For All Believers That Have Lost Their Freedom
Religious Freedom Is Not Dangerous, But Losing It Is
The assault on Americans’ religious liberties continues apace as two recently enacted anti-discrimination laws from the District of Columbia await congressional review.
The Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014 and Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 are poised to provoke more violations of conscience among the devout.
The former requires religious schools to sponsor student groups that may radically oppose their doctrines and values, and the latter forbids religious organizations from allowing pro-life convictions to influence their hiring.
U.S. senators Cruz and Lankford have introduced resolutions attempting to block these laws, but it remains to be seen what, if anything, will come of them. After all, cowardice under the guise of moderation could prompt our national representatives to reject freedom of conscience even more easily than state representatives did in Indiana.
When Indiana briefly decided to support its citizens’ religious freedom (commonly referred to as “religious freedom” by the Left,) social-justice warriors were quickly frothing at their collective mouth.
Sure, similar laws already existed in 20 other states and at the federal level, but after consulting the future, progressives became certain these laws were on the wrong side of history and therefore slated to go away—not grow in number.
What Failed Was Our Courage
Unfortunately, they could still be right. Every toddler knows that temper tantrums can change things, so many leftists pitched quite the fit.
One pundit warned (Chicken Little-style) that, “If you’re gay, non-Christian, non-Caucasian, or could just be assumed to hold any of those or other minority statuses, you probably want to stay far away from Indiana.
” Powerful CEOs decided to restrict their business activities in the briefly benighted state—apparently after having concluded that it’s more repressive than China, where they happily continue to do business.
Activists warned Americans that a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) means police will no longer protect homosexuals, doctors will no longer heal them, and firefighters will abandon their adopted babies in burning buildings. In other words, dogs and cats living together—mass hysteria.
It is not the mob of leftists and gay activists that presently need to be addressed but rather those who are tempted to give in to them cowardice—and indeed anyone who thinks trying to meet a lynch mob halfway will save any necks.So mollycoddling parents, Indiana’s legislators gave in to these fascists. They gutted their new protections by making anti-discrimination laws always trump conscience.
Accordingly, as DC becomes the latest (but not the last) to throw its faithful under the bus, it is not the mob of leftists and gay activists that presently need to be addressed but rather those who are tempted to give in to them cowardice—and indeed anyone who thinks trying to meet a lynch mob halfway will save any necks.
Certainly, the bullies from the rainbow lobby have their own reasons for hating religious liberty that go beyond cowardice. For some, it’s a simple matter of Selma envy. They have been raised according to a narrative divorced from history—one in which Christians who actually believe that their religion is true represent the Platonic ideal of the oppressor.
After all, these activists are fairly sanguine when gay bakers refuse to make cakes that support traditional marriage, when Muslim bakers refuse to bake cakes to help homosexuals pretend to be married, and even when Native American tribes make such “marriages” altogether illegal.
Still others simply have seared consciences, which create a pathological need for everyone they encounter to happily celebrate their perversions.
They cannot tolerate even the existence of those who would openly refuse to bless their lifestyle; all reminders that chastity is a virtue must be blotted out.
Nevertheless such extremists will always be with us, and we shall always have to deal with them. The failure of religious liberty in Indiana was ultimately due to a failure of courage among those who would try to be moderates. The extremists ranted, raved, and called them names, so the moderates supplicated to them.
If It’s Got to Be an Either-Or, Pick Religious Freedom
While the appeal of a middle way is undeniable, moderation always fails once the middle ground on an issue has been taken away by one side or another. If it was ever possible for religious freedom to coexist with anti-discrimination laws, it was only back when people wanted the government to stay their bedrooms.
Which affords our citizens real protection and which constitutes a real threat: religious liberty or anti-discrimination?
When the rainbow lobby demanded that the government come into gay bedrooms, pat the lovers on the head, and tell them how good they are, they made that option extremely difficult.
