I read this on Christian Worldview Network and thought it worth posting here.  I’ve not broached the Emergent Church specifically yet I don’t believe but I have addressed the post modern church which is part of it.   I’ve also provided some good links for additional information about the Emergent Church on my sidebar.

This is an insidious and evil influence that is disguised in such a way that it enters churches subtly.  It takes discernment to recognize it and sadly the church lacks discernment which is evident in the way this has infiltrated mainstream churches that were once Bible believing churches.  Heed the warning and be ever watchful!

Posted: 12/08/2008

Memoirs of an Emergent Church Victim

by Heidi Swander
The two pastoral search committee members I spoke with assured me there would be no problem.  Making certain that a new pastoral candidate was firmly grounded in Scripture, acutely aware of the Emergent Church, and stood squarely against it would be at the top of the list of attributes to look for in a new senior pastor.  Hey — they said they even had an Emergent Church watchdog on the committee.  What could go wrong?  Plenty.

The day came when the committee recommended a candidate.  To acquaint the congregation with him, the elders scheduled a number of “townhall meetings” so we could ask him questions.  My two questions were on eschatology and the Emergent Church.  I don’t remember his exact answers.  I do remember them being vague and unsatisfying.

Nonetheless, in due course, the congregation voted and the vote was just short of unanimous.  We officially “called” our new senior pastor.

Within weeks of his start date, sweeping changes took place in our church.  I liken it to a bull in a china shop.  The music — the one thing that is most readily noticed and a sensitive subject for any church — began to change.  Two on the pastoral staff left fairly suddenly.  The organist resigned.  The church services began to look different.  Social programs absent a clear plan for presenting the gospel began to emerge.

I tried to set these peripheral things aside and concentrate on his sermons.  This was often difficult because the substance seemed elusive.  I found myself second-guessing everything he said.  Sometimes what he said and the way he said it sounded disrespectful of the Word of God.  He spoke positively about New Age advocate Oprah Winfrey.  He began to weave quotes and video clips from Emergent leaders into his messages. He — and many of the elders — strongly urged the church to get on board with all that was happening, and eagerly promoted a questionable book we should read to help us in the transition.  And one elder blatantly recommended a book — two weeks in a row — by prominent Catholic mystic Henry Nouwen who is a father to the contemplative prayer movement.  My trust level was tanking.

Then one day here at Olive Tree Ministries I got the word that a friend of our new pastor, Terry Esau, would be speaking in my Sunday school class.  His subject?  “Breathing Lessons for Your Church.” My heart sank.  I was in the middle of reading A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen — a warning primer on contemplative prayer, which is a foundational teaching of the Emergent Church.  From the subject title I predicted that this speaker would have Emergent leanings.   It was that day when I finally admitted to myself that I was losing my church. As we sat down for lunch and Jan asked me to pray, I choked on the prayer and began weeping.

I had felt so comfortable at this church!  I had finally opened up and made some friends.  I had a Sunday school teacher that I could really respect.  I’d even gone to a couple of class social events.  I thought I’d found a church home.  And then, disaster struck in the form of a new senior pastor who turned the church — and my world — on its head.  For your average churchgoer, this is difficult; for a single person, the blow stings that much more.  For me, the pain was acute.

Now what should I do?

Others in the church were aware of the pro-Emergent direction in which the church was headed and tried to address it.  Many of the older members — who were systematically being ousted by the change in service music and venue — tried to talk to the new pastor or an elder to no avail.

Finally four of us had the opportunity to meet with the pastor and a couple of the elders.  At that meeting I heard firsthand what so many had reportedly been told: “If there are those who are uncomfortable with the direction the church is headed, it may be wise for them to find another place to worship.” It wasn’t directed at me, but I got the message.  They wouldn’t consider any pleas for caution, no matter how scripturally-based.

By the time that meeting was over, I’d had enough.  It was time to move on.

