This title, message and all ideas in this post come from the article, The Christian Has No Right to Evangelize, by Tom White, Director of Voice of the Martyrs, in the May 2007 issue of the magazine. There are many biblical examples in the article. The ministry does not post the magazine online, so contact them and get the magazine and read it if you can.
Tom White is saying that in restricted countries, the issue of the legal right to evangelism is not a consideration; they know no court has the authority to decide this for them. He’s saying in the West we have had laws protecting these ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights’, which is good but we have ended up thinking we must rely on the courts and laws to give us this right. This is looking to secular systems to give spiritual permission.
He says in the New Testament there are many examples of Jesus and His followers demonstrating witness before authorities. “They did not seek permission for this witness; they already had it from a Higher Authority”, Mr. White says.
We don’t ever need to rely on any legal right to witness. Our testimony and Christian witness and evangelism “is not our right, it is our mandate”, says Mr. White. This cannot ever be given or taken away by man.
We don’t need to worry about our ‘rights and freedoms’ since our spiritual freedoms come from the fact that we are captives of Christ and we are obedient cross-bearers for Him. Our motivation and call to evangelistic ministry is not founded on a legal guarantee of rights- it is founded on gratitude to Christ for our salvation.
So our rights do not come from laws but from God’s authority, mandate and Commission to us. Tom White ends the article with a call to courage to let Jesus shine through, whatever the cost.
Go to The Voice of the Martyrs website and sign up for the newsletter which has news from our brothers and sisters around the world, who suffer for following Jesus.
Related: Federal Hate Crimes Laws