The Lord has little tolerance for civil magistrates who overstep the bounds of their legitimate calling and meddle in the affairs of religion and morality. Saul, Jeroboam, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod – all came under the judgment of God because they considered themselves to be above the Law of God or to be able to take God’s place in the moral arena.
Governments have a duty to legislate in a moral way. But unless their view of morality is grounded in the absolute truth of God’s Word, then their legislation is likely to head off in another direction not consistent with the will of the Lord and, therefore, likely to attract His opposition.
It is especially dangerous when laws are enacted which are so vague and require so much nuance of interpretation that governments can work within them for political advantage as they see fit. The new health care regime ushered in by our current President and his Congressional allies is just such a law. As we now are beginning to understand, the President, through his cabinet, is able to make pronouncements about how to apply this law which, while they will bolster the support of his liberal constituents, transgress the legitimate authority of employers, and the specific authority of religious groups, to determine what kind of health care provisions they should be obliged to offer.
The President has said, in effect, that he cares nothing about the religious scruples of certain employers but only about the political support of liberal social groups. His decision about requiring certain religious employers to provide birth-control and morning-after pills as part of their health care plans represents a clear overstepping of the bounds of civil authority into arenas reserved for private corporations and religious entities.
President Obama has thrown a gauntlet at the feet of the believing community. He wants to see what we’re made of, whether we really believe what we profess to believe, or whether we’ll just – as he doubtless suspects – go along to get along. This is a matter so serious, however, and it represents such an egregious affront to social order, that every true believer must object.
If you ever needed an opportunity to break out of the spiral of silence and begin to speak up on behalf of religious freedom and the Gospel, this is the situation, now is the time. If we say nothing at this point, we will only encourage the federal government to look for other ways to overstep its bounds and circumscribe the believing community within an increasingly narrow circle of influence and existence.
Resources for this topic
Doug Bandow, “Biblical Foundations of Limited Government”
If you have not viewed Chuck Colson’s DVD series, Politics & the Christian Faith, there’s no time like the present. Order your copy today from our online store.
Richard W. Garnett, “Positive Secularism and the American Model of Religious Liberty”
T. M. Moore, “Redefining Religion”
James V. Schall, “The First Freedom”
Bradford W. Wilcox, “More Government, Less God: What the Obama Revolution Means for Religion in America”
- Read the articles above. Make some copies right away and share with several of your friends. Talk about this situation and decide on some course of action you can take together: email your elected officials, letter to the editor, phone the White House. Break the spiral of silence together!
- Talk with your pastor about this situation. How is he planning to speak to it? What can you do to help him get together some resources? Pray with and for him that he might lead your church to some meaningful action to address this challenge to our religious freedom.
- Email today’s Talking Points column to several Christian friends. Challenge them to read some of the resources, watch the Two-Minute Warning, and take on one of the activities.
A conversation starter
Here’s a conversation starter you can try out with some friends: “Do you think we should sit by in silence while the government tests the limits of its ability to define the legitimate bounds of our faith?”