Chick-fil-A Supporters Turn Out in Droves for ‘Appreciation Day’ on August 1, 2012; Opponents Countered with August 3rd Protest, Encouraging People of the Same Sex to Show Up at Chick-fil-A Restaurants Around the Country and Kiss Each Other
Chick-fil-A CEO Being Persecuted for His Christian Beliefs (Gay Activists are Promoting Hate Against Christians - They Are Stirring Up Hate and Then Pointing the Finger)"We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country," Chick-fil-A vice president Steve Robinson said in a statement. The privately held company declined to give specific sales figures but released a statement to the Los Angeles Times confirming that frenzied sales of chicken sandwiches and cross-cut waffle fries had made for a record-setting day. The Atlanta-based company, which started in 1946 and now has more than 1,615 locations nationwide, recorded annual sales of more than $4.1 billion last year. Customers often waited in long lines, many weathering the blistering summer sun, just to get in the front door. The company, which proudly abides by Bible-based principles and closes its doors to sales on Sundays, stressed in its statement that Chick-fil-A did not promote Wednesday's turnout. It also stressed that its employees abide by a service tradition to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."
Robinson's statement alluded to rumors that another protest (including "kiss-ins") will be staged at Chick-fil-As on Friday by same-sex marriage supporters, which in turn has led to rumors of counter-counter-protests ... you get the idea. The company says Friday will just be another day, and another opportunity: "We understand from news reports that Friday may present yet another opportunity for us to serve with genuine hospitality, superior service and great food." The current uproar over Chick-fil-A dates to mid-July, when Cathy was quoted about his dedication to traditional family values. His comments reignited long-standing tensions between the company and the LGBT community, which called for a boycott.
"It is everything I thought it would be; being the Olympic champion, it definitely is an amazing feeling. I give all the glory to God. It's kind of a win win situation. The glory goes up to Him and the blessings fall down on me," said Gabby Douglas, after winning the 2012 Olympic All-Around Gold Medal in gymnastics on August 2, 2012.
After Gabby Douglas clinched her spot to compete in the All-Around finals, a reporter asked her on camera (broadcast during NBC's coverage) how she deals with the pressure and the nerves of being a gymnast on the biggest stage in the world. She said “I’ve been meditating on scriptures saying be confident in this. And, you know, the Bible really helps me so I was very confident.” Prior to the start of competition, Gabby sent out this message to her supporters: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord will be with you wherever you go!"
Before winning the gold, Gabby tweeted: "I believe in God. He is the secret of my success. He gives people talent." After winning the gold, Gabby tweeted: "Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me" and "but seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."
"Openly giving thanks and credit to God could expose her to a hate campaign from the liberal cult. This could reduce the amount of money she makes endorsing products. I'm sure that occurred to her and she doesn't care, because pleasing God is a lot more valuable than anything that can come from Man, especially pagan men. So this nice girl is on the right track, and she has the love and respect of everyone whose opinion matters." [deprogramming services, CNS News, August 3, 2012]When Gabby talks, her faith is hard to miss. It is interesting to note that some leading secular publications print what she has been saying in reference to God, praying, and praise. However, stories in USA Today, the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times usually do not include those remarks.
Oddly enough, in glancing through the sports pages, I saw many Gabby quotes about believing in yourself and working hard and all that stuff but, for some reason, none seemed to mention the fact that she gave all the glory to God after every victory she achieved. Maybe they were hoping no one would notice. Well, I noticed and I’m sure many others did as well and I take my hat off to this young lady for letting her light so shine when the attention of the world was on her. [The Mad Monarchist]Gabrielle Douglas is the first American gymnast to win both the all-around and team gold medals in the same Olympics.
