By Eric Holmberg
Published November 1, 1988
By Eric Holmberg
“Chicago has slain its thousands and Atlanta its tens of thousands.” Whether we are speaking figuratively about the per capita ratios of murdered children or the number of people jailed at their respective Democratic conventions, the bough has broken for the cradle of Southern hospitality.
- Baby John Doe, #8849161
Written while in the Key Road Jail
- Joe is a 57-year-old grandfather, recently retired from the Navy. Like me and over 400 others, he is in an Atlanta jail for placing his body between a killer and his intended victim. Though he is smiling, Joe looks freshly mugged. There is blood on the right side of his face, a black-eye, contusions everywhere. Bruises, deep and violet with yellow halos, have spread across the inside of both his upper arms.
It is hard to tell, he says, which wounds he got from being slung around by the arresting officers, or from when one of the “Red Dogs” (an elite “special forces” unit) stood on his chest. But Joe insists he feels fine; God is good, and anyway, “what an honor that He would allow me to identify with the Cross to this extent.” I’m smiling now, too.
- I don’t get a chance to smile with Doyle, a pastor from Indiana. He has been in the hospital since the day we were all arrested, slipping in and out of consciousness. He received a concussion when a policeman tested the relative density of his head with a steel fire extinguisher. Doyle’s jaw was injured as well, the result of a supposedly harmless “come-along” hold.
- Plump and avuncular, Police Major Burnett is the officer in charge of dealing with Operation Rescue. Joe and Doyle’s arrests, as well as the violence used against them, was the major’s idea.
At a press conference the month before, Burnett had testified that he too was a follower of Jesus Christ, though he echoed all our thoughts when he wondered aloud if his Jesus was the same one we were following. “My Jesus,” he said, “never tried to physically intervene in order to save someone’s life.” (So there was a difference; his Jesus had never been crucified!) “My Jesus is a God of love and my job is to demonstrate that love,” he concluded with a wave of his hand.
A month later, Joe, Doyle, and many others found out the hard way that the world’s love means “never having to say you’re sorry”.
- Dan Little, a pastor from Binghamton, New York, is no stranger to intervention on behalf of justice and life. Ten years ago he broke into a house in order to drag out a burning couch. Instead of a breaking and entering charge, the police told him he did a good job. A few years later, he tackled an armed man who had just robbed a gas station. Instead of an assault charge, again the police told him he did a good job. The other day, however, he attempted non-violently to shut down a facility where dozens of children were scheduled to die. This time he was dragged by his neck and thrown into jail. They didn’t tell him he had done a good job.
- Hosea Williams isn’t in jail with us, but says he is thinking about giving it a shot. An Atlanta city councilman, he, along with Andrew Young, was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and is familiar with non-violent direct action. He can’t believe that a man like Mayor Young, who was once on the receiving end of establishment bullying, would now be responsible for dragging praying grandmothers through the streets of Atlanta. He doesn’t buy the Mayor’s feeble excuses either.
“I think what is happening in Atlanta right now is just terribly anti-American,” Mr. Williams told the press. “It hurts me so bad that we who were the leaders of the movement in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, are now the political leaders, and we are doing the same things to demonstrators that George Wallace and Bull Connor and others did to us.”
- Father Norman is a missionary from Rome who spends a lot of his time with Mother Theresa on the mean streets of Calcutta. His clerical shirt is hanging from his body like David Banner’s on the Incredible Hulk; scabs run up and down his arms. For five policemen, it was like trying to pull hell up by the roots, dragging this Scotsman away from his appointed post as a defender of the pre-born.
His is the first homily shared in what were to become twice a day meetings for the Unlawful Assembly of God Church at the Key Road Jail. Father Norman’s message is simple and direct, affirming the qualities of compassion, truth and identification with the poor and weak. He calls us men as everywhere the sounds of crying can be heard.
As we weep, worship, and listen to the words of Scripture, we realize that though we are in jail, we have never been more free. Our prayers, infused with a new power that seems to ionize the very air around us, erupts like a volcano, punching a hole through the ceiling of our prison and the dense blanket of oppression caused by the bloody slaughter of Atlanta’s pre-born.
Another Man, one who had also committed Himself into the hands of sinners, is suddenly walking among us.
Eric Holmberg, director of Reel to Real Ministries – a Christian media company based in Gainesville, Florida – was a recent participant in Operation Rescue’s pro-life demonstration in Atlanta, Georgia. Holmberg recorded some of his thoughts while spending several days in the Key Road Jail with other rescuers.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
Welcome to the Second American Revolution!
This DVD features “Liberty: The Model of Christian Liberty” along with “Dawn’s Early Light: A Brief History of America’s Christian Foundations.” Bonus features include a humorous but instructive collection of campaign ads and Eric Holmberg’s controversial YouTube challenge concerning Mitt Romney’s campaign for president.
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Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!
These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these six short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.
Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position.
Watch these pro-life videos on-line.
“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California
“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.
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Just what is Calvinism?
Does this teaching make man a deterministic robot and God the author of sin? What about free will? If the church accepts Calvinism, won’t evangelism be stifled, perhaps even extinguished? How can we balance God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility? What are the differences between historic Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism? Why did men like Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards and a host of renowned Protestant evangelists embrace the teaching of predestination and election and deny free will theology?
This is the first video documentary that answers these and other related questions. Hosted by Eric Holmberg, this fascinating three-part, four-hour presentation is detailed enough so as to not gloss over the controversy. At the same time, it is broken up into ten “Sunday-school-sized” sections to make the rich content manageable and accessible for the average viewer.
Running Time: 257 minutes
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That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
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