Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Role of Religion

I got in a discussion with a blogger by the name of Buffalo some time back on Michael the Archangel’s blog. I looked up Buffalo’s profile and found one of his posts discussing the last presidential election and his concerns about both candidates, and the points he made about religion gave me pause.

Before I begin, let me state that it is almost 11:20pm and I’m very tired, so I’m not going to look up the specific bible passages unless challenged on what I write. I’m also obviously writing this from a Christian perspective. If you find logical flaws in doing this then by all means let me know what they are.

Let’s start with this paragraph:

While I do recognize that many feel the need of a spiritual based faith system I do not believe their answers should be inflicted upon society as a whole. The place to practice religion is in the church. Faith is a personal, not public, issue.

I agree with this up to a point. Until the Second Coming of Jesus, I have no interest in living in a Theocracy. Humans are by nature imperfect. Even if the Catholic Church were the governing power I would still be very nervous because our priests, bishops, etc. are still human and capable of error.

However, it is incorrect to say that religion should be hidden from the public eye. If a Christian takes his faith seriously then he should be out evangelizing. He should be singing God’s praises. He should chastise others when they commit wrongdoing even if that wrongdoing is acceptable by secular standards. Not that this usually happens, but we’re discussing what should be, not what is. If nothing else, the freedom of speech we enjoy here in America is applicable to Christians just as much as to those on the left of the political spectrum.

Next:

If you feel alcohol is a sin, don’t drink. If you feel gambling is a sin, don’t gamble. If the idea of an abortion is repugnant to you, don’t have one.

We are told in the bible A) chastise people when they sin, B) do not lead others into sin, and C) evangelize by word and deed. If we fail to either do or avoid doing something and that decision leads others to sin or to continue sinning, then we are not living up to our responsibilities as Christians.

Finally:

If you want to your child to pray in school, feel free to encourage them to do so – but not aloud in class.


This really falls under the same category as the first quote above. We should not hide our faith from view. We should not act as though we are ashamed of our belief in God, especially since the bible says God will shun us if we do so. I’m not advocating reciting a rosary right through the lesson on prepositional phrases, but Christians shouldn’t have to hide in the corner. There is a happy medium that allows Christians to practice their faith without disrupting society all around them. Others may be driven away, to be sure, but others may have a seed planted in their hearts that will result in one more soul for Christ.

We should live our lives as an example of Christ and be ready to share our faith with others at a moment’s notice. Set snares for the unwary and reel them in as soon as an opportunity presents itself (or is presented by God). Use God’s laws to guide the application of our secular laws and, while some people might get rubbed the wrong way, we aren’t as likely to go wrong.

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