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Religious Freedom Lessons from the Quakers

What a 17th-century woman leader taught me about fighting for freedom—for all

It may also look differently from what we Christians are expending our energy on right now. It will mean less time trying to create a society that adopts our morals and a lot of time going to bat for others, even people who do or believe things we don’t approve of or condone.

Cultural Christianity has to take a backseat. We can’t be Christians who simply want a comfortable life. We can’t want Christianity simply because it supports the lifestyle we crave for ourselves and our families. We must be true, genuine Christians who let Christ turn our lives upside down. We have to face our biases and our sins. We have to admit that although we are good at standing for a moral code of ethics, we really stink at hypocrisy, pride, anger, lust, prejudice, and more. We have to stand for truth.

I can’t waste time on things that don’t matter.

I love that Margaret refused to get pulled into condoning piddly stuff, such as what Christians should wear. It makes me take care as I communicate with those in my church that we don’t get hung up on outward appearances and rules. It’s such a temptation because having a set of rules to adhere to makes the Christian life so much easier. We can just check things off the list, and feel we’ve arrived. What that leads to, though, is an attitude of judgment toward others who don’t know or understand the rules. Instead, Christ calls us to lay our lives bare and to let him pull apart all the loose threads as he weaves us into a tapestry that tells his story through our lives. That’s the kind of church I want to be part of. And when I get to heaven, I can’t wait to talk it over with Margaret.

JoHannah Reardon loves her church and ministry, but always wants to model what it means to more faithfully follow Christ. Find her family devotional, Proverbs for Kids, and her many novels at www.johannahreardon.com. Look for her upcoming book No More Fear, which will be out in the fall of 2016.

July18, 2016 at 8:00 AM

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