I Am a Friend of God
In 2018 Alabamians voted decisively to change their state Constitution to allow for the display of the Bible’s Ten Commandments in its schools and courthouses. Not since their Constitution was put in place in 1901, has there been this kind of push for something that seems so, unconstitutional.
“Displaying the Ten Commandments on public property, like Christmas Nativity Scenes, is constitutional when it has a secular context only and/or when it is joined in a display of secular patriotic symbols or objects,” says Greg Hamilton, President of the Northwest Religious Liberty Association. “But it is not constitutional as a stand-alone display or symbol on public property.”
The battle, some say, will recommence upon the display of such Biblical content by itself. When that happens, supporters hope the chain reaction of litigation will lead to the nation’s highest court where they hope for a more expansive interpretation of their religious freedom. http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-Alabama-Ten-Commandment-constitutional-amendment.html
What Kind of Follower Are You?
Don’t misunderstand me. I still believe in the Word of God. I still believe in His commandments. In His law, is the way of life (see Proverbs 6:23, and compare with Romans 8:2 and Galatians 3:21). But, with this vote, the damage has already been done.
Dean Young, a long-time supporter of former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy E. Moore, and recalcitrant advocate of the Ten Commandments display, was the single highest donor for the Ten Commandments Amendment. Young contributed $27,000 to continue the fight. He, though, erroneously implicated the conscience on two fronts.
First, he characterized the addition of the Constitutional Amendment as a vote for God, and by implication and conversely, a vote against this amendment as a vote against God.
“Do we want to acknowledge the God that our nation was founded upon? Alabamians will vote. They will reckon on that day with God how they vote on this. That’s how serious this is. Either we stand for God or we won’t.” http://www.governing.com/topics/politics/gov-Alabama-Ten-Commandment-constitutional-amendment.html
Second, Young also mischaracterized the very people who fight to preserve religious freedom.
“The bad guys are coming: Southern Poverty Law Center, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and the ACLU,” Moore said in a video advertisement released last spring before the vote. “Fake teachers, fake preachers, because they don’t want our children being taught that there is a right and there is a wrong. They don’t want our children being taught that the 10 Commandments were given to us by God, the creator, the same God that’s acknowledged four times in our Declaration of Independence.”
Will our records in heaven reflect our support of this issue? What is the balance required of our consciences, while allowing others who may believe differently to do the same?
Get straight. “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men[.]” Isaiah 29:13.
God’s word is so on point: 1. Follow Him more than just with words. Let your dedication be seen in your life according to His word. 2. Mere humans don’t prescribe what it means to honor God. He does. If you believe in His commandments, follow them. All of them, including the seventh-day Sabbath, the only commandment humans substituted out.
As Democratic Representative Berry Forte told Al.com, “It’s not important to display the Ten Commandments, but to live by them. The devil can display the Ten Commandments.”
Give Caesar what is his, and to God what belongs to Him. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar? The religious teachers sought to define the parameters between church and state in Jesus’ day. Unfortunately, their inquiry was not for information sake, but to set a trap for Jesus. Three of the gospels capture the moment in which Jesus skillfully neutralizes them. His answer still stands. Decide: is this a heart and mind area reserved for God’s direction, or is this an area of life, governed by the laws of the land? Is there a conflict between the two? How will you resolve it? (Acts 5:29)
Are you helping God by using methods in contravention of His will?
The Bible tracks the stories of two people who thought they could help God. Uzzah tried to catch the ark of the covenant as it almost tumbled to the ground. For that, he was summarily killed. Harsh? God allowed no one to touch the ark of the covenant. Judas thought he would advance the kingdom of God by selling out Jesus. Why didn’t the three years of Jesus’ teaching arrest his own ambitions?
Religious freedom will be a central issue in the hearts and consciences of God’s people before the Second Advent. Take your stand now, and always, by being and reaching.
This article is part of our 2019 January/February