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Religious Freedom?

There is a recent article published by Christianity Today, written by Ed Stetzer, about the recent US Supreme Court ruling for the Hobby Lobby corporation and the mandatory coverage of all contraceptives.  A link to the article is at the end of this blog.  Regardless of one's personal beliefs relating to Obamacare and whether contraceptives should be covered by mandate, the article itself provides some interesting information regarding the freedom of religion and what that means.  

There is a quote in the article from Rick Warren that has a lot of truth to it:
"Perhaps it is helpful to note that this isn't simply a "freedom to worship" issue, it is a "freedom of religion" issue. As Rick Warren pointed out in our video conversation, it has become quite common to hear the debate framed in terms of the "freedom to worship," a subtle but not inconsequential change in the DNA of the "freedom of religion" protected in our Constitution. Religion (faith) belongs to every sphere of life, rather than a singular identifiable activity engaged or performed in a limited portion of life.  "

Is the freedom of religion only to encompass the freedom to worship as one chooses?  Is there more to it?  The last sentence of the quote is pure truth, or at least should be in practice

"Religion (faith) belongs to every sphere of life, rather than a singular identifiable activity engaged or performed in a limited portion of life."

"Religion belongs to every sphere of life..."  How are you living your life?  Are you following your ways or His ways?  Have you allowed the Creator to enter into every area of your life, allowed Him to change your mind, increase your understanding, and teach you the simple truths of His word?  If not, what are you waiting for?

The author suggested 4 things we should consider regarding religious freedom, the same 4 things are important for our lives in Torah.  Let's look at how we can apply these 4 things in our lives.

1. Understand the Shift in Our Culture.
The culture many live in today is one completely hostile to the Word of God, and that's before even considering a walk in Torah.  It's important to first understand you are in relation to God and His Word, then you can look at making a difference and being a light in the culture you live in.  If you want to be light, then don't be surprised when the adversary strikes back and tries to put out your light.

2. Pray for Rulers and Those in Authority.
We are called to lift one another up in prayer.  We are living in a world hostile to God, but not one that is not in need of our prayers.  If we want to live a Godly life, we need to know what God expects and make the changes that are necessary.  The change starts with us and we can affect those around us.  However, the world is in darkness and needs the light, unfortunately many of today's leaders do not have the light of the Word, yet they are supposedly leading the world.  We need to pray for those in authority over us; YHWH is still in charge and He uses those in the world to accomplish His purposes.  We all need prayer, and "all" includes those in authority and even our enemies.  

3. Engage in Mission.
A couple of weeks ago we blogged about the Great Commission given to us by Yeshua before his ascension.  He gave us the mission to teach the whole Word of God to the World and to make disciples of them.  He also cautioned us that before we can see to take the speck out of our brother's eye, we must first remove the plank from our own.  Before we can teach the Word and make disciples, we must first learn and live the Word ourselves.  We won't be perfect in our walk, but we can learn and grow and be an example to others.  Our mission field is huge, but we start by being a light where we are.  Those seeking the truth will find the truth you walk in and will come to you seeking to learn.  This is when you can make disciples.  Walk and teach the Word of God, don't hide it.  Engage with the world as YHWH is drawing His people out of it, meet those He calls as they are struggling to leave the world behind.  Help them, pray for them, disciple them.  That is our mission.

4. Use the Freedom We Have.
Every country in the world does not give its people the option of what to believe or who to believe in.  Yet even so, YHWH finds His people in those countries and calls them out.  Some are called out even unto death; others are brought out and become a bright shining light, a beacon of hope for all who believe and have faith in Messiah.  In other countries there is more of a freedom of religion, the freedom to exercise their faith in the Creator and walk in His ways more openly without fear of the threat of death.  For those who have such freedom, we need to walk in it, live it.  We cannot be a light to the world if we are to worried about what our friends and family may think; if we're afraid of being ostracized by those around us.  Whatever freedom you have, walk in it.  The Word is Freedom, Yeshua is Freedom.  Walk in the greater freedom that comes from the walking out the Word.  Fear not those who may persecute you and harm your flesh, instead fear your Creator who may destroy your eternity. 

Are you walking the freedom given by our Creator?  Or are you only walking in the freedom a government gives you to go and congregate once a week in a building?


Read the Full Article Here