The Barna Cultural Research Centre report found that only 6% of Americans adhere to a biblical worldview.
Sixty percent of Americans do notbelieve that human life is inherently “sacred”. The word “sacred” is defined by the researchers as “having unconditional, intrinsic worth.” However, more than two-thirds believe human beings are “basically good.”
We would argue that seeing humans as “basically good” runs “counter to the foundational biblical teaching that human beings are created by God and made in His image but are fallen and in need of redemption.
George Barna, who founded the Barna Group, said in a statement that the view of mankind being “basically good” is negatively influencing current debates over law enforcement and systemic racism. “A movement to defund police departments might make sense if people are innately good. People with a humanistic worldview argue that crime and violence happen because of poverty, bad parenting, systemic discrimination, and other external forces,” stated Barna. “Yet crime statistics, political tensions, tendencies toward anger and hatred, and America’s moral deterioration and confusion suggest that we are neither innately good nor that emotional responses to empirical challenges will solve the problems.” Barna went on to argue that one “cannot change the hearts of people by outlawing racism.
“You will not create peace by passing laws and forcing compliance,” Barna contended. Every society can benefit from specific systemic changes, but any systemic changes designed to transform the culture will be short-lived unless the hearts and minds of the people who populate that system are transformed first with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Juan Riesco and his brother, Jose, were heirs to a flourishing family business — Nini’s Deli — in downtown Chicago. But it all came crashing down in early June, when the beloved eatery, owned by their foreign-born parents, found itself in the crosshairs of the increasingly progressive Black Lives Matter movement.
Having since left Chicago in the wake of the restaurant’s forced, permanent closure, Riesco told Faithwire he and his brother are focusing on ministry.
“If they’re gonna protest,” he said, “we’re gonna preach.”
Riesco, whose parents emigrated to the U.S. from Cuba and Mexico, was once lauded by numerous publications as an up-and-coming entrepreneur with a knack for viral branding. He had enjoyed so much success with the deli and his personal business, Chicago Native, that brands like Nike and Adidas launched collaborations with him. But when Riesco refused to wholly endorse the official Black Lives Matter movement, he and his family were made villains on blogs and news outlets, many of which labeled them as “racist” and “homophobic.”
Rather than kowtow to the demands of a movement with which they harbor many disagreements, the Riescos stood firmly by their convictions. In early June, after being asked if they “believe Black Lives Matter,” Riesco published an official statement on the deli’s since-shuttered Instagram account. In it, he wrote he and his family believe “all people were created equal in the image of God.” The lengthy statement continued, “We believe that all black lives matter and we know that only God can bring about justice that is deserved.”
Riesco told Faithwire that, because of the success of Nini’s Deli, which had a five star rating on Yelp, locals were eager to see the restaurant throw its weight behind the Black Lives Matter campaign. Rather than totally embrace the movement, though, Riesco said it was important to use his platform to share his faith.
“I had felt in my spirit that I needed to, yes, take a stand [against] injustice, but also take a stand, most importantly, for Christ,” Riesco explained. “Because my business was so successful, by God’s grace, we had a lot of eyes waiting on us to make a statement about what was happening.”
“We used that platform — all those eyes on us, waiting to make a statement — to say, ‘We believe black lives matter, but we believe that because they’re made in the image of God,” he added.
However, by distancing themselves from the overarching Black Lives Matter movement, as other Christians have done, the Riescos drew the ire of many progressive protesters. After posting a statement to the restaurant’s Instagram handle on June 3, Riesco said “all hell essentially broke loose.
The Christian entrepreneur recalled receiving an onslaught of threats and promises to protest his family’s restaurant as a result of his statement on racial injustice. On Friday, June 5, just two days after the initial post to Instagram, Nini’s Deli shut down permanently as liberal protesters descended on the once-popular eatery.
