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Religious Liberty is King





For many people talking about politics is saved for those super nerdy "know-it-alls" that love to dominate conversations and try and proselytize all their strong opinions on all kinds of different issues. In order to keep up with all the different arguments, you feel like a fire hose is attached to you at full speed. The good news is that there is a way to simplify things. The way to simplify it is to do what you are already doing in your life but apply it to politics. As followers of Jesus, if you're not Christian, whatever faith background you are, we see our relationship with God as the first primary priority and filter over anything in our lives. God is more important than making money, our family, how much stuff we have, or our hobbies. In the same way, if thinking about all the different areas of public life gets overwhelming, you can get back to the most important area of life, our faith, in particular, our ability to express our faith in whatever way we see as necessary and proper before God. Thus, freedom of religion or religious freedom is to be our only true priority. The cool thing is even as we get deeper into political, civil, and economic thought, we can always have this religious freedom as the sacred cow.

I personally got into politics because, selfishly, I wanted to be free from religious persecution. This priority has honestly been my main focus. I do study other subjects, but it always comes back to this. I am especially sensitive to anything that would seek to hinder the self-expression of my faith. Which is why I am so sensitive to any draconian measures attempting to be passed against Christians or even against other people for their own personal beliefs because it eventually always ends up being the Christians’ turn to get coerced by those in power. I once heard that conservatives start off by setting the precedent to enforce religious common values, and then the Left takes that and uses it for their own purposes.

An example of this is marriage. We let the government define marriage and give out permission to get married. We allowed this uniquely religious act for Judeo-Christians to become something that is a common secular public act. This allowed the government to change the once-held conviction on who is married and opened it up to homosexuals. Interestingly, the only reason that we see throughout the whole Bible for why God's people, Israel and the church revolted against the governing authorities was because of religious conflict. They were fighting for what we would call today freedom of speech (thought and freedom of religion, and one could argue for a separation between church and state.

In Acts 4, after Peter and John were persecuted for sharing their faith and threatened, they told the Roman government that "whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you (government/state) rather than to God you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard" (Acts 4:19-20). The apostles were able to make a clear distinction between pleasing God or pleasing the state. They did not feel like they had an equal or super commitment to the stale-Instead, this is where you get a primitive version of religious freedom coming out of separating charm and stole instead of having a state church or the government dictating what a church and members can or cannot do This is not the only example of people appealing to the government as the default over a parent slate government that tries to tell you what you can think. The Prophets and Jesus stood up to the government to defend their right to religious freedom from others, trying to coerce them not to express their religion. I am not seeking here to fully make a biblical argument for religious freedom. I am trying to defend that the Bible is definitely not opposed to you standing up against the government overreach into your religious beliefs. They never stood up to the government for poverty or economies or too many taxes, but they did stand up for their faith.

So, if there is one thing that we should confidently be willing to defy the government, it should be to stand up for God and our freedom to worship Him as we deem fit, not how the state deems desirable like they did in Acts 4. I want to end with one of my favorite quotes on religious freedom. A freedom Loving Puritan minister hated how the local state government had been weaponized against the colonists, so he founded his own religiously tolerant society for all different denominators of Christians. Roger Williams is known for saying a

“Coerced (state) Religion stinks in the nostrils of God." (Roger Williams)





Tim is a Christian author. His worldview that informs his writing is Calvinist, Baptist, and Libertarian. His main series is his Christian picture book series, “About God for Kids”, where he discusses the attributes of God in a way kids can digest. He also wrote a Christian Romance novel, libertarian book for beginners, and Christian coloring books. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biblical Studies from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

You can find his works at his amazon author page,

https://amazon.com/author/timbankes

There is a ton of free books at his author page. Also If you are into Christian Fiction, he has made his first book in his Futuristic Christian Fiction series free, Her Dying Wish



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