Christians in America fear the loss of religious freedom.
But to be more precise, we fear the loss of easy faith. Right now we follow Jesus without fear of suffering unpleasant consequences.
Let me explain.
Do Christians in North Korea have freedom to practice their faith? Yes. A Christian can walk into the street and begin preaching the Gospel. He is free to do so. He is not, however, free from the terrible consequences that would follow.
No government can take away freedom of religion. It can only impose consequences. The question every believer must ask is, “Will I bear the consequences for Jesus who first bore them for me?”
Now, I’m not suggesting that every Christian in North Korea rush into the street proclaiming Christ. To do so would be to engage in a form of suicide by preaching. Wisdom dictates that believers in such circumstances preach the faith quietly, in private homes with curtains drawn, carefully teaching the next generation. May God one day grant believers in North Korea the ability to proclaim Christ from the rooftops without fearing the consequences of an anti-Christian regime!
Not unlike our persecuted brothers elsewhere, American Christians enjoy the freedom to follow Jesus. Unlike our persecuted brothers, our only hindrance to proclaiming Christ is our willingness to bear the relatively mild consequences of social disapproval.
We have the freedom. We also have—for the time being—freedom from significant consequences.
Only our fear of losing the latter can prevent us from using the former.