Pastor's Corner

2 Oct
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Mid-Week Challenge

Most Christians agree that Christian persecution is a problem.  Not being allowed to pray where you want, being made to participate in activities that are not God honoring or go against personal beliefs and not being able to gather in public places are all included in things people should be free to do.  We give little thought to these things in our daily life, that is, until something happens to an individual or a small community that makes the local church take notice.  Normally, when it comes to this, it is too late for Christians to do anything.  When it’s in your backyard it’s already too late.  Take for example Rockvale High School in Rutherford County.  Opened in 2019, Rockvale is your typical high school in the South.  Community supported, great crowds for sports and extra-curricular student activities.  Former Wayne County football coach Rick Rice has done a great job trying to build a football program in a very tough Rutherford County football tradition.  Coach Rice led Wayne County for 21 seasons and won the 2011 Class 1A state title and was named as the first head football coach for the Rockets. Having to play teams like Oakland, Riverdale and Clarksville with their storied traditions, it’s been a hard season and a new team should not have to add an extra opponent to their already hard schedule.  Unfortunately that is exactly what has happened.  The Freedom From Religion Foundation found a way to get themselves on Coach Rice’s schedule each week as they have brought a complaint against him for praying with his team before and after games.  The FFRF claimed that it was responding to an anonymous parent’s tip when it called out Coach Rice.  The school principal addressed the complaint with Rice, who apologized for any misunderstanding.  The school system issued a statement saying the issue has been resolved, adding “Any prayers or religious activities must be student-initiated and student-led. Employees are not to lead the activities or participate other than to provide supervision.”

This is not the first time the FFRF has struck in Tennessee and thanks to their success in this case and others, it will not be their last.  Last month they complained about a Robertson County high school that baptizing athletes. The school responded that the baptisms were student led.

In response to the complaint at Rockvale, students Madison Nowacki and La’Naya Nelson announced an official prayer circle at 6:30 p.m. before their weekly football game.  “We have been talking about wanting to pray with our team for a while, but we were scared at first,” Nowacki said. “After the complaint, we thought we should voice our opinions as well and stand with our coach.”

Freedom of speech is being destroyed by the liberal court system in favor of atheist organizations with an agenda.  Like it or not, YOU are a target.  They will not stop at high school athletics, next they will come for your rights.  Their goal is not equality; their goal is elimination of all things Christian.  Show your support of these young people as we look for ways to combat the forces of Satan against the next generation of leaders.  We must train, empower and equip them for battle against the evil one.  The war has moved from our backyard to our front and it is time we join together.

We should keep on encouraging each other to be thoughtful and to do helpful things. Hebrews 10:24

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

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