing to do with Church or church activities… someone in the group will be swearing, using vulgar language, maybe even telling lurid jokes and acting in an arrogant, foolish manner. Then someone else nearby will introduce me as the “Publisher of Wisconsin CHRISTIAN News.” Immediately, the man who was swearing will pipe down. You can tell he feels about an inch tall as he quietly slinks away in embarrassment.
An acquaintance of mine sometimes tells the story of how his company, which worked with audio and video production with an emphasis on original musical scores was asked to compose the music track for a movie that was in production. This man, a Christian, drove to the location of the movie set to meet with the producers. It did not take long for the man to see that this was not just a normal movie, but an X-rated, pornographic film. The man said, “Guys, I can’t do this. I can’t be a part of this… this isn’t right. You should know yourselves this isn’t right.” The movie producers hung their heads in shame, quietly thanked the man for coming, and as far as he knows, this film was never completed.
You see, Christianity, the Spirit of the Lord, has an inherent restraining influence on evil. Some look to the Rapture and fear how dreadful things will be when the Christian church is removed completely from this world. No more Restrainer. But I can see it happening already, today. Every day. Everywhere.
Why? Because the salt has lost its flavor. Christians hide their lights under a bushel, in embarassment and shame. Its as if we are ashamed to be known as Christians. We are ashamed of our faith. As the arrogant, prideful, vulgar Sodomites strut their stuff down main street, threatening loudly that “we are coming for your children,” we hide ourselves in the very closets such abomination used to reside in. Once again, evil is called good, and good runs and hides. We can play “church,” all we want and delude ourselves, but its meaningless. We have a form of godliness, but lack the power thereof. Thus all our “Christian” busy-ness is all in vain.
As I’ve stated before, much of the blame must fall at the feet of our Pastors, church leaders and shepherds, who are too cowardly to address the important matters of our day. They label such things “political,” “offensive,” or even “divisive,” and excuse themselves from speaking on these issues at all. When this happens, the people in the pews are left to wander and wonder on their own… to make up their own minds. They’re given no direction, so they follow the example of their Pastors, church leaders and shepherds. Just as THEY hide from conflict and confrontation, so do the people they’ve been entrusted to lead and feed. The result is that the Christian church, once viewed as a “Restrainer” of evil, is now no longer viewed as having any influence at all. You feel your rights as a Christian in America are being trampled underfoot? You’re right. And that’s exactly what Scripture says will happen to salt that has lost its saltiness.
So to answer the question posed earlier, what can one person do? It’s quite simple. You can muster the courage to speak up, let it be known where you stand. Don’t wait for your pastor to take the lead. That’s not going to happen. If you’re near a conversation about these things, do not be afraid to share your opinion. You may be the only one there to hold that opinion. You may be the only Christian there. Consider this a good thing. For the Lord has placed you there, to be salt and light, to have an influence, to be the Restrainer in the group. Share what you know about these events and evils in our land. Share what Christ feels about such things. Stand up for the truth.
YOUR testimony may very well be the catalyst to lead someone to a change of mind, a change of heart, to repentance and ultimately, to savlation. We cannot change the world, but we can make a difference in OUR world, our community, our circle of influence. Jesus said, “whosoever is ashamed of Me and My Word, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him…”
We serve the King of kings, the Creator of the universe. For some in the world, today and every day, to admit that will cost them their lives. They will die a grisly, horrible, awful death by beheading. What is gained by not renouncing their Savior? People don’t think of it this way, but these hideous murders are actually changing the course of history. Where once people and nations were willing to look the other way, now they are actively engaged in fighting the weed of Islamic terror. These martyrs gave their lives, rather than be ashamed of their Lord. Their courage brought about the action of people and nations to rise up and fight the evil… their actions, in other words, kick started a Restraining Influence. Had they renounced Christ, they would have lived, but nothing would have changed.
You will not lose your life here in America… at least not quite yet. But will you be willing to endure ridicule and embarrassment by simply sharing your OPINIONS as a Christian? Will you stand up for your rights as a Christian American? Will you no longer remain silent? You, too, could be a Restraining Influence. We all need to humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face and turn from our own wicked ways. But more than that, we need to be courageous enough to let our Christian lights shine before men. The Spirit of God, shining through us, (yes, US!) will cause evil to turn, flee and crawl back under the rock from which it came. Try it. You will see it happen. Amen!
Rob Pue is publisher of WisconsinChristianNews.com.
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