Monday, April 5, 2010

The Freedom of Religion

I don't know if it's an American thing, or a human thing - but people seem to talk a lot about "what if..." and "one day..." and the responses they believe they will have in specific hypothetical situations. This isn't a bad thing; but it can be quite interesting. I find it especially interesting when Christians talk about "what if Christianity became illegal"; or the certainty that one day it will be. To add to this, we even think of the punishment that will be dealt - death for being a Christian. And almost always the response is that if Christianity became illegal, even if it would cost our lives - we would choose to be unashamed (even bold) to declare Jesus, His work, and His message.

I find this to be incredibly amazing; but not because the response is amazing. The response is what should be expected - how could we hide the One who is the source of our life (both eternal and physical)? How could we not be bold for the One who laid down His life willingly for us? How could we live with our Christianity as a secret, knowing Jesus said that He would be ashamed of those who were ashamed of Him? No, I don't find the response amazing; I find it amazing that the response is so disproportionate to the reality of how so many who claim to be Christians live. The vast majority of "Christians" will say they would die for Christ, but why aren't they living for Him? Why aren't we consumed in our heart with His Gospel to the point it burns in our bones and we can't help but speak (As the prophet in Jeremiah 20:9)?

What adds more amazement, and more sadness, and more humility - is to know and consider that Christianity is not illegal here in America, and you will not be put to death because you're a Christian. Actually, in America you are protected by the freedom of religion; found in our bill of rights. It may not always be this way (and probably won't be) however, for now it is. But maybe it would be better if we lived as if it were illegal. Maybe then the world wouldn't see so many that they point to and say look at all the hypocrites. Maybe we would see revival.

Your talk talks, and your walk talks; but your walk talks louder than your talk talks. This may be a bit of a tongue twister, but may its truth be impressed upon us. Does your life speak of your boldness for Jesus, or your shame?

Oh and just two little thoughts left.

1) I am not saying that we can replace our command to speak the Gospel to the world by claiming our life does that for us - but that our life should match the message of the Gospel as we speak it to the world.

2) When I mention being unashamed and bold as Christians, I am not talking about extra bumper stickers and cross necklaces - but that we live dead to self, and alive for Christ.

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