Faith for Life
As Christians, we must understand the times in which we live, especially on the critical issue of religious freedom. On May 11 Summit Basecamp, speakers Dr. Jeff Myers, John Stonestreet, and Laurence Wilkinson prepared nonprofits, church-goers, and the rising generation to recognize the cultural shift we are experiencing, unpacked how we’ve gotten to this point, and specifically what we can do as Christians.
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Is religious freedom just an excuse to discriminate against others? In a free society, people will disagree often fiercely about societal and moral issues—issues that religion takes very seriously. However, disagreement doesn’t equal discrimination. Religious freedom is actually good for everyone, not just religious people, since societies with greater religious freedom are more tolerant to everyone’s beliefs. Shifts in culture don’t just happen overnight, so we will explore a brief history of what led to this moment. John will look specifically at HR5 and the Equality Act.
The most dangerous battle of our time is not between Liberals and Conservatives, Democrats and Republicans, or Blue States and Red States. It is between two competing views of truth. For the first time in history, a majority of people—even Christians—reject the idea that “truth can be known.” As a result, freedom is in peril. In this Basecamp, we are wading into the heat of battle, exploring the precious value of religious freedom, how it is threatened, and what we as Christians must do.
Cases concerning religious liberty are becoming increasingly prominent, with courts frequently being asked to uphold the right to freedom of religion. Just how important are these legal battles to ensuring our freedom? Laurence Wilkinson is Law Clerk with Alliance Defending Freedom – a non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom globally. Laurence has litigated cases concerning religious liberty around the world, and is here to answer your questions about what these cases look like in practice and what trends he is seeing from the front line.
Our current cultural moment is full of chaos and deception. Denying reality causes havoc in people’s lives. However, no political movement or militant group can ever put Jesus Christ back in the grave. Our hope in Jesus Christ is not a feeling, nor is it wishful thinking. Our hope is grounded in the reality of seeing things clearly through the perspective of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Dr. Jeff Myers is president of Summit Ministries. As an educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Myers has become one of America’s most respected authorities on youth leadership development. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson referred to him as “a very gifted and inspirational leader.” Evangelist Josh McDowell called him “a man who is 100% sold out to preparing the next generation to reflect the character of Christ in the culture.” Through his speaking engagements and media appearances Dr. Myers has become a fresh voice offering humor and insight from a Christian worldview. He is the author of 14 books, including the Understanding the Faith, Understanding the Times, and Understanding the Culture textbooks which have been studied by tens of thousands of students.
Megan worked as an award-winning journalist until 2008, joined Life Training Institute in 2009, and was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Christian apologetics from Biola University in 2011. Megan’s favorite part of her job at Life Training Institute — aside from sharing life-saving training material and getting to help students nationwide understand who they are and why they matter — is being a student of her craft. She enjoys following her curiosity on topics that relate to pro-life apologetics and is currently most interested in questions related to aesthetics; the power of great stories and how they relate to human dignity and the Gospel; the vital importance of true community and its impact on human flourishing: and human limitations and creativity.
John Stonestreet serves as president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. He’s a sought-after author and speaker on areas of faith and culture, theology, worldview, education and apologetics. John is the daily voice of BreakPoint, the nationally syndicated commentary on the culture founded by the late Chuck Colson. He is also the voice of the Point, a daily one-minute feature on worldview, apologetics and cultural issues.
Laurence is an English-Qualified attorney and a specialist on conscience rights, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech. Wilkinson previously served as legal counsel for ADF International in both Strasbourg, France, and London, England.
He also is an experienced litigator in cases before the European Court of Human Rights and is a regular contributor to various media outlets including The Spectator, The Times of London, and Forbes.
Prior to joining ADF International in 2015, Wilkinson qualified as a solicitor in London with international law firm DLA Piper, specializing in commercial litigation. He earned a degree in Law with American Law from the University of Nottingham, which included one year at the University of Texas at Austin.