While the debate over whether the United States of America was founded as a Christian nation has good arguments on both sides, the fact that many original settlers came to America to escape a tyrannical state’s intrusion into their religious life and practice is unquestionable.
Religious liberty has such a rich heritage in America — it is, in fact, the first freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Rights in the very first amendment to the U.S. Constitution — in part because many of the colonists in the New World knew life without such a constitutional protection. They sought to guard against the stifling existence that arises when a state invades into this most important facet of life: the freedom to practice one’s religion according to his or her deepest convictions and conscience.
Although Christians in America today happily do not experience the kind of religious persecution and oppression that our nation’s forefathers fled, recent events have caused many to question not only the scope and breadth of the religious liberty guaranteed by the first amendment, but even how secure that guarantee is — especially in the face of the culture’s growing opposition to the historic Christian position on gender, marriage, and sexuality.
The mission of the church is summed up in the Great Commission, and strategizing how best to carry out that mission is the work of pastors and congregations. Pastors and church leaders rarely have time to maintain a working knowledge of the changing legal landscape, nor should they. Their job is to proclaim the gospel and law of Christ, which sometimes puts them in conflict with the law of the land.
This is why the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has developed the Church Alliance program. In this program, ADF is offering member churches, no matter the size or denomination, religious liberty legal support, which includes everything from bylaw review to consultation and even legal representation.
To be clear, our hope is not in chariots or Constitutions, horses or the House of Representatives; we trust in the name of the LORD our God (Ps 20:7). But just as Paul appealed to Caesar, we should not be afraid to use for the advance of the gospel the legal systems that have been set in place. And there is perhaps no organization that is better-equipped in understanding those legal systems while also being equally passionate about the spread of the gospel than ADF.
CBMW gladly endorses ADF’s Church Alliance program, and we encourage churches to see if it is a good fit for you.
You, too, can help support the ministry of CBMW. We are a non-profit organization that is fully-funded by individual gifts and ministry partnerships. Your contribution will go directly toward the production of more gospel-centered, church-equipping resources.