The Ark Encounter is a 510-foot wooden ship under construction in Williamstown, Kentucky. It is being built by a group called Answers in Genesis, which also owns the Creation Museum.
An atheist group now wants to display a billboard depicting the ark with people drowning around it and the words, “Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 Years of Myths.” Their ad has been turned down by billboard companies, but the group may erect its billboard outside of Kentucky if it can.
Meanwhile, American Atheists has filed a lawsuit against a Tennessee sheriff for posting an Easter message on his department’s Facebook page last month. Earlier this year, a college in Colorado banned all locker room nameplates in its gym to avoid allowing people to include Bible verses on their plates. (Previously the school allowed phrases such as “Give ’em Hell” and “Take your whiskey clear.”) And two schools in Ohio suspended Bible study clubs after complaints by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Is this kind of antagonism to faith the exception, or is it becoming the rule?
Mark Tushnet is William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. He recently published a remarkably transparent article calling for his fellow liberals to abandon “defensive crouch liberal constitutionalism.” According to Tushnet, “the culture wars are over; they lost, we won.” He wants liberals to take a “hard line” rather than “trying to accommodate the losers,” comparing conservatives to the South after the Civil War and the Germans and Japanese after 1945.
Why is such animosity on the rise?
Let’s put ourselves in the position of those who oppose the public expression of biblical faith. Most have been influenced by a worldview known as “postmodernism,” which claims that “truth” is produced when our subjective minds interpret our subjective experiences. As a result, there can be no such thing as an absolute truth claim (this is an absolute truth claim, by the way).
The consequence is that we are told to privatize all faith expressions, since we don’t want to offend those who disagree with us. (Of course, such privatization offends those whose free speech rights are subjugated.) And we are told to promote all agendas that promote tolerance. (Of course, such tolerance does not extend to those who disagree.)
Should Christians go along to get along, or should we pay a price to stand publicly for biblical truth?
Here’s how God feels about moral relativism: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20). Such people “have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel” (v. 24).
What did God do in response? Likening Israel to a vineyard, the Lord warns: “And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down” (verse 5). The people refused to repent and eventually fell into the devastation God warned would come.
But, you may say, we are not ancient Israel. Here’s my question: If God would so judge his chosen people, how will he judge us today? His word is clear: “Each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). If we reject his will for ours, we must lose his hedge of blessing and face instead his judgment.
Our Father wants us to experience “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). If we are not righteous, peaceful, and joyful, the Spirit may be “in” us but we are not “in” him. We are not surrendered to his will and purpose, controlled by his wisdom and direction (Ephesians 5:18).
Oswald Chambers notes that God wants us to stay so close to Jesus that we are “at home” with him anywhere. He asks: “Is there anywhere where you are not at home with God? Let God press through in that particular circumstance until you gain Him, and life becomes the simple life of a child.”
Are you at home with God today?