Has the Church given up its freedom to speak?

[UPDATE, 2/10/2013: I turned a comment on this post into a follow up post here. Anyone who thinks that somehow we aren’t preaching strongly and publicly on these things or who is too “energy challenged” to actually click on the links below to see that they are articles on our flagship magazine, in some cases cover stories, are free to read that post. Wow, I wish people would begin to care about whether or not what they are saying is actually true! And, as another update, the public live online Tomorrow’s World presentation by Dr. Meredith has just concluded as I type this. More than 10,000 registered to watch, and anyone wondering if we are willing or able to speak strongly about sin should have watched, as it might have helped them put their heads back on straight again. Great job of “crying aloud” by Dr. Meredith! Sin is sin, and my thanks to Dr. Meredith and the whole Tomorrow’s World team for doing a wonderful job of warning the world about what’s ahead and why it’s coming! The evidence continues to consistently and loudly show that conspiracy-theories about being prevented to preach strong messages about sin, law, and the coming Kingdom of God are just goofy…]

A friend of mine commented on my recent 501(c)(3)-related blog post with a question about free speech, and I told him then that I might follow up with some examples. This post is intended to do just that. 🙂

My previous posts on the topic have, for the most part, focused on whether or not Mr. Armstrong used a 501(c)(3) status to serve the Church and accomplish the work, since that was the question I was addressing. I had been contacted in the past by a handful (actually, less than a handful) of individuals who worship (their version of) Mr. Armstrong, claiming that (1) using 501(c)(3) status is a sin since it (supposedly) puts your church under government control, makes you slaves to the government, prevents you from preaching the gospel, etc., etc., etc., and (2) that Mr. Armstrong would never do such a thing. Given their proclivities, the prudent thing to do was to address item #2 pointing out the contradiction in their stance, since Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong most certainly did take advantage of 501(c)(3) status to do the Work in the same manner that we do.

The fact that they would not recognize the plainest of evidence meant that I was never able to move past that point. And, as I made clear (and clearer) recently, I’ve given up on that front. There is only so much you can do, and I did that. Whatever one thinks of 501(c)(3) status, we and Mr. Armstrong stand or fall together on that–that much is incontrovertible.

And, for the most part, that was the limit of the purpose of those posts.

However, there is a broader question: Maybe Mr. Armstrong made a mistake and we are simply replicating that mistake. After all, maybe he was just a government slave and we are, too. I never sought to answer that question before beyond simply stating that, “No, I am not a slave to the government nor prevented from preaching any of the truth,” but let me briefly address it here a little more fully. (Ha ha ha! I said “briefly”! We all know it will likely not be brief, right? OK, just checking.)

I’d like to address it in two parts. First, let me address the near impossibility of converting the completely conspiracy-minded from their pre-decided opinions. I freely admit that I am not trying to do that, since most poor souls dedicated to giving too much heed to this world’s conspiracy hucksters (failing to obey Isaiah 8:11-16 in the process) are so caught up in their self-deception that I find it’s virtually impossible to make headway with them short of a miraculous intervention in their lives. If they are thoroughly convinced that a Jewish cabal is running the world behind the scenes, or that the government has “handlers” and “controllers” in every church organization on earth, or that the U.S. is behind 9-11 and the shootings in Colorado and Sandy Hook, or that virtually every conflict mankind has ever engaged in over the last century or two is due to fiendish Zionist plotting or organized and purposeful manipulations by Masons or Illuminati or The League of Justin Bieber Fans or what-have-you, there is not much I can offer that will convince them otherwise. That such individuals disagree with each other is irrelevant to them. That the websites they copy-and-paste from over and over are of dubious credibility and unsupported by the facts is irrelevant to them. That the things they say fail to consider proper context is irrelevant to them. That they have to constantly create new excuses to explain away the evidence that disagrees with them is irrelevant to them. And, in the worst of cases, the evidence you provide showing they are wrong magically turns out, in their feverish minds, to be evidence that they are right. It becomes an unfalsifiable position: If you’re wrong, they’re right, and if you’re right, they’re still right.

