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Schoolyard bullying 101: It's working on the Church

iStock/LSOphoto
iStock/LSOphoto

The anti-Christ, anti-morality, anti-biblical worldview-ers are applying a very old tactic to accomplish what years of protesting did not: domination via intimidation.

Why outmaneuver your foe politically or confront them in the arena of ideas when you can label and libel them into submission? The shock and block technique has silenced the American Church.

In the third grade, I remember kids twisting other people’s names into playground slurs. “Eleanor smelleanor,” “Billy-vanillee,” and “Icky Vicky.” Today’s phobia-hater-ists have mechanized the process: They manufacture terms out of thin air: “Transphobic.” “Cisgender.” “Non-binary.” “Omni-gender,” et al. 

Name-calling and sophomore sophistry have, sadly, supplanted productive, good-faith discourse. Each side’s tropes and trolls de jour are circulated via complicit media. Social media-tize and viralize the newly minted phrase until people hear it enough, think they know what it means, and use it. Finally, weaponize it against a group you want to demonize: “Blank-a-phobe!” “You whatevermyidentityis-hater!”

Result: Silence. It’s schoolyard bullying 101 with a social justice spin, and it’s worked on the church.

Using that strategy, believers in equal opportunity became “racists.” DEI and ESG replaced initiative-based advancement. Conservatism became a derangement syndrome. Arson and looting became “mostly peaceful protests” and “reparations.” Believing in biblical morality became “phobic.” Daring to express an opposing opinion became “disinformation.” Expressing support for someone who isn’t being investigated for Chinese Communist Party money laundering or doing cocaine in the White House made you a MAGA extremist.

The most egregious categories to which one could descend were Conservative, Constitutionalist, or (Gulp!) Christian. The first two are constant targets, but when the focus group noted that 63% of the population are “Christians,” an idea emerged: Disparage an entire group using their own name. Christians — literally Christ followers — became “Christian nationalists.”

It worked. Christian pulpits went silent. Denominations rewrote their beliefs. Believers stopped engaging in biblical discussions. The timid began calling themselves “people of faith” instead of Christians.

What must a pastor do?

Christian leader, you represent our nation’s best hope and solutions. You — and your timeless, biblically informed beliefs — are not the problem. 

First, stand unashamedly on biblical values. You are the solution, not the problem. Expect to be opposed. When you are, stand taller and speak louder. Teach that absolute truth exists (John 14:6). Declare that “God hates sin!” (Proverbs 8:13). Post, preach and encourage your people to profess biblical truth with moral clarity.

When you encounter opposition, and you will, do not mistake loud for legitimate. Never confuse rant with right. State plainly that “Pride” is still a sin: “Pride goes before destruction…” and taking pride in sin only multiplies the punishment “… and a haughty spirit leads to a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

Know that you are in good company. Patriotic advocates of truth and moral clarity have included the brilliant (Antonin Scalia), eloquent (William F. Buckley, Jr.), and media-savvy (Rush Limbaugh). Clergy before you, mindful of the religious freedoms at risk, stood on truth (Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Dr. Alveda King, Father Frank Pavone, Franklin Graham). Now, it’s your turn.

The Ephesians 6 spiritual is becoming tangible. The “father of lies” is hosting the 11 o’clock news. The socialists, globalists, and other -ists want to obliterate biblical absolutes and enshrine “norms.” Today’s social warriors endorse things that would horrify FDR and JFK. Know that they’re not the enemy, only his mouthpiece.

This is our moment, practically, morally, historically, and biblically. When the salt stings, the wounded will shriek. Expect it. When the Light reveals the rats, some will run, others will resist. Embrace the resistance.

This is an Ezekiel 44:23 hour: “Teach My people the difference between the holy and the common and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and clean.”

“Sir, we are completely surrounded!” The soldier cried. The general surveyed the battlefield and smiled, “Finally … we have them exactly where we want them. Attack in all directions!”

For more, check out Alex’s free guide, "What to look for in a Church," which can be accessed here.

Dr. Alex McFarland is a youth, religion and culture expert, author of more than 20 books and is heard live daily on the 200+ stations of the American Family Radio Network. He is Director of worldview for Charis Bible College, Woodland Park, CO, and co-hosts the “Truth and Liberty” TV broadcast.   His website is, alexmcfarland.com.  

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