I’ve been toying with what to say about this issue for a long time, because I know that I don’t fall on the side of the majority.
I know that stating my view on this is likely to cause me to lose the respect of some, and is certain to stir up quite a few comments from others.
But it is really bothering me.
I have to know…why do we, as followers of Christ, care so much and fight so hard to have our government give a nod of approval to our faith?
Seriously, hear me out.
Why do we have to have a worldly institution scratch our back, recognize our position and adhere to our morals?
There. I said it.
Now before you shake your head at me, mumble under your breath that I’ve lost my faith and then head on to the next blog post that you agree with, please read this through.
We all know that state sponsored prayer, or should we say school sponsored prayer, is unconstitutional. I know that we all know this, because I continually read in my Facebook newsfeed that “if our government would allow prayer in schools; x, y or z wouldn’t be the case.” We’ve fought the issue as Christians, and we’ve fought it hard and with nobility.
The question I have is, why does it matter if the school sponsors the prayer time or not? The high court has continued to affirm that students can, in non-instructional time, pray together and read religions texts on their own. So why do we have to have the ‘school’s’ nod of approval? Why do we have to have our faith affirmed by others? Why do we feel that, if we cannot have school sponsored public prayer in school, we cannot have prayer at all?
What if we, instead, invested our energy into our students; leading them and instructing them how a follower of Christ should live? What if we embedded in them that when Christ said if people hated Him, they would hate His followers too, He really meant it. What if we embedded in our students that prayer is personal, and no one can ever prevent you from praying, at any time, in any place, personally.
Instead, they continue to hear that prayer isn’t allowed in school; so why would they ever attempt to pray in school?
We continue to hear about Christianity being ushered out of our government; and it embattles us. We criticize and fight for an official recognition that affirms us in our faith. Why? It certainly wouldn’t change anything…other than our egos. Why do we think that the government removing God from daily discourse can remove God from us? Are we that weak?
I understand our nation was founded on Christian principles, by Christian men…but why do we feel that if that is no longer our official recognition we can no longer go on following Christ and serving others just as we always have.
What if we were born in Iran? Or Egypt? Or China?
Are we afraid that if government removes Christianity from the mainstream it might be a little harder to be a Christian?
Are we afraid that if government removes Christianity from the mainstream being a Christian will be a little less popular?
Are we afraid that if government removes Christianity from the mainstream we may actually have to truly understand what Christ said when He said, “if the world hates you, know that it hated Me first?”
Yes. Yes. And yes.
Early followers of Christ didn’t live the American dream. They didn’t have a large government affirming and supporting their faith. They were crucified for what they believed. They were sawed in two for what they believe. They were burned alive for what they believed. They didn’t need an ‘entity’ to tell them their faith was real; they knew it was real. They were willing to continue in it whether it was popular or not.
I am afraid we fight so hard to keep God a part of politics so that we can continue to serve Him pain free. We know when God is removed from government, persecution will come. So we fight to keep God in for comfort.
I have heard the argument from those who fight to keep God a part of government that it is so others can be drawn to Him. Guess what? If we all lived as true followers of Christ, others wouldn’t need a political entity to point them towards Christ. That is why underground churches are thriving around the world…WITHOUT the approval of government.
THIS kingdom is not our Kingdom. God’s Kingdom come, and His will be done…regardless of a seal of approval on it or not.
Do I pray for our leaders, that they would make wise, biblical decisions with our Nation? Absolutely.
Do I respect our leaders, and the authority that they have over us? You bet.
But nothing can affect my relationship with Christ, nothing.
Jesus didn’t give us the example of fighting the empire, Jesus gave us the example of rescuing people from imperialistic thinking and introducing them to a new Kingdom.
Don’t fight it. Live in it.
There are beautiful days ahead of us.