That is the question. Christians are fighting for the right to pray publicly and use Jesus name. I have been reading in the paper lately accounts of Christians voicing their opinions about the ACLU wanting to ban the prayers ending with in Jesus name, before County Board meetings here in our county. They are not wanting to ban prayer altogether, they do not want the prayers being ended with In Jesus name, because all the board members may not be Christians. If we are praying in silence who knows whose name we are ending our prayers in? Hello.....GOD KNOWS. You can't hide what is in your heart from God.
First of all let me make this very clear, I am a Christian and I know the Lord Jesus as my personal savior, not just on Sundays, Wed. or at a special mass for Christmas or Easter. I know Him everyday and spend time with Him everyday in His word. So that no one thinks I am taking sides with the ACLU, let's just make that clear.
However spending quality time in His word daily helps me to see Him clearly and the way He would have us to treat others.
How do we know when something is of the Lord or of man? If there is condemnation involved it is of man. If there is no condemnation it is of the Lord.
Romans. 8 v 1-2...There is therefore now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death...
If we as Christians are causing people to feel condemnation then we are not presenting the gospel Jesus gave us to teach.
God Himself said He sent His Son, so that the world might be saved not condemned. I'm not saying they may not feel conviction to change. I'm saying we do not cause them to feel condemned using Jesus' name.
John 3 v 17...For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.....
We do not have to pray out loud for God to hear us. We can pray out loud but it is not a command from God, He knows our every thought. AMEN! We need to take Him out of the box we try to keep Him in.
Matthew 6 v 5-8....And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. ......
First of all where is your room? Where is the secret place? If you are a Christian it is in you. God resides in you. The secret place of the Lord is resting in His word. Having understanding of His word deep in our hearts.
So instead of fighting to pray out loud in public in our work place, why can we not do as was suggested and take a moment of silence to pray to our Father in secret as He has instructed us to do? And those who are not Christians can pray to whomever they wish as well in silence.
God says all authority is ordained by Him. He didn't say some, He said ALL.
Romans 13 v 1-2.....Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves......
I'm not saying that Christians should compromise their faith in any way that would go against the word of God. I'm just saying God knows what is in our hearts and He hears us when we pray, whether it is out loud or in silence.
For every action there is a reaction and then there is a result. We need to be careful what results we might get.....
Someone told me long ago, not to fight so hard to get prayer back in school. For if we allow Christians to pray publicly in school then we must also allow all other forms of religion to pray their prayers as well. So what would you rather have your child learning at school, prayers of an atheist or Buddhism, or any other form of religion other than Christianity? You will not be there to supervise and to correct whatever beliefs are being taught to your children when this is allowed. So they would be getting fed the wrong teachings according to our Christian faith, all because we had to lean on our own understanding instead of letting God show us in His word what to do. God says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Well, what if the hearing is not the word of God but the word of Buddha? What then is your child's faith being built upon, since they spend the majority of their time in school?
Just like with the ten commandments. We fight very hard to keep them present for everyone to see, yet the word tells us that Jesus died on the cross to fulfill those commandments once and for all. When Moses brought the ten commandments down the people perished because they could not keep the law. The people were not allowed to touch the ark that contained the law or they would die.
The law was how God showed us we needed a Savior. I'm not saying He did away with the ten commandments, I'm saying He fullfilled them. So why would we want to keep them before our eyes instead of His gospel?
When Jesus died on the cross and brought Grace to us, three thousand were saved.
We need to get caught up with the word and know what is written and when it was written before or after the cross. The law was the old covenant and Jesus is our new covenant. Jesus brings us life and tells us to come to Him.
Acts 2 v 41....Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them....
In Acts we go on to see that as long as the apostles were teaching the grace and forgiveness of Christ Jesus, (the cross and Him crucified) there were more and more being saved. That is the love of God.
So I guess I say all of this to remind us to not react out of our flesh when something comes against our faith but to instead respond with the love of Christ. Take a deep breath, get His word out and see what does He (not your church doctrine) tell you to do in your situation. We need to look to Him for the answer and not just react.
It reminds me of a saying that I've often heard, sometimes the best way to show we are a Christian is not with words but with our actions.
I am also reminded of the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus forgave the woman with His unearned, undeserved, unmerited favor. He extended her His grace. And she went away and sinned no more. Why? Not because she saw what was written in the law, but because she saw His love.
He reacted to the situation with LOVE.
Remember Jesus gave us all free will and never meant for us to force His name on anyone.
The best way to learn how to respond and not react is to
STAY IN THE WORD!