"She has already been dissed by a sports commentator. But I predict she will escape any high profile attacks because she's black and not a conservative politician. Tim Tebow got nailed right and left; he's a white man. The Thought Police have equated any criticism of a black American with racism. I highly recommend a book by Tammy Bruce entitled, 'The New Thought Police'. It is an inside look of how liberals have changed the narrative of American society. It is why, now, if you are a Christian, you supposedly hate homosexuals. If you criticize an inept President, you are a racist. Listen to some of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus: a week does not go by when one of them does not accuse over 40 million Americans of being racist." [Les Dtom Godbold, CNS News, August 3, 2012]
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." - Galatians 6:7You can't cram religion down someone's throat: only by the grace of God (and not by our own effort) do we receive faith; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).
"No man can come to the Son except the Father draw him" - John 6:44We are all sinners: some have been found while others remain lost. A lost sinner must be drawn by God to want to know Christ. God says to us, "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jeremiah 31:3)." Our Creator, knowing the hearts and minds of men, has the sovereign right to choose who He will draw near to Him and when. It's all according to His will and in His time.
When God draws someone near, Christians are the vessels that He uses to reveal the truth about His Word to lost sinners. When we are saved, we desire to proclaim the good news in every place, and we should be prepared to explain the hope we have through the faith of Christ with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (the nine "fruit of the Holy Spirit," Galatians 5:22).
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." - Acts 2:21A Christian should be a striking likeness of Christ in all ways and by all means so that all may say of him, "He has been with Jesus." A penitent believer has his sins already laid on Christ: he obeys the commandments of God and follows the footsteps of Christ, teaching repentance and forgiveness and helping the Lord save those who are still lost, for it brings the Lord glory when we help Him find His lost sheep.
Christ says that the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. Jesus tells us that the second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves and as He loves us. This includes everyone, whether they believe as we do or not. And Jesus says that we should pray for our enemies and do good to them rather than hate them. But we should take care not to unequally yoke ourselves to unbelievers (in marriage or otherwise), for this will lead to lives of misery.
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." - Hebrews 13:8We deserve no rewards, no merit, no crowns that we may boast, for it is all of God. Any faith we have more than another is because God dealt that measure to us, and not because of ourselves. Any work we do greater than any other is because God worked within us more than another. Rather than ask, “What rewards will we get,” we should ask, “What does God will for us to do.” And when we have done it, say, “We are unprofitable servants.” Abandon pride and, as the certain poor widow who threw in two mites, surrender all to our Lord. Everlasting life is all the reward we need.
According to gay activists, the Marriage & Family Foundation and the National Institute of Marriage are "anti-gay hate groups."
August 2, 2012
After hundreds of thousands of people ate dinner at his restaurants on Wednesday for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, one Georgia family, a same-sex couple and their two daughters, has invited Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy to have dinner at their house.
But the dinner invitation from Marci Alt and wife Marlysa, who live near Chick-fil-A’s Atlanta headquarters, is no paltry piece of paper, it is backed by an online petition sponsored by Change.org, an online organizing platforms for activists, and GLAAD, a gay rights advocacy group.
“I hope Mr. Cathy will join my family for dinner, where we can share a respectful dialogue about our faith, work and families here in Georgia,” Alt said in a statement. “It’s important that Mr. Cathy meet the people his company is donating millions to stand against.”The invite comes on the heels of national outrage from the LGBT community after Cathy said that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting the “biblical definition of the family unit.”
“I’ll even make chicken,” Alt added.
Alt, along with gay rights advocates across the country, plan to protest those comments and the company’s anti-gay marriage stance with National Same-Sex Kiss Day on Friday. Nearly 12,000 people have said on Facebook that they will head to Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country and pucker up with their same-sex partners.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said the protest stems not from Cathy’s comments, but from the millions of dollars his company has poured into “anti-gay hate groups.”
In 2010, WinShape, the non-profit foundation created by Cathy and largely supported by Chick-fil-A, gave more than $1 million to the Marriage & Family Foundation and $37,000 to the National Institute of Marriage, both of which promote defining marriage as between one man and one woman.
“Without question, Dan Cathy has every right to voice his opinions and beliefs,” Graddick said in a statement. “But he should meet and get to know the people that he’s speaking out against — the people who are harmed by his company’s multi-million dollar donations to anti-gay hate groups working to hurt everyday LGBT Americans and break apart loving families.”
