I have heard many arguments about public display of faith in America. I have heard much about rights we are to be afforded, and so on. Any time I hear about these things I find that there is another group of Christians crying foul. I am certainly not unsympathetic, but I do tend to feel like Christians cry foul when our right are squelched, yet we tend to attempt to squelch the rights of others.
For many years I have seen and heard of my fellow Christians actively taking away or limiting the rights of other groups. Often I find that this is even done in the name of our God! Yes, we should have rights. Yes, other peoples rights offend us on occasion. Either way you slice it oppression is oppression. And we tend toward oppression when we start making demands for limiting the expression of other worldviews.
It seems to me that we often have far more rights than we are grateful for to begin with. This doesn’t mean that we need to lose any rights, but it should give us reason to pause. We are a blessed people. We have far more rights than most other Christians around the world. We should look to the blessings that we have, and quit bemoaning our fallen nation. We truly are better off.
One of the greatest things about our Nation is the fact that people don’t have to walk like, talk like, live like, or be a Christian. We have Choice. That is how God intended things to be. We get to choose if we want to follow God’s way or completely disregard Him altogether. Freedom creates the opportunity for real decisions to follow or not follow Jesus. We speak so often of the oppression and persecution we suffer, but I am convinced that we only do that to rid ourselves of the guilt that we sit in luxury while others suffer for faith.
We must accept that some of us may never suffer for the Kingdom of God. Those of us who are so fortunate to have this as our reality have a responsibility to serve in our own contexts. This means to serve Christ where you are, with all that you are. Of course, If we began to do this, then more than likely our friends of all persuasions may well disown us. We might lose the cozy bubble of gentle and luxurious safe Christianity that we are used to. We might find that the sedated form of Christianity that we have gotten accustomed to is all that the world will accept. We might find that Jesus is just as controversial today, and in America, and among those who profess to follow God, as He was in first century Israel.
It seems so trivial to complain over prayer at a football game when people are still being beheaded in foreign countries for praying in their inner rooms. We have such little understanding of persecution in America, that the slightest perceived violation of our rights causes us to cry out. The mere fact that I can sit comfortably in my house and write this goes to show the extraordinary privilege that we enjoy. That fact that you can disagree with me shows the same.
There are three things that I would hope for you to think about more deeply. The first thing is that we are truly blessed, and God is the one who has blessed us with freedom. The second thing is that we must not be oppressors, for God despises the oppressor. The third thing is that with our freedom and blessing we ought to spread the Grace and Truth that is the Love of God, and the Gospel to the world. It is time for us to respectfully and in all Grace proclaim the Word of God to all nations.
Until next time, may God bless and guide you, may He cause His face to shine upon you, and may you find peace, rest, and comfort in Him.