Freedom of Religion Vs Freedom of Worship
"We [the High Priest] gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood." Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!"1
In his weekly American News Commentary Jerry Beavan wrote, "We pointed out that since November, 2009, Mr. Xxxxx and his people have been using the term "Freedom of Worship," instead of the traditional "Freedom of Religion" as provided in the United States Constitution. In 2009, two clergymen, Dr. Gary Dull and Rev. David Kistler, announced in Washington the formation of The Faith and Freedom Institute (TFFI), to stress the Christian principles which have made America great. . . . TFFI points out that "Freedom of Worship" would force people to practice their faith behind closed doors."2
"Freedom of Worship" can be extremely deceptive in that it can totally eliminate "Freedom of Religion." Freedom of worship means we would be free to worship as we please in the privacy of our own home but not necessarily anywhere else. Furthermore, without freedom of religion preaching against certain behaviors that God's Word condemns and calls sin, could be labeled as hate crimes and, as such, be punishable by law that could include a prison term. Freedom of worship could, in time, prohibit the preaching of the Gospel and Word of God in churches and in any public place or arena throughout the country.
Be not deceived, politicians can be extremely gifted in the use of words to deny reality and deceive the masses. The thin end of the wedge for controlling what churches can or cannot preach in the years ahead is already being forged.
Recently I received an email message from a young man in a Muslim country where there is no freedom of religion. This fellow wanted to know how he could pray to Jesus, telling me that if he got caught, he would get his throat slit. For Muslims, praying means praying out loud and often in public. So I told him that he could safely pray to Jesus in the privacy of his own dwelling if he were alone, or just in the quiet of his mind and heart.
With the ever increasing anti-Christian attitude by so many here in North America wanting to get rid of God and every vestige of Christianity from the public arena, if/when we are forbidden to speak out against and/or preach the full council of God's Word, will we, like the disciples of Jesus also say, "We must obey God rather than men" and be willing to pay the consequences?
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, no matter what the future holds, please give me the courage to stay true to you and your Word no matter what the cost may be. So help me God. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Acts 5:28-29 (NIV).
2. The American News Commentary, July 28, 2010. To subscribe (no subscription charge), click on: firstname.lastname@example.org