Some time ago, before we even moved to Colorado, my wife and I were watching one of those television newsmagazines about a Colorado police officer who was fired for insubordination. The controversy that followed was over the fact that he wore a pin on his police uniform in the form of a cross. He wanted to visually acknowledge his Christianity, despite the fact that when he was hired, the guidelines stipulated that no pins or emblems of any kind were to be worn in plain sight without first getting written permission. He truly felt that as a Christian, he had a right to disobey because it was for a higher purpose. He disobeyed the guidelines, was fired, and is now claiming religious persecution and violation of freedom of speech under the first amendment.
On the surface, this looks pretty cut and dry, especially if you’re a Christian; but think about seriously, it isn’t. He wasn’t asked to denounce his faith or denounce Christ. He was asked to do anything immoral that would go against the law of God. But, this controversy divided a whole community, both religious and secular; it made national headlines, found a place on a national newsmagazine and stirred up controversy nationwide! Satan must be happy! First of all, it was obvious listening to this man’s interview that he is a God-fearing Christian, but it is also obvious that there is a lack of understanding and teaching concerning one’s testimony before others. This lack is becoming much more obvious, and especially all over the U.S. today. The real problem is that anyone can wear a symbol or say they are something; if being honest with ourselves we all know that doesn’t necessarily make it so. If you were to take a poll though, of Christians, concerning this subject today, you would get the same division as in that small Colorado town.
Christians today are more concerned about their “rights” than they are about seeking God’s direction concerning certain issues. Somewhere along the way we have lost sight of the true meaning and purpose of being a “Christian”, and the devil is having a field day. Instead of being a witness to the world with our lifestyles of love and obedience, AND YES, our surrender to God, our Father, we have nearly become a laughing stock to the world. No wonder the world looks at Christians as deceitful and hypocritical. We often say one thing and do another, and yes there is not a one of us who has arrived or who is perfect! We still make mistakes, but what we do after those mistakes and how do we right them for others to see will make all the difference?
The devil is a subtle enemy, though he isn’t wise, he is smart, and he hasn’t changed. Remember that when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he used scripture. The fault was that he used scripture for his own motives and not to fulfill the will of God. It’s still possible today to use Holy Scripture, take it out of context and twist it to suit our concepts and ideas, but it is still wrong; always was and always will be. That was one of the reasons, Jesus became flesh when He did and to appear during the time of religious unrest. The Pharisees were expert in manipulating Scripture to suit their needs and Jesus was constantly thwarting their attempts to trip Him up; why? Because they didn’t teach or even learn the spirit behind the letter of the Word.
This is what makes the enemy of our souls so devious; he is a master of manipulation. Remember, the enemy loves to use either omissions or even half-truths; but a half-truth is still a whole lie. Lacing a little bit of truth with anything that is contrary to God’s word is still a lie. The same thing applies to “making the means justify the end.” Either way it is a compromise to the truth. The only way to gain knowledge and understanding about how we should live is to immerse ourselves in God’s Word; all of His Word and not just the parts we want.
Roman’s 13:1-2 states this concerning our responsibility to society, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.”
God does not ask us to obey every corrupt device of government, but we are still to pray for those in leadership and we are to understand what we take upon ourselves when we CHOOSE to be employed by someone else. It is getting harder to remain calm as Christians with the state of our government and the aspect of our religious liberties eroding every day that passes. BUT – God DOES have a plan and like a Master Chessman, there are certain powers and governments that half to align to bring back the Son of God, our TRUE Redeemer and Savior. Don’t forget the history of Moses and Pharaoh and what it took for the Jewish people to finally be free. But let’s not forget the grumbling and complaining due to their lack of faith during their flight as well. We want to learn from history and not repeat it.
Now what about the root of the police officer’s claim, that he wanted the public to know that he was a Christian? He was relying upon the pin as his way of testifying to his faith; and nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but again, let’s look back at scripture.
I John 3:7, “Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
10 In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.
11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,-.” (Bold Emphasis Mine)
We are SEEN and perceived through what we DO, not what we wear or display; there is nothing inherently wrong with pins or banners, etc., but if you want to be a testimony to Christ, walk the walk; it takes a lot more effort, a lot more practice; displaying a pin or bumper sticker just won’t do it by themselves and especially in the age we are living in where everyone’s lives are under a microscope.
If you truly want to grasp the Christian’s lifestyle and how to portray our testimony and if you want to really find the main theme and purpose of why we have been Redeemed, then read Matthew 22:36-40, and the short Epistle of I John; I guarantee it will help keep you from being deceived by the enemy’s half-truths.