Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why the President's Switch from Using the term "Freedom to Religion" to "Freedom of Worship" is a Really big Deal

NOTE: In this article, one can see the way being prepared for the state to greatly curtail evangelism. We were warned over 100 years a go that this development was approaching: "I wish to tell you that soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work." CH 533.  "As religious aggression subverts the liberties of our nation, those who would stand for freedom of conscience will be placed in unfavorable positions."  CH 506.

 by Dr. Tony Beam
(Excerpts)  Is it really a big deal that the President and members of his administration have migrated from freedom of religion to freedom of worship? Yes, it really is a big deal because...words mean things. The freedom to worship is an exclusive term that relates only to the way people express their relationship with God inside the walls of the church. Freedom of religion carries the idea of religious expression beyond the walls of the church into the public arena.

For example, the government can grant me the freedom to worship but without freedom of religion that same government can prohibit me from sharing my faith with my neighbor....

By shifting from freedom of religion to freedom of worship, the administration would be laying the groundwork for censuring religious thought and expression in the public square while sanctioning worship as long as that worship remains tucked away from public view within the confines of the church.

I understand that worship can take place other than the confines of a church but emphasizing the freedom or worship over the freedom of religion protects our ability to express our love for God while leaving open the possibility of the curtailment of our responsibility to express God’s truth in the culture.

Worship is an important part of religious expression but it is only one part. As Christians, we must stand up for our right to express our religious beliefs both inside and outside the walls of the church. If our understanding of religious freedom becomes confined by wordsmiths to nothing more than what takes place inside the church we will soon find that our outside the walls expression of God’s truth has been lost.  Source