As an attorney who is concerned about religious freedoms in this country, I am often asked what current trends in the American legal system affect Christians the most. While there are various specific cases that come before the courts on a daily basis, there are some over-arching problems that are becoming more apparent every day.
1) The loss of religious liberty under the First Amendment.
The freedom to be a Christian and serve Jesus Christ by speaking, living and standing for Him in the public arena is under intense attack. The overused metaphor of “separation of church and state,” which is not in the Constitution, is being used as a sword to cut up the First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion. Christians have been arrested for praying in parks, witnessing at public festivals, and speaking the truth about social issues. Christians have been forbidden to have Bible study fellowships in the home, wear Christian t-shirts, pass out Christian pamphlets and speak up for Jesus Christ in the classroom. The most fundamental and greatest liberty that our country was founded upon is being tossed aside as useless and unnecessary in the name of tolerance, enlightenment, or new age reasoning. We as Christians must pray that the lamp of religious liberty does not flicker and burn out, and the First Amendment guarantee of the free exercise of religion trumps over all of the excuses for its destruction. Once religious freedom disintegrates, we as a country are not really free at all, and we set up the mechanism, by government decree, for this nation to turn its heart rapidly away from God.
2) The loss of historical reference to America’s Christian heritage.
The hearts and souls of our young people are at stake. Yet the courts have treated Christianity like the plague and have thrust the Bible and our Christian heritage out of the schools with a vengeance. Other religions, philosophies, moral ideas and narcissistic values have been allowed to flourish while many courts have shuddered at the name of Jesus and have stamped out the Christian’s religious freedom in the classroom. We as Christians need to pray for our education system and that Christians have the right to speak and teach about the awesome, life-changing and practical truths of the Bible. Christians’ freedom of speech and freedom to assemble are also under heavy attack while the theory of evolution (which one must accept by faith for it cannot be proven, thus making it a religion), the ideals of secular humanism, and topics that push the boundaries of decency and dignity are allowed to be taught with reckless abandon. Teachers are often afraid to stand up for the truths of the Bible and our Christian heritage. The question is: why is the public school system so against letting the students decide what is worthy to be believed?
3) Lack of godly leadership.
Where are the godly men and women who are not afraid to stand up for truth, righteousness and justice and do what is right? Where are the men and women with character, honor and moral integrity? We have become a nation with leaders that are masters at political expediency, deceitful advertising and clever spin but with no substance. Our courts have lost their independence in order to push an agenda, political philosophy or personal issue while forsaking justice and truth. Our leaders have become so obsessed with their political ambition and thirst for power that they are blindly leading our country down the path of ruin. As the prophet Isaiah asked, have we become a country where judgment is turned away backward, justice stands afar off, truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter? We as Christians must pray fervently for our country and our leaders at all levels. We must pray for godly men and women to run for political office and occupy our judiciary. We must not allow ourselves to hate, ridicule and despise our leaders and become part of the problem, but instead pray that these men and women uphold our freedoms to live as Christians and serve our Lord for the benefit our country. We must pray for our leaders and humbly ask God for His mercy. We must pray for God to heal our land and our hearts and unify our country in the respect, dignity and honor of the truths it was founded upon. God is vitally concerned about justice, truth, righteousness, and right judgment in this country and devoted prayer is a vital component of restoration even for the judiciary and for the laws of our land.
The law is becoming more and more hostile to Christianity around the globe. Atheists, Agnostics, and God-haters have risen to the forefront of so much of our culture and they are pushing their godless agenda and want no resistance. The lamp of liberty is beginning to dim in America and we must rise up as Christians and begin to claim our legal rights like the Apostle Paul claimed his rights as a Roman citizen. The greatest threat to liberty in this country is not radical Islam, but nominal Christianity.
Tim Rowe has been a practicing attorney in Indiana for over 25 years. He is currently on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, and is a sustaining member of American Association of Justice as well as being a member of the American, Indiana, and Indianapolis Bar Associations. Tim hosted a radio program called “You and the Law” for over five years, and is currently featured on a weekly TV show entitled “Faith and the Law.” His new book entitled, The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it will Transform your Life, is a comprehensive theological discussion of the characteristics of God, the formal names of God, the origin and current state of evil, and the role of the Christian believer in the world.