I’d already started visiting another area church intermittently and had really enjoyed it, though I was wary from my recent experience.  But the people were friendly, and the Word of God was dynamically preached.  I also discovered that the pastor was teaching a series on the Emergent Church in order to educate and warn his church family.  That really encouraged me!  I sat in on one of those lessons, and my enthusiasm grew.  Could it be that I had so quickly found a new church home that stood squarely on Scripture and against the postmodern onslaught I’d been wrestling?  In a word, yes!  It’s amazing how quickly my trust level is growing, and I’m so happy to once again look forward to attending church every week!

I realize as I write this that there are many of you who only dream of finding a solidly biblical church home.  Some continue to attend an unhealthy church because you don’t know what else to do.  Some choose to stay and fight – which I did for a while — but

you have to know when the gig is up and it’s time to move on.  And then, where to move on to?

Pray about it.  Set standards that you will not waver from. For me a church must be Bible-based, doctrinally sound, pro-Israel, premillennial.
Sit down with the pastor and grill him on your important standards that are essential to a healthy church.

There is a command in Scripture to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Heb. 10:25). The Lord knows that it is vital to our spiritual health and growth to exhort one another, “and so much the more as [we] see the day approaching,” – that is, the nearer the return of Christ is.  If He commands it, there must be a way to fulfill it.  Ask Him to show you what to do.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5).
RADIO: Learn about the deceptive and blatantly occult film “Twilight” to which Christians are flocking. Heed the warnings. It will be posted at “Radio Archives” by late in the day Monday. It was aired to our live audience December 6. For podcasting information, go here.
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Always looking up!

Heidi Swander
Ministry Associate
Olive Tree Ministries
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ahhhhhhh…. the quiet!

I have never enjoyed peace and quiet more than I am now that one of the longest campaign seasons in history FINALLY came to an end.   The phone calls have ceased from the politicians and the signs that occupied street corners and yards are almost all gone and it seems like life is back to normal.

Unfortunately, with the recent election of Obama things will be far from normal and peace and quiet are likely to disappear yet again in the future.  Radical changes, none of which are for the betterment of the country are brewing.  It is going to be a long 4 years and possibly 8 if he retains the presidency at the next election.

Mr. Obama states that he will be a President for all, yet so many of his positions show him to be very biased in his support on issues facing the United States.  Many of his positions are dangerous for  the unborn, Israel and Christians to name a few.  He has an agenda and it is one that does not line up with our Constitution and it definitely does not line up with the Word of God.

So where are we going to be a few years?  That is difficult to say but we can rest in Almighty God because He and He alone is in control.  His plan and purpose are perfect.  Come what may, God’s Word gives us the the final outcome so we can rest with a peace that passes all understanding, .

Take a few minutes to read the following letter that is also posted on Focus on the Family’s website.  Although it is fictitious,  it could very well be prophetic in nature of what is likely to come.  As Christians we need to be prepared because one day in the near future we may be facing persecution as others through out the world have had to endure to stand for Christ.  Even so, Lord Jesus, come.

A letter from 2012 in Obama’s America

A Wasted Vote

by Chuck Baldwin
October 10, 2008

When asked why they will not vote for a third party candidate, many people will respond by saying something like, He cannot win. Or, I don’t want to waste my vote. It is true: America has not elected a third party candidate since 1860. Does that automatically mean, however, that every vote cast for one of the two major party candidates is not a wasted vote? I don’t think so.

In the first place, a wasted vote is a vote for someone you know does not represent your own beliefs and principles. A wasted vote is a vote for someone you know will not lead the country in the way it should go. A wasted vote is a vote for the lesser of two evils. Or, in the case of John McCain and Barack Obama, what we have is a choice between the evil of two lessers.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. For years now, Republicans and Democrats have been leading the country in the same basic direction: toward bigger and bigger government; more and more socialism, globalism, corporatism, and foreign interventionism; and the dismantling of constitutional liberties. Yet, voters continue to think that they are voting for change when they vote for a Republican or Democrat. This is truly insane.

