Viral Threats to Religious Liberty
Host: Tim Moore
The same character traits manifested by all the authorities leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus are evident around us today. I make that assertion as someone who has served in the marbled halls of a state capital. Here are some modern observations and applications:
1. Like many on the Sanhedrin, there are some in authority who have no discernment. Lacking a moral compass, they resent any threat to their power and authority. The Communist leaders of China and North Korea clearly fall into this category. They reject Christianity not because they have weighed its truth claims and found them lacking, but because embracing Christian faith would inevitably impose limits on their own power. And they despise Christ most of all because He asserts His Lordship over them.
While American elected officials were seldom so brash in the past, a growing number share the same animosity toward Christianity. I personally witnessed Democratic legislators in Kentucky disparaging Christians, and the Christian faith in general, on numerous occasions. Believers impose too great a restraint on their secular agenda. In America today, we have many officials who prioritize their support for abortion, abomination, and apostasy above any respect for God or His Word. Why else would they take advantage of a crisis to dictate the closure of churches but defend abortion mills at all costs? New York Mayor Bill de Blasio even threatened the permanent shuttering of churches who did not heed his every order.
2. The next type of leader that is far too prevalent is the one who wrings his hands and is unwilling to buck a vocal but wrong constituency. Desperate to preserve their own power and eager to please the masses, they stick their finger in the air to determine which way the wind is blowing in every circumstance. These officials are dangerous because they bend to every ungodly influence. Like Pilate, they scoff at truth. Unlike President Harry Truman who famously said, “the buck stops here,” they avoid any responsibility that might cause people to blame them for anything. Dithering indecision and weak ingratiation mark their tenure. Leaders like these have allowed our national debt to explode and unfunded liabilities to multiply in most states and major cities.
3. Following in the footsteps of the lesser Herod are those shallow-minded officials who wallow in the pleasures of power and position but do not really serve the people they represent. We’ve all known people who wanted a position more than a job. In government and in every other sphere of human activity, these people are a drain on society. Once again, every legislature and bureaucracy has far too many people like this. As Jesus demonstrated before Herod Antipas, Truth doesn’t even bother speaking to them.
4. The next category of people is those who know better but do not speak up or resist ungodliness. They prove the adage that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Like the Thyatirans, they tolerate the intolerable (Revelation 2:20). In the context of this pandemic crisis, they enable violations of the Constitution by elected officials that are sworn to defend the Constitution. In that regard, keep in mind that elected officials at every level swear an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Faithfully doing so allows citizens to safeguard their own lives and livelihood.
Claiming to protect people from themselves by trampling on their Constitutional rights violates that oath, undermines those God-given rights and forfeits their lives and livelihood — a trade-off none of us should tolerate. And, as military members are taught, unlawful orders should never be obeyed.
I am not heaping scorn on my law enforcement friends who are expected to follow the misguided orders of governors and mayors and judges. I am challenging all of us who have allowed our nation to embrace abominations — tolerating through our votes and our silence the murder of millions of unborn innocents and passing laws that are an affront to a holy God. Virtually none of us are beyond reproach when it comes to the corporate waywardness of our nation.
5. Finally, what of the fickle sheep who profess faith on Sunday but turn their back on Jesus the rest of the week? Far too many would claim Him as Savior without honoring Him as Lord.
One of the most disappointing experiences during my legislative tenure was witnessing professing Christians — legislators and voters — abandon biblical positions in order to defend their own perceived self-interest. A growing chorus of Christians have been radicalized by our secular society — even pooh-poohing abortion and endorsing abominations in their insistency on embracing the full mantra of liberal ideologies. Some of those would willingly submit to any dictator who could promise sustenance and entertainment (bread and circuses).
How many of us have allowed our witness to be muddled by the choices we make on a regular basis? Does the language you use, the television shows and movies you watch, the media you absorb and the lies you tolerate reflect a life built upon the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Know that you cannot swear allegiance to Jesus Christ on Sunday and then refuse to keep His commandments the rest of the week (John 14:15).
In the third and final part of this series on religious liberty, we will make some recommendations about how Christians can survive and thrive during this dark chapter.