Christians Do Not Need a Gamaliel Moment
There are unfair assumptions made by some, that bringing a faith-filled perspective to policy formation means we Christians are trying to create a theocracy, which is nonsense. Theocracies are in consistent with Christianity and an affront to human dignity. Christianity is about freedom and free will; it is also about responsibly serving the common good and loving thy neighbor. Why wouldn't we make the case for those values to be reflected in our laws?
Professor Muldoon wrote a second article arguing that Christians need to have a "Gamaliel Moment" and take the advice of this Biblical legal scholar and "leave the legalities behind." He quoted from Acts 5:38-39 Gamaliel's words, "...if this endeavor or this activity is of human origin, it will destroy itself. But if it comes from God, you will not be able to destroy them; you may even find yourselves fighting against God."
Christians do not need to take Gamaliel's advice. Gamaliel was a Pharisee, and in this passage he was telling his fellow members of the Sanhedrin not to kill the Christians who were speaking publicly about their faith. So they instead tried to silence the apostles with scourging.
Christians are not the Pharisees trying to kill or silence anyone. We are the same as our early brothers and sisters in Christ who were martyred and who are still being martyred in parts of the world today where faith, virtue and freedom are not honored. If Truth is worth living for, it's worth dying for. And if it is worth dying for, it is worth proclaiming in public discourse and policy.
Christians need to remember and model those early Christians who refused to be silenced, even to the point of death. The verses in Acts that immediately follow Gamaliel's advice not to kill the Christians are more instructive for us, and I argue that the only reasonable discourse is that which is fully truthful without compromise, even if it is countercultural. Especially if it is countercultural.
"And calling in the apostles, after they had scourged them, they charged them that they should not speak at all in the name of Jesus. And they dismissed them. And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus. And every day they ceased not, in the temple and from house to house, to teach and preach Christ Jesus." (Acts 5:40-42)
Stacy Trasancos, Ph.D., a former research chemist for DuPont, is now a full-time homemaker and grateful wife and mother to a family of nine. Stacy is in the process of attaining an MA in Theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. She and her husband are raising their family in Shrewsbury, MA. She blogs at Accepting Abundance.