Religious Liberty is a legal concept. It is an idea that has grown out of the great Protestant Reformation of the 15th, 16th & 17th centuries. Men and women of courage stood up to the erroneous teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and placed their faith in the living God as He revealed Himself to them in His Holy Word. Their motto was: Sola Scriptura, “the Bible and the Bible only.” They risked everything, including their lives, to flee tyranny and to establish a state without a king and a church without a pope, who used the power of the state to kill, maim, and persecute those who do not accept her teachings. But how far have we come?
Further, Religious Liberty is a theory which suggests that the individual is free to worship how he chooses to worship, whom he wishes to worship and in what manner he decides to worship. It also prescribes that the state may not impose any particular religion on the people.
That belief, which is contrary to the teachings of the Church of Rome, has found its finest hour in the American psyche. It is expressed thus in the American Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of Religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances’ .
It is this proclamation that allows us to pursue the religious ideology of our choosing. It assures us the right to be of whatever religious persuasion we choose. James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, declared in an address to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1785: “We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth that religion, or the duty which we owe our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion, then, of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” Learn more about the fight to remove the wall of separation.
Learn more about the First Amendment. Follow current trends in Religious Liberty. Our very existence as a free, Protestant nation is inextricably grounded in this notion of Religious Liberty. Indeed, it is the very foundation of who we are as a people. But this ideal is being threatened. The book, Great Controversy, addresses this threat like no other commentary on the subject. It reminds us that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom and Religious Liberty. It is the story of the crisis of the ages. Written more than one hundred years ago, The Great Controversy is a remarkable account of where we are today. Thinking men everywhere recognize that we are on the edge of a stupendous crisis. Yet few understand its nature. In it you will find key events of earlier years that have led us into the final moments of the conflict of the ages. The Great Controversy reveals the religious and political forces that are working behind the scenes that will bring the world to a catastrophic climax. It identifies, from the Bible, who is the beast and what is its mark. It warns us of what we must do to be prepared for the crisis ahead. Most importantly, it assures us of ultimate deliverance by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As the line between church and state becomes increasingly dimmer and leading evangelicals are calling for more state sponsored religion, people are rejecting the very foundation upon which America was built. The Pew Research Center, an organization which tracks and reports on national cultural trends, reports that almost 40% of Americans believe that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is no longer relevant.
Religious Liberty, the American Ideal, is at a crossroad. But where are we headed? Find out here.