A watchman speaks again:
Some eras we are blessed with respect for the government because it has earned the respect it gets. In less blessed times we give deference the government because it will brutally crush you if you openly disrespect it. The church will survive in either scenario, but in the latter case, it must remove its banners, sell off its buildings and gather in the places the adversary is reluctant to go.
At this late hour it does not matter to me, my watch on the chill ramparts is almost over, and I may soon fall into the cozy warmth of blessed slumber.
But if you are young and just beginning your tour of duty, walk your post thoughtfully with measured steps. It is not a time to be careless with your words or living. You may no longer wear your badge of faith on your sleeve, but must rather wear it hidden in your deeds. The enemy is at the gate and he is ruthless even as he preaches his malignant words of love. The era peace is over.