The Freedom Of Christians To Live Out Their Faith In The Expression Of Their Words And Actions

The first amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the rights of citizens to live out the expression of their faith in what they say and do. Understanding that the Bible was written as instructions from God in how believers should live their lives, it is consistent for those who trust in the God of the Bible, to state these texts as a part of their expressions of faith.

United States Constitution, Amendment I:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

“The Establishment Clause does not prohibit students or other private individuals from living out their faith or engaging in personal religious expression—even when they are on government property. Rather, this clause places substantial limits on what the government itself can do in either promoting or disparaging religion. Yes, it’s supposed to work both ways.” [1]

There is no ambiguity in whether the Bible condemns same-sex behavior. From the beginning God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. When Jesus was questioned about marriage and divorce He stated clearly that “from the beginning,” God ordained one man and one woman, for life.

The text of Genesis chapters 18 and 19, describe Yahweh-God and two angels who come to visit Abraham on their way to investigate the behavior of men who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord (Yahweh), asks whether He should keep the purpose of His journey to these two cities, a secret from His servant Abraham.

Yahweh tells Abraham that Sodom and Gomorrah will be destroyed, resulting in Abraham asking God if He will “destroy the righteous with the wicked.” The righteous in this context, are people who trust in God for their salvation, having turned from their sins to Him. The wicked are those who persist in their sinful behavior and ignore God’s command for all people to repent.

At the end of the conversation between Abraham and Yahweh, the Lord agrees that He will not destroy the righteous with the wicked if He finds just 10 righteous living in Sodom and Gomorrah. When the angels arrive at these two cities, they find only Lot as a righteous man, according to God’s definition. Despite only Lot being righteous, the angels command Lot and his entire family of 10 persons to quickly exit the city so that Yahweh can destroy all that exists there.

In Genesis chapter 19, we see the Lord-Yahweh, bring down fire from heaven to destroy these two cities. “Then the Lord  (Yahweh) rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorrah. He utterly destroyed them, along with the other cities and villages of the plain, wiping out all the people and every bit of vegetation” (Genesis 19:24-25).

Later, Jesus, Peter, Jude and Paul in the New Testament, describe the behavior of these men at Sodom and Gomorrah as wicked, immoral, shameful behavior, examples of people whom God will destroy for their sinful behavior. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6 that people who practice same-sex relationships will not enter heaven.

Jesus: I tell you the truth, the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah will be better off than such a town on the judgment day. ~Matthew 10:15 (NLT) 

Peter: God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and turned them into heaps of ashes. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. But God also rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a righteous man who was sick of the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him. Yes, Lot was a righteous man who was tormented in his soul by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while keeping the wicked under punishment until the day of final judgment. ~2 Peter 2:6-9 (NLT)

Jude: And don’t forget Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and serve as a warning of the eternal fire of God’s judgment. ~Jude 1:7 (NLT) 

Paul: Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. ~1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)

Understanding that not only does the entire Bible teach that same-sex relationships are prohibited by God, but also, Jesus condemns these relationships and demonstrated His judgement on those who practice these sins, by destroying everyone at Sodom and Gomorrah. For this reason, Christians are right to declare to people who continue to practice these sins that they are also in danger of judgment. This is not hateful speech, but loving and considerate speech when we warn people we care about that they are in danger of being destroyed.

Christians who warn persons in same-sex relationships are not homophobes. We are not afraid of LGBTQ persons, we are afraid they will be lost eternally. We warn and encourage these persons to turn from their sins because we do love them and care about their lives.

Expression Is The Heart Of The First Amendment

A Christian, in order to live out their faith, must be free to state these texts from the Bible and what God has said about same-sex behavior or they are not free, according to the First Amendment.

Simply because people do not like these texts from the Bible, or object to a Christian preaching these texts as a part of a call to turn from sin to Christ, is not a valid reason to deprive a Christian of their right under the First Amendment, to state these texts. The entire purpose of the First Amendment is to guarantee the expression of faith. This can only happen if a Christian can teach and declare the truth of God’s word as it is written in the Bible.

We live in a country where every person has been given the right to live out their faith by the expression of that faith, in the words and actions of their life that come from texts written in their Holy Scriptures. Only when scriptures approve of murder or or physical harm, as in the Koran, shall such scriptures be banned, and only the texts that state these actions.

No place in the Bible does the text state that Christians shall kill those who practice same-sex relationships. The text of Moses in the Old Testament which formerly commanded the death of men and women who practiced same-sex relationships, was only given to the Hebrew people of that time. These commands of Moses were not universal in their requirement for believers today to practice these laws. The Hebrews were moving into the land of Canaan where many depraved pagan cultures lived. God did not want His people to begin practicing the customs of these pagan nations. One of the chief practices of the Canaanites was Sodomy. For this reason, Moses commanded that any Hebrew who practiced this perversion, should be stoned. This was to purify these sins from the land and prevent the people of God at that time from imitating the pagan nations who they conquered.

Jesus never commanded or taught that His followers should ever harm or kill anyone for any reason. If fact, just the opposite is true. Jesus taught that Christians are to not return revenge upon people who harm them, but to accept the wrong and continue to do good and love people who made themselves their enemies. The way of Christ is peace, and love is the primary emblem of our faith.

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you…Love your enemies! Do good to them…Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked. 36 You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. ~Luke 6:27-36 (NLT)

The entire purpose of the New Testament is to teach the New Covenant of God for those who believe in the Messiah whom God sent into the world. This New Covenant is based upon the completed work of Christ on the cross, not the former laws of Moses. No Christian today is commanded to keep the laws of Moses. The command of the New Testament is love-lived-out in the lives of those who trust in Christ, and to live Holy and separate lives, free of the sins of this current world.

The true followers of Jesus must tell people that they are headed for destruction because this is what true love does. If we cannot tell people what God said and live out our lives by practicing and preaching what God said, then the First Amendment to the Constitution has no meaning or effect in the life of American citizens.


NOTES:

[1] Quotation From An Article published by The Hill, “Trump administration’s religious freedom announcements square with Constitution, Supreme Court precedent, BY MICHAEL P. FARRIS, January 18, 2020



Categories: First Amendment, Freedom of Religion, Gay Marriage and Same-Sex, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation through Jesus, Sexual Immorality, Sodom and Gomorrah, The Founding Father's, The Founding Fathers, The U.S. Constitution, We must repent

Tags: , , , ,

Make a comment or argument.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.