4 Quotes On Religious Freedom

“Religious freedom is a human birthright. Everyone on the globe is entitled to religious freedom simply by having been born. Governments, if they are just, will recognize that birthright.” —James Tonkowich

“The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.” —James Madison

“Religious freedom includes the right to believe as you wish, live according to your beliefs, raise your family according to your beliefs, petition the government according to your beliefs, evangelize, and convert from one faith to another, and all without government interference. Is that because of the First Amendment? No. It is because religious freedom is our birthright as human beings. The First Amendment simply forbids the government from robbing us of that inalienable birthright.” —James Tonkowich

“The same First Amendment that first and foremost guarantees religious freedom also guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble, and freedom to petition the government for change. To that list we can add economic freedom, freedom to choose our friends and associates, and the freedom to make a myriad of other legitimate choices.

“Consider: what if you are granted ‘freedom of speech,’ yet are not permitted to articulate your most deeply held religious beliefs? You could talk about sports, the weather, celebrities, and TV shows, but not about the ideas that inspire and motivate your life. That kind of freedom of speech would be hollow and meaningless.

“Freedom of assembly is not free if you cannot assemble over the truths that are most dear to you. Freedom to petition the government does us no good if we can petition the government only for things that have nothing to do with our faith. Traffic laws or banking regulations might be okay topics for petition, but not issues of life or marriage or war or the poor since our advocacy may be the result of our religious convictions.

“So it goes with all our freedoms. Take away the right to make up our own mind about matters relating to life, morality, and God and what is left is servitude, not freedom.” —James Tonkowich

(these quotes are taken from A New Kind Of Apologist)

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Religious Liberty In School

free-to-speakAs our students are heading back to their schools, it is a great time to be reminded of the religious liberties they have while in school. With all of the talk of so-called “separation of church and state,” I think many parents and students are reluctant to say anything that sounds remotely Christian, for fear of getting in trouble with the powers-that-be.

But we don’t have to tread so carefully!

Gateways To Better Education has some great resources. I ordered a couple hundred of their “Free To Speak” pamphlets. I gave them to our school superintendent, and as many parents as as I could. This short pamphlet summarizes the US Department of Education’s guidelines on what is allowed in school. In short, the Seven Freedoms are:

  1. Students can pray, read their Bibles or other religious material, and talk about their faith at school.
  2. Students can organize prayer groups and religious clubs, and announce their meetings like any other club.
  3. Students can express their faith in their class work and homework.
  4. Teachers can organize prayer groups with other teachers.
  5. Students may be able to go off campus to have religious studies during school hours.
  6. Students can express their faith at a school event.
  7. Students can express their faith at a graduation ceremony.

Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be uninformed. Know your rights as a US citizen.

Links & Quotes

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“Ah, what a thing is prayer! The simplest form of speech—such as even a child could utter—yet the highest and divinest of all utterances; such as the Holy Spirit alone can enable us to give fourth.” —Horatius Bonar

“When God feels distant, remember the Christmas story. When you feel alone, unloved, or unlovable, remember that God loves you. And He travelled a great distance to be close to you. Why? Because He loves to be with the ones He loves!” —Max Lucado

“Do you ever take a moment to pray but feel like you stumble out of the gate? Do you have trouble finding the words when it comes time to bow your head? Remember, the One who hears your prayers is your Daddy. You don’t need to wow him with eloquence. Jesus downplayed the importance of words in prayers. We tend to do the opposite. The more words the better. The better words the better. … Just as a happy child cannot mis-hug, the sincere heart cannot mis-pray.” —Max Lucado

J.Warner Wallace answers a good question: Why doesn’t the birth record of Jesus appear in every Gospel?

Dan Reiland has some good words for those in leadership positions in ministry.

Far too many school administrators and teachers think they are limited by the so-called “separation of church and state.” Here’s a post from Eric Buehrer you should share with any of your friends who work in the public school system.

John Stonestreet says, “Remember when people laughed about ‘death panels’?” Check out Who decides to end a life?

Frank Turek asks, “How do we fix a world filled with murder, rape, betrayal, adultery, fraud, theft, sexual exploitation, pornography, bullying, abortion, terrorism, cheating, lying, child abuse, racism, assault, drugs, robbery, and countless other evils?” He says we may not like the answer.

Persecuted Christians

Persecuted Christians [2]This Sunday, November 8, is the International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians around the world. We will be praying at Calvary Assembly of God, and I hope wherever you are you will be praying too.