August 1, 2012
Hey, Chick-fil-A, are you feeling appreciated?
The fast-food chain was overrun on Wednesday by men, women and children wanting chicken sandwiches, cross-cut fries -- and to voice their support for the company that finds itself under fire for taking a position against same-sex marriage.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee declared Wednesday to be Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, and urged Americans to show their appreciation with their wallets.
Now, we can't tell you that we personally checked with each and every one of Chick-fil-A's 1,615 locations in 39 states and Washington, D.C.
But we can point out this growing photo collection on Huckabee's Facebook page of people in Illinois, Colorado, South Carolina and elsewhere mobbing Chick-fil-A outlets. Some lined up in the summer heat to get inside a store, while others waited in cars as far as the eye (or the camera) could see for a chance to place their orders at the drive-through window.
Interest in Chick-fil-A was just as intense in the online world. For much of the day, "Chick-fil-A" was a trending topic on Twitter and the most-searched-for term on Google.
A representative for Chick-fil-A declined to discuss sales figures, but issued the following statement to the Los Angeles Times:
"Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not created by Chick-fil-A. We appreciate all of our customers and are glad to serve them at any time. Our goal is simple: to provide great food, genuine hospitality and to have a positive influence on all who come into contact with Chick-fil-A."Huckabee's declaration was intended to counter the fury recently directed at the company. The outcry began when Dan Cathy, president of the fast-food chain, spoke out publicly about how the company proudly abides by Bible-based principles and, as a result, opposes same-sex marriage.
"Guilty as charged," Cathy said, adding that Chick-fil-A supports "the biblical definition of the family unit."This wasn't exactly news to the LGBT community, which has long criticized the fast-food chain for donations to campaigns and causes it sees as opposing gay rights. But Cathy's comments landed at a time when the country is more fractured than ever about the issue of same-sex marriage.
The flap seems unlikely to end soon. Fox News is reporting that supporters of same-sex marriage plan protests -- including "kiss-ins" -- at Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide on Friday.
August 1, 2012
After several weeks of protests and mayoral catcalls stemming from Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's controversial public comments against same-sex marriage, supporters of the fast-food chain--and traditional marriage--turned out in droves on Wednesday, jamming many of Chick-fil-A's 1,600 U.S. stores. And protesters, for the most part, stayed away.
"As far as Chick-fil-A is concerned, it's business as usual," Vicki Getz, a supervising employee, told Yahoo News, declining further comment.
"Every company and owners have a right to say what they want to say," Tim Walker said. "Chick-fil-A has always been known to have a Christian basis, so I guess it's nice to see them stand up and show that--in more than just not being open on Sundays."
"We believe that scripturally, in the Bible, the Lord states that marriage is between a man and a woman," Evelyn said. "And marriage between two women together, two men together is detestable to him."
For those like John Mohler, 50, of Thornton, Colo., eating at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday was about defending free speech. Mohler said he doesn't share Cathy's belief--only his rights to air them.
"I'm not sure I agree with his position on gay marriage," said Mohler, who drove to Englewood from downtown Denver on his lunch break. "But I applaud the owner for speaking his mind, and that's why I'm here."
Another patron solicited donations to buy lunch for Alderman Joe Moreno, who made headlines last month for opposing a Chick-fil-A in his ward."We support tolerance on both sides," Haskins said."Just because they don't support gay marriage, it doesn't make them a bad company," Touhy said.
"It doesn't matter what the president of the company's views are, as long as they don't discriminate in hiring," Smith said.
"It's about freedom of speech and people being entitled to their own opinion," Leeg said.
"It's a shame that the gay community that asks for tolerance is so intolerant of other opinions," Josh Walker said as he ate lunch. "It's nice to have a company that stands by its morals.""Since the company isn't doing anything illegal, I think the whole thing has been blown out of proportion," a patron who wished to remain anonymous, said. "I like the food, and that's what's important."
"They have good food," she said. "They're making up for the idiotic things they said."[Read: Boston mayor's letter to Chick-fil-A: Stay out of Boston!]
"Are they giving anything away?" Thomas asked.
