I know what you’re thinking, “Here you go with a political post about the signing of a piece of legislation, what’s this have to do with the Bible?” Folks, it has everything to do with the Bible. Despite our inclinations otherwise, Politics and Religion have had a Love/Hate relationship since roughly the beginning of time. Don’t believe me? Didn’t Joseph offer to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh through God? Genesis 40:8 What about Saul, David, Solomon? Each were kings all tied to a strong belief in God. Think it ends there? Wasn’t it King Herod that ordered the first born to be killed because he felt his throne would be threatened by the birth of the Messiah? Matthew 2:2-8 Is not Constantine credited for being the first Christian Roman Emperor? Politics and Religion have walked hand in hand throughout the centuries and this extends to the present and the future. The fact of the matter is if you focus only on religion and not politics, you’re going to miss out on half of the prophetic picture. Revelation 17:9-13 refers to kingdoms which have fallen and one that has not yet come, while Revelation 13:11-18 refers to the second beast that represents a “religious” empire. Religion and politics aren’t to be separated, but understood as two co-joining pieces of a larger puzzle.
So what about the stimulus, big deal right? Yeah it’s loaded with “stuff”, but I’ll bet you missed one (at least one) little nugget of deception in the bill. The “stimulus” plan bans religious worship or instruction in university and college facilities that receive state funds for renovations. Here’s the excerpt:
“No funds awarded under this section may be used for – (3) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities – (A) used for sectarian instruction or religious worship; or (B) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission.”
The story, on WorthNews.com states that “One of the effects will be to bar Bible studies and worship meetings by Christian and other religious student groups in facilities that have undergone repairs or modernization work underwritten by stimulus funds, according to religious liberty advocates.” What does this mean? Great question, but like most legislation it will open to interpretation. In just analyzing the statement in the bill it sounds like the possibility might exist to force religious groups on campus to relocate to a different (off-campus?) facility than one that might receive funding for renovations through this “stimulus”. I’m not sure how this will affect groups like Campus Crusade for Christ, but it no doubt could initially shake up on-campus ministries such as this.
The news article goes on to say that former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee referred to this legislation as a, “blatantly anti-religious provision”. While the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) will likely argue in court that this provision discriminates against religious organizations that have a right to use those facilities. “Supporters of the provision say it guarantees the separation of church and state and ensures that tax payer’s dollars are not used for religion.”
Separation of church and state? Or just separation of church? Either way it’s scary and this is only the beginning of a storm that’s coming. If the church has one more revival in her and I believe she does, now is the time for it. If you’re reading this, do not let it fall on deaf ears. If you’re part of an on-campus ministry this could significantly impact you, so be sure to pass the word along about the potential of this provision.
Matthew 24:9-14 “…you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”
Matthew 25:31-33 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”