Some states have recently taken a stand for religious freedom by passing state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts—known as an RFRAs for short.
These state RFRAs prevent government interference in the free exercise of religion unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Even then our courts must resolve the dispute with the least harm to freedom.
Religious freedom is a basic human right that deserves protection under the law.
Yet the threat to Christians and others who’re simply trying to live their lives consistently with their faith is very real across our country.
To me the choice is clear: more freedom with these laws or less freedom without them!
Let’s go to the Old Testament book of Joshua.
He encountered a representative of God called the “Captain of the Host” and Joshua asked, “Whose side are you on?”
The Captain of the Host said, “I didn’t come here to take sides; I came here to take over.”
I’m in a political party, but it’s only because it’s the place I can best serve God at this time.
I live in the State, in the City that I do because I think I can best serve Jesus right here.
I’m in my occupation as a pastor because I think I can best serve Jesus there.
Is God a Democrat? Is He a Republican? Whose side is He on?
We’re asking the wrong questions.
The issue is not whose side God is on—the question is: Whose side are you on?
Find out where that person is in their life, in their thoughts.
Ask them the question, “Tell me about your spiritual journey.”
Or one of my favorite opening questions is, “are you a follower of Jesus or are you still on the journey?” Or, “Do you ever think much about spiritual things?”
The answer is, everyone does, so when you ask them one of these questions, it’s a way to validate their journey. And it’s your way to validate their thoughts.
And once you’ve listened, you’ve earned the right to share something.
First, because of the consistency in your own life; and second, because you’ve listened.
A few days ago I was returning from Israel and I asked the bus driver and the guide to take me to the location of the Tombs of the Maccabeans. Who were they?
A group of guys about 160 years before Christ—five brothers to be exact who rose up in their community and said, “We can take on the Greek Army. The Greek Army has everything. We’re outnumbered. We’re just five brothers—but what we have on our side is truth and God.
Right now the Supreme Court is the Greek Army. They have enforced upon all of us a violation of the Scripture and now we as Christian leaders and pastors—this is our Maccabean moment.
This is Jim Garlow. . .we’re just about to find out whether pastors, Christian leaders, Christian college presidents and followers of Jesus Christ are going to be like Neville Chamberlain, the compromiser, the appeaser during WW2 days or like Winston Churchill who will stand and say, “Never Give Up.”
Because God’s Word has not changed—never has.
Marriage is still the definition. Jesus is quite clear about this topic.
This is the same kind of Supreme Court who, by the way, in 1857 said that blacks had to be slaves, or in 1927 wanted to do forced sterilizations on people they thought unfit to procreate.
It might feel hip and cool to go with the Supreme Court, but I’m thinking for eternity. How about you?
Speech zones! Where some universities regulate so-called “free speech” on campus!
In 2011, Young Americans for Liberty put up a debt clock display to draw attention to the mounting national debt. The University of Georgia officials told the group to cease their activities because it was outside the speech zones.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of the students—and the University of Georgia revised its policy.
The point is, if free speech is limited to less than one percent of campus as it was in Georgia, there is essentially no free speech.
And too often these zones are for the express purpose of limiting some free speech—that of pro-life groups and conservative political groups.
The First Amendment protects the constitutional freedoms of all students, regardless of their political and religious beliefs.