I’ve received angry letters from some in my capacity as a presenter on our program, and I’ve even come across a tiny few such individuals in person in some of the Tomorrow’s World public presentations I have been blessed to be able to conduct. For instance, some have all sorts of “evidence” (read: “tortured reasoning”) to make the Jews, for instance, guilty of every crime against humanity known to man: from the slaughters under Stalin and Hitler to the sinking of Atlantis (joking on the later, not the former). Their force fields were impervious to any attempt at reasoning I might try, and I won’t waste time pretending that this little blog post could convince anyone else otherwise. For such people, reality need not show up to the hearing.

The second part of this post, however, is for the other folks: anyone out there who isn’t beholden to conspiracy theories yet who might be concerned that 501(c)(3) status may limit what the Church can do in accomplishing the mission God has given us. Frankly, I only know of one who has asked me, my friend, but it is still a good question: Does 501(c)(3) limit us in what God commands us to do: Crying aloud concerning sin and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God?

The Internet is, in one way, no help at all. You will find plenty of “evidence” (read: “not really evidence”) out there that 501(c)(3) status is the devil’s greatest tool to harm the Church and destroy the truth. Compared to reality (which I will do a little of in a moment), careful and reasoned research into these claims continues to demonstrate that they are, in a word, goofy. However, depending on what a church’s goals are, 501(c)(3) status can make an impact. For instance, if a church wanted to run a “Let’s Elect Alfred E. Neuman for President” campaign, that will likely lose their 501(c)(3) status. If they want to spend church money to engage in policy-making activism by calling up congressmen and campaigning to get votes to go like they want, indeed, they might run afoul of their tax-exempt status.

[By the way, I should say at this point that I am not a tax expert, nor do I play one on TV. If you are forming an organization and using this, or the websites of conspiracy-addicts out there, as legal or financial advice, then you are out of your mind. Seek a professional. I am busy doing my own stunts here and expressing the views of a layman on these matters–which, so far in all I have read–has been muchos betteros than anything I have read coming out of “Tin Foil Hat Land,” but which is also not equivalent to getting actual, professional advice. Capisce?]

Many of the conspiracy-burdened sites out there want “Christian” churches to be able to act as radical political activists, supporting candidates in elections, actively influencing legislation in the democratic process, etc., and feel that 501(c)(3) regulations are part of a Satanic conspiracy to prevent “Christianity” from doing that. From that perspective–conspiracy goofiness aside–one can at least see where they might have concerns.

However, I believe Christ has not called us to try and “legislate” Him into office through the devil’s governmental systems–including America’s (cf. John 18:36). I believe we’ve been called out of this world and are not to partake in its political machinations (2 Cor. 6:14-17, Rev. 18:4, et al., cf. Luke 12:13-14). I don’t vote, I don’t participate in juries, I preach my congregants to similarly abstain, and I believe these stands taken by the Church to be biblical.

Wisely but unsparingly cry aloud about sin? Yes! Man the phones in lobbying efforts and pass out “Vote for Pinky and the Brain in 2016” buttons? No. God commands the former and commands against the latter.

So, the real question is this: Does using 501(c)(3) status impact our ability to preach the gospel and to call out sin for the abomination it is?

On this matter, no one–truly, no one–looking at the evidence can say, “Yes, it does.” Anyone who says that it does must say so despite the evidence.

Don’t take my word for it: Let’s see for ourselves… After making the comment to my friend on that post, I accompanied my wife this week to the laundromat to wash a particularly large blanket that was too big for our own washer. While there, I sat down with my laptop (yes, she is used to poor conversation on some of these trips) and checked out a few of the claims I’ve heard over the years about how “restricted” we must be in our preaching. Let me share the little bit of digging I did below while at the laundromat. Much more could be done, to be sure, but–again–we were only washing one blanket. (Stupid cat hair…)

What can’t we preach?

For instance, some conspiracists claim that we could not preach against homosexuality as the abomination and perversion before God that it is. Really?

Still, others say we can’t preach against abortion and killing children in the womb. Really?

Hmmmm… Others say that we can’t preach anything relating to the politics of the day or disagree with a public statement or position. Really?

