From the inception of time, God created man with an innate freedom of choice. Though man was created to worship God the Creator, this worship was to be a natural outpouring of the heart in response to God’s Greatness and Goodness. The issue of force was never an option. Man was free to worship as his conscience dictated.
After sin, the creator’s heart pained at the ugliness of the consequences of sin on man and on His created world. Still God would not force man to worship Him. Worship must be a free choice made from a willing heart.
God has pleaded and is still pleading with mankind to turn away from sin and worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. With the help of the Holy Spirit and His faithful servants, God points man to his Holy Word – the Bible. By studying and meditating on the truths within, man finds his way back to God and worships Him from a heart of love. But, God will not force anyone to worship Him. 2 Corinthians 3: 17 says, “ Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Over the centuries, the wickedness of man became great and the evil desire to control others in the “Name of God’ was enacted in the heart- wrenching stories of men, women and children who were torched, thrown to the lions, or dealt numerous other cruelties because they refused to worship as man dictated. They would not allow themselves to be forced to give up their faith. Galatian 5:1: Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
Today, many are still suffering persecution because of their religion. The Seventh Day Adventist Church believes and upholds the promotion of Religious Liberty for all. Galatian 5: 13: For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Religious Liberty is promoted in our local churches under the auspices of NARLA.
“North American Religious Liberty Association (NARLA) is the Seventh-day Adventist Church's member-driven organization dedicated to promoting liberty of conscience and freedom of religion, and combating religious intolerance at the local, state, and national levels.”
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As we strive for the kingdom, let us hold fast the profession of our faith and let us love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and might and love our neighbors as ourselves.
John 8:32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.