Local lifestyle columnists

Talking about God is OK, but not Jesus – we’ve seen this before

By From page C3 | April 06, 2014

Christianity is under attack.

Apparently, at least currently, it’s OK to believe in God and even to talk about Him but Jesus is taboo. Many of us have read news reports detailing school administrators stepping in to prohibit graduates from giving thanks to Jesus during ceremonies.

Many of us have read about children being forbidden from singing songs about Jesus in school talent shows or Christmas (holiday) specials. Many of us have read about military chaplains being threatened with court-martial by higher-ups for using the name of Jesus in counseling soldiers.

The only way this works is if we ignore the Bible. We are told in Ephesians  Chapter 1 that God the Father raised Jesus from the dead, seated Him at His right hand, “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all”.

A Christian is a follower of Jesus, who believes Jesus is the Christ (Messiah) whom God sent to pay for the sins of all who would put their faith and trust in Him. We believe that Jesus is God because only a perfect human without blemish or spot could stand as a sacrifice for us to take the punishment that we deserved. If you take Jesus away then we are condemned in our sins and will be separated from God for eternity.

Two thousand years ago the same thing was going on. We are told in the book of Acts that the religious leaders of that day put Peter and the apostles in jail to try to silence them. How foolish to try to silence the word of God! An angel of the Lord came during the night, released them from jail, and told them to go to the temple and teach the message of life.

When they were confronted in the temple by the religious leaders and the Senators and told to stop preaching in the name of Jesus, Peter gave a powerful response. He said, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him”.

To those who would like to silence us like the religious leaders 2,000 years ago, we give the same answer. We must obey God rather than men!

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15.

Noel Reese is the pastor at Calvary Chapel Rio Vista. He can be reached at  www.calvarychapelriovista.com

Noel Reese


Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Jason KnowlesApril 06, 2014 - 6:50 pm

    You enjoy tax-free status and use your tax-free money to actively engage in political activity to squelch the rights of LGBT persons, and YOU'RE under attack? Sorry, Noel, put that victim card back in your wallet. That BS about the court-martialing is a complete falsehood and a typical right-wing talking point. The military merely said that they would continue to enforce General Order 1A and 1B, which forbids soldiers from proselytizing to others if it is "intrusive." The Pentagon merely restated its long-held policy that military members can “share their faith (evangelize)” but “not force unwanted, intrusive attempts to convert others … to one’s beliefs (proselytization).” Publicly funded schools are forbidden from promoting religion. Every public high school in America has some Christian club for students to join and enjoy at their leisure during non-instruction time. Why is this not good enough for you? You've enjoyed unfettered domination of politics and social issues for almost 300 years, Noel. Non-believers are now standing up to you and we are not going to go gently into that goodnight. To call yourself victims is laughable to me and insulting to the multitudes who have been victimized by dogmatism.

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  • CD BrooksApril 06, 2014 - 7:00 pm

    Right. This is a repeat but I'm still waiting for an answer... I'd appreciate some of the good folks out there sharing their stories of discrimination brought on by their faith. I'd like you to relate your stories about refusals of service, or being asked to leave dining establishments the instant they recognized you as a believer. Share with us your memory of random attacks as you walked down the street and someone knew you were a Christian and how they might have thrown punches, rocks or bottles. I'm just asking for some clarification about your rights and how you were specifically abused due to your religious beliefs? Thanks in advance!

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  • CD BrooksApril 07, 2014 - 7:33 am


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  • The MisterApril 07, 2014 - 7:02 am

    Really Jason? I must have missed the part where Pastor Noel said that he was a victim. Probably because he DIDN'T say that. You on the other hand, Jason, repeatedly claimed that Pastor Noel did say so. You've given us another great example of bigots putting words in the mouths of Christians. Perhaps that's what Pastor Noel's letter was all about.

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  • Jason KnowlesApril 07, 2014 - 10:17 am

    "Christianity is under attack." First sentence, Mister. He then lists three "examples" after it. Cites religious leaders of yore being put in jail and draws a parallel to modern times. False equivalency. Did he use the word "victim?" No. That was his underlying assumption.

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  • rlw895April 07, 2014 - 8:51 am

    "Apparently, at least currently, it’s OK to believe in God and even to talk about Him but Jesus is taboo." It sort of depends on what you mean by "taboo," doesn't it? It's certainly not illegal to talk about God or Jesus in church, is it? And many other places and times either. But I generally agree that if it's "taboo" to talk about Jesus in some time and place, it should be equally "taboo" to talk about God. "The only way this works is if we ignore the Bible." No, we only ask that the GOVERNMENT "ignore" the Bible. You can't use the Bible to try to persuade a secular government to give you your way. That's as it should be, and that's how it is, here, in the United States.

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