(Note: I know that the last item is a personal blog post and not something published by the Church, but (1) I really enjoyed being able to use the adjective “vomitous” to describe the President’s vomitous decision and thought it was worth repeating, and (2) since I have been personally accused of being a mindless government tool, I thought it worth mentioning, as well.)

Some have even said that we can’t say anything negative about the Catholic Church. Really?

(Really, the claim that we can’t preach against the Catholic Church, the Protestants, or the beliefs of any other faith is so ludicrous on the surface that you know anyone who says it hasn’t read our literature for very long.)

(And, I note here–in a second sequential parenthetical comment, mind you! Caution to the wind!–that the comments above were based on just a few of the accusations I remember off of the top of my head which I have heard for years about supposed 501(c)(3) restrictions. In reality, such imagined restrictions lists are usually based on the biases of the conspiracist making them. For instance, if they are pro-militia, then that will list “They don’t let you support militias!” As another example, from some sabbatarian conspiracists, I have seen lists that say, “They won’t let you preach in favor of Sabbath keeping!” And, yes, they actually seemed to believe it. No, they apparently haven’t read a single one of our magazines. The bias in the lists is enough to cause rational people to doubt as to whether they are really grounded in actual law versus feverish imaginations, but that would take discernment to realize…)

Again: These are what I found on one brief trip to the laundromat to wash one item with my wife while glancing over my shoulder occasionally to see how folks were doing on “The Price Is Right.” (Wow, Drew Carey has really slimmed down!) It doesn’t even begin to include all I’ve ever read in our publications or heard in our sermons, public presentations, and broadcasts (or spoken in my own sermons, public presentations, and broadcasts) or in Mr. Meredith’s many letters to subscribers and coworkers (where, for instance, I’ve seen him blast liberal judges, President Bush’s choices in warfare, etc.). Clearly, the sensationalized reports of our “compromised” ability to preach the full  truth about sin and God’s law are–to use the technical term we utilized earlier–goofy.

In fact, those who think such things have a chance to check it out for themselves with their very own eyes and ears this very Sunday. Mr. Meredith is going to speak live to a global audience of thousands online on Sunday, February 10. I have no idea about the details of what he’s going to say, but it is a perfect opportunity for anyone with questions about what we preach to hear it from our Presiding Evangelist, himself! Just click here and register: Live Online Tomorrow’s World Presentation with Mr. Roderick C. Meredith. Don’t follow the bleating herd, nodding and drooling to every copy-and-paste list of nonsense: Be willing to put it to the test and judge righteously. Actually apply verses like Proverbs 18:17! Click the examples I listed above and read them, and register for Mr. Meredith’s event to listen for yourself. Seriously, register and watch this Sunday!

Now, again, those who are completely sold on their conspiracy theories will have answers for this (they always do). For instance, they may say, “Well, the government is just letting you preach those things NOW–wait until they begin cracking down!” First, I note that in all my reading and researching on this topic (more than I care to admit), I have not seen one unambiguous statement from any official source whatsoever (not a list supposedly from a source and not someone’s interpretation of a source, but an actual source) that says we cannot preach any of those things. Second, even if the government begins adding new laws or restrictions (which they could do regardless of one’s tax status or, frankly, the First Amendment, given how susceptible the Constitution is to wrangling by any future SCOTUS), I addressed this previously in the post “Should the government have a say in your church’s ministry? (and more 501(c)3 stuff)”–specifically, I think, the 10th “Q&A” on that post. Acts 5:29 always takes precedent: We ought to obey God rather than men. If preaching the truth requires one to be an outlaw, we should choose to be outlaws. Very thankfully, it does not–at least not yet! Regardless, the idea that avoiding dealing with 501(c)(3) will somehow protect an organization from future meddling by an overzealous government is (say it with me now!) goofy.

(And on a side note: In that same post, I discuss a case that went to the Supreme Court that could never have happened if 501(c)(3) status gave the government total control over who you can hire as a minister, which some conspiracists claim. But not only did the court case happen, the church in the case won and the government lost big time. Even the liberals on the court disagreed with the Obama Administration in a rare unanimous decision. So much for government control. I discussed that outcome in the post “Obama Administration slapped hard by Supreme Court.” Wow, I hope my (nonexistent) Evil Government Handlers™ don’t find out I posed that one! Anyway, this is a long side note that is doing nothing but feeding my addiction to parentheses. Back to the topic at hand…)

Or, they may say, “Yeah, but you didn’t tell them about America and Russia’s alien/human hybrid base on the dark side of the moon! [Or, if you like, stick in your favorite conspiracy theory here.] Why don’t you talk about that?!? Has the government cat got your tongue?”