Take a look at the recent $700 billion Wall Street bailout: both John McCain and Barack Obama endorsed and lobbied for it. Both McCain and Obama will continue to bail out these international banksters on the backs of the American taxpayers. Both McCain and Obama support giving illegal aliens amnesty and a path to citizenship. In the debate this past Tuesday night, both McCain and Obama expressed support for sending U.S. forces around the world for peacekeeping purposes. They also expressed support for sending combat forces against foreign countries even if those countries do not pose a threat to the United States. Neither Obama nor McCain will do anything to stem the tide of a burgeoning police state or a mushrooming New World Order. Both Obama and McCain support NAFTA and similar free trade deals. Neither candidate will do anything to rid America of the Federal Reserve, or work to eliminate the personal income tax, or disband the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Both Obama and McCain support the United Nations. So, pray tell, how is a vote for either McCain or Obama not a wasted vote?

But, back to the he cannot win argument: to vote for John McCain is to vote for a man who cannot win. Yes, I am saying it here and now: John McCain cannot win this election. The handwriting is on the wall. The Fat Lady is singing. It is all over. Finished. John McCain cannot win.

With only three weeks before the election, Barack Obama is pulling away. McCain has already pulled his campaign out of Michigan. In other key battleground states, McCain is slipping fast. He was ahead in Missouri; now it is a toss-up or leaning to Obama. A couple of weeks ago, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida were all leaning towards McCain, or at least toss-up states. Now, they are all leaning to Obama. Even the longtime GOP bellwether state of Indiana is moving toward Obama. In addition, new voter registrations are at an all-time high, and few of them are registering as Republicans. In fact, the Republican Party now claims only around 25% of the electorate, and Independents are increasingly leaning toward Obama.

Ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama is headed for an electoral landslide victory over John McCain. John McCain can no more beat Barack Obama than Bob Dole could beat Bill Clinton.

I ask, therefore, Are not conservatives and Christians who vote for John McCain guilty of the same thing that they accuse people who vote for third party candidates of doing? Are they not voting for someone who cannot win? Indeed, they are. In fact, conservatives and Christians who vote for John McCain are not only voting for a man who cannot win, they are voting for a man who does not share their own beliefs and principles. If this is not insanity, nothing is.

So, why not (for once in your life, perhaps) cast a vote purely for principle Vote for someone who is truly pro-life. Someone who would quickly secure our nation’s borders, and end the invasion of our country by illegal aliens. Someone who would, on his first day in office, release Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean and fire U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton. Someone who would immediately, upon assuming office, begin leading the charge to dismantle the Federal Reserve, overturn the 16th Amendment, expunge the IRS, and return America to sound money principles. Someone who would get the US out of the UN. Someone who would stop spending billions and trillions of dollars for foreign aid. Someone who would prosecute the Wall Street bankers who defrauded the American people out of billions of dollars. Someone who would work to repeal NAFTA, CAFTA, GATT, the WTO, and stop the NAFTA superhighway. Someone who would say a resounding No to the New World Order. Someone who would stop using our brave men and women in uniform as global cops for the United Nations. Someone who would stop America’s global adventurism and interventionism. Someone who would steadfastly support and defend the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

The Continuing Collapse

I read this on Voddie Bauchman’s blog and the author, Mr. Shortt encourages readers to circulate what he has written.

by Bruce Shortt, J.D., Ph.D.

WELCOME TO THE CONTINUING COLLAPSE!

“Doing the Education Research that Illegal Aliens Won’t Do Since 1997″

September 2008


AND NOW, BACK TO OUR HIGHLY TRAINED EDUCATION PROFESSIONALS

Never forget that teachers’ unions always have our children’s best interests in mind.

The state’s largest teacher’s union says teachers who have sex with their 18-year-old students should not necessarily face felony charges.

The Washington Education Association filed a “friend of the court” briefing in the state Court of Appeals case of former Hoquiam High School choir teacher Matthew Hirschfelder, accused of having sexual relations with one of his 18-year-old students.

