05 July 2010

Freedom of Worship or Freedom of Religion?

Is there a difference? Many conservatives are jumping up and saying "Yes!" especially considering the careful word choice of our president and our Secretary of State. It seems our illustrious leader and his sidekick have made a conscious decision to refer to American's "freedom of worship" rather than our "freedom of religion." But, do words matter? Paul Cooper reports in David Horowitz's News Real Blog:
Words matter.  Words often hold great meaning.  That is especially true when it comes to the words of our founding documents like the Bill of Rights in our Constitution.  Those words are especially cherished.  Yet in the past year it appears the Obama administration has been changing  one key word in that sacred scroll.
Last month the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s 2010 report revealed grave concern about both President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rejecting the term “freedom ofreligion” for the term “freedom of worship” in public pronouncements.  Why the change when the First Amendment talks specifically about our freedom of religion and not simply worship?
This President clearly sees religion as a key part of foreign affairs when the Muslim world is involved especially.  He is ultra-careful to not want to offend followers of Islam.  We already know that the administration has rejected the term “radical Islam” or any similar language and refuses to admitreligion plays a major roll in terrorism.
This new terminology of “freedom of worship” might be given as a sign to Muslim nations and places with Christian persecution like China that they are not going to crack down on religious persecution for minority religions in those countries.  That could explain why Obama first used the term after a radical Muslim killed Americans at Ft. Hood.  And it could also explain why he used the term in speeches in China and Japan. 
Read the article in its entirety here
So what does this mean for Christians in America? I'm not going to be one to tell you to run to a tea party and wave a big sign around. I'm not going to tell you to sign a petition that isn't going to ever be recognized or acknowledged. (In fact, I'd urge against putting my name on all of these worthless petitions. All it's doing is providing a list of disgruntled Christians for the socialists when they finally decide to start rounding up the "dissidents." Be discerning). We should not be surprised that, as Christians, we are slowly but steadily losing our rights, or at the very least are losing our sense of freedom to exercise those rights. America may have been founded on Christian principles but today we are in the midst of God's judgment. Read Romans 1. God isn't going to judge America, God is already judging America. This country exists nowhere in Bible prophecy, which means we will, in some manner or another, but rendered obsolete. But if you are in the Lord and have put your trust and faith in Him for salvation, repenting of your sin and walking in the light as He is in the light, then these signs should only serve as a reminder that our time is short! Share the Gospel, share the Good News. Don't get wrapped up in political concerns that, realistically, we aren't going to change anyway. Yes, stand firm against those policies which are an abomination to God, but do not make politics your focus! Instead, rejoice that the time is near for us to be taken up to be with our Savior forever! Use that joy to share with those who are still lost without Him. How shall we respond when our Lord asks what we did with the time He gave us? "Lord, I went to every political rally in my town. I signed every petition and never missed an election." Or, "Lord, I shared the good news of salvation with every person with whom the Holy Spirit urged me to share it. Lord, I used my time to serve You." These works will  not earn us our way to Heaven. But I'd sure rather report that I spent my time serving the Lord than that I spent my time serving a fleeting, earthly, political cause. Do not be surprised, but do be watchful. Our Lord is coming soon!

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