There are a number of reasons not to talk about [stick your favorite conspiracy theory in here]. I’ve already referred to Isaiah 8:11-16. But also, not only is [stick your favorite conspiracy theory in here] not that credible a theory, but also talking about [stick your favorite conspiracy theory in here] tends to distract from those things God is actually commanding us to talk about. Regardless of the details, the fact that wealthy and powerful men and women seek to influence all they can to achieve ends they desire should surprise no one. Didn’t Herod and Caesar do the same? And for all the shenanigans that went on in the dark corners of Rome, do we see Paul wasting his time preaching about one conspiracy after another? Or do we see him preaching that we should repent of sinning against our Creator and seek God’s coming Kingdom? The biblical precedent is blindingly obvious, isn’t it?

It’s funny–in the sad sense of the word–but in devoting so much of their lives to conspiracy theories, such devotees actually give power over their lives to such theories, becoming a sad, small picture of the very thing they claim to resist.

Rather, like Paul, we focus on the grand conspirator: Satan the Devil. The rest is just wispy theories, dime-a-dozen websites, and unstable talk show personalities.

There’s more that could be said–indeed, regrettably there is always more that could be said. However, the original intent of this post was simply to demonstrate that the tax status of the Church has in no way hampered it from preaching the truth and to provide a few examples (found very quickly, easily, and, frankly, lazily, I might add) to demonstrate the falsehood of such lies. And I can speak from experience: I have never–never, never, never, never–sought to speak about any aspect of the truth, of the vileness of sin, of the need for repentance, and of this world’s desperate need for the rule of Jesus Christ and then been told that “We can’t say that.” Never. It’s an odd sort of restriction that, you know, doesn’t restrict you, isn’t it?

Frankly, I have been more constrained by (1) private for-profit companies, such as when WGN banned my very first program, and (2) the growing restrictions of other countries broadcast standards, such as Canada. (For a hint of the possibilities, see “Alberta considering draconian, anti-family “tolerance” law.”) However, even in such cases the world situation is not such that being smart and savvy like the Apostle Paul didn’t make for a solution.

So, to conclude on this topic (Maybe even forever! That would be sweet…):

  • Our efforts to preach the truth run up to no restriction impacting the mission of God’s Church in any real way at all. (It’s an odd “tool of the devil” that allows us to say, literally, all that we are commanded to say! Clearly, the devil’s tools are in bad shape…) Consequently, if we feel that having such legal status allows us to more credibly and honorably handle our finances in an upstanding and transparent manner, and, thus, preach God’s message without restriction and in the most effective manner we can, then we are free to do so.
  • The goofy lists of supposed restrictions that various people claim are easily refuted by actual examples of preaching and publishing that would not even exist if the lists were accurate instead of generally delusional. (Really, a chimpanzee with an Internet connection and a few minutes to kill could find such examples–even in a laundromat.) I’d like to see a rational explanation from conspiracists of how we can preach, even strongly preach, on supposedly “forbidden” topics and I’d love to see what aspect of sin, truth, and the gospel of God we have been prevented from preaching over the last several decades. Seriously, folks need to learn to ask for more real, hard evidence. Hire a chimp and head to a laundromat if you have to.
  • And even if the government were to change the terms by reinterpreting current regulations or to creating new regulations (against which, non-501(c)(3) status would be no guarantee of protection), stretching out its broad hand to attempt to restrict the preaching of the full truth of God, we will simply do as the Apostles did and continue regardless, taking whatever consequences may come our way. (And who doesn’t imagine that the Beast power will eventually seek such restrictions?)