“Eighteen- year olds aren’t kids,” union spokesman Rich Wood said. “They are minors. … And should consenting adults be subject to criminal charges? That’s the question behind this case and this law.”…

Last year, Hirschfelder’s attorney Rob Hill argued that the case should be dismissed because the girl was not a minor. Hill questioned the state law, which says, in part, that a person is guilty of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor if “the person is a school employee who has … sexual intercourse with a registered student of the school who is at least 16 years old and not married to the employee …”

The employee must also be five years older than the student.

Superior Court Judge David Foscue, who recently retired, ruled that there “is no ambiguity in the text of the statute.”

“As long as she’s still a student in the school, she can still be a victim of this crime,” Foscue said last year…

http://www.thedailyworld.com/articles/2008/09/05/local_news/04news.txt

Here’s what our highly trained education professionals are really saying: “Trust your daughter to our public school. We promise she’ll be safe right up to her 18th birthday.”

HERE IS WHY THERE WILL BE A BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS TO ELIMINATE OR GUT THE “ACCOUNTABILITY” PROVISIONS OF NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

Unless the schools adopt a “can the child fog a mirror” test, there is no accountability standard our highly trained educational professionals can meet.

Here is a story from California showing that, despite low standards and massive cheating, the schools simply cannot conceal massive levels of failure.

California schools, required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act to lift more students over a higher academic hurdle this year, instead stumbled and slipped back, as nearly 1,400 fewer schools met test-score targets.

The number of schools making “adequate yearly progress” plunged from 6,488 to 5,113 since last year, according to state educators who released school progress reports Thursday.

That’s a drop from 67 to 52 percent of the state’s public schools.

Officials said more schools faltered because No Child Left Behind requires a higher percentage of their students this year to have proficient scores in English and math on statewide exams – 35 percent of students this year from about 25 percent last year.

And it’s only going to get tougher. The percentage of students who must do well on the tests will rise steadily each year until 2014, when all students will be required to score at the proficient level in English and math – hence the name “No Child Left Behind.”

It could spell trouble for every school in the state….

Schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress for at least two years have to enter Program Improvement, a series of steps mandated by Congress to help raise test scores, such as free tutoring and teacher training.

Ultimately, schools can be shut or their staff replaced if failure persists for several more years…

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/05/MNEJ12O85V.DTL&tsp=1

OK, PIGS REALLY DO FLY:

The Nation, the sort of magazine whose readers think Stalin was just a misunderstood former seminarian, admits that our highly trained education professionals are engaging in massive fraud under No Child Left Behind. Women and minorities are hardest hit, of course….

When Congress passed George W. Bush’s signature education initiative, No Child Left Behind, it was widely hailed as a bipartisan breakthrough–a victory for American children, particularly those traditionally underserved by public schools.

Now, five years later, the debate over the law’s reauthorization has a decidedly different tone. As the House and Senate consider whether the law should be preserved–and if so, how it should be changed–high-profile Republicans are expressing their disenchantment with NCLB, while many newly elected Democrats are seeking a major overhaul as well….

Perhaps the most adverse unintended consequence of NCLB is that it creates incentives for schools to rid themselves of students who are not doing well, producing higher scores at the expense of vulnerable students’ education.

Studies have found that sanctioning schools based on average student scores leads schools to retain students in grade so that grade-level scores will look better (although these students ultimately do less well and drop out at higher rates), exclude low-scoring students from admissions and encourage such students to transfer or drop out.

Recent studies in Massachusetts, New York and Texas show how schools have raised test scores while “losing” large numbers of low-scoring students. In a large Texas city, for example, scores soared while tens of thousands of students–mostly African-American and Latino–disappeared from school.

Educators reported that exclusionary policies were used to hold back, suspend, expel or counsel out students in order to boost test scores. Overall, fewer than 40 percent of African-American and Latino students graduated. Paradoxically, NCLB’s requirement for disaggregating data by race creates incentives for eliminating those at the bottom of each subgroup, especially where schools have little capacity to improve the quality of services such students receive.

