An old joke shows the value of religious freedom

There is an old joke poking fun at denominationalism. That’s the idea that my denomination is right and since you and I have some subtle doctrinal differences, you are completely wrong.

Here it goes…

A guy was walking along on a hill near the edge of a cliff enjoying scenery that can’t help but make you think of God.  He slipped over the edge. As he was holding on for dear life he screamed for help.

Another guy heard the screams and ran to assist. After huffing and puffing and pulling, the rescuer pulled the helpless fellow back to safety.

Thanks be to God for your help,” said the rescued.

“Oh, are you a Christian?”

“Yes, I’m a Baptist”

“Oh, so am I!” said the rescuer. “Are you Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?”

“Northern Baptist.”

“How about that! Me too. Reformed or Orthodox?”

“Reformed.”

“Glory to God! So am I.  Are you Reformed Northern Baptist of 1840 or Reformed Northern Baptist of 1855?” asked the rescuer.

“1840!”

The rescuer’s face turned beet red, the veins in his neck bulged, and he screamed HERETIC!” He rushed over, grabbed the fellow and threw him off the cliff.

Okay, okay, that’s on oldie but goodie.  We can all chuckle because we’ve seen that tendency in our own churches.

Imagine though, if instead of it being a joke, you lived in a country where the Reformed Northern Baptist Church of 1855 was the official state religion and the offended fellow in the above story worked for the government.

Then imagine trying to start a business, appeal a tax ruling, win a civil case, or get a professional license if you thought the 1840 movement was correct.

Or would you prefer living in a land with religious freedom?

Which of those two lands is moral? Where would you prefer to live?

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