Leading evangelical thinkers and pastors are warning that Christians in America are on the cusp of losing their religious liberties, and are appealing to Heaven for another Great Awakening because that is America’s only hope.
On Wednesday’s episode of James Robinson’s TV program “Life Today,” the evangelist and Life International founder hosted 70 major Christian leaders from diverse backgrounds to discuss the troubled state of affairs in the United States.
Featured prominently on the broadcast were the preeminent Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias, Assemblies of God President George Wood, and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Pastor Ronnie Floyd.
“Without a doubt, we are on the way to losing many freedoms, beginning, tragically, with religious freedom,” Robsion said.
As the presidential election is only 19 days away, evangelicals are concerned about many issues, but the justices that the next president nominates to the U.S. Supreme Court arguably tops the list. And it is not just the highest court in the land that they are worried about, but the state of the judiciary as a whole. The next president will also appoint judges to federal and appellate benches that will have significant ramifications for American society, perhaps cementing a liberal ideology in the courts for the foreseeable future.
In light of the 5-4 Supreme Court split on key religious liberty matters like Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Robison and his guests said that such cherished freedoms are likely “one justice away” from being lost.
“What do you do when you have a systemic discrimination where you have a faculty that will not employ someone who is intellectually capable of any academic trade but because they have certain views, they are no longer acceptable?” Wood asked.
“I see this election as a watershed in whether or not that trend is going to accelerate,” he added.
Zacharias concurred, noting that it stymied him how evangelicals could be so blind, especially regarding the implications the federal judiciary will have on the unborn and for future generations.
When he speaks at universities, Zacharias said he often encounters students who bring up hot-button issues, unrelated to what he spoke on, during subsequent Q&A sessions so they can cast aspersions on his distinctly Christian worldview and belief in moral absolutes. Such ugly disingenuousness is going on in the wider culture, he said.
As a society, Zacharias said, “on paper we call ourselves autonomous culture but as soon as you inject the theistic perspective — that human life has intrinsic worth and so on — you are all of a sudden put into an heteronomous mold and few at the top dictate it.” He insisted, however, that things can change when Christians pray, fast, and seek the mind of Lord.
“One of the real problems in America is that it’s so divided. One of the problems with the Church is that it’s so divided,” said Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas.
“This is what really grieves me about the evangelicals, not just within all of our ranks but within my own ranks at times.’ Floyd said. “I just don’t get it. If we’re really born again, and we really love Jesus, we’re really committed to the Word of God, to me it’s pretty simple.”
As for the election, Floyd emphasized that it is not about political parties or personalities, but about the platform because the issues are very clear. But his real hope is not in any political candidate.
“While we’re active in the [political] processes,” he added, “we’ve got to understand that the greatest need in America is the next Great Awakening.”
“While we may lose hope at times, we must be people who believe that the same God who did it in the 1740s, the same God who did it in the last of the 1700s, the same God that did it in the great prayer revival 1857 and 1858, the same God that really brought the closest thing we know of in recent decades, of the Jesus movement, a move of the Lord, is the same God today,” Floyd said, encouraging Christians to fervently pray for the nation.
“And things are just as dismal, perhaps more, because we weren’t living then. But we’ve got to preach the hope of Awakening and fast and pray And trust that God can step in where man has absolutely no power.”