So, I hope this does it! I appreciate the respectful and sincere comments and questions my friend has sent me on this topic, both here and in e-mails and both recently and in the past, for the inspiration to provide the other side of this topic and to address broader issues and concerns than his. I hadn’t really addressed it in my previous posts since my focus, instead, was on addressing the hypocrisy inherent in worshiping (a private version of) Mr. Armstrong on one hand and criticizing us for making the exact same decision he did on the other. But now that I’ve hit both sides of the coin, I feel complete as a human being…

However, this may be the last post for a while, since I will be in Charlotte all next week working on two new telecasts. So if anyone comments and it takes a while for it to get out of the queue, please forgive me. Also, if anyone disagrees with what I’ve said above that’s fine, but please don’t post links to paranoid pages and conspiracy websites or videos, since I refuse to be a party to the spreading of such misinformation–especially when I’ve just debunked it. And please don’t post a big, long rant. I reserve the right to rant on my posts to myself (as I have done tonight!), so if you’d like to rant, get your own blog. 🙂 And, finally, the heart of this post was the fact that there are multitudes of examples (for those willing to actually look) that put the lie to claims that we are restricted in the truths of God we can preach. So simply pointing at more online declarations of what we supposedly can’t say is pointless; feel free to address the facts, not the theories, in your comments. Facts beat theories every time. [Feel free and review my Comment Policy if you have questions.]

Now, I really have to go. My Evil Government Handlers™ need me to fax this post up to their alien/human hybrid assistants on the Hidden Moon Base Alpha for review…

10 thoughts on “Has the Church given up its freedom to speak?

  1. I hope you find this formula in the spirit it is intended! 🙂

    The 501 c 3 is part of the IRS U.S.C code 26. So…

    a. 501 x 3 = 1503
    b. 1503 / 26 = 57 truncate the decimals
    c. 57 x 12 = 684 c is a hexadecimal representation for 12 decimal
    d. ((5 + 0 + 1 = 6) + 12) = 18 adding the numbers in the 501 C section but ignoring the organizational type (3)
    e. 684 – 18 = 666 Revelation 13:18!!! subtracting the value of point d. from the value of point c.

    Perhaps the real “conspiracy” isn’t Rev. 13 but II Cor. 4:4?

  2. I thought someone with your actuarial background would appreciate the numbers game. While today people play “7 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” when I was at AC, some of us played “Find the number of the Beast”.

    Actually I feel for you in your profession having to deal with the most obscure questions of Christianity. But even the young man of Matt 19:17 wouldn’t let it rest with Christ’s first, simple, 3-word answer but had to press “Which ones?” “I’ve done that, now what?”

    I guess it’s a problem that spans the millennia.

  3. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    …virtually every conflict mankind has ever engaged in over the last century or two is due to fiendish… plotting or organized and purposeful manipulations by… The League of Justin Bieber Fans…

    Oh, come on, Dear Sir. This isn’t a conspiracy theory, this is one of those things that are no secret but everybody accepts without question anyway, like the syncretism behind mainstream-Christian holidays. 😉

    OK, I’ve seen and heard Justin sing exactly once, “unplugged”. And if he doesn’t normally stay acoustic, IMHO he should. The combination is utterly fascinating to me as a poet-composer.

    Side point: This will not be news to you, I’m pretty sure, but it may be to others. If you add all the Roman numerals in use before the introduction of the letter for 1000 (M had not yet been introduced in John’s day so far as I know), you get exactly 666. You can’t do that with the traditional (and ancient) letter-number ciphers based on the Hebrew or (as far as I’m aware) Greek alphabets.

    Chris Connelly (and Mr. Smith, who’s listening): The “work of the flesh” called “heresies” (Galatians 5:20) regrettably takes many forms but engenders equal amounts of stubbornness. I know what you mean; there are times when being a member-consultant gets pretty arcane too, but unlike Mr. Smith I don’t have to deal with a marching column of army ants (so to speak) and like you I can only admire his ability and willingness to do so.

  4. John Wheeler (Johanan Rakkav)

    “What do you know about conspiracies, Captain [Picard]?”
    “Not nearly enough I suppose.”
    “That’s the charming thing about them, isn’t it? When a machination is real, no one knows about it. And when it’s suspected, it’s almost never real.”