"The Bible says marriage is between one man and one woman," Beth, a patron who declined to give her last name, said. "But the debate is not about the Bible. It is about whether the CEO of a private business has the right to voice his own opinions. If you say no, that's pretty darn scary."
"Does it really matter what he believes in?" Beth's friend Shannon added.
"Chick-fil-A is a Christian-based company that stands on biblical principles," Amy McNamara, a mother of two from nearby Punta Gorda, said. "In one article I read, it suggested they are preaching hate. I disagree. They are standing for what they believe and I stand with them."
[Read: Chick-fil-A Blocked From Opening Second Chicago Store]"[Chick-fil-A has] a right to express their own opinion," Jennifer Hoyt, 37, who dined at a Chick-fil-A in St. Petersburg, Fla., said. "Don't we all? Besides, I come here for the sandwiches, not the politics."
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." - Galatians 6:7
"Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." - Hebrews 13:8
August 1, 2012
Supporters of Chick-fil-A are planning to eat at restaurants in the chicken chain as the company continues to be criticized for an executive's comments about gay marriage.
July 27, 2012
If all goes according to plan, Billy Graham will be eating chicken on Wednesday.
“As the son of a dairy farmer who milked many a cow, I plan to ‘Eat Mor Chikin’ and show my support by visiting Chick-fil-A,” he said in a statement from his Montreat, N.C., home.After stepping away from speaking out when politics meets faith, letting his son Franklin take over that often contentious role, the 93-year-old Billy Graham is back in the spotlight, by signing on to a call from former Arkansas governor and Baptist minister Mike Huckabee for an Aug. 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day. His vocal support for the “biblical definition of marriage” and opposition to same-sex marriage have put him there.
Graham is vowing to let his appetite do the talking to support Chick-fil-A’s founder Truett Cathy and his son and company president Dan Cathy, who, after publicly confirming beliefs that echo Graham’s, has been denounced and praised.
While big-city mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Thomas Menino of Boston pulled the welcome mat out from under the fast-food chain, Graham stood up for “my good friends” and “for their strong stand for the Christian faith.” He said,
“Each generation faces different issues and challenges, but our standard must always be measured by God's word. I appreciate the Cathy family's public support for God's definition of marriage.”
This follows Graham’s outspokenness on a primary ballot measure that in May added an amendment to the North Carolina’s constitution declaring marriage between one man and one woman the only valid domestic legal union. He strongly supported the measure in full-page newspaper ads across the state.
Franklin Graham’s statement on the Chick-fil-A controversy is notably more heated than his father’s:
“The restaurant chain has been, and continues to be, under a concerted attack from same-sex marriage advocates,” he said. “In the words of the bold, biblical prophet Daniel who refused to bow to the evil culture of his day: ‘The people who know their God will display strength and take action.’”But while the tone may differ, father and son have found an issue that unites them in public and private. On same-sex marriage, Billy Graham is once again culture warrior, and he’s leaving no doubt where he stands.
Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriages
Democratic Party Adds Gay Marriage to Platform; As Attacks Continue, Chick-fil-A Getting Plenty of Support for Its Christian ValuesThe Democratic Party has added new language endorsing gay marriage in its platform draft, the Washington Blade reports. Sen. Harry Reid said in May that he believed the party would alter its platform in favor of gay marriage, after President Obama spoke out that month in favor of same-sex couples' right to marry. The Republican Party's platform calls for a constitutional amendment that would ban all same-sex marriages, even in states that allow them. [Source]
July 28, 2012
While Chick-fil-A has determined to move past the controversy raised by its president’s recent comments on family, Christian values, and same-sex marriage, homosexual activists and their fellow travelers seem to have found an object worthy of their irrational rage. In mid-July, Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy told a Baptist publication that the restaurant chain his father, Truett Cathy, founded in the 1940s has always been run on strong Christian and traditional family values. He later told a nationally syndicated radio program that America was in danger of God’s judgment for its arrogant and anti-Christian embrace of same-sex marriage.
