TITLE: An Amended Amendment
DATE: November 13, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Matthew 10: 34-35 – ESV
Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but pwhoever denies me before men, qI also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.
Recognize the words: “He’s making a list, and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.”?
Of course you know those words taken from “Santa Claus is coming to town.” You know they refer to Santa making sure the children are all good little boys and girls.
....................................................................... OR .......................................................................
It is just possible those words refer to the Appleton School District in Wisconsin which is censoring student speeches for any religious content. That’s right, they, too are making a list as they try to find out which students are naughty (have religious references) and those which are nice (having bowdlerized every mention to any deity.)
The movement to distance themselves from the Lord apparently began last year after a Christian school board member invoked the Name of Jesus at a graduation. Now, any student who submits a speech which makes a reference to a Supreme Being is going to get their manuscript back with all the offending words blacked out.
You know, just as they do when they are censoring super-secret UFO documents; or who assassinated JFK files or ... you get the idea.
Now there are those who say that what the school is doing is a violation of the Constitution’s 1st Amendment.
But some of those who support the policy say, “We don’t think so, take a look.” So we did.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution says:
Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or except for high school graduation speeches, abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
I was impressed. The school board was right. They were on solid ground.
That’s when my proofer, wise reader that she is, said, “That’s not right. The 1st Amendment hasn’t been changed. It doesn’t make any exceptions for graduation ceremonies.”
And what do you know? She was right.
Now you may wonder what all this has to do with a Christian devotion? Actually a lot. Governments are set into place by the Lord, and we are right if we make use of the laws they set up for the common good. Jesus did that when he took the Roman coin and said “Render unto Caesar.” Paul did it when he appealed to the Emperor. And we can do it, too.
As we live our Christian lives making our Christian witness, there are many who will try to stop us, to silence us; but by God’s grace and power we can acknowledge Jesus before men.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, at least for a while we have freedom of religion and freedom of speech. May we make use of those liberties to proclaim the Savoir who has set our souls free from sin’s condemnation. . In Jesus’ Name. I pray. Amen.
The devotion for today was inspired by various recent news articles. For further reading you may wish to go to this address: https://onenewsnow.com/education/2019/10/16/district-censoring-student-graduation-speech-unconstitutional and the article written by Bob Kellogg .
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html