    ST:TNG – “Conspiracy” (cited in QUOTABLE STAR TREK)

  5. Terri Dorothy

    We need to talk about your definition of “brief”. 🙂

    Seriously, you have made some excellent points. Some years ago a certain person kept demanding that I prove him wrong (when he disagreed with any one of a number of my statements about what I believe). I refused to do it. I would clearly and carefully explain what I believe, but I simply would not engage in trying to prove it to him (or in his words, prove him wrong). You cannot prove anything to someone who already has his/her mind made up.

  6. Rhoda Johnson Hughes

    I for one found this very interesting and rewarding to read. I am so thankful that we do not have to fear the world but to fear God because that way we know where to focus all of our attention and efforts.

  7. Thanks for this post. I recently did a blog post on 501-c-3 (dropped the parentheses, as I don’t know how WP will handle it in a comment), and I actually thought about doing a list like you did. I actually had compiled two lists of subjects and the associated articles and such from two different COGs, not just one, within 30 minutes, and I started compiling a list from a third COG, when it struck me, as you rightly point out, that then the argument would just shift to: “Well, what about _______?” I quickly saw the folly in doing so, as I would be compiling lists from here until the Tribulation if I started down that path.

    I finally resigned myself to the fact that those who complain about such a conspiracy will choose some pet sin (rather than preach the entire word and counsel of God) of theirs in order to claim that a warning message is not going out, that this or that COG organization (well, actually all of them if you believe some people) is cowering to political pressure, that everyone (else, of course) is lukewarm (but I/we isn’t/aren’t), blah, blah, blah. I would be surprised if you didn’t receive any such emails, in fact.

    You know, one thing I was reminded of in my search wanderings was the incident where John Kerry was refused communion because of his stance on abortion. The IRS tried to yank the tax status of the Catholic Church over it, but they ended up refunding the money. It wasn’t a victory, but it also wasn’t a loss. The point is, unless you just come right out and name names from the pulpit, it is very unlikely for the IRS to do anything. In fact, there was one preacher I heard about from a mainstream Christian podcast last year who described the beliefs of a certain candidate, made it quite obvious who he was talking about, but no one challenged it simply because the certain candidate’s name was never mentioned!

    However, I have found that facts have little weight among the paranoid, and it really does seem that the Internet just makes it easier for them to not only maintain but escalate their delusions. I suspect that it is just another way God will sift us out before the end of this age comes.

  8. Howdy, March Hare, and you are, of course, right. I knew that nothing I would say could convince various ones who would simply move the goal posts somewhere else, but you never know who–among the actually sane–you may be able to bolster in the face of baloney. There will be those critics too lazy to actually click on the links to see that those were prominent articles in our flagship public magazine (the article explaining abortion as a holocaust was actually a cover story featuring an image of an unborn child, if I recall) and to research and see that the commentaries are featured on the front pages of our websites every time they are published. Apparently, calling homosexuality a perversion before God, calling abortion a modern day holocaust that will bring God’s vengeance on our people, and pointing out that the Catholic Church’s doctrines come directly from the devil and that that church is the harlot and the Protestant churches are her daughters isn’t direct enough for some folks. For some critics, one could walk up to the final Antichrist, punch him in the face on national television, and be arrested for it, and they would still say he had been too lackadaisical for failing to punch him twice (and, I might add, they would do so from the sidelines, typing in their homes from the comfort of their couch while enjoying a nice snack). [Note: In the event any of my (few) readers actually know the final Antichrist–perhaps he is your neighbor or in your bridge club–I am not advocating physical violence against the final Antichrist, neither on national television nor even on cable access channels. Also, the fact that he is the final Antichrist does not give you an excuse to cheat in Bridge if he is winning. 🙂 ]

    The pattern of such critics is pretty consistent: “They won’t preach XXXX!” “Pssst! They’re actually preaching XXXX…” “Well, they won’t preach XXXX in public!” “Pssst! They’re actually preaching XXXX in public…” “Well, they won’t preach XXXX to a large audience!” “Pssst! It actually went to their entire body of subscribers–about 400,000 individuals and households.” “Well, they won’t publicly preach XXXX very prominently!” “Pssst! They actually made XXXX their cover story this month…” “Well, they won’t make strong preaching about XXXX their cover article every single month!” “Pssst! You know they only have one cover per magazine, right?” “Look, buster, just who’s side are you on, anyway?”

