The Truth About Religious Liberty

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In this sense, any religious organization seeking legal recourse to resist and reverse stay-at-home orders for the purpose of “religious liberty”; any religious leader endangering thousands by promoting large gatherings for the purpose of worship and spreading a religious message; or any religious movement explicitly aligning itself with one political party and rejecting the central characteristic of Democracy in its belief in a peaceful transition of power, is not advocating “religious liberty” or the freedom of religion, but is actually advocating a more sinister agenda rooted int he exercise of religious authoritarianism.

But what about those who do not believe that Jesus Christ is God? Do they have rights that protect their religious beliefs also? Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” In essence, at the very center of the Judeo-Christian God’s being is that of freedom of choice. All of humanity has the right to choose or not to choose God. Therefore, any expression of Christianity that seeks to force all persons to accept Jesus Christ as God ministers outside of the scope and example given in the Bible.

While enforced Christianity has been the global historical practice, the personhood of God has not been in favor of it. From the Garden of Eden in Genesis to the New Jerusalem of Revelation, the Bible reveals that the Judeo-Christian God is intent on creating space for humanity to choose who they believe is God, and how they will worship that God.

This is the true heart of religious liberty and the freedom of religion. It is the idea that all men have the right to exercise their understanding of spirituality and faith to the God of their choosing under the dictates of their own conscious. And this space of choice, while deeply uncomfortable for Christians, is at the heart of the character of their God. The God of the Bible that I read is one that desires that Jesus’s character be revealed in the actions and speech of His believers so persuasively that any who do not believe choose to believe because they are attracted to the lifestyle, character, and service of His believers. Not by the legislated or culturally coerced enactments of religious leaders.

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