Religious Freedom Day and Chasing God

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In 1993, the United States Congress requested the first proclamation:

Resolved by the Senate and House of Repre- sentatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That January 16, 1993, is designated as “Religious Freedom Day,” and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclama- tion calling on the people of the United States to join together to celebrate their religious freedom and to observe the day with appropri- ate ceremonies and activities.

The day is the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute on Religious Freedom. Thomas Jefferson drafted the legislation and considered it one of his great- est achievements. It stopped the practice of taxing people to pay for the support of the local clergy, and it protected the civil rights of people to express their religious beliefs without suffering discrimination. ~ RFD.com  

Proclamation Quotes

“Americans are a deeply religious people, and our right to worship as we choose, to follow our own personal beliefs, is the source of much of our Nation’s strength.” ~ President William Clinton, 1998

“Religious freedom is a cornerstone of our Republic, a core principle of our Constitution, and a fundamental human right.”  ~ President George W. Bush, 2002

“Faith can bring us closer to one another, and our freedom to practice our faith and follow our conscience is central to our ability to live in harmony.” ~ President Barack Obama, 2010

The latest global findings from the Pew Research Center, released two days before Religious Freedom Day in the United States, show that overall restrictions on religion have reached a six-year high, and Christians are harassed in more countries than any other religious group. ~ Christianity Today

Please visit – Religious Freedom Day for resources to teach your children and community about this vital truth. RFD – shares the following as their goal:

The goal of ReligiousFreedomDay.com is to promote and protect students’ religious expression rights by informing educators, parents, and students about these liberties.

Chasing God

17bd480e0a25d7ca85191ea448bbda23Today is the perfect day to tell you about Angie Smith’s new book, Chasing God.

As I watched a news program the other day, an outspoken atheist declared all religion superstition. The point of the conversation was to compare the words “spiritual” and “religious.”

I’m not a fan of either word, because of the assumptions connected to each.

Jesus is not a religion. He is God in human flesh who wants a living relationship with people.

Most religions are “chasing God.” Angie Smith says it this way, “So many requirements, so many rules, and so much guilt where there is supposed to be freedom.” 

She explains that we try to fill in the gaps of our lack of understanding with religiosity and rules, but…

“He’s God. Not a formula.” ~ Angie Smith

It’s okay that we don’t have all the answers. We’re not supposed to, and we make God too small when we try. Our faith is grounded in our need for Him. Recognizing we are sinners, that we will never get it right this side of heaven, and that we are completely dependent upon God’s grace and mercy.

We need to start taking ourselves less seriously, and our God more seriously. The words she said God has whispered to her for years shot right through my heart, “You chase Me because you trust your own legs more than you trust Me.

If you’re tired of chasing God, or even if you just want to know whether you are a God chaser . . . read this book. I’m a huge fan of Angie’s writing. Not only does she speak beautiful truth, but she does it in a way that makes you feel like your sitting with her sharing a sweet tea.

I want to stop chasing Him, and make it greatest goal to love, trust, and glorify Him.

Let’s talk: Do you think there is confusion between freedom of religion and freedom from religion? What are your thoughts on “chasing God?” Will you join me in praying for believers around the world?

Photos from Crosscards and AngieSmithOnline.

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4 thoughts on “Religious Freedom Day and Chasing God

  1. Interesting question, Deb! I think that our society places more value these days on “from religion” than “of religion.” We’re branded all kinds of things, from intolerant to terrorist, simply because we choose freedom “of” religion in our lives. I think you hit on something there. The book looks wonderful. Adding it to my list to read this year!

    1. It’s a challenging fine line Christian believers must walk. I think our goal is to share God’s love and the freedom we’ve found in Christ without being judgmental . . . and the fine line is refraining from judging people without sounding like “anything goes.” I haven’t found the answer except to tell people the ways God has worked in my life. He’s turned my mess into pure joy.

      The book really is wonderful. Angie Smith is an extremely personable writer with a great message.

  2. I don’t know when I first noticed the trend, but things are definitely changing to freedom FROM religion. I’ve been wondering why it seems that Christianity is getting the most criticism. Maybe it is because many people in our culture want to do what they want, ignore morals, and live for self. That’s not to say Christians don’t sin, we do. But maybe those who are turning away from God just don’t want to face their own failings. But that is a sad, sad thing. For, when we do face our faults and turn to God, He will clean our hearts and fill us with the love that our souls are longing for.

    Blessings, Joan

    1. I agree Joan. It makes me think of little ones saying, “You’re not the boss of me.” People want to believe they are autonomous, when the truth is we are all surrendering to someone or something. I guess that’s why my heart’s desire is to communicate how much freedom and fun there is when you love Jesus and surrender to Him as Lord and Savior. Thanks for sharing your insights.

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