    They fall under the condemnation of Proverbs 11:1, “Dishonest scales are an abomination to the LORD, But a just weight is His delight.”

    Actually, it’s funny–I have never had a single problem with non-profit restrictions. Not a one. Ever. No government lackey has ever told me what I can and can’t say. In my public Tomorrow’s World presentations, in particular, I get rather forceful and heated in my condemnation of a variety of sins (and not just the sins du jour–homosexuality, abortion, etc.–but definitely including those) as well about the incompetency and lack of character in our national leaders, yet never has a man in black rushed to the front and told me to stop. Rather, the only difficulty I, personally, have ever had was motivated not by government control, but by pure, good ol’ American capitalism when one for-profit TV station banned my very first program for saying this: “Consider, as well, Americans’ morbid determination to slaughter about 1.3 million innocent children every year through the tragedy of abortion.” It had nothing to do with government but, rather, with the program director not wanting to field a lot of complaints from their viewers.

    In fact–since I’m turning this comment into a “sequel post”–here’s the entire section of that telecast from my script:

    God’s Word provides clear guidelines concerning sex and marriage. As Paul plainly declares in 1 Corinthians 6, “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites… will inherit the kingdom of God.” And yet our society wholeheartedly EMBRACES lifestyles of sexual activity without even the PRETENSE of restraint or moral guideline! Pornography, once shamefully relegated to dark rooms in the backs of buildings, is now mainstream – our universities are even inviting porn stars to give talks to their student body!

    Consider, as well, Americans’ morbid determination to slaughter about 1.3 million innocent children every year through the tragedy of abortion – the equivalent of more than one September 11th attack PER DAY. We are so morally confused that even the idea of banning the horrific and torturous practice of “Partial Birth Abortion” in our country seems to cause ENDLESS debate!

    And the United States, as a whole, CONTINUES to ignore the commandments of God – His laws, His Sabbaths, His holy days. We have ACTUALLY COME to the point where the legality of simply displaying the 10 Commandments in a public place is in question!

    According to 501(c)(3) conspiracists, I apparently should have been shot dead by government snipers before I even got to finish those statements. 🙂 And though the one station banned my program, all the other ones carried it worldwide.

    Would this make a difference to those who claim we are muzzled? No. No, it wouldn’t. They would simply move the goal posts again–whatever it takes to maintain their fantasy and allow them to continue patting themselves on the back. It would be funny if it didn’t signal such horrible issues of character and, frankly, their connection to reality.

    The restrictions that make television a challenge for us at times aren’t related to our being non-profit, at all, and apply equally to non-profit and for-profit, corporation and non-corporation, religious and secular television programs, alike. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good conspiracy.

    One final observation: Like the Apostle Paul, we have to be savvy at times in the preaching of the message. When read Acts 17 you watch Paul–so wisely, so stealthily, so brilliantly and meticulously–build his case against idolatry in Athens, it is a wonder to behold. Yet, how many of those who sit on the stands eating their nachos and popcorn criticizing those doing the Work today would jump on their blogs or Facebook pages (well, somewhat briskly shuffle toward their blogs or Facebook pages) and write, “What a spiritual sloth Paul is! Why doesn’t he cry aloud and spare not?!? Why is he not as righteous as I am? (type, type, type)

    I thank God and Christ that They will be our judge. And, too–however self-deluded they may be–I fear for those who judge so readily, unrighteously, and untruthfully, with an eye toward Matthew 7:2.

    So, my apologies for the long response! I really ought to copy this and turn it into its own post. 🙂 Yes, the examples above will definitely have been a waste of time for some–those for whom no evidence is ever sufficient. But hopefully for those who are critical thinkers–who don’t just see an accusation on a website, drool a little bit, and swallow it whole–it will provide exactly the counter examples they need the next time they are attacked with goofy claims so they can say, “Uh, yeah–that’s false.”

    Thanks, again, for the comment, and have a wonderful Sabbath!

  9. Done! I went ahead and turned that excessively verbose comment into a post. And also, March Hare, I did look up and read your posts on the matter. Good stuff and great points! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by.

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