Paul in Acts: A Biblical Case for Defending Religious Freedom
by Eric Metaxas & Stan Guthrie
Why should we actively and publicly defend religious freedom? We’ll look to the Apostle Paul for an answer.
In late May, Alan Sears, the founder of the Alliance for Defending Freedom, was awarded the Wilberforce Award for his and the Alliance’s efforts on behalf of religious freedom.
At the ceremony, several speakers testified about Sears’ commitment to securing this most basic of rights, and the example he sets for all Christians.
But there’s another example of the importance of knowing and asserting our rights in matters of faith I’d like to tell you about. It’s an example that predates Sears’s efforts by nearly 2000 years.
I’m talking about the Apostle Paul. On several occasions in the book of Acts, Paul asserts his rights as a Roman citizen to further the work of the Gospel.
The first is related in Acts 16. Paul, Silas, and Luke arrive in Philippi in what is now Greece. While they were there, Paul casts out of a slave girl what Luke calls a “Python spirit,” a reference to the serpent that guarded the oracle at Delphi.
The girl’s owners, angry at the loss of revenue from her fortune-telling, drag Paul and Silas before the local magistrates…
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