Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren made headlines again this past summer 2022 when he opined at the Southern Baptist Convention about how wonderful he is, listing alleged spiritual and ecclesiastical accomplishments for which he took credit, not giving glory to the Lord at all.
In May 2021, he made headlines again, when he, at his church, ordained three women pastors.
I dug this one out of the 2015 archives, when Warren co-preached at a Catholic Conference. The Bible says not to be unequally yoked with false religionists in spiritual pursuits.
We should also not forget that in 2008 Warren prayed the prayer at the US Presidential Inauguration, praying in the name of the Muslims’ false god ‘Isa’, and had been partnering with Muslims in spiritual pursuits, even claiming they worship the same god as our God. Warren has been false for a long time.
One of the most surprising things to me after my salvation was that there were people claiming to be Christian who would try to draw me away from the truth. I had been relieved to enter the kingdom, and I felt literally like I was stepping into a safety zone, an oasis of calm after having lived in turbulence and chaos for 42 years. It was a jolt to my system that though peace reigned between me and God, turbulence between false professors and true believers was abounding.
False professors are people who profess Christ but do not possess the Spirit. I.e., false believers.
Colossians is a tremendous book. Of this verse in Colossians, let’s first focus on the first five words, Paul’s warning, underline mine-
Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, (Colossians 2:18, NASB).
Other translations say let no one disqualify you from the prize.
There were some spiritual elites going around Colossae, intimidating the new believers there. They threatened them with disqualification from the faith, and the newbies were buying it. Now, a true believer can never actually be separated from Christ, but the elites claimed the newbies were under a threat of failure in the faith if they did not believe and practice things in addition to Christ. This is what the book of Colossians is about- Paul re-teaching that Christ alone is sufficient.
Christ was not all-sufficient to these elites. They said the new believers must also practice one or more of three things: self-abasement (humility), worshiping angels, and visions.
True humility is a true virtue. The elites in Colossians were not practicing it though. They evidenced a prideful humility that pointed to themselves. Which isn’t humility at all, of course. They delighted in their humility, in effect, saying, ‘Look how humble I am! I’m sooo godly! I’m sooo faithful!’
Secondly, worship of angels in Colossae was an issue well into the fourth century. Worship of angels destroys the one thing believers are commanded to do: “worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” (Matthew 4:10b).
And visions. Oh, my, let’s talk about visions. They were a problem in the first century and they are a problem in the twenty-first century. People who are errant in their beliefs and know there is no biblical support for these beliefs, (if diligent believers go looking) the false professors instead try to buttress their beliefs with experiences and visions.
John MacArthur preached,
What is he [Paul] saying? “Don’t let anybody tell you you’re disqualified from attaining the prize of spirituality because you haven’t reached the level of self-abasement, you haven’t understood the worship of angels, you haven’t had the right visions.” … They’ve said, “It’s Christ plus my visions; plus my experiences with the angels; plus my deeper experience, my higher experience.” (MacArthur, “Spiritual Intimidation, part 1“)
No. Just…NO. Christ alone. Satan’s wiles have always been to sway a believer from the path to Jesus feet, and bundle belief with other beliefs, actions, rules.
THERE is an allusion here to the prize which was offered to the runners in the Olympic games, and at the outset it is well for us to remark how very frequently the Apostle Paul conducts us by his metaphors to the racecourse. Over and over again he is telling us so to run that we may obtain, bidding us to strive, and at other times to agonize, and speaking of wrestling and contending. Ought not this to make us feel what an intense thing the Christian life is—not a thing of sleepiness or haphazard, not a thing to be left now and then to a little superficial consideration?
These elites have “fleshly minds” as the verse indicates. They were puffed up with their visions and boasting of humility and spiritual pride of ‘knowing more’ (mysticism). They had no reason to be secure. Their minds were flesh, not of Christ.
“There is a tendency in human nature to move from objectivity to subjectivity-to shift the focus from Christ to experience. This has always intimidated weak believers and threatened the church.” (MacArthur, Commentary on Colossians & Philemon.)
False doctrine is not only a corruption in the church, it does damage to you individually. One way false teaching and false teachers harm you is that following them even temporarily and certainly for a longer period disqualifies you for the prize. It is the false teacher’s intent to try and disqualify you. Even if they make you doubt, they have succeeded. Even if they make you wander, thus diminishing your effectiveness for a time, they have succeeded. That is why Paul wrote such a strong warning.
