Navy chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt faces a possible discharge from the service and a fine of up to two years pay. His crime: a sermon at a funeral where he quoted John 3:36 and prayed "in Jesus' Name." His commanding officer proceeded to punish him for his "exclusive" message. The funeral was for a fellow believer and was conducted in a chapel with voluntary attendance. Klingenschmitt appealed the decision to a navy judge who ruled that the punishment was appropriate because his prayer and the scripture: "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him," was offensive to other religious beliefs.
As political correctness continues to seep into every area of government, Bible believers who witness that Jesus is the only way to heaven, are coming under increasing pressure. Since Jesus preached an "exclusive" message, anyone who preaches the "whole gospel" today will be smeared with the same label.
The military is not the only place this is showing up. Prison ministries are also feeling the heat. For years, chaplains and workers have been shut out of prisons because of Chick tracts and their "exclusive" or "divisive" message.
Recently, Prison Fellowship Ministries was sued in federal court for presenting salvation through trust in Jesus as the only remedy for the sins that landed the prisoners behind bars. A "liberty watchdog group" called Americans United for Separation of Church and State persuaded a U.S. district judge to rule that the ministry be shut down.
The judge objected to the "evangelical" practices of Prison Fellowship in their freestyle worship and "belief in the substitutionary and atoning death of Jesus" and His "literal, bodily resurrection... not shared by many other, non-Evangelical Christians."
The most serious offense, according to the judge, was that all other "evangelical" activities were "construed to convert someone and are therefore unconstitutional." Fortunately, the judge's sentence was only to cease the ministry. This same charge in other countries carries the death penalty. Almost every country ruled by Islam's Sharia law has severe punishments, even death, for "converting" to Christianity. One news report recently described how a Christian woman was street witnessing and handing out tracts to some youths in Nigeria. Local Muslim elders were watching and when they learned what she was sharing, claimed that she had insulted Muhammad and directed that the woman must be killed.
Hundreds of Muslims poured into the streets and began beating the woman. The police rescued her and took her to the police station. The mob then threatened to burn down the police station and the police had to release her to the mob to escape with their own lives. She was then clubbed to death.
In parts of India, Christians are being raped and killed by mobs of Hindus, often with police simply watching. In most cases, the charge against the Christians is for converting or attempting to convert Hindus. Satan's ultimate goal is stop soul winning. That is the greatest threat to the world-wide drive for "unity." Even countries like Singapore have "harmony" laws which are, in essence, laws against soul winning. To tell someone he is a sinner and that Jesus is the only one who can save him from their sin is "divisive" and threatens the "harmony" of society.
The drive by the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State goes beyond defending freedom of religion. They want freedom FROM religion, instead.
Soul winners, we need to work while it is day and we need to vote for government leaders who will defend our freedom to share the gospel, the only hope for this lost world.