Is Religious Liberty Really a Dance With the Devil?

"Tertullian, Roger Williams, and John MacArthur debate the perils of freedom." - C.Today

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josh p's picture

This has to be one of the stranger "debates" I've seen since when I first became a believer. It is so bizarre that anyone would not support religious freedom. Religious freedom has nothing to do with syncretism as JMac seems to be saying. The alternative is monstrous and it amazes me that 1) That's not obvious, 2) Someone with such a long ministry would criticize those who advocate it in such strong terms. I truly wonder if JMac is beginning to experience some cognitive decline. He seems to argue with himself pretty often these days. The only believers I can think of who would consistently agree with him would be the dominion theology/reconstructionists. Strange allies. 

Mark_Smith's picture

You need to note the difference between every person having an opinion about their religion, and thinking that all religions are the same. We can support other people's beliefs as long as we emphasize that there is only one way to get to God, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. I am not so sure that modern people see things that way anymore. So you have to fight carefully.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

I don't know what influences have JMac on this track or even what exactly this track is, but it bears some resemblance to versions of Christian nationalism (e.g. post-liberal integralism) going around and also some resemblance to the theonomy/reconstruction attitudes of a few decades ago. What these ideologies have in common is seeing a strong connection (identification?) between pluralism and liberty and the conviction that pluralism/classical liberalism/liberty have failed--Christianity should dominate.

The idea has lots of problems, but the biggest is just reality: it's impossible to make that happen, given where we are culturally. It's sort of moot whether it would be a good idea to make it happen.   ... but only sort of, because of the rhetoric. So these Christian nationalist/post-liberal idealists talk in ways that actually feed the cultural drift away from what they see as the ideal.   (And it really isn't the ideal either.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

josh p's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

You need to note the difference between every person having an opinion about their religion, and thinking that all religions are the same. We can support other people's beliefs as long as we emphasize that there is only one way to get to God, and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. I am not so sure that modern people see things that way anymore. So you have to fight carefully.

Yeah I agree that's an important distinction. I don't think JMac is making it. Freedom of religion is about how government should treat religious expression. Protestants should emphatically support this. It's not idolatry to say, I want to live in a place where people are free to worship God as they believe is right.