Christians and National Freedom

The best non-theocratic human governmental model for a nation is one that recognizes and protects the rights of the populace to exercise the Freedom of Religion.

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

‭~ Galatians‬ ‭5:13‬

A nation’s Rights of Freedom does not make everything done (or not done) as afforded by that freedom, equal in moral value in God’s Kingdom. The Christian’s moral code is described in the scriptures and is to be followed within the boundaries of the laws and freedoms of their nation of residence. Where there is a conflict between Biblical instruction and national rights and laws, the Biblical instruction takes precedence.

This Freedom of Religion should not be construed as a “wide highway” declaration that all religions lead to The One True God. Instead, it protects the masses from a few leaders using force (violence or suffering) to subjugate them to live according to a particular system of belief (i.e. Theocratic nations that force a particular brand of Islam; or Atheistic nations that force a particular brand of Communism).

While this right of freedom of religion allows for each individual to choose whom they will believe in as God, we as Christians need to guard against the introduction of any form of the “wide highway” concept to our own personal belief system. Jesus definitely preached the “narrow road” concept:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

~ Matthew‬ ‭7:13-14‬

Jesus also taught that He is exclusive, there is no other way to approach The One True God:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

‭‭~ John‬ ‭14:6‬

In America, we have been blessed by God, having been kept free from Nebuchadnezzar-like dictators who would violently force Christians into a deny-or-die situation (like the 3 Hebrews and the fiery furnace in Daniel 3). But, lest we loose our clear perspective, let me reiterate again: our national rights and freedoms do not nullify nor expand on God’s instructions with regard to what is truly right and wrong.

A certain Right does not mean it is right for us to do it (or not to do it). A certain Freedom does not mean we are free to do it (or not to do it). A Freedom of Speech does not mean that God now approves of everything we might express. A Freedom of Religion does not mean that God now approves of everything we might choose to believe.

The Bill of Rights are for humans who govern humans. God is still Lord of our lives!

image

#PastorsTip #Galatians5 #Matthew7 #John14 #Freedom #Rights #Morals #Government #Christians

Redeemed & Forgiven

Most people will consider themselves to be “very good people” when they compare their sins with those of Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin, two individuals on the Top Ten list of history’s baddest-of-the-bad.

The problem with comparing their sin with “extreme sinners” in order to estimate their own place on a sin-scale is this: everyone is to compare themselves with Christ and His righteousness. It is in this comparison that everyone can finally see their extreme shortfall from the glory of God’s purity and holiness (Ro. 3:23).

It is when a person finally recognizes just how wicked their sin really is, that they will drop to their knees with remorse and regret, calling out to Jesus Christ for His forgiveness and redemption.

“… Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

‭‭~ Romans‬ ‭6:19-23‬

Even as Christians, we tend to compare ourselves with fellow believers’ lifestyles in order to think of ourselves as being at an acceptable level on a scale of righteousness vs. sin; that we are within the average or just a step above it. Again, Christ alone is to be our model for comparison, not other believers or other sinners.

image

#PastorsTip #Romans6 #Romans3 #Forgiveness #GloryOfGod #Sin #Compare