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American Christian Connection
Week of March 13, 2017

Why so many conservative Christians feel like a persecuted minority
Is America a post-Christian nation? For many true believers, it certainly feels that way.  This is largely the topic of Rod Dreher's The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation, which may be the most important statement of its kind since Richard John Neuhaus' The Naked Public Square, the 1984 book that Dreher's implicitly seeks to supplant. Like Neuhaus, Dreher provides devout Christians with a gripping metaphor that both describes the present moment and sets out a course of action in response to it.
Rev. Graham: 'Christianity Honors Women,' Unlike 'Islamic Countries Where Women Have No Rights'
In reference to the honoring of women in many countries on International Women's Day, March 8, evangelical leader Franklin Graham said it was women who stayed with Christ at the Cross and first saw Him resurrected, and added that "Christianity honors women" but this is not evident in some "Islamic countries where women have no rights and are treated as property."  In a March 8 post on Facebook, Rev. Graham wrote, "#ADayWithoutAWoman? I hope not. It was women who remained close to Jesus during His crucifixion. It was women who made it their priority to tend to His body after His death.  It was women—Mary and Martha—who were the first to see Jesus resurrected," said Graham. "Christianity honors women and holds them in high esteem unlike some other faiths."

The Forgotten History of “Christian” Political Activism
Across the political spectrum, most Americans would automatically describe the country’s religious heritage as “Judeo-Christian.” Rarely, though, do they think about the origins of this term, or how exceedingly odd it would have appeared before the 1950s (and still does to many non-Americans). In fact, the Judeo-Christian concept has a highly political origin, and was a deliberate response to ugly conflicts that had badly tainted the simple “Christian” label.  The Judeo-Christian label apparently originated with George Orwell, writing as recently as 1939, and it was popularized by several events of the 1950s. In 1952, critically, Dwight Eisenhower declared that “our form of government has no sense unless it is founded in a deeply felt religious faith, and I don’t care what it is. With us, of course, it is the Judeo-Christian concept.” (That second sentence is often omitted when the well-known speech is quoted, making Ike sound foolish and woolly-minded). The phrase was further popularized in 1954 when “under God” was added to the Pledge of Allegiance, and in 1956, the nation’s official motto became “In God We Trust.” So which God? Why, the Judeo-Christian one. Who else? In the same years, the Judeo-Christian concept became a foundation for the emerging notion of American civil religion.

This Week's Thought

By Brad Campbell

I’ve shown you a few pictures from my trip to France.  This one is a busy street in Paris.  And, yes, many of the streets really are this narrow.  This particular street did not allow vehicular traffic, but we shared many very small streets with the cars zipping past us.  One could get a sense of the crowds and possibly a little claustrophobic.  The Scriptures plainly teach us that the way to eternal life in Heaven is a narrow way, while wide is the path that leads to eternal destruction.  Narrow is the way.  And we are to share it with others!

Our Daily Walk
by Ryan Kelly

I reflected today in my Bible Fellowship lesson that we cannot be like a salt tablet set aside and not flavoring food, but we must be mixed in to the culture in order for us to change it. We are to be counter cultural, not changing but changing others. We are to be influencers and to make others "want to be like us" because we are like Jesus.   And, we must do this continuously. Jesus tells us in Mark 8:34 says, "If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continuously."  

5 Warning Signs for the Church in a “Facebook Culture”
by Michael J. Kruger

One of my favorite childhood memories is watching the movie Star Wars in the theater in 1977. I (along with an entire nation) was awestruck. Nothing like that had ever been done before. We were all sucked into a new world of spaceships, light sabers, strange creatures, and distant galaxies. But of all the things that caught the attention of the average Star Wars viewer, no doubt the amazing technology...

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