The full page advertisement in The National Post of February 20, 2004 called our nation to come back to God. How highly I endorse such a call, and wish that more of our church leaders would be more up front to the public, as Pastor Ken Campbell has been!
The method we choose to use to inform the public and rally support for God’s cause is all important. The section of the ad referred to as the Magna Carta, sometimes referred to as the Magna Charta, is referenced in history as. “Any fundamental constitution that secures personal liberty?. The original Magna Charta was produced in June of 1215. It guaranteed the rights of people to be free of oppression by the monarchy of King John. It guaranteed personal rights and is a classic of declared freedom of conscience for all individuals. Its list of rights affected the freedoms that we enjoy in Canada today.
The Magna Carta that Pastor Campbell describes in his burden for Canada to return to God.does not provide for the freedoms of others who may think differently. The use of the words ?removed from office?, ?enforced?, and ?mandated prayer?, are examples of a divergent use of the principles of the spiritual faith.
For the Christian the use of force, enforcement, or mandates, are tools not found in the tool box given him of God. His tools are love, faith, educate, preach, teach, but never will He legislate spiritual conviction on others.
Historically, it is said that when religion resorts to compulsion it has admitted that it has lost its ability to appeal to the heart to affect change. As a last resort, it forces the person to comply with its dictates. This is contrary to Biblical principle. Using the Bible as Pastor Campbell has done in his ad, lets read Matthew 28: 19 and 20. Notice the tools that Christians are to use for the promotion of ?theistic principles.? Since the beginning of time, the maintenance of the true spirit. of the Magna Charta which provides freedom for all people, regardless of spiritual persuasion is needed.
“Go ye, ‘ Jesus said, ?And teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.? Notice that our tools are rather limited, but Jesus makes them very effective, and He assists us with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in accomplishing the winning of hearts, rather than the forcing of hearts.
Jesus, our example, never taught enforcement or had such a spirit in His being. He wants only the service of the heart won to Him, not forced to behave according to a set of ?principles.” He wants only the willing heart, who of its own freewill, chooses His fellowship.
The Holy Spirit will teach us all things, and is the most powerful influence for good, so much so, that we, as Christians, need not ever resort to compulsion to achieve the goals of the gospel.John 14:26, ” “But the Comforter, which is,, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever 1 have .said unto you.
In Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him. ” Notice the emphasis on power and the ability to do good, and the mentioning of another tool for the Christian’s toolbox, in healing. But guess who was being healed? The oppressed! I believe it is clear that the forcing of anyone to believe theistic principles is the wrong method to use.
Martin Luther, a very strong and courageous preacher, a reformer of the 16th century said this of his gospel goals; “Let us preach; the rest belongs to God. Were I to employ force, what should I gain? Grimace, formality, apings, human ordinances, and hypocrisy. But there would be no sincerity of heart nor faith, nor charity, where these are wanting all is wanting and I would not give a pear stalk for such a result. God does more by His Word alone than you and I and all the world by our united strength. God lays hold upon the heart; and when the heart is taken, all is won. ?I will preach, discuss and write, but I will constrain none, for faith is a voluntary act.” (D ?Aubigne, History, book 9. chapter 8).
Pastor Campbell, we are with you in bringing Canada back to God, but lets do it by the Holy Spirit, love, the Word. and the capture of the heart. Let no one dictate to anyone’s conscience in the matters of faith and spirituality, by the use of legislation or impeachment just because he or she does not agree with us.
I am the Religious Liberty Leader for our church here in Tumbler Ridge. If you would like to have a presentation on this subject for your worship hour, please contact Jere Franklin at 250-788-2944. For further non-sectarian literature on this subject, please contact Ellis Howard at 242-3610.
Jere Franklin, MA