The resulting national backlash from the homosexual activist community — which, among other actions, encouraged a boycott of Chick-fil-A restaurants — prompted the restaurant chain to remind the public that it exists to sell chicken sandwiches, not fight political battles.
In a July 19 statement the chain said that it would “leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena,” and that its restaurants would continue to focus on treating “every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation, or gender.”Supporters of homosexual marriage, however, have been unable to leave the issue and “agree to disagree.” Nothing less than the public shunning and humiliation — and, if at all possible, the total destruction — of the successful Christian business will do. Thus, along with the continued requisite Change.org boycott of the restaurant have come high-profile and politically motivated attacks in major cities where Chick-fil-A is quietly trying to conduct its business.
On July 19 Boston Mayor Thomas Menino got some free publicity by announcing that he would try to block the restaurant chain’s attempt to open a store in his town.
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” Menino announced to the Boston Herald. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion.”Responding to rumors that Chick-fil-A was looking into opening a restaurant somewhere along the city’s Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile brick path that commemorates the American Revolution and the nation’s quest for independence, Menino tried to correlate America’s own monumental founding with the attempts by homosexuals to normalize their aberrant lifestyle.
“That’s the Freedom Trail,” intoned the mayor as he co-opted America’s rich heritage for his own politics. “That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.”In similar fashion, Chicago’s aggressively political Democratic machine mounted its own assault of the Christian company. On July 25 the Chicago Tribune reported that the city’s First Ward alderman, Poco “Joe” Moreno, would attempt to block Chick-fil-A’s attempts to open a restaurant in his neighborhood.
“If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don’t want you in the 1st Ward,” Moreno told the Tribune. Referring to Cathy’s reasonably Christian comments as “bigoted” and “homophobic,” Moreno complained that “because of this man’s ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A’s permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward.”Chicago’s mayor, Obama apparatchik Rahm Emanuel, attempted to ride the undercurrent of Moreno’s slavishly pro-homosexual comments, issuing a statement assuring Chicagoans that:
Chick-fil-A’s compassionate Christian values “are not Chicago values.” Emanuel insisted that Christian values “disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents” and would be “a bad investment” for the city.As Moreno and Emanuel were posing as friends of the homosexual lobby, a more tolerant Chicago politician, Alderman Howard Brookins, Jr., said he would welcome Chick-fil-A to his 21st Ward.
“People’s personal beliefs, unless they are way out of bounds, should not go into the decision as to whether a company should come into a particular area,” Brookins told the Chicago Tribune. Alderman Brendan Reilly of the 42nd Ward, where Chicago’s only current Chick-fil-A is located, agreed with Brookins’ assessment, saying that unless there is evidence that the chain is actively discriminating against someone, the best philosophy is to live and let live. “If citizens find the corporation’s views distasteful, they can vote with their feet,” Reilly said.Which is what the Jim Henson Company, owner of the “Muppets” franchise, has decided to do with regards to its contract with Chick-fil-A. According to the Los Angeles Times, the company responsible for Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Ernie and Bert, and a host of other puppets that have enchanted children for over 30 years, had in recent months been working with Chick-fil-A to create toys for the restaurant chain’s kids meals. But the Jim Henson Company has now decided to pull the plug on the Chick-fil-A. The company took to its Facebook page to assure one and all that the
“Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years,” and to announce that it had “notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors.”In order to leave no doubts that it eschews the values embraced by Chick-fil-A and embraces the values of America’s minority homosexual community, the company added that
“Lisa Henson, our CEO, is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD” — the aggressively homosexual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Of course, those Americans whose hearts and minds resonate with the Christian values embraced by Chick-fil-A have been doing some voting as well. As the restaurant chain was absorbing the non-stop attacks of pro-homosexual groups and their backers, conservative radio talk-show host Mike Huckabee suggested that supporters of traditional values celebrate a Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, launching an I Support Chick-fil-A Facebook page where people could register their support for the company. According to Baptist Press News, by July 25 over 200,000 people had signed on to the page to say that they would support the cause by eating at Chick-fil-a on August 1.
