The Case for Religious Liberty in America

April 27, 2015

Dr. Dan Nelson | Pastor
First Baptist Church, Camarillo, CA

Religious liberty and the rights of people of faith are under attack like never before in our country today because of several factors.

The biggest reason is secular progressives (liberals) are in control of most of the thought producing communication. Entertainment, network news, educational institutions have a pathway to social engineering that calls for a radical overhaul of social mores. Women’s rights to unrestricted birth control, gay rights, and the freedom from religion have been reinforced by all these venues. It is not only reinforcement; it is cheerleading for these causes.

This decline is coupled with a generation of youth that have grown up without Bible reading or prayer in schools. Evolution is taught as fact and social engineering has been championed by teachers unions. They want our children, and youth’s, minds reformed regarding morality in America. They have been fairly successful since we see a decline in children, youth, and young adults attending church. Social acceptance of not attending church and being against what they called “organized religion” has weakened the influence of Bible-believing churches and Christians who have also bought into the lies against organized religion.

The attack on religious liberty has begun and will not let up. We have seen it rear its head with politicians who would dare let religious people exercise their conscience in matters of morality. Many of us feel the push to accept what the Bible calls immorality as an attempt to do full court press on people of faith. We see it as an attempt to endorse perversion and we feel our rights are trampled on. This push is foreign to how the founders or our country perceived the role of religion and protection of religion in America.

The president has sided with these liberals who bully and will continue to bully people of faith. His recent remarks contrasting the crusades with Isis is an ignorant attempt, on his part, to put people of faith on the same playing field as Isis. Recently he said Christians don’t display love to those who want to ram their lifestyles down our throats without any protest. The president does not understand that the greatest display of love is to tell the truth and not lie about sin. It is to let people know that if they live their lives in a manner against God and His Word it will only lead to destruction. Love is not an endorsement of evil or acceptance of immorality.

At worst Christians and people of faith who disagree with the attempts to accept what used to be rejected as legitimate would expect the same rights as labor unions, teachers, Hollywood stars, etc. who express their opinion to be granted to us. We want the liberty to express our opinion even though you disagree with it. We have the right to live how we want to, as those who are pushing for this want to do on the other side. We want to live and teach our children what we perceive to be right and wrong from a Biblical perspective with the Bible as our source of authority and truth. We express and live in opposition to these attempts to redefine views of morality and we expect those rights to be protected.

If we are recriminated against because of our views and conscience we are no better than communist countries and Islamic countries under Sharia law which suppress women and punishes those who are not Muslim. If we cannot be granted this freedom then we are no better than Nazi Germany, Red China and Stalin’s regimens which punished people for their words and thoughts. If we are not better than this we cease to have democratic government but are instead controlled by one, which becomes the thought police for their liberal viewpoint that will allow no other opinion to be legitimate and is quickly labeled as hate speech.

At best our freedom to practice our faith extends further than to go to which church we want to. The first amendment clarifies that Congress shall not favor one denomination over the other. It shall neither prohibit the free exercise of religion as has been done recently by those who protest our freedom of conscience and say you have to believe their way or we will boycott, protest and practice hate speech against those who disagree with their thinking.

Our country was founded upon the premise that there is a God. He has granted us responsible freedom. Our laws are based on His immutable truths. These should be kept on the forefront of all we do in the government and in all our institutions. They should not be swept aside and disregarded as out of place and unwanted in our day. If we can’t respect this viewpoint then we are relegating our country to the ash-heap of other failed nations. The choice is up to us. No one should violate my rights to act in accordance with my deep held beliefs. If you restrict these, you have trampled the constitution under your feet and you are far more guilty of discrimination than you would ever accuse me of being.

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William

Laws providing for and accommodating slavery derive from exactly which of “His immutable truths”?

Nazi Germany, Stalin, Red China, sharia law. I guess persecuted Christians in the Middle East will be taking up offerings the millions for beleaguered and oppressed Christians in America who have been executed, lost jobs, destroyed homes and families.

Myopia at work here…but everyone has an unfettered right to an apopleptic rant.

Jim P

I’ve commented often that the United States if Baptistic in its values. Confusing that characteristic with actually being Baptists is causing many a Baptists unresolved frustrations.

Dan Nelson

The oppressive regimes that imprisoned, killed and shut down churches started because of the thought police in the government which dictated what could be said and couldn’t be said. The stage is being set for this in our country with the inclusion of hate speech and labeling those as bigots who will not accept immorality and the legitimacy of Gay marriage. I don’t think this is myopic neither is it a rant. I have two more articles on some history of religious liberty in America and threats to religious liberty. I just dealt with the causes of it in this article. People have more and more a blind eye to what religious liberty really is in this country and it needs to be clarified and explained.. DN

Jim P

The Jews of old were told by the prophets, while taken away into exile, to look out for the best interest of the nations the Lord used to take them into exile. Regardless of how fine the nation was who took them into exile and how much the Jews contributed to the welfare of that nation, the bottom line was they were in exile.

Baptists have contributed so so much to the welfare of this nation, yet scripture always portrays God’s people as pilgrims in this world. The bottom line is the United States and this world is not the Kingdom of God, yet.

Jon Estes

Maybe we need to be reminded that lost people will always do lost things and lost leaders will always lead us in the ways of the lost.

Why should I expect a lost leader to have the morals of God? Why should I expect a governmental system being led by and filled with lost persons to support or even understand my Christian perspective?

The answer to our problems is not the preaching in the churches, the cell groups in the homes, the activities of the church built around a people in the church, or the typed out theological discussion/debate which take place in cyber land daily but an active and “till the end” commitment to live out our Christianity in a way that God can use to draw men unto Himself.

if these people I refer to as lost are saved then the bible describes them as carnal (those saved living lost)… either way they are leading away from the holiness of God and that should be expected.

The discussion we need to be having is not about what we were founded upon or the constitution but what is God’s remedy. How does a lost person have a change of mind / heart? If we can figure that out then we need to ask what role do we play as God’s children to help see such a God led change take place.

In a political comparison… The USA has the largest and most advanced military in the world and if they chose to use all weapons at their disposal could radically alter the landscape of the whole world. Why can’t the Southern Baptist who have the largest evangelical base with the greatest resources available (from heaven itself) make a dent to the lostness of our problems?

Just where my mind is…

jle

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