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Christianity Isn’t a Book You Leave At Home

March 16, 2009

Every time I hear a non-Christian tell me that it should be fully acceptable for me to leave my “religion” at my front door, so that they don’t have to be exposed to it, I cringe. I hear that these people have the freedom from religion, and as such should not have to see, hear or otherwise be exposed to my “religion” in any other way. All this from people who do not understand what it means to be Christian. Who are they to say what is acceptable for me to do and not do? Which one has the better understanding of Christianity? More importantly, which one has the right to freely practice their religion?

A few months ago, an atheist mom challenged Christians to “walk in the shoes of an atheist.” She wanted Christians to understand what they go through on a daily basis in a predominately Christian society. And although I appreciate what she was trying to accomplish, myself and several others refused on the grounds that the challenge (in order to be fully understood) would require us to deny God; which would hold serious ramifications for us a children of God. She and few others insisted that we wouldn’t have to deny God, only pretend for a few days that we were atheist. (So I guess we were supposed to pretend to deny God). They of course didn’t understand that this was something not even feasible for a true Christian to do.

So why is Christianity not a book that can be left at home? The “owner’s manual” to the Christian life is the Bible, and although this is a book, everything in it is intended for comprehensive life application. Here is a brief synopsis of the Bible. It is divided into two major parts: The Old Testament (life before Christ’s birth) and the New Testament (the birth and life of Christ, as well as documentation of the early church). From there it is broken down even further: The Pentateuch (or Law), the Historical Books, Hebrew Poetry, the Wisdom Literature, the Prophets, the Intertestamental Period, the Gospel and Acts, and finally the Epistles (or letters).

The Bible, which is believed by Christians to be God’s inerrant word written via the hands of men chosen by God, gives us instructions on everything from diet to parenting, financial management to charity, self-government to rules on warfare, as well as religious ceremonies and everything in between. (In fact there are 613 laws counted in Old Testament law). People of the Old Testament were subject to the law and consequences of disobeying the law. Christ came, not to free them from the Law, but to fulfil the ceremonious law that required blood atonement for our sins (This is why we celebrate Easter … a.k.a Resurrection Day). We are still required, however, to obey the laws given to us …. we just don’t have to offer blood sacrifices anymore. Because of this expectation, Christians cannot leave their “religion” at home. It must go with them wherever they go. Also, we are commanded to share the Gospel, so that means that un-believers are likely to be exposed to Christianity at least one time in their life. (Please note that I am not saying that Christians are to go forcing people to convert ….. that is not what is meant by “share.”)

What is my point in saying all of this? In America we all have the right to freely practice the religion of our choice; or to choose not to practice one at all. But the key word is freely. This means that I cannot tell a pagan how to practice her religion, nor a Buddhist how to practice hers. Likewise, a non-Christian cannot tell me how to practice mine; I cannot be told to leave my religion at home. They cannot tell me to say my prayers at home, or to my children, not to take their Bibles to school. They cannot insist that I keep God to myself. Why not? Because this means that I cannot freely practice my religion. In a culture where freely practicing religion is the rule of law, everyone will be exposed to a religion that they disagree with. Just as I will be exposed to paganism to a degree, so to will atheists (or non-Christians) be exposed to Christianity. We cannot have our cake and eat it too. We cannot say you are free to practice your religion as long as I don’t have to see or hear it.

Oh … and just because some Christians feel they can leave Christianity at the front door, doesn’t mean that all Christians have to NOR does it mean that Christianity is a religion that can be left at home. Christians are certainly not perfect, so the ways in which we practice will vary slightly from person-to-person. But the next time anyone wants to say that religion doesn’t belong somewhere, perhaps you should ask yourself if you want the same resrtictions on yourself. If you want to freely practice what you believe, then you will have to let others freely practice what they believe…..whether you agree with it or not.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 16, 2009 11:15 AM

    Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

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