My Friday morning started out just like every other morning: got my coffee, opened up my computer, and started reading through email. I got through a couple of emails, and then I saw this gem,
“As for me I personally think and feel that prayer/Christianity has no business being in places like the work place, schools. Prayer is meant to be in your home or in places of worship.”
I get several of these emails a week, and it has me believing that this misfortunate view of religious freedom is actually held by quite a few people.
Let me clear the air: our Christian faith is actionable, and never meant to stay at home or in church. It must be lived. And Halcyon is committed to building a movement of Christians who LIVE OUT their faith.
I am frustrated that our Christian faith is being asked to take a back seat to opposing ideas and beliefs. There is this notion that we are free to believe, but not free to act. This is not acceptable. We cannot stop until we our guaranteed the right to act on our faith, and until this is openly recognized in our society we don’t have to be quiet either.
Christ said to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.” Matthew 22:21. This is often used in conjunction with tax resistance, but it can equally be applied to the current debate on religious freedom. We must obey the laws of man, but understand that our faith belongs to God, and nothing can get in the way of our faith being lived out in the public square. The current religious freedom issue, in my mind, will shape the future of America.
I read an article the other day on this very issue, and one pastor was quoted as saying,
“I’m not worried about my religious freedom. I get up and go to church on Sunday morning, ain’t nobody stopping me. My freedom to worship is protected in this country, and that’s not going to get taken away. I have been in places where that’s been infringed. That’s not what we’re talking about.”
(Please, please don’t listen to this guy.)
We are not asking for the “freedom to worship.” We are demanding the RIGHT to freely live out and express our Christian faith. Freedom to worship and the freedom to exercise our faith are substantially different things. One is internal; the other external. No one and no law can stop me from worshipping my God. The issue is trying to stop me from living out my faith publicly. This is what the author of the email to me above is asking. This is what the State of Washington is demanding of the florist. This is what the State of New Mexico demanded of the photographer. This is what the State of Oregon is demanding of the baker.
But we, as Christians, must live out our faith no matter the consequence.