Rev. Rafael Cruz. (AP)
Commenting on America’s moral decline, evangelical pastor Rafael Cruz said the silence of the church during cultural upheavals was partly to blame, such as during the removal of prayer and the Bible from the public schools, and he added that for too long “the church has believed this lie of separation of church and state.”
During an interview on CBN News, host Pat Robertson asked, “What do you see are the parallels between the United States and Cuba, and if you wanted to warn people? You’ve written a book and you said it’s a time for taking action. What action should we be taking?”
Reverend Cruz, who fled Cuba in 1957, said, “Well, we are where we are primarily because the church has been silent. For too many years, the church has believed this lie of separation of church and state. That is neither in the Constitution nor in the Declaration [of Independence].”
The year “1962, when prayer was taken out of schools, the church remained silent,” said Rev. Cruz. “When the Bible was taken out of schools a year later, 1963, the church remained silent. Their excuse? ‘It’s a political issue.’”
“How can you call prayer a political issue, Bible study a political issue?” he said. “But that’s what the church did. The consequence of that? Teen pregnancy skyrocketed after 1963, so did violent crime. Ten years later, when abortion was legalized, the church again remained silent. Again, same excuse: ‘It’s a political issue.’”
“Well, you know, we have what we deserve,” said Rev. Cruz. “June 26, when we had this decision against traditional marriage by the Supreme Court – I’ll tell you, this has been a wake-up call. How long are we going to remain silent?”
CBN’s Robertson then asked, “Where do you see the future of America, right now, as it stands?”
Reverend Cruz said, “I am very encouraged because precisely that decision on June 26, I think the Devil overplayed his hand. And the church finally has realized, we can be silent no more. It is time that we draw a line in the sand.”
“You know, praise God that there’s so much emphasis on 2nd Chronicles 7:14,” said Cruz. “We must start on our knees in prayer. But 2nd Chronicles 7:14 is only half the equation. The second half is 2nd Corinthians 5:20 that says we are ambassadors for Christ. That means we’re God’s representatives here on Earth.”
“We’re God’s hands, we’re God’s feet, we’re God’s mouthpiece, and Jesus said, ‘Shout it from the housetops,’” said Rev. Cruz.
Rafael Cruz, 76, fled Cuba in 1957 after realizing that Fidel Castro was not a democratic reformer but a hardcore communist. Cruz earned a mathematics degree at the University of Texas, while on a student visa, and he was later granted political amnesty. He married U.S. citizen Eleanor Wilson, a computer programmer from Delaware, in 1969. Rev. Cruz became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.
Rev. Cruz is a pastor in Dallas and serves as the director of Purifying Fire Ministries, which promotes Christianity in the United States, Mexico, and Central America.
The Cruz’ son, Ted Cruz, is a U.S. senator from Texas and a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.