By Jordan West

CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMNews) – TM welcomed Fox News correspondent Todd Starnes to share a message in the weekly chapel service for the 3rd Annual Ray Newman Ethics and Religious Lecture Series on March 3, 2016. Starnes encouraged students to stand strong on the word of God when persecution comes.

A warning of a war

Starnes, a self-proclaimed “gun-toting, Bible-clinging, Constitution-loving, flag-waving American,” opened his message with a reminder that even if the students didn’t agree with his views, “That’s okay. Because I also believe in the First Amendment – and your right to say what’s on your mind.”

He continued, “I believe in America – the most exceptional national nation in history.”

Starnes turned the attention to religious liberty, saying, “This morning, I want to stand before you to sound a warning. There is a war on religious liberty in the United States of America. This war is targeting people of the Christian faith.”

“I believe many Christian pastors, many future Christian pastors in this room, will one day find themselves at odds with the law of the land,” Starnes proclaimed.

Baptists who don’t back down

He shared many powerful examples of Christians facing adversity for sharing their beliefs vocally.

Starnes said, “Just a few short months ago, Baptist prison chaplains in Kentucky were told to come to the office, and told that they had to sign a document that stated they did not believe homosexuality is a sin.”

Starnes went on,” If they refused to sign this document, they would no longer be allowed to serve as chaplains in the Kentucky State Prison System. And, my brothers and sisters, my fellow Southern Baptists, I am here to tell you that those Baptist chaplains stood up tall with a backbone and said, ‘We will not sign this document,’ and they were fired.”

He explained, “There was a price to pay, and they stood their ground. Praise God no matter the circumstances in your life.”

Taking a unified stand

Starnes urged believers to take a stand. He said, “Folks, we have a responsibility as Christians to engage the culture. We have a responsibility as Christians in America to engage the political culture and cast our votes.”

“Silence in the face of evil is evil,” he continued. “The time has come for us to stand together in one voice.”

Starnes advised, “We need to start electing Godly men and women to office, and hold them accountable when they stray. If we want to fight this culture war, we have to start in our homes”

He challenged, “What better way to engage the culture than by doing it inside the confines of your home? “

An unashamed generation for Christ

As he concluded, he gave a word of encouragement, saying, “I do believe that God is raising up a new generation of Billy Grahams and Billy Sundays. I believe that God is raising up a new generation of young men and young women who are unashamed of the Gospel.”

He continued, “Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I believe we have a new generation – your generation – who is willing to say to the government, ‘We will not bow down.’”

Starnes left the students with verses known to be favorites of former President Ronald Reagan, Psalm 121:1-2, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.”


Jordan is a senior English major and is an intern for the Communications Department.

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