When they went further and demanded that the government send other citizens into their bedrooms to provide similar affirmation, they eliminated that option altogether. But if they have forced America to choose, then America must choose wisely.Which affords our citizens real protection and which constitutes a real threat: religious liberty or anti-discrimination?
For all their bluster, religious liberty in America is not nearly so dangerous as leftists claim. As we’ve already mentioned, the Indiana law wasn’t terribly unique. Yet none of the Americans living under those laws for decades have reported the kind of horrible oppression and mass hysteria that progressives have been screaming about.
Perhaps this is because such laws contain a broad “compelling interest” provision. Perhaps it is because all of these florists, bakers, and photographers only wish to discriminate between the types of services they provide—not between the types of people they serve.
Perhaps it’s because an unwillingness to celebrate sodomy (or even a willingness to use the term sodomy) is not actually indicative of hatred at all.
In other words, the baker who patiently explains to a long-time customer why she won’t fulfill this one specific service is not therefore secretly preparing her torches and pitchforks for later in the evening. In any case, recent history has shown religious liberty to be rather benign.
The same cannot be said for anti-discrimination laws—particularly where they rub against religious liberty.
Whereas the ravings of liberals about religious freedom amount to collections of minor inconveniences blown proportion into imagined doomsday scenarios, the harm to those whose freedom has been taken away is both eminent and real.
There is a growing list of individuals who have been targeted by a rainbow-colored mob—often with government assistance.
Americans Need Protection from Mobs More than from Individuals
The disparity between the danger of religious freedom and the danger of anti-discrimination can perhaps be most clearly seen in the targeting of Barronelle Stutzman—a Washington florist who refused to provide flowers for a same-sex couple’s ceremony.
She was relentlessly pursued under Washington’s anti-discrimination laws, not only by the couple, but by the attorney general and by other activists who requested cakes against her conscience specifically to multiply her liability under the law.
As fines and court costs mount, she is ly to lose her business, her savings, and her home.
The kind of special protections that are sometimes afforded to creeds, races, and perversions are provided when there are sufficient people waiting to descend on a group a pack of rabid dogs if they even look at someone the wrong way.That’s some pretty hefty retribution considering that the court determined the cost of going to another florist (which was added to her initial fine) to be a mere $7.91. Is $7.
91 worth of inconvenience really a matter that requires government intervention? Is it really a matter worth destroying a grandmother’s finances and livelihood over? Any just sense of proportion says no, but the mob says yes.
If America must decide which protection is most important, then we must remember that it is not the individual from whom Americans need a protection that goes beyond simple law and order—it’s the mob.
If a pizzeria doesn’t want to cater a pretend wedding, there’s always another who would be happy for the business—there are even Hollywood celebrities who will do the cooking for free.
If somebody is being microaggressive, the target can simply go on with his day as mature adults do for every other kind of minor irritation they encounter.
If, on the other hand, an individual intends actual harm because of whatever one deems special about oneself, the target still possesses all the protections that he would have if this person meant him harm for any other reason. It is, for example, no more legal to kill for fun than it is to kill because of creed, race, or favorite perversion.
Special protections are called for only when a special danger is actually present; but in the case of religious freedom, there is an actual danger.
No; the kind of special protections that are sometimes afforded to creeds, races, and perversions are provided when there are sufficient people waiting to descend on a group a pack of rabid dogs if they even look at someone the wrong way—kind of how social-justice warriors behave whenever a Christian flexes her freedom of conscience. Frustrated clientele and conscience-bound shopkeepers can generally sort out their own differences adults without any real harm to anyone. Special protections are called for only when a special danger is actually present; but in the case of religious freedom, there is an actual danger.
The disparity between $7.91 and utter financial ruin makes this clear. The difference is so vast because it is a kind of damage that can be accomplished only when government materially assists the mob. Accordingly, the appropriate response is not to shackle the individual to government-prescribed goodthink, but to reign in the government so it no longer abuses its power.
Religious Freedom Is For Everyone
This is precisely what religious exemptions do—usually in a fairly small way. RFRA laws, for example, merely require courts to thoughtfully weigh burdened religious conscience against government interest when there’s friction between the two.
