This 4th of July caused me to reflect more on the freedoms we have and perceived freedoms than any other Independence Holiday. Always in the past, and certainly this holiday as well, I pray for the men and women who sacrificed their lives that we can live free from oppression. We can never repay that kind of sacrifice and we must continue to give them the tribute they deserve. My question is this: How free are we really in today’s America? We are free to come and go as we please, for the biggest part. Free to buy homes, open new businesses, choose whom we will marry and how many children we can have. In some countries, these rights are not readily available.
What about religious freedom? The religious freedom our forefathers were passionate about. The ‘separation of church and state’ that is misquoted and misused today; even by our government leaders who should have our Constitution committed to memory before they are allowed to make decisions for our country. Make no mistake, there are many religious freedoms in America today but they aren’t the ones our country was founded on and the ones that made our country great. I reflected on some of the religious freedoms that are abounding in our ‘one nation under God’ today. There is freedom to worship satan, allah and buddha, just to name a few. Many worship idols without much notice. We have the idols of money, movie stars, rock stars, sports figures, large collections of ‘stuff’, cars, etc. Please understand, I am not against success or people who excel in their chosen fields. Anything we revere more than God is an idol; that is what I am talking about. We can even talk about God without much squawk from the left wing. It’s Jesus who isn’t politically correct. The same Jesus who died for our sins and sacrificed his own life so we might live the freest life imaginable is pretty effectively being shut down in America. Those who aligned their lives with the teaching of the Bible used to be respected and esteemed. No longer is this the case. In fact, teachers who speak about Jesus have found themselves without a job and in court. Many businesses who would not pay into a healthcare system that funds murdering unborn children have had to defend themselves in court. Clerks who will not issue homosexuals a marriage license and ministers who will not marry homosexuals have been jailed and sued. There are muslim mosques, buddhist temples and temples for satanic worship all over our precious country. Yes, there are churches on every corner too. The trouble is, Christians are the quietest group in America. Therefore, when someone stands up for Biblical Truth and standards it makes waves and causes an uprise of indignation among those other groups. The ‘politically correct’ of America.
This is not the first time in history Christians have been in minority. Not the first time Christians have been persecuted. We are supposed to learn from the past but it seems like we never do. Whole empires have fallen because of the very acts we are allowing in America today. As I reflected on what, as individuals, we can do, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came to my mind. (Daniel chapter 3). Daniel himself came to mind also. (Daniel chapter 6) They all kept their faith and refused to bow to idols. They did not adapt the idol worshipping behavior that was mandated. They didn’t make waves (although we are sometimes called to do that too) but their steadfast belief in God drew attention to them anyway. It landed them in a fire and in the lion’s den. God saved them but they weren’t particularly worried about the end result. They thought it was worth it. James 1:2 tells us to count it all joy.
The IRS has jailed several men of faith in recent years. It seems to be the government strong arm against the right wing.
I went to the school board recently in Houston County because a teacher went far beyond the scope of teaching the lies of evolution to inject her own religious beliefs that we evolved from fish to her class, one of which included my granddaughter. Our complaint was pretty much dismissed as the way the world is now, and some assurances they spoke with the teacher. The board ended it with that but I am not at all sure I am finished. In prayer about it now, looking for direction. David always asked the Lord before he went to battle, after all.
The disciples proclaimed the name of Jesus in prison and out. They were threatened, beaten and stoned. Sawed in half, crucified upside down and tortured. They counted it all joy. Now we are the disciples and apostles. We have sat idly by while the right to proclaim the name of Jesus has been taken away. We think we have been persecuted but really we have become soft. We live in fear to speak out against behavior the Bible called an abomination and allow idol worship to invade our lives.
Rest assured, I am not attempting to incite hate. That isn’t God’s way. Jesus came to show us the heart of the Father. Jesus spoke against behaviors that were sinful but showed great compassion and love for people. If we use that model we can lead people caught up in wrong behavior or worshipping something other than the True God to the grace and knowledge of the One who died for them.
What is freedom? True freedom comes only from Jesus. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! Let’s stand steadfast in our worship of Him and allow Him to handle the persecution, should it come our way. Let’s seek out the lost and tell them about Jesus. Let’s take back our country until it is the land of the free our forefathers intended. Let’s make America the home of the brave by not being intimidated by the ‘politically correct’ Nebuchadnezzar of our day. God Bless America once again!