“And King Nebuchadnezzar sent word to gather together … all the officials of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. So … the officials of the provinces gathered together for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then a herald cried aloud: ‘To you it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.” – Daniel 3:2-6
In an alarming display of judicial overreach and political activism, a New Mexico state court has decided, in effect, that the law of the land trumps the law of God. When an Albuquerque photographer declined to photograph a lesbian couple’s “commitment ceremony,” charges of discrimination and “human rights” violations were raised and, unbelievably, validated by the court. One of the justices, Richard Bosson, said the Christian photographers were “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” Justice Bosson went on to write, “This case teaches that at some point in our lives all of us must compromise, if only a little, to accommodate the contrasting values of others” [emphasis added]. He also made clear that, in the opinion of the court, (to put it in my words) Christians have a right to believe in the Bible but cannot allow that belief to influence their conduct if that conduct might offend someone else.
In other words, I am allowed to believe the Bible but I’m just not allowed to live in the way the Bible instructs me to live out in public because someone might get offended. In a manner of speaking, that is exactly what Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon told the officials gathered on the plain of Dura so many years ago. That is of interest to us because gathered on that plain were three men who served the God of Israel and who believed His Word and Law trumped all decrees and court decisions. They did not mount a political protest, however – they stood. That’s all they did – they stood. Yet, by standing upright and refusing to give in to the “law of the land” they set themselves apart.
You know the rest of the story – how God delivered them from the flames of Nebuchadnezzar’s pit – and, so, are we ready for this type of test? Are we prepared to stand when we are compelled to bow? I am not encouraging political activism here (I certainly don’t think it is wrong to challenge and speak out against these unjust decisions) because the fight we are in will NOT be won with ballots and protest signs. We are in a spiritual battle and we, therefore, must employ spiritual weapons. It is time to equip ourselves with the whole armor of God that we might be able to stand in that day. Don’t look down; look up!
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