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  • Writer's pictureKrista Bontrager

Exploring the Complexities of Religious Freedom.

Should Christians support the existence of Jewish temples or Islamic mosques? What about the rise of displays by the Satanic Temple? How do we make sense of religious freedom in a pluralistic society? Guest: Dr. Mark David Hall, professor of political science at Regent University





 

Last minute program change!

Our live conversation with Dr. Jay Richards will be rescheduled. Instead, we had a fascinating discussion on religious freedom with Dr. Mark David Hall.


Tonight’s show was inspired by a recent news clip we saw regarding a display erected by the satanic temple inside the Iowa State Capitol. Check out the video clip here:


Three competing models regarding religion in our society:

  1. Religious Pluralism

  2. Secular Progressive Model

  3. “Christian Nationalist Model”


First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an 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.

  • The Establishment Clause–no establishment of government-enforced religion

  • The Free Exercise Clause–protects our ability to worship God and act upon certain religious convictions; however, this is hotly contested in today’s culture


Ways to Look at Religious Pluralism:

  • Biblical–The Golden Rule (Matthew 7:12)

  • Constitutional–A city or state cannot discriminate against a certain religion (or multiple religions)

  • Prudential–individuals/religious groups should not favor their own house of worship and then place disabilities on all other “outsiders”/different religions


Religious Pluralism is GOOD, according to Dr. Mark David Hall! It allows for ALL religious faiths to receive equal treatment (no one religion is favored or discriminated against); which allows us, as Biblical Christians, the FREEDOM to share our faith openly and give people an opportunity to choose Christ (rather than people being forced or coerced into a religion).


Separation of Church and State–must refer back to the First Amendment…”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”...In other words, Congress cannot create an official, national church. 

When referring to the phrase “separation of church and state”, the wording sounds like it implies a restriction on citizens, where the people cannot bring their faith into the public square, but it DOES NOT say this at all! The First Amendment is NOT a restriction on individuals or churches, but on Congress, state governments, and local governments.


In other words, Christians SHOULD get involved in the public square! Our Biblical Worldview should inform our perspective and actions in all areas of life! Remember, there is no “neutral” worldview; so whether it’s in government, politics, education, or other areas, BE COURAGEOUS and stand up for the Truth of Christ!



Resources:


Books by Mark David Hall:






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