To be sure, this is thin protection for believers. After all, the statists who unfortunately govern our nation can find compelling interest under every blade of grass.
It’s only a tiny step towards freedom, but the visceral reaction of rainbow fascists against even this small step merely underscores the need for it.
No one wants to force a gay graphic designer to make signs in support of traditional marriage. No one wants to force a vegan tailor to work with leather or a Muslim deli to serve pork.Perhaps the fact that they are out for blood is what leads them to project that aggression onto the devout. After all, it is often the thief who is most concerned about being robbed.
On top of that, freedom of conscience is for all people—not just the religious. Given how fond atheists and secular humanists are of proclaiming their superior moral fiber, you’d think they would also be concerned about having the liberty to act on it.
No one wants to force a gay graphic designer to make signs in support of traditional marriage. No one wants to force a vegan tailor to work with leather or a Muslim deli to serve pork.
Why, then, would we want to force a Christian florist to decorate a perverse ceremony? Why force a Christian school to sponsor an LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM club or a pro-life organization to be indifferent about an employee’s involvement in abortion?
The question that moderates must therefore ask themselves is this: Is it worth risking minor inconvenience for the sake of protecting the livelihoods and freedoms of all Americans from the mob; or is it better to hand the livelihoods and freedoms of all Americans over to that same mob to protect them against minor inconveniences?
The question has a clear answer. Cowardice alone muddies the waters, for no one wants to draw the ire of the rainbow fascists and their media mouthpieces. But supplication will not allow the moderates to stay it.
The mob has already made it clear that they think tolerance is for chumps; nothing less than mandatory celebration will satisfy them. Moderates will never be able to reason with them nor appear reasonable to them. They will never be spoken well of or respected by the mob until they join it.
In the end, the moderate will have no choice but to be on one side or the other; his only real choice is which side.There has been a great deal of talk about being on the right side of history, but this is a meaningless sentiment. When it comes to such matters, history flip-flops more than a career politician.
When the End comes, history will not be our Judge. The more meaningful place to be is on the right side of justice and freedom.
One ought not let his fear of the mob steer him away from that when religious liberty is targeted in his community.
Religious Freedom , Sample of Essays
Freedom of religion is many things to many people. To one, it is the right of a United States citizen to worship freely what they deem worthy of worship. To another, this right may entail sharing a personal belief with others. To everyone, it is what makes America great, the cornerstone to the democracy.
religious freedom is a basic right endowed to all humans, and a government that respects that right gains the respect of the people. However, this privilege is more than an expression of human rights, but a personal essential and a requirement of God. Religious freedom is the most important right any human can hold.
What a person believes dictates his thoughts, actions, and motives. Therefore, the basis of ones faith is a key part of existence. In life, God is to be the center and foundation of that belief system. If God is the director of a persons life, any law, or individual that attempts to hinder that divine control is contrary to God.
The freedom to worship God ought not to be granted by any government or institution; rather God himself has given any follower of Him the absolute right to freedom and liberty. The Bible states clearly in Galatians 5:1 that we are to standfast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.
Therefore, it is not just the authority of man that is being infringed upon, but Gods command, when the right of religious freedom is threatened or limited.
The Essay on Main differences and similarities between God and human according to Hebrew Scriptures
… had a strong burden to correct false religious practice Hosea addressed political issues strongly …
and differences between the gods and humans, according to the Iliad Greek gods are not spiritual beings … doing, injustice, oppression, and rich , luxurious worship while the poor starved. Amos, for instance …
the earth, love holiness, immortality and freedom (5). Some of these attributes are arguably …
Yet, this liberty is not defined as limitless prerogative to do as one wishes with no consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom from sin and the fallen state of man. The religious liberty a Christian experiences allows him to have certain knowledge that God is sovereign and holy.
Due to this everlasting hope a Christian is commanded and is led to worship the Almighty God. God, having foreseen our compelling need to praise our Creator and Liberator has prepared specific guidelines concerning his acceptance of this praise.
