Seven-year-old Hannah thrust the newsletter in front of her father as he tried to read the newspaper. “It says we’re celebrating ‘religious pluralism in America.’ What does that mean?”
“It means it’s a free country, I guess. There are lots of religions, and people can believe whatever they think is true.”
“Whatever they want? Is that good?” Hannah probed.
“Sure, as long as we get to believe whatever we want.”
“Oh, I get it. It doesn’t matter which religion is true, so long as everybody gets to do whatever they want. Right?” Hannah quizzed.
Dad lowered the newspaper. “Uh, that doesn’t sound quite right. Maybe we’d better ask the pastor Sunday.”
It matters what we believe! Yes, we have the cherished right to freedom of conscience in America. But when our beliefs lead to immorality, history reveals the consequences are devastating.
General Douglas MacArthur said it succinctly, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”
As we celebrate Independence Day and our cherished freedoms, let us not forget the personal responsibility that must come with those freedoms. No government can survive a people with the freedoms we enjoy today unless those people are willing to govern themselves. If their beliefs lead to immoral, dishonest, and irresponsible lifestyles, then those beliefs will eventually lead to the loss of those freedoms.
Baptists led the charge for religious liberty. We have always strongly supported religious liberty. We are committed to proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ free from coercion or interference. No one can choose God for another or force faith into another.
Yet we must be free to announce our belief in the absolute truth of the Bible and salvation by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone. Religious liberty says that I am free to believe and proclaim that Jesus is the exclusive answer God has provided.
The goal is not religious pluralism when it means that I am coerced into acknowledging all religions as legitimate. But the goal is religious liberty which means I can proclaim without intimidation that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life while living with people who are free to reject that truth for another religion.
Jesus said in the parable of the seeds sown in various kinds of soil, “But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit.” (Mark 4:20) Jesus is God’s Word in the flesh. Please hear Him, accept Him, and bear fruit by following Him.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 33:12) Pray for spiritual awakening!
Want to know more? Worship with us this Sunday at 9am. Find us at BalboaBaptist.Church.