Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Freedom of Conscience

It doesn't matter much to me whether or not the United States of America was founded as a "Christian Nation."  What matters to me is that this country was founded with the ideal of "Freedom of Conscience."

According to this ideal the church and the state would be separate.  The church would not direct the government and the government would not carry out church discipline.  People would be free to believe whatever their conscience directed them to believe without fear of government coercion. They could believe whatever and say whatever and to assemble with whomever according to the dictates of conscience. It was to be a free country.

That is all changing now.  We are no longer free to follow the dictates of our conscience without fear of government reprisals.  You believe that homosexuality is immoral?  That is fine as long as you don't tell anyone and don't act on that belief by refusing to participate in a same sex wedding.

We see the first fruits of this change taking place already... business owners who have scruples against participating in same sex weddings are being fined, threatened and forced out of business.  Not because the people pursuing these cases cannot find business owners who would willingly serve them, but because these activists are not satisfied until they can bully everyone into submission.

I see little chance that things will reverse themselves to restore freedom of conscience to America. Rather, conscientious objectors will face increasing civil and criminal penalties. There will be fines and jail time. There will be required re-education camps called "sensitivity training." More and more people will lose their jobs and their businesses. More and more people will be harassed and attacked because they disagree with the popular and political morality of this declining nation.

Nevertheless we will need to live according to conscience, directed by divine revelation. We will need to handle this oppression with grace and courage... speaking the truth in love and entrusting ourselves to our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This can be good for us because it reminds us that neither this country nor this world is heaven.  We are strangers and pilgrims - citizens of a heavenly kingdom just passing through.  We have no reward here - but will be rewarded by Jesus when we see him face to face.

Be true to Christ, whatever the cost.