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  • Writer's picturejaredrrolston

Forced Religion and the Labour Crusaders

Christians often get a hard time for their predecessors. It doesn't matter how much we distance ourselves from our ugly Great Uncle, we still get hassled for what he did. When non-Christians lump us in with the 11th Century Pope and his "Christianizing" troops, we Christians have typically shown way too much concern. Wicked people will make loose associations between all religions and convince themselves that they've hung all religious people on the same hook. They are so convinced that they've nailed us, that they get up in our face and do a smug victory jig for the enjoyment of their supporters. Unfortunately, most Christians drop their heads and feel like they need to apologize for our collective sins.

But instead of apologizing, we should be laughing at their silly jig. We should laugh like we do when someone celebrates under the posts after not hearing the whistle at the halfway line. The fans who weren't watching the play closely will celebrate along with them for a while, but eventually, they'll have to go back to the precise place where the referee made the divet with his heel and play by the rules again. They will throw a nicker-twisted tanty if you draw an association between their atheism and the atrocities of Stalinist Russia. We should have been in the know all along that their far-reaching connections don't stick to us. It's a desperate ploy made by those who are unconcerned with the morality of their verbal weaponry. They understand that we are in a war of worldviews and they'll try to win it any way they can.

But without differentiating between the two major Christian religions, the anti-Christian who brings up the crusades is reaching for something true on one level. Ideas do have consequences, and those Catholics did have some bad ideas. Just like some particular atheists have some bad ideas. For the most part, Protestants have understood that the kingdom of God should not advance, nor can it, by the force of the sword.

"For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,"

( 2 Corinthians 10:4–5)

Spirit-empowered words are our weapons of choice, and nothing can stand against them. That is why we love free speech, even to the point of tolerating bad speech. We are not afraid of false ideas existing. We don't burn books. We don't gag those who say horrible things. We will tell them how horrible their ideas are and refute them of course. Christian nations have tolerated all speech because God wants us to tolerate it in order to expose it. How can we show where bad argumentation falls to bits if it is never voiced. Those who muzzle others with a contrary opinion show that their ideas can't handle a contest. They reveal the weakness of their worldview by pulling out of the war of words. Their strongholds are shown to be sandcastles.

In the year 2021, our current secular government is showing how weak its ideas are. Free speech is seen as a threat to their worldview. They have declared that they will be our one source of truth. Gag orders have been given. They're flashing their sword around, threatening to use it if we don't toe the line. Having set this trajectory, they will eventually burn our Book, or at least tear out the parts that call homosexual desires vile affections (Romans 1:26), and the practice of homosexuality an abomination (Leviticus 18:22). Jacinda is the Pope of the new crusade. Under her leadership, the religion of the Labour Party will be enforced. They will make good atheists out of us Christians.

Of course, someone will object at this point and say "No. You can still be Christian, and we are not necessarily atheists. We are just making sure that you keep your bigoted opinions to yourself." But let me show you how this behaviour is in fact enforcing Atheism. If they force us to keep our Christianity to ourselves, they force us to function as though there is no God. They want our speech to be atheistic. Christianity doesn't keep to itself. We are under the Lordship of Christ, and we cannot reduce his Lordship to everything except our speech. At that point, He is not our Lord. He has given us orders to engage the world with truth and love. Love says the hard thing when it needs to be said. And if we know the right thing to say and fail to do it, for us it is sin (James 4:17).

Blasphemy laws are an inescapable concept in this world. The question is never will there be such a thing as blasphemous speech, but what speech will be blasphemous. Since the coming of Christ, true Christians have said that blasphemy ought to be punished with spiritual weapons, as you can read above in 2 Corinthians 10. Since the rulers of this world don't have the truth or any transcendent principles to govern them, they operate on the principle of might makes right.

This isn't the only place where the current New Zealand government is enforcing atheism on its people. They do not care what directives our God gave us for congregational worship. In this area too, we must be functionally atheistic. Our very name, Ekklēsia, means the gathering of those summoned. Our government says we must act as though no God has summoned us, or else! We can congregate at a distance, they say.

There comes a point when you watch yourself, in obedience to the state religion, dragging a serrated edge over your man parts, and you have to stop and say, "No. I actually want to be a man." The good thing about this analogy is that it departs from reality at a point. You could go the whole way, as the Apostle Paul once said, repent, and then grow yourself another pair.

We need to repent lest our lampstand is taken away (Revelation 2-3). We are lukewarm and impotent in this culture. We have laid down the weapon that God gave us and let the world repeatedly slap us with a half-rotten fish. Right now God can smell the old tuna on us. It will cost us, but we must be gathering Christians. We must defy the government when they prohibit us from obeying. Whether we do it discretely or in public, we must let our consciences be our guide. But what will it profit us if we gain the state's respect and forfeit our souls?

To everyone who hates what I've just suggested, remember that you all, at some point, would disobey the government yourselves. If there were Jim Crow laws here in New Zealand we might be on the streets together. There is nothing wrong, in principle, with defying the government if your cause is just. Civil rights must be fought on multiple fronts. This is our front, taken directly from the Bill of Rights under part 2, section 15.

Every person has the right to manifest that person's religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, or teaching, either individually or in community with others, and either in public or in private.

These rights must be absolute or they don't exist at all. Our government is currently acting unlawfully.

God is the true referee. When we run it up the guts with passion, irrespective of our safety (that is from government oppression), after running over the defense they might appeal to Ref saying, "the way they play isn't very safe". But in the end, what matters is what the ref thinks about the play. Our Ref also wrote the rules of the game, and he loves us hitting the ball at pace and running directly at the opposition. So much so, that after we've won, we'll join him in the sheds for a celebratory beer, and maybe a bit of a jig.

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