Freedom OF Religion, Not Freedom FROM Religion

Losing our religion!
Losing our religious freedom?

Freedom of religion and the separation of church and state are important and necessary elements of the democratic experiment known as the United States of America. The Founding Parents of our nation saw the problems in Europe where neither of those concepts were established.

Religious freedom means you and I have the freedom to choose our religion or to choose no religion. I, for one, am very glad to have that freedom. For my early years, I chose NO religion. At age 18, I chose Christianity. Actually, I chose Jesus, and eventually found that in choosing Jesus I had chosen a way, a truth, and a life (John 14:6; Acts 11:26).

Christianity cannot be enforced or mandated. Religious/spiritual faith must be freely accepted. Whoever tells the best story wins the hearts and souls of the listeners. It is up to Christians to tell the story of amazing grace, sacrificial love, and a transformation of life that creates attractive virtue. We must tell that story very well.

Freedom FROM religion and the steady aggression against Christianity from the politically liberal intellectual elite (including a recent candidate for the presidency) is anathema to the spirit and soul of our nation.

Note: Morality that has its origins in religion, and its influence on and integration into a nation, is another matter for serious discussion, but not the subject of this post. However, in the Freedom From Religion view, religion has no say in things of national morality.

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Many of the past leaders of our nation (commerce, banking, military, politics) were unprincipled scoundrels. A few of them held the highest office in the land. Abuses of power, manipulation of public interests, profit-oriented personal agendas, and sheer animosity toward opponents have been a part of our nation’s heritage from the beginning. There were intense battles within George Washington’s first cabinet! And lack of religious faith has always been a part of some of our nation’s leadership.

But there has also (and always) been a warmth and receptive openness to the spiritual life and the religious organizations that have responsibility for matters of the Spirit. And there has been real faith on the part of many of those in leadership in our nation.

There is a massive two volume series, Religion in the Oval Office and Faith and the Presidency, by Gary Scott Smith (over 1,000 pages), which I will dive into sometime in 2018.

Of all the serious political and social matters of our country, and there are many, the steady erosion of religious freedom is one of our more serious problems. On this, Christians of all denominations and political persuasions should be of one voice.

Global history has recent and severe examples of the suppression of religion and religious freedom. Communism is the supreme example of such suppression. Socialism is a political philosophy that has strong leanings in the same direction of suppression of religious faith. Join socialism together with political and secular liberalism, and the future well-being of religious faith is in doubt.

It is one thing for candidates to be nominal on faith, but to be oppositional and derogatory of faith is a serious issue. Always pay attention to political candidates at all levels on these matters.

On many political policies, Christians may differ. This is one where we need to have a unified voice, else we lose that voice altogether. This is one where we need Christian voices in places of political influence.

Pastor Brian

Brian Rice

What I love most about my job:

Having the ability to empower and resource leaders to bear much fruit that lasts. Being a part of a team of friends and missional servants committed to changing the world.
Brian Rice

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