I've been rereading Acts and I am at the portion after Peter and John healed the beggar. They are standing before the Sanhedrin and they are ordered to no longer speak about Christ and what happened to him.
As I see these men and the followers who refuse to remain quiet, it makes me wonder and think. . . would I have the courage to speak out and to defy the leaders of America if it came to the point where it was no longer allowed to speak of Jesus? We are already seeing these restrictions in China, Myanmar, and other countries. If you go and research The Voice of the Martyrs you read about pastors who are imprisoned and who face persecution because they refuse to be silent.
Even now we see our rights to serve God and live according to our religious conviction being limited. It's okay to be gay, but it isn't okay to be a Christian. After hundreds of years of people who claimed to be Christian hurting others in the name of God, we are now on the receiving end. Of course, we were on the receiving end after Jesus ascended into Heaven, but that was in the early years of A.D. not now. . .
Most recently our illustrious President Obama is striving to tell those who do not believe in birth control that they must supply their employees with birth control options and abortion options even though it goes against their religious beliefs. They feel convicted by God to not offer this and to allow God to dictate how many children their families have. I have friends who made that choice - while it's not my own personal choice, they love their children very much and do a good job raising them. We live in a time where if we are deemed "intolerant" then we are called a hater, a bigot or racist. While there are those living among us who do hide behind religion (Fred Phelps is an excellent example), not every Christian who doesn't agree with public consensus is a hater or a bigot. Some people live their lives in the light that God has given to them and what they deem to be wrong for them does not make them a hater, it makes them a person of conviction.
Do I agree with those who speak out against homosexuality, transgender, or other choices? No, do I believe that sin exists in this world? ABSOLUTELY!!! We see it glorified every day, but I also choose to live by Jesus' teaching in the book of Matthew when He told us to be careful how we judge others because that is how God will judge us someday. While I may not always agree with the choices of my friends and how they choose to live their life - I do choose to love them. John 3:17 says, "God did not send his son to condemn the world but to save the world through him." Spread the good news, but also show them grace and mercy - because we have been given God's grace and mercy. . .
Despite all of this we now face an era where I think many of us are going to have to make some tough choices. To what extent do we show grace and mercy? How willing are we to face persecution because of our love of Christ? Are we willing to sit quietly as our rights to freedom of religion are stripped away? Because they are slowly being stripped by our current administration. More importantly how did so many "Christians" end up blinded to Obama's folly and lack of consistency and ability to stand behind what he thinks. How did people not see his ever changing stance on issues and yet he accused Mitt Romney of being wishy washy because he changed his stance on abortion? I have to be honest, I worry that if our President is re-elected that we are much closer to the end of times than we thought.
I worry about the girls growing up in the world today. . . it is becoming more difficult to raise my girls to be women of faith when everything on TV and in the movies mocks Christians as stupid and ignorant. I guess the question of this blog is this - if you have to face a court today will you be found guilty of loving God? Or would you be found innocent? This isn't meant to point fingers, but it is meant to ask myself some tough questions. If you happen to ask yourself the same questions so be it.
I hope you all have a good weekend.