It was sometime in the mid-1980s, I drove down the the Bay Area for some weekend shifts at an ambulance company. I worked the psych ambulance, handling psychiatric patients. There was a man I transported that seemed genuine in his desires to know more about Jesus. Off duty, I visited him at the psychiatric facility to which we’d transported him. Word of my visit got back to the ambulance company. During the next shift I worked I was called into the office. The manager told me that he’d been called about my visit. He said he was a Christian, but that we are not allowed to act on our beliefs at work. I tried to reason with him. . . I was off duty. I was told I’d be fired if this happened again.
A year later a friend, and Calvary Chapel pastor, was fired for doing something very similar to what I’d done—reach out to someone in need, in despair.
Fast forward thirty years and we see things getting worse for Christians in America, as they are for Christians all over the world.
I was warned, my friend was fired, but now in countries throughout the world Christians are murdered for acting upon their religious convictions, beliefs. And in America, something new is happening: Christians are being sued, arrested, jailed, fined, and many have lost their businesses because they stood up for their convictions, for their faith, for our G-d.
Occasionally I read of Christians finding creative ways to stand up against religious persecution. In the following article, Christians united in such a stand.
In Mississippi, Judge Carlton Reeves has established a reputation for going for the jugular when an issue of faith is at play.
He first ruled that a Mississippi school student’s rights were violated because she was offended by a prayer at a public school event.
Then he reached off campus, fining the school $7,500, for allowing a pastor to prayer at an optional awards ceremony.
The judge determined that Rankin County schools must work harder to excise Christian faith from its students’ education, and he threatened the district with a $10,000 fine if it happens again.
It was the ruling by Reeves regarding the school that later created a stir in Mississippi.
His decision resulted in the school’s band being benched from a halftime show at a football game, because as part of their musical presentation, they included the melody from “How Great Thou Art.” Columnist Todd Starnes at Fox News said the judge may issue an order, but the people may not necessarily bend to his whim.
He reported the people decided “a message had to be sent to the likes of Judge Reeves.”
“And what they did – would become known as the musical shot heard around the world. During halftime of Friday night’s game – a lone voice began to sing the forbidden song. ‘Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee,’ the singer sang. Brittany Mann was there and she witnessed the entire moment of defiance,” Starnes wrote.
“We were just sitting there and then one by one people started to stand,” she told Starnes. “At first, it started out as a hum but the sound got louder and louder.”
Soon “hundreds” were singing.
“At that moment I was so proud of my town – coming together and taking a stand for something we believe in,” she told Starnes. “It breaks my heart o see where our country is going – getting farther and farther away from the Christian beliefs that our country was founded on.”
And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. John 2:15.