That’s the Way it’s Supposed to be!

11 01 2015

As everyone knows, last week, at a newspaper office in Paris, there was a terrorist attack that left twelve people dead. The whole situation seems to have evolved from the satirical cartoons for which the newspaper had become known. The cartoons angered the attackers to the point they felt that killing those responsible was justified. Their murderous actions were an attempt to “avenge Allah,” but, also, to send the message that if you offend them by “disrespecting” their god (little g intended), you, too, will be killed. In response to the killings, employees of the newspaper, citizens in Paris, the U. S. and around the world, decided, rightfully so, that to give in to the terrorists would be to surrender the right of free expression.

 

There is a unifying refrain heard around the world that we will not be afraid! We will not give in! We will not be silenced! You cannot take our freedom! We see the rights granted us by our Constitution, as something so great we would be, as were our forefathers, willing to die for them. The irony is, the ones screaming the loudest and leading the charge are the same ones who seek to silence the voice of Christians. The most intolerant are the liberals who preach tolerance.

 

If you have been paying attention, you have seen story after story in which Americans’ freedom to express their religious beliefs have been systematically taken away. There is growing sentiment in this country, perpetuated by a faction of non-believers, that Christians should not be allowed to say, do or display anything related to their God. They want to silence Christians just as the murderers in Paris silenced the cartoonists and others whom they claim offended them. The only difference between them and those who want to silence Christians, is the latter doesn’t carry a gun (at least not one they’ll admit to).

 

Government Got Your Back?

Where is our government in all of this? One would think, since the government is the defender of the Constitution and protector of our freedoms, they would be at the forefront, or at least by the sides, of oppressed Christians just as they were when the Constitution was being drafted. Instead, they are out front in lockstep with the ACLU leading the way as the abettors in this attack against God.

 

Separation of Church and State

Yes, it is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of all citizens, Christians and non-Christians alike. And, while I have problems with what I believe is a misinterpretation of the First Amendment, I’m not talking about separation of church and state. I’m simply talking about my right as a God-fearing Christian to tell a store cashier “Merry Christmas” without him/her becoming offended or getting fired from his/her job if they respond in kind. I’m talking about being able to sit in a plane, train, on a park bench, or any other public venue, and pray or read my Bible without someone taking offense and making a comment. I’m talking about my granddaughter having the freedom to pull her Bible out during free time at school and, in the silence of the moment, reading Scripture without fear of suspension.

 

Church and state aside, Christians are no longer free to exercise religious expression, outside the privacy of their own homes, without facing ridicule, criticism or, even, retribution.

 

Now as bad as that sounds, and as much as Christians dislike the repression, there is a bright side. Scripture tells us that those in Christ, and not in the world, will be hated by the world. At John 15:18-19, Jesus told the disciples, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (NKJV)

 

The truth is, what we are experiencing is part of God’s plan.  Rejection is supposed to happen. If I am criticized, oppressed or even hated because I espouse Christian beliefs, then I take that as a badge of honor. I must be doing something right in the eyes of God and that’s good enough for me.

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