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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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
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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.
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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).
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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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With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?
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Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
The modern technology of real-time ultrasound now reveals the actual responses of a 12-week old fetus to being aborted. As the unborn child attempts to escape the abortionist’s suction curette, her motions can be seen to become desperately agitated and her heart rate doubles. Her mouth opens – as if to scream – but no sound can come out. Her scream doesn’t have to remain silent, however … not if you will become her voice. This newly re-mastered version features eight language tracks and two bonus videos.
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