If I bother to go over to Christianity Today, I’m sure I’ll find some stories about how the church is doing in Iraq. Someday, I’ll take the time to do just that.
But what concerns me right now is how little attention the national press gives to the topic of religious freedom.
If a newspaper is shut down by Iraqi authorities, the news hounds are all over the story, as well they should. But how about the churches of Christ? Is there freedom for the declaration of the gospel in Iraq? You’d never know one way or the other by watching the national news.
This shows the terrible myopia of the press. Do the reporters and editors in Manhattan not understand how closely linked the freedoms of press and religion are? Do they not realize that they are both freedoms to declare the truth, one in the “secular” realm and one in the “spiritual”? Don’t they remember that freedom of the press and freedom of religion are knit together in their sacrosanct First Amendment? When one freedom hits the drink, the other is not far from getting wet.
But let’s not be too hard on the press. They know not what they do. The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of the American church, which has spent the last century either mumbling into its hat or squabbling over disputable theological nits.
The church has the responsibility to declare the truth in the preaching of the Word. And God promises His Holy Spirit to give such a declaration power and authority. So why do we hesitate? A lack of faith? An ungodly timidity? Yeah, probably so.
Let us not continue down this path. Let us instead confess our sins of unbelief and cowardice (I certainly include myself in these categories) and boldly speak the whole gospel truth in love. Let us study to show ourselves approved. Then let’s see the national press even try to ignore us.