He has created song, prayer, service, and many other forms of worship that we might be able to show some form of thankfulness for what He has done.
The word worship is derived from the Old English word worthship meaning that something is worthy or deserving of praise. Considering the incomprehensible mercy and grace God has and is showing us He is entitled to adoration and honor. Unfortunately, not everyone has experienced this salvation and God given liberty.
Worship does not make sense to these people because God is not worth anything to them. They control their lives and think they have no cause to thank and praise God. When they see those who do have a cause for worship they misunderstand because they are looking through the eyes of bondage.Chained to sin these people know nothing else and cannot comprehend the joy of freedom through Christ Jesus.
The conflict between these two parties is very real. Naturally, the imprisoned masses of people who do not have cause to worship refuse to do so, and in some cases hinder those who do. The Bible says directly men love darkness rather than light (John 3:19).
Instead of desiring to break the jail cell of sin they enjoy the darkness of it and despise the shining light of liberty.
The book, The Gospel in Bonds, tells a thought-provoking story of a mans life living in a country lacking this special freedom. A Russian pastor, Georgi Vins is sentenced to a total of thirteen years in prison for his faith in Jesus.
He is treated even more harshly than the murderers and thieves, because of the pure hate the Russian Secret Police have for Christians.
The Essay on Gods Of Worship Greeks And Aztec
… s would build temples of worship for their god (s). Children would learn about the gods in their home, and … or to be used as a sacrifice in religious ceremony's. Prisoners were often used in the .
.. top, an eagle eating a snake. According to religious legend, that was exactly the spot they were … many questions to be answered. What were the religious concepts of the early Greeks? What were the early …
His imprisonment causes him to miss watching his children grow up. Yet, through it all Pastor Vins claims the promises of hope that God has made to all believers.
He trusts in Gods ultimate authority and omniscience to do what is required to further the gospel. Pastor Vins writes that even in the darkest hour, God had, in an amazing way, upset the cunning schemes of His enemies.
I felt completely secure, protected by God Himself (The Gospel in Bonds, 78).
Therefore, although a specific government had prohibited mans idea of religious freedom, Pastor Vins had all the freedom he required just by trusting God alone.It can therefore be concluded that although religious freedom is the corner stone to democracy due to the place it holds as a fundamental human right, God is the absolute authority on the matter of freedom.
As a result, God can also be included as a foundation this nation has been built upon. God needs no boundaries because he is the author of freedom and He has no limits according to what the world defines as liberty.
Religious freedom, as such an important part of who we are, should be no less that what God expects, an unwavering faith in Him..
Can the Christian believer lose his salvation?
by Matt Slick
CARM's position is that a Christian cannot lose his/her salvation. Let's take a look at scripture to see why.
- Jesus said in John 8:29, “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.”
- John 6:39, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.”
In John 8:29 we can clearly see that Jesus always does the will of the Father. So if Jesus always does the will of the Father and the will of the Father is that Jesus lose none and also raise all those to glory who had been given to him by the Father (John 6:39), then salvation cannot be lost. Otherwise, Jesus sinned by failing to do the will of the Father.
Remember, it is the will of the Father that Jesus lose none, not that Christians don't lose their own salvation of their “own free will.” Again, if someone loses his salvation, then Jesus failed to do the will of the Father because it would mean he has lost some and that he will also fail to raise up to glory those who have been given to him by the Father.
This just cannot be.
But some say that the will of the Father is that people not sin but they do, so the will of the Father is not always done. In this respect, that is true. However, the verses deal with the will of the Father for Jesus, not for us.
In addition to the two verses above, which are extremely powerful, consider the following:
- John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
- John 10: 7-28, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them My hand.”
- 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.”
Is this a license to sin?
A common accusation made against the position that we are eternally secure in Christ is that it becomes a license to sin. The problem with this accusation is that it ignores God's active regeneration in us.