“Let’s affirm a business that operates on Christian principles and whose executives are willing to take a stand for the Godly values we espouse by simply showing up and eating at Chick-Fil-A on Wednesday, August 1,” Huckabee wrote on the page. “Too often, those on the left make corporate statements to show support for same-sex marriage, abortion, or profanity, but if Christians affirm traditional values, we’re considered homophobic, fundamentalists, hate-mongers, and intolerant.”Huckabee emphasized that “there’s no need for anyone to be angry or engage in a verbal battle. Simply affirm appreciation for a company run by Christian principles by showing up on Wednesday, August 1 or by participating online — tweeting your support, or sending a message on Facebook.”
Apparently, someone with access to the inner workings of Facebook’s online machine couldn’t tolerate the success of the campaign. On July 24 the “I Support Chick-fil-A” page disappeared from Facebook for 12 hours, prompting Huckabee to comment when it finally re-appeared:
“We caught a 12-hour bug — apparently it hits when large numbers of Christians support something and post about it on Facebook!”Huckabee later wrote that Facebook had “decided to censor and delete the entire event page, and it was down for over 12 hours until they finally decided that maybe that wasn’t really smart.”
Meanwhile, Dan Cathy and the management of Chick-fil-A have determined that they will concentrate on keeping business as usual their main focus.
“From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business,” the company said in a statement as it attempted to distance itself from the ongoing fray. “For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free, and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.”The company said that its “mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality, and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”
July 27, 2012
As Christians face the threat of violent persecution in Syria, Nigeria, and other countries, speakers at a rally in Rome called on governments to explicitly condemn the violence, and to grant the persecuted full refugee status.
Called “Salviamo i Cristiani” — Save the Christians — the demonstration on July 18 highlighted that, globally, no other group is more persecuted.
The organizers noted that during the course of history, an estimated 70 million Christians have been martyred for their faith, including 40 million in the 20th century alone. They said, each year, 105,000 Christians die as martyrs — one new martyr every minute — killed by Islamic terrorists, Hindus in India, or communists in China, North Korea and Vietnam.
“We’re told about a triumph of democracy and peace,” said Roberto de Mattei of the Lepanto Foundation, a non-profit organization defending the principles and institutions of Western Christian civilization.In a July 25 interview with Aid to the Church in Need, a Christian charity, the Catholic bishop of Aleppo said fear was widespread that Christians there will be attacked.
“After Sept. 11, they said, Don’t worry, because the politics of dialogue and interreligious peace will prevail. Today, we’re told about the health of the Maghreb, that it is a model of the Arab Spring, showing hope and promise,” the Italian historian said. “But the reality of what is before our eyes is tragically different. Today, we are here to cry out our indignation, and launch our appeal for persecuted Christians.”
“If they come in around our churches and round our bishopric, just as they did in Homs, it will be disastrous for us,” said Jesuit Bishop Antoine Audo. “What can we do to protect the people? We do not have any possibility to do that.”A message from German observers of the Knights of Malta, a Catholic charity, reported July 25 that thousands of Christians were fleeing Syria “not just because of the violence of civil conflict but because they are suffering from attacks by the rebel forces, elements of which are radically Muslim.”
Magdi Cristiano Allam, an Egyptian-born Italian politician who was received into the Catholic Church by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008, used his address at last week’s rally to call on all governments to offer full refugee status to persecuted Christians.
He noted that around the end of the seventh century, 95 percent of the populations on the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean were Christian; today they make up just 6 percent of the population, numbering 12 million people. That figure is expected to halve by 2020. “Only if we are strong and certain of our roots, faith, and values can we be respected,” he said.
Asked why governments and the media tend to ignore the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide, Allam told Newsmax it was because they are afraid of Islam and too preoccupied with finance and materialism.
He also criticized President Obama for playing “a fundamental role in the legitimization of radical Islam.” As examples, he cited the administration’s negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan and Obama’s use of Koranic verses to portray Islam as a moderate religion during his speech in Cairo in 2009.
The rally speakers also noted that Christians not only face violent persecution but also subtler forms in the guise of growing restrictions to religious freedom.
