True Christians have always been subjugated to “soft persecution” in one form or another. Starting this year, many Christians will experience official and legal persecution for upholding basic Christian values in the face of the intolerant governmental demands of Obamacare. It is paramount that Christians not shrink back from facing this affliction. True Disciples of Christ must joyfully embrace this challenge with courage, conviction, and prayer. The bible tells us that:
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds (James 1:2 – NIV)
Free Exercise of Religion under attack by Obamacare
The First Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits Congress from passing any law that infringes the free exercise of religion. Yet, American businesses are now under attack from a matter arising over mandated sexual contraceptives in health care plans. The Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘Obamacare’, mandates that all business owners must provide insurance coverage for regular and abortifacient contraceptives in their employee insurance plans.
Many Christians believe that the use of any type of sexual contraceptives are immoral. Other Evangelical Christians do not forbid all contraceptives, but hold that abortifacient contraceptives are sinful. Regardless of what one religion believes over another, Christian business owners are now being subjected to a challenge of whether to violate governmental law or to stand by their Christian beliefs.
Many Christian owned businesses such as Hobby Lobby and Domino’s Pizza, are seeking legal protection from the demands of Obamacare. These are private businesses whose Christian owners refuse to obey a federal requirement that they believe violates God’s law. Hobby Lobby and Domino’s Pizza have been joined by religious-based colleges such as the Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey and Evangelical Wheaton College, who are also seeking legal protection from Obamacare.
Some Christian businesses are legally opposing Obamacare
The courts in the Domino’s Pizza and Roman Catholic Belmont Abbey cases have initially ruled against the contraceptive mandates of Obamacare. However, the legal battle over this issue is long from being over. Though some of the court decisions on this issue have been promising, the contraceptive mandate of Obamacare has yet to be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Count. All Christians should continue to pray that our courts would uphold the freedom of Christian organizations not to engage in actions they regard as sinful.
Many businesses are now facing heavy fines for refusing to obey Obamacare
Currently, many businesses are facing heavy government fines for refusing to obey the Obamacare mandate. Hobby Lobby, for instance, faces $1.3 million per day for refusing to provide abortifacient contraceptives to its 13,000 employees. Additionally, many other organizations may be forced out of business, with thousands of jobs lost, by governmental fines.
Christians need to understand the nature of the threat
It is important for Christians to realize the grave nature of this new threat. What is at stake is our freedom to live in America while upholding our religious convictions and our fidelity to Jesus Christ. The book of Revelation speaks of the “mark of the beast” without which “no one can buy or sell” (Rev. 13:17). This mark was given to those who bowed and worshiped the image of Caesar, and those who received it are judged by God (Rev. 14:11). Arguably, no one can reasonably proclaims that the Affordable Care Act is the mark of the beast, nor that our government leaders are intending to serve the Antichrist. Yet the problem remains that we must not obey civil leaders who command us to disobey Christ, whether they intend this or not, at the expense of our jobs and businesses.
With this in mind, Christians should be praying not only for the Christian lawsuits seeking protection of our religious liberty, but also that business leaders like David Green of Hobby Lobby would not give in when their companies are threatened. If the time has come for Christians to prove our faith by suffering for our convictions, then let us pray that Christ would give us the strength so that our generation would receive a witness of Christian fidelity and courage.
Christians should not over-react
It is also important for Christians not to over-react. There is no concrete evidence to support that the purpose of the Affordable Care Act is to deny Christians their religious freedoms or that President Obama is determined to persecute Christians.
Obama and many others believe that contraception is essential to a women’s liberty. They continue to argue that health care is a basic human right and that contraception is a woman’s basic liberty. In their view, it seems, Christians are imposing our views on others in such a way as to deny their basic rights. Arguably, there are many complicated issues and or views surrounding the Obamacare contraceptive mandate.
…..we ought to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29 – KJV)
We must obey God instead of man
The question of the Obamacare contraception mandate has a simple answer for many Christians: we must obey God instead of man. At the same time, we should realize that communicating our position to non-Christians is not an easy task, and requires us to maintain a calm, gracious, and thoughtful demeanor in making our case before our secular society.
Increasingly, Christian convictions do not “make sense” to hardened secularists. The mounting conflict over the Affordable Care Act propounds the fact that the cultural divide between Christians and pagan America is growing wider. Satan is busier than ever because is time is very short. Many people, including those who are Christian, may believe that they are not in violation of God’s laws in adhering to Obamacare. In such a situation, our understanding of God’s laws and our commitment to live boldly according to God’s Word is of the utmost importance, even under persecution.