Written and endorsed by the BGCO’s ERLC Committee to help raise awareness for Citizenship and Religious Liberty Sunday on July 5. The Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) was established by the Southern Baptist Convention to voice concerns for political issues affecting Southern Baptists across the nation. It was also established to keep Southern Baptists alerted to what is happening politically in our nation.
You have heard the old saying, “ignorance is bliss.” It is supposed to apply to those who live in a dream world where no one gets upset by the facts of what is really going on. I think there is a better application. Ignorance is bliss to those who want to keep power over their constituents by keeping them ignorant. In the book, Same Kind of Different as Me, Denver Moore is a perfect example of how southern farmers were able to keep their power over black and white cheap labor sharecroppers. They kept them uneducated, uninformed about the outside world and in debt. They also used fear to keep them in their place. That turned around as more and more of those people began to learn what was really going on and began to get educated about how the rest of the country lived. It is a great example of the fact that knowledge is power, and staying informed is a safeguard against loosing our freedoms.
As we celebrate our national birthday, let us remember that good citizenship includes staying informed and doing something about what we know is the right thing to do. The ERLC is there to help us stay informed, but as citizens of a free nation, it is our responsibility to speak out for righteousness. Daniel Webster once stated, “God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.” That is where we have come once again in our nation. Freedom as we have enjoyed it, will soon be a thing of the past if we do not take a stand for what is right. Hate Crimes and Hate Speech legislation that is designed to silence Christians from speaking the truth about what God’s Word says about sin is being offered.
Some say the church should stay out of politics, but the time has come when the government is not willing to stay out of the business of the church. The Revolutionary War was a result of the first great awakening in the Colonies where pastors and Christians spoke up about God-given rights and limits God places on government. We may not need another revolution in our nation, but we do need Christians to stand up and speak out about what we know to be right. If we do not, the church will finally be relegated, as it already has been in Europe, to sharecropper status under the thumb of the bossman big government. We will become irrelevant like salt that has lost its savor.