Links & Quotes

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“The Cross is the supreme moment in Time and Eternity, and it is the concentrated essence of the very nature of the Divine love. … The Self-expenditure of God for His enemies in the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, becomes the great bridge over the gulf of sin whereby human love may cross over and be embraced by the Divine love, the love that never fails.” —Oswald Chambers

“Paul stresses that in our sufferings the glory of Christ’s all-sufficient grace is magnified [2 Corinthians 12:9-10]. If we rely on Him in our calamity and He sustains our ‘rejoicing in hope,’ then He is shown to be the all-satisfying God of grace and strength that He is.” —John Piper

“The true believer has also a loving spirit as the result of Jesus’ grace. He loves God, therefore he loves God’s people and God’s creatures, and having this loving spirit he has next a zealous spirit, and so he spends and is spent for God, and this begets in him a heavenly spirit and so he tries to live in heaven and to make earth a heaven to his fellow-men, believing that he shall soon have a heaven for himself and for them too on the other side of the stream.” —Charles Spurgeon

This Sunday is the International Day Of Prayer (IDOP) for persecuted Christians around the world. Please remember to pray for our brothers and sisters, or join me on Sunday morning.

Many people give in to the temptation of pornography while staying in hotels. Josh McDowell give us 10 tips for staying porn-free while traveling.

J. Warner Wallace discusses why the appearance of complex design in biology is a problem for atheists and naturalists.

“America is witnessing a ‘capitalistic Christianity.’ The goal is no longer spiritual growth, but expansion in numbers, property, finances.” Read more from David Wilkerson’s post Capitalistic Christianity.

Links & Quotes

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“The reason we know so little about God’s wisdom is that we will only trust Him as far as we can work things out according to our own reasonable common sense.” —Oswald Chambers

“To know God in His glory is to know ultimate reality—defining beauty, goodness, and truth. It is to enter into the heart of reality itself and to glimpse eternity in a most personal, intimate, and loving way. This is what God desires for us, that our hearts might soar within His glory and rejoice in things too wonderful to express.” —T.M. Moore

“My greatest fear in life is standing before the Lord and hearing Him say, ‘I had so much more for you, but you held on too tightly.’” —Larry Burkett

“Give me good proofs of what you have alleged: it is not enough to say—in such a bush there lies a thief—in such a cave a beast; you must show him to me ere I shoot, else I may kill one of my straggling sheep.” —William Shakespeare

“A man must keep his friendship in constant repair.” —Samuel Johnson

Eric Metaxas asks, “Why would a national museum refuse to remove an exhibit honoring one of the leading racists of the 20th century?” Check out his profound answer.

Bear Grylls praying over Barak ObamaThank you, Bear Grylls, for giving us a great example to follow! May we all pray for our President.

Exactly right: Christians cannot stand by and do nothing about these precious people displaced by war.

A very interesting legal look at the Kim Davis situation in Kentucky.

Links & Quotes

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“People most affected by fear are those who hang around negative people. If you’re going to control the negative thoughts in your life, you’ve got to get away from negative people as much as you can.” —Rick Warren

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith.” —Horace Greeley

“It’s natural enough in our species, as in others, that the young birds should show off their plumage—in the mating season. But the trouble in the modern world is that there’s a tendency to rush all the birds on to that age as soon as possible and then keep them there as late as possible, thus losing all the real value of the other parts of life in a senseless, pitiful attempt to prolong what, after all, is neither its wisest, its happiest, or most innocent period. I suspect merely commercial motives are behind it all: for it is at the showing-off age that birds of both sexes have least sales resistance!” —C.S. Lewis

“Don’t make a decision, large or small, without sitting before God with an open Bible, an open heart, and open ears. Philippians 2:13 says, ‘God is working in you to help you want to do and be able to do what pleases Him.’” —Max Lucado

“Strange as it may seem, one of the primary purposes of being shaken by suffering is to make our faith more unshakable. Faith is like muscle tissue: if you stress it to the limit, it gets stronger, not weaker. That’s what James means here [James 1:2-3]. When your faith is threatened and tested and stretched to the breaking point, the result is greater capacity to endure. … If you think your suffering is pointless, or that God is not in control, or that He is whimsical or cruel, then your suffering will drive you from God, instead of driving you from everything but God—as it should. So it is crucial that faith in God’s grace includes the faith that He gives grace through suffering.” —John Piper

“The promise, made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits me to being true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do, about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise never to have a headache or always to feel hungry.” —C.S. Lewis

“It’s the lives of the saints, not the arguments of the theologians and philosophers, that covert people.” — Pope Benedict XVI

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