Asked about the Obama administration’s threats to the religious liberty of U.S. Catholics, Allam said:
“Obama is undoubtedly an expression of relativism, as we have seen recently in his support for same-sex marriage, his support for abortion.” He added: “[Obama] is a person who wants nothing to do with anyone who puts the person at the centre — the natural family, local communities, values, rules for the common good. Obama represents a danger for our civilization.”De Mattei acknowledged that in view of Christians’ countercultural witness to the world, persecution is to be expected. But he also stressed that it should be confronted. “The Church has lived with persecution since its origins, also during communism, but the persecutors are bad and we have to resist, to fight,” he said.
Despite Rome being the home of Catholicism, with many monuments to martyrs who died in hatred of the faith over the centuries, the rally only drew about 300 people. But Rome’s mayor, Gianni Alemanno, described the event as having “extraordinary importance” and argued that religious freedom should be placed above an emphasis on other civil and political rights.
De Mattei said the event was of “symbolic importance.” If there were no such protests, he said “it would be a scandal.”
Edward Pentin began reporting on the Vatican as a correspondent with Vatican Radio in 2002. He has covered the Pope and the Holy See for a number of publications, including Newsweek, and The Sunday Times.
Reason for Persecution: The Cross separates us from the world
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you... If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... because they do not know Him who sent Me."
“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues [today it might be from churches]; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them."
"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one."
"And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased."
Reasons for Persecution: Compromising leaders
"Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."
Following Jesus: Sharing in His suffering and promises
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues....But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven...."
"Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.”
"In the same way, He took the cup after they had eaten saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood."
"The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us."
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ...Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
2 Corinthians 4:7-11
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
"Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake."
"... you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake... And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
"Now brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
2 Timothy 3:1-5, 10-14
"But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…. And from such people turn away!
"…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned ..."
"…they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death."
"I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement."
Biblical Responses to Persecution
But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in Your hand;
Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,
And from those who persecute me.
Make Your face shine upon Your servant;
Save me for Your mercies’ sake."
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..."
“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?"
“But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit."
" Then they... commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
“Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man’s blood on us!” But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'"
"They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left... rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ."
"When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, 'Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!' Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord..."
"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse."
2 Thessalonians 1:3-6
"... we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer...."
2 Timothy 2:10-12
"Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.
If we endure, we shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him, He also will deny us."
"By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible."
"Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. "
1 Peter 2:20-24
"... if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly."
1 Peter 3:14-15
"But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear."
1 Peter 4:12-13
"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy."
1 John 3:13
"Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you."
“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."
Unbiblical Responses: Sin & Compromise
"...hear the parable of the sower: ... But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles."
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes....”
2 Timothy 4:16-17
"... no one stood with me, but all forsook me... But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me..."
"But recall the former days .... you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise."
God’s Mercy for Persecutors
"You have heard... how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it.... But ... it pleased God… to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles...."
But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God in me.
Triumph through Persecution
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
Antichrist Must Come First and Stand in the Holy Place, Showing Himself That He is God, Causing a Great Falling Away from the Christian Faith (Excerpt)We are told that the fourth kingdom will severely persecute God's people to the point of death and, as a race, almost to the point of annihilation.
By John Aggson Sr., Liberty To The Captives
The antiChrist will try to stamp out the Bibles and destroy the Word of God
ANTICHRIST MUST COME FIRST and stand in the temple, showing himself that he is God; causing a great falling away from the Christian Faith
Many of today’s preachers and teachers are putting the Church to sleep with “comfortable teachings,” by telling them that they will be Raptured out before all these coming troubles, instead of PREPARING God’s people to STAND STRONG through these coming perilous times? This is exactly what happened to the Churches in China right before Mao Tse Tung came through and began slaughtering them by the thousands! The Chinese Church leaders that survived begged Corrie Ten Boom to warn the American churches not to make this same mistake. Her warnings have gone largely unheeded! Corrie Ten Boom said, “There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this; these are the false teachers Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days.”
