The past months have been frustrating, exacerbating, ridiculous, annoying; many other adjectives that could be used to describe them. However, we have seen some amazing answers to prayer. I believe that we also saw brought to light many philosophies and ideologies both of politicians and the average Christian in America.
Here’s a couple of things to consider regarding your own personal life and walk with the Lord.
Have you spent time with the Lord over the past few months? I would venture to say that the average Christian has spent less time with the Lord and more time ranting and raving on the internet. I made a choice many years ago to keep off social media. During this “media-inspired pandemic,” I am so glad of that choice. I read articles and listened to some radio, but when I just seemed overwhelmed, I spent some extra time with God’s Word and in prayer. I found that the anxiety dissipated as I took solace through fellowship with the One who controls everything—God.
Second, what about the control that government believes that they can have over your personal choices—does it bother you, or are you indifferent? Before getting irate and going into a social media rage, why not see if there is some historical or Biblical perspective that you should consider. Over the last few months I have been reading a book by a retired Baptist history professor, and I believe God had that in mind for me when this all came down in our world. One of the aspects that the author pointed out was the principle of “soul freedom.” I took some time to do some research and reading on this subject. I believe that many Baptists do not understand what soul freedom means and don’t adhere to this fundamental Baptist tenet. Most people in America have gone back to what history labels a “sacral society.” This is the concept that the government has the right to dictate societal belief systems. This is a very European concept, as European society has almost always exhibited this practice. You can trace this concept all the way back to the Roman civilization which killed Christians who wanted to be re-baptized following their true salvation experiences. Later under the powerful European ruler, Charlemagne, individual soul liberty was not understood, for he made it a crime not to be a Christian. The concept of individual soul liberty was not instituted in colonial America. It was the Baptists who believed and practiced this prior to the passing of the US Constitution, and they paid a price for holding to this principle. I challenge you to read the story of Obadiah Holmes who was beaten until his skin was filleted off his back. Why was he beaten? He believed that the state did not have the right to dictate man’s theological beliefs.
The Bible also reveals this concept to us in the book of Romans. Romans 14 speaks to the individual Christian and his treatment of his fellow Christian brother or sister.
“Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:3).
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:17).