Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dangerous Freedom

Christians have a unique and a challenging obligation. We are to go and proclaim the gospel. For some of us that means months or years of planning and training and heading overseas.  For others it means being an active and involved member of a local community group of some kind.  For others it might be lived out through street evangelism, formal debates on key Christian doctrines or even structured homeschooling with a Christ-centered curriculum.  There are many many ways to "go and proclaim the gospel" and each of us follows where the Lord leads in doing that.  I know a lot of Christians and every one of them lives this joyous and wonderful obligation out in a slightly different way, depending on their gifts and talents and where the Lord has led them.

I know that most people reading my blog have also recently read about David Wood, Nabeel Qureshi and the Acts17 Apologetics crew being arrested in Dearborn Michigan last weeked at the Arab Festival.  If you have not yet read about this, go here and catch yourself up.  In short, their "crime" was sharing the gospel with those who asked. You read that correctly.  On US soil, 3 brothers and a sister in Christ were detained by the police, had their personal belongings confiscated and spent some time in a jail cell, for nothing more than attempting to share the gospel in a public place.  No doubt in my mind, there will be a lawsuit coming, and mainstream media will eventually catch up to this story. 

North American culture has changed, is changing and is not at all what it was when people of my age were growing up.  I haven't studied it out but I would suggest my generation is the first generation to see so many freedoms and moral issues get tossed out the window, in just one generation of Americans.  Like many of my fellow Americans I'm sure, I have said outloud "I never thought I'd live to see this happen on US soil".  I have a feeling I will be tempted to say it many more times before my lifetime is over.

While I absolutely believe in the sovereignty of God in all things (including the moral decay in the politics of North American culture), I also believe He expects us, His people, to stand up, speak up and do what is right, at all times.  I watched David Wood's video here yesterday and thought what a profound quote he was wearing on his t-shirt.  Being a t-shirt graphic designer, I was very impressed and inspired.  The quote from Thomas Jefferson:

"I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery" is one that many many US soldiers understand all too well.  In a very real and physical way they put their own safety, well-being and even their lives on the line to fight for the freedoms we so enjoy.  It is and should come as no surprise at all to any Christian that God intentionally inspired the writers of Scripture to write about the Christian faith in terms that includes the words battle, war, warrior, soldier, etc.  Words that military personal are quite familiar with, but that far too many North American Christians don't even begin to grasp as we sit on our comfy couches with our digital remote controlling our HD tvs and entertain ourselves into foo-foo land.  Not that there is anything wrong with enjoying a little foo-foo now and then, but I think as we all watch the way things change on the social, moral and political landscape we're going to become very familiar, unwillingly, with the terms of war that our military is already so familiar with.

This matters to me.  It matters a lot.  It matters what kind of world my kids will live in as adults, and what part I had to play in the way things turned out.  It sure isn't much, but being inspired by David Wood's t-shirt quote, I created that design you see up above there and posted it in my zazzle shop today.  You can get yours here (it comes in a bazillion styles, colors and options for men, women, babies and kids), wear it loud and wear it often and when people ask you "what's up with that?" it'll be a great conversation starter about what matters, what we're losing in the way of freedoms, and what kind of world we're all leaving for our kids.  If you don't want to buy the t-shirt, feel free to grab that image and use it on your blog, site, or whatever.  Just stand up and be counted. Make some noise, show you care, do something.
Graphic design by Carla Rolfe