In 2001, NASA employees began meeting at lunch for devotion and prayer. While it cannot be verified how many governmental agencies hosted such things, it was a common thing for those working in the space program to read the Bible aloud. With all of the inconsequential news, we probably missed the fact that in 2016 the Johnson Space Center newsletter announced that the name of Jesus was not to be used on company grounds. Agency officials said, “Consistent with federal law, NASA attempts to balance employee’s rights to freely exercise religious beliefs with its obligation to ensure there is no government endorsement of religion.” Thus, the name of Jesus and the openly read scripture became a taboo.
Today there are bans on speaking the name of Jesus in some public forums. People are said to feel offended by hearing the name in prayer or in conversation. Most of our public colleges have sent written notices to all commencement speakers not to use the name or end prayers in the name as it is said to “cause anxiety in those who are non-religious or of a different belief.” In essence, America has outlawed the name, Jesus.
There is a caution in this report in that church members should not grow too angry. The American Christian has been silent for a long time. Many churchgoers have elected men and women to public office who do not believe in the Bible. Some have even endorsed the perversions of the world. Pulpits are silent and members are apathetic. Modesty sermons are rejected by the majority of congregations while boundary-less lifestyles are embraced. Outward holiness lessons have become offensive while subjectivism has become the norm.
The result? Jesus’ name is illegal. No one would have believed this 50 years ago. No one could have imagined our nation bent on a full out rejection of the name. Nevertheless, as the American Christian rejects spiritual accountability, godly authority, and the Bible, secularism has taken root. Pentecostals have feared exclusion leaving the door open for a carnal culture to dictate their lifestyle. Edmund Burke said it right…“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” You may have to stand alone, but do all you can to stand. If not, be prepared to whisper the name in private.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole