What’s Wrong with Spreading the Love of Jesus Christ (with MRFF responses)

What’s wrong with spreading the love of Jesus Christ. Our country is in a downward spiral  and it’s because we’ve turned are back on God. Psalms 9 verse 17- The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

(name withheld)


Well, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with spreading that “love”… But you must realize that America is NOT a Christian country… We are a secular country… Therefore in order to “spread” that love it must be done in a time, place and manner that complies with our US Constitution, it’s construing federal and state caselaw and, in the case of the military, in accordance with all department of defense directives, instructions and regulations… Can you understand that please?…

Thank you for your consideration,

Mikey Weinstein…

Founder and president, Military Religious Freedom Foundation


Hi (name/phone number withheld),

I thought responding this way would be easier than calling.

No one is against spreading the love of Jesus Christ. The problem is that when people are involved with the military, which is part of the government, they can’t use official channels to do it.

You see the way we protect your right to spread the love of Jesus is by protecting the freedom of belief of everyone, whatever they choose to believe in. And the government or parts of the government can’t be in the business of promoting one belief over another.

I hope you understand. You can do it personally, it just can’t be done by any part of the government.

Mike Farrell

(MRFF Board of Advisors)


Dear Sir or Ma’am –

Thanks for writing to the MRFF. Mikey Weinstein has read your email and asked me to respond. I’m a volunteer who supports the MRFF in a variety of ways, including email correspondence. I’m also a lifelong, active and committed Christian.
As a Christian myself, I must admit that I find your email to be confusing. No one at the MRFF is against “spreading the love of Jesus Christ.” We are neither anti-Christian nor anti-religion. Rather, we are pro-Constitution.
You may be surprised to learn that the majority of MRFF supporters and clients are people of faith, mostly Christians. We advocate on behalf of military members of any belief (including Christians) whose rights are threatened, and we don’t deny assistance to anyone based on his/her specific personal belief (including non-belief).
I understand how the purpose and mission of the MRFF is regularly misrepresented by conservative media outlets. I read the same articles that you are seeing, and I cringe at every false reference to the MRFF. But the truth is something else. Our mission is to help ensure that all members of the U.S. Armed Forces fully receive the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom to which they and all Americans are entitled by virtue of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
When the MRFF speaks out in support of military members who have requested our help, it is NEVER to challenge the individual rights of anyone to hold and practice whatever personal religious belief (or non-belief) that they wish to hold and practice. Rather, the ONLY issues we challenge are the inappropriate time, place, or manner by which a military leader or organization promotes or favors one sectarian religious belief (or non-belief) over all others. That is because military leaders are required by law and regulation to avoid such promotion when doing things in their official capacity or under the color of their authority.
When I was an Air Force officer, I practiced my faith every day. I did so in the values that I held, in how I treated others, and in how I endeavored daily to be a ‘servant leader.’  But I never failed to remember that my command included non-Christians who had the same Constitutional rights to their beliefs as I had to mine.
I was still, as you say, “spreading the love of Jesus Christ” — quite frankly, my feeling is that if I truly ACT like a Christian, it isn’t always necessary to TELL people that I’m a Christian. And in the strict, heirarchical structure of the military, what leaders say carries enormous weight, so it’s incumbent on each leader to exercise that power appropriately and in accordance with the Constitution. That is why military leaders have some very appropriate limits on the time, place, and manner in which they express personal beliefs.
Hope this perspective is helpful. Thanks again for writing to the MRFF.
Peace,
Mike Challman
Christian, USAF veteran, MRFF supporter

I know according to God’s word we must abide by the law of the land unless it begins to go against what God’s word say’s. You may not agree on what I’m saying,but the right to religious freedom should have had some more thought put in to it before our leaders made that decision. Maybe they didn’t think about it back then or just didn’t know about all the other religions in the world. As Christians we know there’s only one true religion and that’s through Jesus Christ . I can’t support any other religion that denies Jesus is the son of God. I’m not trying to pick a fight with anyone. I love everybody and who or what they choose to worship is there business. In the video on the website it didn’t look like anyone was being forced to do something they didn’t want to do. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep his commandments: For this is the whole duty of man.
(name withheld)