As a consequence of high-stakes testing, graduation rates for African-American and Latino students have declined in a number of states. In the NCLB paradigm, there is no solution to this problem, as two-way accountability does not exist: The child and the school are accountable to the state for test performance, but the state is not held accountable to the child or his school for providing adequate educational resources. http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070521/darling-hammond

REMEMBER:

1. Feel free to circulate The Continuing Collapse.

2. If you aren’t hearing about at least some these government school problems from your pastor, why is he your pastor?

3. FRIENDS DON’T LET FRIENDS SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS.

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm – but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.”

-T.S. Eliot

The Cold, Calculated Evilness of Barak Hussein Obama

Until tonight I had been unable to watch this video.  I had heard about it but having lost a baby a year ago, could not bear to watch before now.  It is still overwhelming heartbreaking to think that any human being could allow something barbaric and cruel to happen to an innocent baby.

Obama is evil but then so is anyone else that could vote legislation to allow this, perform these procedures and throw live babies in the trash and have no remorse.  What is even more interesting is that the purpose of Planned Parenthood is really black genocide.  Obama of all people should be screaming for it to stop,  instead he pushes and endorses it.  Isn’t it interesting that he screams about every other black issue there is except this one? His hypocrisy evident and his evilness obvious!

I’m sure it won’t be long before YouTube yanks this one.

The Cost of Compromise

This is a sermonette from A.W. Tozer that couldn’t be more appropriate for today for the church and the direction she is headed.

Compromise has cost the Church her testimony.  We’ve become far too much like the world in the way we dress, talk, act and think.  How can the world they see that they need what we have if there is nothing different about us?

Please take the time to read this and although it is long it is well worth reading.

“Great saints have always been dogmatic.  We need right now a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that liveth and abideth forever.”

“This frightening hour calls aloud for men with the gift of prophetic insight. Instead we have men who conduct surveys, polls and panel discussions. We need men with the gift of knowledge. In their place we have men with scholarship—nothing more.

If the church in the second half of this century is to recover from the injuries she suffered in the first half, there must appear a new type of preacher. …not the smooth-talking pastoral type who knows how to make the Christian religion acceptable to everyone. All these have been tried and found wanting.

Another kind of religious leader must arise among us. He must be of the old prophet type, a man who has seen visions of God and has heard a voice from the Throne. When he comes (and I pray God there will be not one but many) he will stand in flat contradiction to everything our smirking, smooth civilization holds dear. He will contradict, denounce and protest in the name of God and will earn the hatred and opposition of a large segment of Christendom.

We desperately need seers who can see through the mist—Christian leaders with prophetic vision. Unless they come soon it will be too late for this generation. And if they do come we will no doubt crucify a few of them in the name of our worldly orthodoxy.

“The church has lost her testimony.

She has no longer anything to say to the world.”

Christianity is so entangled with the world that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere.

Keep your feet on the ground, but let your heart soar as high as it will. Refuse to be average or to surrender to the chill of your spiritual environment.

We need to learn that truth consists not in correct doctrine, but in correct doctrine plus the inward enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.

Men who have been used of God in any generation from Calvary down to this hour have not invented and preached new truths. They have simply had the anointed vision to discover truths that had been obscured by the overemphasis of certain other truths.

The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted.

Pure Christianity, instead of being shaped by its environment, actually stands in sharp opposition to it.

Could it be that too many of God’s true children, and especially the preachers, are sinning against God by guilty silence?…I for one am waiting to hear the loud voices of the prophets and reformers sounding once more over a sluggish and drowsy church. They’ll pay a price for their boldness, but the results will be worth it.

“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men. This is such a common truth that one hesitates to mention it, yet it appears to have been overlooked by the majority of Christians today.”