Tensions only rose when Riesco’s brother Jose began brashly preaching during the raucous protest outside the deli, calling out many of the protesters for their “wicked agenda.” With his at times confrontational style, he talked about how his brother once identified as gay but “Jesus fixed him, straightened him
He also spoke out against the Black Lives Matter campaign’s affiliations with Planned Parenthood, the LGBT movement, and calls to defund the police.
Ultimately, the social pressure proved to be too much: the constant protests, the endless stream of social media posts slandering the restaurant, and the cancelled partnerships with big-name brands resulted in Nini’s Deli having to permanently closed its doors after a decade of business.
The pain of what they’ve lost remains fresh. Through tears, Riesco said he and his family “poured our hearts into loving our community, despite gender, despite sex, despite whatever you want to identify as.”
Nevertheless, even though the family company is gone, the Riesco brothers — both of whom became Christians at the deli — said they are “blessed.”
“I was just sharing with our team yesterday that my circumstances have changed, but my identity in whom I trust hasn’t,” Riesco said, adding he is still in “a position of gratitude toward our God.”
Moving forward, Juan and Jose Riesco plan to dedicate themselves to ministry.
Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best posted this open letter to the city council on August third, writing:
“Before this devolves into the new way of doing business by mob rule here in Seattle, and across the nation, elected officials like you must forcefully call for the end of these tactics.”
In response, Seattle Council Member Kshama Swant said, “Today I am unveiling our budget proposal to defund Seattle Police Department by 50%right now, for the rest of the year 2020 and to take that money and invest in black and brown communities.”
Best then announced she’s stepping down. She made her decision public on the same day the city council approved cutting the police department by nearly $4 million and 100 officers.
Her announcement comes as law enforcement organizations across the country are experiencing serious budget cuts amid the push to defund the police. That’s happening despite an increase in crime in many major cities.
What we see unfolding is exactly what Jesus said would be the chaotic, godless state of nations just before He returns to this earth to rule with a rod of iron.
“And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:12-13
You might not hear it from media outlets, but in Portland more than 270 federal officers have been injured protecting buildings since May. In Seattle, one day of recent rioting led to 59 officers getting wounded by rocks, bottles and improvised explosives. Business owners board up stores for protection from groups like Antifa. Still, even though nightly violence and skyrocketing crime rock American cities, some politicians are echoing the call to defund or even abolish the police.
The impact of this war on cops can be devastating, according to Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins. And as the only US representative still certified as a law enforcement officer, Higgins has front line experience.
Higgins believes up to a third of all cops in some districts could resign in the coming year, leading to dire consequences.
“You’ve got maybe a million certified cops across the country. No matter what happens now, if we flip the switch in the other direction, they’ve already come under so much fire…unrighteous fire…cops…their families are being eaten alive by the communities that they serve, by politicians and corrupt media. They’re gonna leave,” he warned.
The Bible has been historically recognized as the most important book for the development of both the rule of law and democratic institutions in the Western world. However, we have seen over these last decades a deep erosion of individual rights, with the growth of state power over the life and liberty of individuals. The Judeo-Christian foundations of the rule of law in the West: a legacy of liberty and resistance against tyranny have been incessantly eroded since the acceptance of evolutionary belief, which was working its insidious influence even before Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859.6 His writings replaced, in the minds of those who accepted his ideas, the fundamental and unique concept of divine creation as revealed in Genesis. Creation as outlined in Scripture was exchanged for ideas of undirected processes of evolution, involving death of the unfit through millions of years of struggle and violence—the very antithesis of the “very good” origins revealed in Scripture. Evolution prepared the seedbed for the fruit that was to eventually grow within culture—abortions are intentional deaths (murder) and the average annual death toll of unborn babies, astonishingly, now exceeds 56 million. The abandonment of biblically based principles is almost complete. We now live in a post-Christian culture. The good news is that the Bible reveals the events unfolding are exactly what Jesus said will happen prior to His return to earth to rule and reign from Jerusalem.