RELIGIOUS FREEDOMRon Boyd-MacMillian concludes his two-part analysis of religious freedom in our country...It was a persecuted Christian in the Middle East who gave me the eyes to see that religious freedom always needs protecting, wherever one is.Freedom is fragile, she said. Religious freedom is not about having the right laws to protect beliefthats a myth put out by the human rights community. No, religious freedom is protected not by laws, but by a climate of respect and openness that ensures the laws are correctly applied. A toleration law, for example, can be used for or against Christians. Christians always have to fight to ensure the climate is tolerant.She added, I dont care what country or state you live in, you also live in a culture that hates Christ. Thats your fight, and every Christian on the earth has the same fight, whether you belong to a so-called Christian society or not.She was right. A climate of prejudice against Christians has crept up by stealth in western cultures, even in apparently Christian ones. We are in a battle in our own backyard. Thank you, persecuted church, for awakening me to the fight!As Ron writes, we are in a battle even at home. It doesnt take much insightor even imaginationto assess the direction of the moral slide in our free societies, especially in the Western world. Biblical values are disappearing and secular philosophies with a pseudo-biblical aura are fast taking their place.As Ive traveled and spoken in western countries, it is not uncommon to have folk share with me how they lost their employment because of their faith. They had not been obnoxious nor spending company time witnessing. They had simply expressed their support for biblical principles that were being violated. Jesus warns in our scripture today that this treatment is because of His name. Lets make sure that it is not because we refuse to be His salt and light.RESPONSEToday I will walk with my eyes open to the reality of anti-Christian prejudice. And I will retaliate with the only weapon Jesus authorized: love for all otherseven my perceived enemies. PRAYERLord, I know that because of Your life in me I am bound to generate negative reactions. Help me to respond in a truly loving manner as You exemplified and be Your salt and light in a darkening world. Open Doors Ministry
True religious freedom for Christisans can only come from the heart. That is Jesus who brings freedom into the heart of one who follows him. Our trust is not to be in the political institutions of men to insure religious freedom. Even at best political institutions are corrupted and can be coopted by the devil.The reality is the worrd is moving into a hatred of Christians. Governments will only acts if it suits their best interest. The cry of the early Hebrews was for God to deliver them. Not a government. This must be the cry of the persecuted. For their hope be found only in Jesus Christ and not the institutions of man.Blaine Scogin
2Ch 7:14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.We make it so hard when God makes it so easy. But we think our ways are best when they actually only cause hurt and harm.
Amen sister, Anen.