Apart from God nothing matters. We think that health matters, that freedom matters, or knowledge or art or civilization. And but for one insistent word they would matter indeed. That word is eternity.

We are in real need of a reformation that will lead to revival among the churches. The man who has been taught by the Holy Spirit will be a seer rather than a scholar. The difference is that the scholar sees and the seer sees through; and that is a mighty difference indeed.

The apostles went to jail, and that is not too revealing because they went against their will; but when they got out of jail and could go where they would they immediately went to the praying company. The choices of life, not the compulsions, reveal character.

Moral power has always accompanied definitive beliefs. Great saints have always been dogmatic. We need right now a return to a gentle dogmatism that smiles while it stands stubborn and firm on the Word of God that liveth and abideth forever.

The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way. The man who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him.
I believe that the imperative need of the day is not simply revival, but a radical reformation that will go to the root of our moral and spiritual maladies and deal with causes rather than with consequences, with the disease rather than with symptoms.

When the children of God accept the world’s values it is time some Christians spoke up. Babylon may have her gods, her own way of life and moral standards. It is when Israel begins to adopt them that the prophet of God becomes responsible to rise and cry out against them.

“Any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit.”

Truth consists not merely in correct doctrine but in correct doctrine to which is added the inward enlightenment of the Holy Spirit…John the Baptist said, “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27). He was not referring to men’s gifts. He was speaking of spiritual truth.

The radical element in testimony and life that once made Christians hated by the world is missing from present-day evangelicalism.

It is useless for large companies of believers to spend long hours begging God to send revival. Unless we intend to reform we may as well not pray. Unless praying men have the insight and faith to amend their whole way of life to conform to the New Testament pattern there can be no true revival.

The fact is that we are not today producing saints. We are making converts to an effete type of Christianity that bears little resemblance to that of the New Testament. The average so-called Bible Christian in our times is but a wretched parody on true sainthood. Yet we put millions of dollars behind movements to perpetuate this degenerate form of religion and attack the man who dares to challenge the wisdom of it.

And when the deliverers come—reformers, revivalists, prophets—they will be men of God and men of courage. They will have God on their side because they will be careful to stay on God’s side. They will be co-workers with Christ and instruments in the hand of the Holy Ghost. Such men will be baptized with the Spirit indeed…

Our only hope is that renewed spiritual pressure will be exerted increasingly by self-effacing and courageous men who desire nothing but the glory of God and the purity of the church. May God send us many of them.

Today we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy. The word of wisdom is missing. We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits.

Any spirit that permits compromise with the world is a false spirit. Any religious movement that imitates the world in any of its manifestations is false to the cross of Christ and on the side of the devil.

The popular notion that the first obligation of the church is to spread the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth is false. Her first obligation is to be spiritually worthy of it.

Some who desire to be teachers of the Word, but who understand neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm, insist upon “naked” faith as the only way to know spiritual things. By this they mean a conviction of the trustworthiness of the Word of God (a conviction, it may be noted, which the devils share with them). But the man who has been taught even slightly by the Spirit of Truth will rebel at this perversion. His language will be, “I have heard Him and observed Him. What have I to do any more with idols?” For he cannot love a God who is no more than a deduction from a text.

“The man who preaches truth and applies it to the lives of his hearers will feel the nails and the thorns. He will lead a hard life, but a glorious one. May God raise up many such prophets. The church needs them badly.”

The truly spiritual man is indeed something of an oddity. He lives not for himself but to promote the interests of Another…He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.”

Teenage Girls Peacefully practicing their First Amendment Right – Arrested!

Two teenage girls with the the Survivors Organization that were given permission by the City to peacefully protest abortion at the Democratic National Convention were according to Worldnet Daily “were shoved to the sidewalk, cuffed and arrested for doing just that”.   This organization was peacefully chalking sidewalk messages when they were arrested.

Denver sent a clear message that the First Amendment rights we have as citizens of the United States of America  is not recognized nor will it be tolerated.

Here is a video of their arrest.