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Editorial: ‘God help us’ as pastors hide behind their pulpits
About politics and other thingsOctober 23, 2013 | 1,772 views | 8 comments
These were the words of Pastor Rafael Cruz, father of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, as he addressed the American Exceptionalism event in Floresville Saturday.
Look at what is happening in America, he said, as pastors hide behind their pulpits and just “go along” with restrictive government edicts because “it’s politics.”
In 1954 Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson added churches to the 501c3 tax code, but Johnson was no friend of religion. Rather, he did this to get back at those who opposed him. This was his attempt to control them.
The churches remained silent.
Pastors almost universally accepted this designation and have been hiding behind the tax-exempt status ever since. Cruz says passionately, “Churches are to blame.” Instead of speaking out, our religious leaders cower behind their pulpits, throw their hands up, and say that it’s “only politics.” Complacency has replaced the concept of American Exceptionalism.
In 1963, prayer and Bible readings were taken out of public schools. Pastors meekly proclaimed from behind their pulpits that it was “only politics.” American indifference prevailed.
Following this, SAT scores dropped dramatically; sexually transmitted diseases skyrocketed, as did pregnancies in unwed teenage girls. Detractors would, of course, find other explanations, however plausible they may be, but the statistics are undeniable.
Still, the decline in American Exceptionalism continued. The churches remained silent.
With the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, states were forbidden from restricting a woman’s “right to an abortion.” Churches feared the loss of their 501c3 tax-exempt status, while more than 55 million babies have been aborted.
The churches remained silent.
In 2013, Christians are being denied exemptions to health-insurance rules that go against biblical doctrine. Obamacare marches on, forcing Americans into compliance under threat of fines and penalties.
The churches remained silent, fearing for their tax-exempt status.
A few organizations and businesses have spoken out (as have some churches) and some have even gone to court at great personal peril. But are pastors still hiding behind their pulpits? If Christians and Jews were to unite with a passion for their beliefs, they would be a force that could not be stopped, said Cruz. But there is no passion.
Cruz gives the analogy of a frog that cannot be thrown into a pot of boiling water to die because he will jump out. However, if you put this same frog into a pot of nice lukewarm water, the frog relaxes and enjoys the swim. The heat gradually increases, but the frog doesn’t notice.
Such is the case with Americans’ gradual loss of freedom. We are being affected by restrictive regulations and onerous taxes, but we hardly notice. It’s “only politics,” we say. Those who do speak out are ridiculed and called names by the very people who profess to support freedom of speech.
We must become part of the solution, exhorts Cruz.
He points out that the Bible tells us how to vote. In Exodus 18:21: For your leaders, select out of all the people, able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain. And likewise in Acts 6:3: Choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom and turn responsibility over to them.
The elections in 2014 will be an opportunity to elect righteous people, but that can only happen if the Judeo-Christian population will get out and vote. That can only happen if pastors quit hiding behind their nonprofits and face the people.
In 2012, Barack Hussein Obama was elected without an estimated 94 million eligible Americans casting their ballots.
As Pastor Rafael Cruz said Saturday: God Help Us!”
(Part II next week.)
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