Hello –

Thanks for your additional comments.  I’m curious to understand better what you mean when you say that ‘religious freedom should have had some more thought put into it’?  You seem to be suggesting that freedom should only extend to ‘one true religion’…. but if that is the case, how is that religious freedom?
In order for the Constitutional promise of religious freedom to be meaningful, every individual must be allowed the freedom to believe and practice whatever they wish to believe and practice, and that includes the right of individuals to hold a belief (or non-belief) that we think is false.  It doesn’t matter what you and I hold to be the ‘one true religion’.  Consider, too, that those who believe something different from us would also say that what they believe is the truth.  In the eyes of the Constitution, that is just as it should be and that is why ALL beliefs are equally protected within the Bill of Rights.
You say that you “can’t support any other religion that denies Jesus in the son of God.” If what you mean is that you expect to be afforded the freedom NOT to believe such a thing, that is great… that is the heart of religious freedom.  BUT if you are suggesting that you cannot support the right of another American to believe such a thing, then it seems obvious to me that you don’t believe every American is entitled to religious freedom… and that is un-Constitutional (and in my view, un-American as well).
I have no argument as to what you describe as the “conclusion of the whole matter” – you, I, and all Christians would do well to fear God and keep His commandments.  We do that when we love God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength and when we love our neighbor as ourselves. But we don’t get to deny Constitutional rights to others on the basis of whether or not they hold to the same beliefs as our own.
Peace,
Mike

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6 Comments

  1. Yeshua Warrior

    Mikey, can you show me where in the Constitution it specifically says that spreading the love of Jesus “must be done in a time, place and manner that complies with our US Constitution.” Somehow I do not recall reading that at all.

    If I were to stand up in a movie theater and yell fire, I could be arrested, but if I stood up in a theater and started preaching the gospel, I would be well within my first amendment rights to do that. Christian college and high school students can spread the love Christ on their campuses pretty much at any time they want to, to their fellow students, so your statement that spreading the love of Jesus can only be done in a time, place, and manner consistent with the Constitution is a fallacy. I suggest you go back to law school and retake a course in Constitutional law or you can do it online for free through Hillsdale College.

  2. Pr Chris

    By using the military to “spread the word of Christ” you are asking that we turn them all into ministers and preachers. My first question: What about non-Christian soldiers? (I’ll make it easy for you and won’t raise the question of Muslims or any of the “New Age” religious groups…): What will you do with the Jewish soldiers in the military? That’s one problem. Will you make them preach the Christian Gospel? Or kick them out? You see my question? So, maybe that starts to get at some of the other issues.

    If we are paying all our troops to be preachers and ministers…who’s going to fight the fights that come up while they are preaching? And, do I get any voice in WHICH Christian Churches all these soldiers are going to be trained according to? Catholic or Lutheran soldiers are going to have a different take than Baptists. And how about Mormons and some other groups, which will have a different take still?

    In short, given the diversity of our nation, and the impossibility of turning the military into preachers and ministers, why don’t we keep them doing what the Constitution directs the Congress to do: Raise and maintain an Army and Navy. The military men and women are sworn in to do one thing: Protect our nation against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Their only flag is the US flag, and their own bible AS SOLDIERS is the Constitution…whatever religious faith they have and wish to observe is their individual private choice, and the military has nothing to do with it, except keep the maximum ability of troops to practice their religion as freely as possible.

    PR Chris

  3. Connie

    For YW –

    From Mike Farrell at MRFF:
    Freedom of religion does not mean that people are free to choose from a prescribed list of religions. They are free to believe as they choose. And if their choice is to not believe a in particular religion or to not believe in heaven or hell or God that is their choice and it is to be honored just as is another person’s choice of a particular faith.

    My question for the theocrats is where the first amendment says they can push their faith on me. If someone stands up in the middle of a theater and starts to preach I’m calling the manager. Just because a person can do a thing doesn’t mean they should.

  4. Yeshua Warrior

    Connie, the first amendment gives us the right to exercise our religious freedoms as we so choose, so take a Prozac and get over it!

  5. Connie

    YW – you wrote “Connie, the first amendment gives us the right to exercise our religious freedoms as we so choose, so take a Prozac and get over it!”

    So, I don’t have any protections? Is that what you are saying? Be clear as your answer is very important.

  6. Yeshua Warrior

    It is very simple Connie, just walk away or say no thank you! But, Christians still have the Constitutional right to exercise our faith as we please.

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