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Family Matters 06/30/17

Are We in Danger of Losing Our Religious Freedom?

American flag on praying hands

I routinely read stories in the news that attack religious freedom. Groups that claim victimization by intolerance are now using intolerance toward Christians. The hypocrisy is astounding. Bible believers are regularly accused of being judgmental and haters. This twisted accusation is from people who don't understand the Christian faith or don't like the message.

Christianity is regularly misrepresented in our culture by a few disenfranchised groups and a liberal elite. This Independence Day weekend, I urge you to pray.

Religious freedom is under attack by those who twist the teachings of Christ and try to make Christianity look scary, discriminatory, and judgmental. Nothing could be further from the truth.

But this attack on faith is growing and being allowed to go uncensored. And the voices that accurately represent Christianity are being silenced and marginalized. There is no desire to accurately understand Christianity, rather a full frontal assault to eliminate it -- a strategy based in hate, not love.

Why the hate? It is in our hearts unless it is transformed by the love of Christ. Jesus himself told us this Gospel will offend because it challenges the sin nature in us.

Christianity is a positive force in our culture. The teachings of Jesus include loving others as ourselves. It is not based on hate or hurting those who oppose it. True followers of Christ don't come after people who oppose their beliefs. Rather we bless those who curse us, pray for those who despitefully use us, and love our enemies.

Jesus is not a hater, judgmental to the sinner, nor a discriminator of people. He is love. To understand Christianity, you have to understand Jesus and not take the Old Testament out of context.

A book I would encourage every person to read is Philip Yancey's The Jesus I Never Knew. If you want a true picture of how Jesus influences a person and what imitating Christ really means, read this book. Then, read the Bible with the understanding that Jesus represents the new covenant under which we live.

May God help us to respond to our opposition in a Christlike manner. May religious freedom continue to ring in America.

Happy Fourth of July!

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