Generally, citizens and guests within the United States of America are free to believe and behave as they please. Constitutional provisions protect various rights, such as freedom of religion. The First Amendment to the US Constitution states in part: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. . .” The consequences of such protection has brought about a situation in which two foreign-born men came to America, and have the right to interpret or misinterpret their religion as they please. This interpretation on their part led to the Boston marathon bombing.
For a Christian, there are within the framework of the Bible, various scriptures that self-limit our pure freedoms. Y’shuaJesus taught:
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The Apostle Peter spoke about submitting “to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake.” (1 Peter 2:13)
It’s all part of balance. We have the right to exercise our religion, and we have the duty to self-limit our rights such that we obey various ordinances that are created by our G-d-ordained government to protect all citizens.
But. There is always a “but,” isn’t there. But our responsibility is first to our Lord, our G-d. We must study His Word to be approved. We must study the Whole Word, not pick and choose from various places to suit our fleshly agendas. Our conduct is to be exemplary. We are to be models as citizens. So we do all we can to be good Citizens of G-d’s Kingdom at the same time juggling the responsibilities and duties of the country in which we reside. We want to also be good citizens in a secular sense, too.
Yet increasingly we, as Christians are told by people who aren’t part of the Lord’s Fellowship, the Lord’s Church, how we are to behave. I’ve spoken of this in the past. It is a bit of an irritant to me to hear, “The Bible Says” this or that, “and you should. . . ”
So this morning I noticed a posting on the Lighthouse Blog that bothered me. It’s more of the same setting of a stage for Christian persecution in the future. It is more defaming of Christians. The beginning of the article is taken from an article on Christian News Network, By Heather Clark:
“Washington, D. C. – Over 40 United States Congressmen have signed a letter calling upon the secretary of the Army to rescind a briefing by an instructor who classified evangelical Christianity and other faiths as “religious extremism” next to Al Qaeda and Hamas.
“As previously reported, the training session occurred a year ago in Pennsylvania, and involved an Army Reserve unit that was receiving training on worldwide religious extremism. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) obtained a copy of the Power Point presentation, which includes a slide that lists 18 religious groups that the instructor deemed to be extremist. While it is not known whether the groups were ordered in relation to their severity, evangelical Christianity appears first on the list, followed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, a group called “Christian Identity,” Al Qaeda and Hamas.
“The presentation had utilized information and data collected by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that classifies “hate groups” throughout the country.”
And then there is a related article to which the website refers:
Obama Administration: We Can and Will Force Christians to Act Against Their Faith The article states that “the Obama administration is claiming that the First Amendment—which expressly denies the government the authority to prohibit the “free exercise” of religion—nonetheless allows it to force Christians to directly violate their religious beliefs.” This article details the fight that a nationwide hobby store is engaging in so that it doesn’t have to comply with the presidential mandate in the health laws to provide birth control and abortions to employees.
Now this presentation that declares Evangelical Christians (are there non-evangelical Christians, really?) as Religious Extremists was initially reported a year ago. And this Hobby Lobby fight has gone on for a while, too. The crux of the matter is that as Citizens of G-d’s Kingdom and citizens of a secular nation we must voice our opposition at times to governmental measures and mandates that go against our religious views. We do this by informing our representatives in the US Congress, and we do it by actions within the legal process, in court.
While Christians may submit to ordinances made by governing administrations, they also may act within their rights, objecting to ordinances they deem unG-dly.
What Christians don’t do is kill and injure people at the Boston Marathon. That’s just plain ol’ evil.
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .