American citizens better be concerned about the precarious state of their First Amendment rights. The assault is real, it’s happening right now, and it’s time to take a stand. It’s not a coincidence that free speech and freedom of religion are foundational to the U.S. Constitution. Our Founders knew that without these two building blocks, our society would crumble. That’s why it’s so frightening when we see more and more instances of censorship and government overreach threatening these basic rights. Take, for example, the wholesale censorship practices that the “Twitter Files” have brought to light since Elon Musk stepped in. Big Tech companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google have a tremendous amount of power in controlling the flow of information and shaping public discourse. When they start selectively censoring, suppressing and even canceling content that they don’t agree with, they are acting as a de facto arm of the government, manipulating and crushing public opinion. Some have even started calling this evil the “censorship industrial complex.” Another troubling example is the recent case of political commentator Douglass Mackey, who was convicted of election interference for sharing one meme that allegedly misled voters during the 2016 presidential election. The idea that someone could be jailed — Mackey faces 10 years in prison — for expressing his opinions in a satirical way is disturbing and sets a dangerous precedent. And the establishment media, which supposedly stands on free speech, is cheering his conviction. Perhaps most concerning of all was the government’s attempt to silence the church by prohibiting it from gathering during the panic days of COVID. That the government could declare churches non-essential and attempt to shut them down is a blatant violation of our First Amendment rights. It’s not just about the ability to worship together, but also about the freedom to express our beliefs without fear of government intervention or retaliation. It’s clear that something has gone seriously wrong in American society when the freedoms that millions of its citizens have died protecting are discarded with such callousness. As Christians, we are not to stand idly by and allow this to continue. Paul tells us in 2 Thessalonians that there is a restraining force at work in the world to hold wickedness at bay. That force is the Holy Spirit dwelling within His people, and it is our duty as the church to fight against the powers of darkness. To combat this violent censorship, we are launching the Real Life Network on Pentecost Sunday, May 28. The Real Life Network will offer relevant, biblical worldview programming that won’t be silenced. We must be proactive in keeping truth as the primary narrative in society and speaking out against the forces that seek to shut us down. Why Pentecost Sunday? It was a watershed moment for the early church, symbolizing the empowerment of believers through the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel and continue Christ’s mission on earth. It was also a significant day for me personally. On Pentecost Sunday in 2020, the Holy Spirit impressed upon me to reopen the doors of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, regardless of any lockdown, mandate or “guidance” from the government. On that day, I informed our congregation that we would never again violate God’s Word by shutting down His church, as no one has that authority but God Himself. As a result, the Real Life Network was birthed. The network will be an extension of that commitment to keep God’s Word going forth without any sway or influence from big government, Big Tech or the biggest liar the world has ever known: Satan himself. We must not be afraid to speak the truth and share the love of Christ with others, even when it’s unpopular or inconvenient. As Christians, we are called to be salt and light in the world. We need to be a positive influence on our culture and engage in the public square to shape the course of our nation. We must never give up our freedom to speak and worship as we choose, and we must always be vigilant in defending those freedoms. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.