Fight the good fight for what we believe….( I Timothy 6:12 NLT).
The famous words of the title, spoken by Patrick Henry in 1775 were the fuse that ignited The Revolutionary War. Today the church is in a struggle. This conflict is not being fought with bullets and cannons as in Henry’s day, but with words and ideas. For Christians today, though the terms of engagement are different, the consequence of defeat in this war is the same, the loss of our liberty.
Of course, the world has good sounding justifications for their schools of thought. In my country, the United States of America, there are many trumpeting the so-called Constitutional cry for the separation of the church and state. Yes, our Constitution does guard against a state religion, but it was never the intent of our founding fathers to have believers leave their faith at the door when they exit their places of worship. Those who interpret the Constitution have done so in a way that freedom of religion has become freedom from religion. The men who penned this document, mostly men of faith, would be dismayed at how the meaning of their words has been distorted.
When any society starts to say that good is bad and evil is right, it shows its moral fiber is being ripped asunder. Christians have not only the right but the responsibility to resist. Toward the end of Henry’s famous speech, he said, “Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?” I submit to you that when we are told that we can decide what we believe and practice it in the pulpit but not in the marketplace and government, this is a form of tyranny. It makes the church a toothless tiger.
Patrick Henry once said, “I know no way of judging the future but by the past.” If we refuse to learn from the past, this country may be in peril. This nation was founded by gallant men of faith on the Judeo-Christian ethic. John Adams, one of our founding fathers, said, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Democracy can only flourish in an environment of faith and virtue. What is the basis of our faith? Henry answered that question, “The Bible is worth all the other books which have ever been written.”
Maybe on July 4th, 2018, Christians in this nation need to be echoing the words of that famous gentleman from the State of Virginia, who said, “Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me give me liberty or give me death!”
Image used with permission by Microsoft.
Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing