Jesus Supported Religious Liberty

Mark 3:6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

We never read of Jesus plotting the destruction or obstruction of any person or religious leader with whom He disagreed. Jesus taught openly under great opposition, and vigorously debated His opponents. But it is clear, from the evidence we possess, that He did not conspire to infringe on the liberty of others in matters of belief. Jesus supported freedom of religion.

But does the rest of the New Testament support this freedom? The answer is yes. There is no example in the Bible of a church ever using governmental legislation or force to silence an opponent, or linking itself to governmental power to influence those who hold differing beliefs.

There are those who argue that religious liberty is a religious doctrine. This is true, it is a religious doctrine. They then argue that the enforcement of this liberty by the U.S. government is governmental enforcement of a religious doctrine. That is true only in a sense. The U.S. recognizes this liberty as a liberty common to all men. It is a human right derived from the evidence of our existence. The ministry of Jesus wasn't the beginning of this liberty, it began in the garden of Eden when grace entered this creation.

We live in a world still harassed by those who cannot allow, tolerate, or listen to dissent. They want the government to favor, and in some cases promote their specific religious beliefs. Thankfully the United States still stands for the right of religious liberty!

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