Advancing Religious Liberty
10/4/13 at 07:21 PM 0 Comments

Seeds Planted at the Fields of Faith

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Author: Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Sharp

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches. – Matthew 13:31-32

I’m not much of a farmer. I once tried to do a little vegetable garden in my back yard. Three months and a hundred dollars later, all I had to show for it was a handful of tomatoes and a pale, shriveled thing that was supposed to be a cucumber. But through my failed attempt at farming, I gained a deep appreciation for the potential contained in a single seed. It truly is miraculous how something so small, when lovingly planted into an otherwise barren field, can one day grow into a large, fruitful tree.

On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, students, parents, and community members across the country will gather for the annual Fields of Faith event. They will walk onto the quiet football fields at their local high schools—empty of the clashing helmets and screaming fans that would normally be seen on any given Friday night. And on these peaceful, barren fields, these courageous individuals will plant seeds. Not the seeds of any tree or shrub, but seeds of righteousness. For at Fields of Faith, local communities will join together to lift up the name of Jesus Christ. Students will bravely share their personal testimonies with the hundreds or thousands gathered on the fields. They will worship, and they will pray. They will plant, and they will water.

Yet events like Fields of Faith are increasingly coming under attack from groups who falsely claim that such events violate the so-called “separation of church and state.” They seek to shut down these public religious events and banish all religious activities to the four corners of your church or home.

But Christians must not waiver in their commitment to participate in Fields of Faith and publicly share their beliefs. Why? Because the spiritual seeds planted at these events are miraculous and powerful. These seeds may mean the difference between eternal life and death for those in attendance. A student’s testimony about how Christ delivered him from depression may be the seed that prevents another student from committing suicide. A song about God’s love and forgiveness may be the seed that leads a student to Christ, who then leads his family, which has a powerful impact on an entire neighborhood or town, and so on. Like the mustard seed in Jesus’ parable, a single seed planted into the life of a student at Fields of Faith—though small and seemingly insignificant—may be the kernel that grows into a life-changing tree of righteousness for students, their families, and beyond.

Because these events are important, Christians must be equipped with the knowledge of their constitutional rights to organize, advertise, and participate in events like Fields of Faith. Alliance Defending Freedom has prepared a  legal memo that does just that for students, teachers, and coaches. Armed with this knowledge, you can respond to any efforts to shut down the event. If you experience any problems holding Fields of Faith at your school, please call us for help at 1-800-835-5233 or complete this online  request for legal help.

This post originally appeared here.

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