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Should Christians Always Stand up for Their Rights?

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Note: This article does not speak to politics, specifically. This article is not what the laws should be, and it's not about constitutional rights. I encourage you to get involved in legislation and support God-fearing leaders, or whatever the Lord leads you to do.

The belief seems to be that "all Americans should be free to live by their faith at home and in the work place without fear of being punished by the government.We also will not be silenced. We will fight with everything we have"

I'm hoping some will get on their knees and ask the Lord what our response and actions should be to the Same-sex marriage laws. Should Christians refuse to serve those with alternative lifestyles in order to speak out against it?

Yes, we Americans all love freedom and that's good. In 1st Cor. 7, tells us to remain free if we can. In fact, Jesus died for our freedom. But U.S. Constitutional freedom? No. Freedom in Christ. Freedom to love. Freedom to serve. Freedom from sin. Freedom from the burdens that sin brings. Freedom from being weighed down by guilt. Before we know Christ, we live in our flesh, only thinking of ourselves; thinking about what we want, what we "deserve". We want to be free to live however we want, no matter who it hurts.

But when we learn that Jesus died to pay the price for our sin (that God required, like the animal sacrifice in the OT) , and was raised from the grave on the 3rd day, to prove God's power over death and God's power to give eternal life; and and we're convicted of our sin, and we turn from it and follow Jesus instead, and accept God's free gift of grace, God gives us his Spirit to live inside us to teach us the right way. The Spirit guides us into more loving actions and convicts us of our wrong thoughts, our wrong attitudes and our wrong actions; and he changes us: sometimes a lot at once, sometimes little by little. He comforts us and gives us joy in Christ, even though living the Christian life can be difficult at times. All that is good and great. We're so happy to have that load of guilt off of us, and to be free to serve the living God, instead of being blinded by our sin and doing all the things that we're helpless to change on our own. He changes our hearts and gives us the power to love others when we submit to his Spirit. And all that freedom feels great. Before we knew Jesus, the pull of sin was so strong we couldn't resist. Now God gives us power when we ask for his help. His Spirit makes us strong enough to resist. He shows us the right way through his Word, the Bible. And he gives us all of our Christian armor: Our shield of faith, sword of the Spirit (the word of God), our breastplate of righteousness, belt of truth, helmet of salvation and ... one more. Let's not forget the shoes of peace to bring the gospel. Hm-m-m-m. Could it be possible that sometimes we might need to give up our rights in order obey him, in order to love others, in order to be a good witness. What would that look like? Let's take a look in scripture.

Let's begin with Jesus: He gave up his home in heaven. He came here to be born humbly in a stinky old barn. He dealt with sinners like arrogant Pharisees, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the ones who thought they were above everyone else and were doing everything right (the rich young ruler). He endured the crowds of people all clamouring for his attention. He endured the whiny, fearful, me-first disciples for three years, knowing they would all abandon him in the end. He gave up even his time-off to teach and serve sinners - you know -- ones like you and I. Then he allowed himself to endure the mocking, beating, and ultimately the excruciating pain of the cross, and the Holy Spirit leaving him, though he didn't do anything wrong. He gave up all of his rights for... you and I.

So I ask you, is standing up for our rights the most important thing?

I say, love is the most important thing. Jesus gave up his freedom and even his life, to show (us sinners) love. Let's take a look at some scriptures.

Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 9:1-18 how he gave up his right to be paid. He worked day and night in order to be able to preach the gospel free of charge. (I'm not saying all pastors need to do this.1 Timothy 5:17-18). But Paul was in a position to do that, and so he chose to. He says to "put up with anything so as to not hinder the gospel of Christ" (v. 12).

This pastor says it better than I could. So I will link to his web page: Specifically, he relates it to political views as examples of giving up our rights for the cause of the gospel.

I'm still learning too. There is a time to speak out about our views, such as when someone asks, but always in love. Some more apt scriptures:

How we treat others is how we are treating Jesus. He takes it personal. Matthew 25:31-46

People will be doing all sorts of things in the name of Christ, but is it really his will? Matthew 7:21-23 Similarly: 1 Corinthians speaks of true and false disciples.

Loving Others: 1 John 3:10-24

 

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