In other words, critics of our security in Christ routinely ignore the fact that God changes the sinner. He makes us born again, and we are made new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17).
As new creatures, we have God living in us (John 14:23); and, therefore, we cannot abide in sin: “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God,” (1 John 3:9).
So, the teaching that we cannot lose our salvation is not a license to sin.
The danger of keeping salvation by doing works
Whether or not you can lose your salvation is important because if someone believes he can lose his salvation, then he might fall into the error of trying to keep his salvation by what he does or does not do. This is a serious heresy (Gal. 3:1-3).
In other words, if a person can lose his salvation then what list of things must he do and not do in order to keep it? If there is such a list, then the person is guilty of achieving salvation by keeping the law.
But this contradicts Romans 3:28 and Romans 4:1-5.The proper understanding of salvation is that works play no part in it (Rom. 4:5), that it is a free gift (Rom. 6:23), and that it is received by faith (Eph. 2:8-9). Once we are saved, we are to live a holy life (1 Thess. 4:7).
Fortunately, believing you can or cannot lose your salvation does not affect your salvation. That is, your salvation is dependent upon accepting Jesus as Savior, trusting in His sin sacrifice, and looking to no one and nothing else. Fortunately, your salvation isn't dependent upon whether or not you think it is possible to lose your salvation.
The important point is that you have studied the Word of God and are convinced in your own mind of what you believe (Rom. 14:5). You are the one who has to answer to God (Rom. 3:19). You are the one who needs to study to show yourself approved (2 Tim. 2:15).
There are, on the surface, verses used for both sides of the argument. There are verses that seem to suggest that it is possible to lose your salvation: 2 Pet. 2:1; Gal. 5:4; Heb. 10:26; 6:4-6; Ps. 69:28.
There are also verses that seem to say you cannot lose your salvation: John 10:27-28; Heb. 13:5; Matt. 7:21-23; 1 John 2:19; Rom. 8:38-39. But if there are verses used to support both sides, then is there a contradiction in the Word of God? Of course not.
There can be no contradiction in the inspired Word of God — only in our uninspired misunderstanding.
It is my firm belief that it is not possible to lose one's salvation. I base this on Scriptures at the beginning of this article and others that seem to have a more “eternal” perspective on them.
For example, on the day of judgment when some seek salvation based upon their works, Jesus will say to them, “I never knew you,” (Matt. 7:21-23). They were never known; that is, they were never saved although they appeared from the human perspective to be saved.
Jesus says that His sheep will “never perish but have eternal life.” (John 10:28). How can eternal life be eternal if it can be lost, particularly when Jesus said they will never perish? If they will never perish, then they can't lose their salvation.Also, Paul says that nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39). I see these “divine perspective” type verses as giving us glimpses into the viewpoint of God. I see the other verses as being stated from a human perspective – that they appeared to be saved and then appeared to lose it (Gal.
5:4; Heb. 6:4-6). However, 1 John 2:19 says in dealing with antichrists, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, in order that it might be shown that they all are not of us.
” This verse is saying two things: First, it appears false teachers leave because they are not regenerated to begin with. In other words, if someone had salvation and then lost it, it was because they never were saved in the first place. Second, it says that if someone is saved, he will remain in the faith.
Nevertheless, there are different positions on this issue. One position states that it is possible to lose your salvation but only if you want to. In other words, having been set free from sin, the person is then able, by an act of will, to deny the Lord and desire not to be a part of Him any longer.
Another position states that it is possible to lose your salvation if you sin too much. Then you need to go and confess your sin and get saved again. This has obvious problems because it could lead to someone trusting in his works and God's grace to be saved.
Another position states that it is not possible at all to lose your salvation–that because Jesus has redeemed you and you are a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), you cannot, then, turn your back on God. Since attaining salvation did not depend on anything you did, keeping it does not depend on anything you do; then also, losing it can't occur because of anything you do.
Unfortunately, this topic has caused far too much friction in the church today. My hope is that people who disagree can learn to live harmoniously with their eyes on Jesus.