Corrie said to start memorizing your Bible, as the antiChrist will try to stamp out the Bibles and destroy the Word of God, and the only Bible some of us may have in the days ahead is what we have memorized and “hidden away” in our hearts. Begin by memorizing key passages that the Holy Spirit makes “stand out” to you. Amos speaks of this coming event, and says that in the end time, there will be a “famine” for “hearing the Words of the Lord;” and that people will travel all over the world searching for the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it!? (Amos 8: 11 & 12) This is something we should all take quite seriously and begin doing in earnest.
When Satan has successfully deceived a group of people and you come along preaching the truth, THERE ARE GOING TO BE FIRE WORKS! THE DEVIL HATES BEING EXPOSED AND HIS WORK RUINED! People get MAD! WE should not argue in anger, but discuss important topics like this with love and patience and prayer. This should not be swept under the rug!
If the Church doesn’t get straightened out on this, this one false teaching could wreak more havoc on God’s church than any of the calamities that have befallen it before down through time! It may even help facilitate the “great falling away” from the Christian Faith spoken of here.
Many Christians will even support the antiChrist when he comes, thinking that he couldn’t possibly be the antiChrist or they would have been raptured out already!? He’s not coming with “horns and hoofs” and a “pitchfork!?” He will appear as “AN ANGEL OF LIGHT!” He will appear to be a very righteous and Godly man, a great man of peace, who will be championing the cause of Israel in the world courts, demanding that they be given the right to rebuild their temple, (which he plans to sit in and rule from) and that they should be given the right to re-start their animal sacrifices once again.
Folks will think he’s the greatest man of peace and friend of Israel to ever come along!? He’s going to fool nearly EVERYONE! DON’T YOU BE DECEIVED! Read these Scriptures again and pray over them, asking the Lord if these things are really the truth!? Satan is setting the entire church system up for the greatest “sucker punch” he’s ever given them; knocking their faith out by total surprise and shock, when things do not turn out the way folks have been taught! He’s lulled almost the entire church to sleep. Wake up and see what’s coming! He just LOVES this method of catching folks off guard by total surprise, and causing the greatest amount of fear possible in an instant! It causes such great confusion, and he is the “author of confusion.” He wants to totally KNOCK OUT THE CHURCH IN ONE PUNCH!!!
Like a great commanding general who studies out his war strategies long in advance, satan sat back and looked over this “end time” scenario centuries ago. He knew he would have to put the Church to sleep to be able to catch them by surprise in this fashion. He began to enter the Church with false “sleepy” doctrines.
There may be many suicides and many in great depression, disillusionment, and discouragement!? To think that you’ve “failed the Lord” and that “He’s LEFT YOU BEHIND TO SUFFER!?” So many people are going to be hurt by this unScriptural teaching! The Church will “rock and reel” under the fiery darts of the one who will “speak great words against the Most High,” and “wear out the Saints of the Most High;” who will “make war with the Saints and PREVAIL against them!?” And when the “guillotines begin to fall,” and people begin to lose their heads for refusing to deny their Faith in Jesus Christ; many may begin to “jump off the boat” like “scared men fleeing a sinking ship!?”
Instead of a “pre-tribulational rapture,” many are going to be “yanked” out of their beds in the middle of the night, by complete surprise; by “jackbooted” storm troopers, brandishing sub-machine guns, and dressed in black S.W.A.T. gear; and hauled off to PRIZON CAMPS, that have already been set up all over America, under a program first designed by Lt. Colonel Oliver North, in the days of President Ronald Reagan, called “REX 84!” This was even exposed in Congress by Congressman Jack Brooks, who publicly challenged Oliver North about it and was told to “shut up” as it was a matter of national security! Although originally designed to “house” American gun-owners, and patriots who refuse to go along with a “new world order” takeover, complete with a massive “gun confiscation program;” as well as other “dissidents;” this same program in the hands of a future administration, may be used to lock up even other “Christian dissidents” who, although “peaceful” and non-violent; do not “believe” the way they are supposed to. (ie: folks who dare to expose America and Israel’s sins!)