For the strong believer, what is inferred is a stronger believer’s responsibility to our brethren who are following a false teacher. How will it be when they are judged, when told to give an account of themselves (Romans 14:12, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15) and we hear Jesus say that a friend has lost some prizes because they followed a false teacher and thus were disobeying Jesus, while we knew all along and never said anything.
Jude says, But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.” These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
Catch that. They are devoid of the Spirit. This means they do not possess the Spirit. i.e. unsaved. But Jude goes on in Jude 1:22-23,
And have mercy on some, who are doubting; save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
This means, snatch them from wandering, grab them to prevent disqualification, help them understand in love and in discernment the person they are following will lead them AWAY from the prize.
Let’s end where we started. Don’t let anyone defraud you of the prize. The ultimate prize is Jesus, His faith, His comfort, faith in Him and Him alone.
Paul opens his massive and majestic letter to the Romans with effusive rhapsodies of his love for the Roman believers and his gratitude for their faith- which he said is known the world over. He speaks of his intense desire to come to them so that he can be encouraged by their faith. Paul mentions them all the time to everyone. And so on.
First, we note Paul’s ministerial desire for his flocks and his obedient submission to his ordained role as Christian, pastor, sufferer. He is surely a super-Christian, if one such designation existed.
In the iconic movie The Princess Bride, Inigo is sailing a boat with all due speed in attempt to get away with a kidnapping. He looks back at one point and sees a distant boat on the horizon. The breeze is gentle and the night is long, so he has no worries. When he looks up again, he sees the boat is now close. And after a while, closer, then closer… This perplexing phenomenon causes him to utter the well-known line,
It’s like that with Paul. We might say, “I wonder if he is using the same Spirit we are using?” and the answer would be “Yes”. I am awed by Paul’s fervor, dedication, diligence and deep obedience never having wavered. He died poured out as a drink offering, a rushing torrent of obedience and love spilling across the altar of his beloved Savior.
Then in verse 15 of chapter 1, Paul says this-
So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. (Romans 1:15).
Hadn’t Paul confirmed the Roman believers’ solid faith, their well-known faith, their doctrinal and loving faith? Yes.
Some could interpret the verse as Paul being anxious to come minister to them, which is definitely true. But he didn’t say only that. He said he is eager to come preach the Gospel at Rome to Greeks and barbarians, to the wise and the foolish, “and also to you.” The Greek word for Gospel in this verse is euaggelizó which means bringing or preaching the full Gospel of Christ.
Some could interpret this as Paul’s eagerness to preach the Gospel indiscriminately to all, and that would also be true.
But do believers need the Gospel?
The answer would be “Yes.”
The Gospel is not a once-for-all mechanism that saves a person from the wrath of God and installs him into the kingdom as a child of God. Not only. It is the launching pad, and the eternal linchpin. It is the indispensable necessity for life eternal in the believer on earth and forever. The Good News is always Good News, and it continues being so, even for believers. Especially for believers.
The Good News is the fullness of Jesus, the encompassing message, the total plan of God, the victory of Jesus over sin, death, and hell. It is a message of resurrection, triumph, power, and abundant life. We all need this message, every day! Paul knew this. The Gospel is the mighty rushing wind of power and sustenance for every believer on earth who lives by the Spirit. We are reminded of the verse from 1 Thessalonians 1:5a
because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction.
Paul said in the very next verse, Romans 1:16 these famous and everlastingly glorious words:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,e as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
The faith we live by is that Gospel, Good News of the savior Jesus Christ. We needed it when we were foolish, wise, Greeks, and barbarians. Now that we are saved, it’s a message “And also to you.” The gospel necessity never ends.
Seven years ago I wrote a series on the IF Gathering. (2014). Four years ago I did an update. (2017)
The organization reports that in 2021, there were 6,648 IF:Local events in 66 countries. Because this para-church organization is still growing so much, it’s time for another reminder in discerning love and care for women everywhere, to avoid IF:Gathering.
The IF:Gathering and its women have only embedded themselves deeper into the faith and are tainting even more women with their brand of liberal theology, shaky hermeneutics, usurping lifestyles, and their idol of social justice. After 8 years of watching this organization (since its inception in 2013) we can see by now that it is essentially a female takeover of the church as a feminist, para-church/social justice/liberal organization, where women are drawn out from under their pastoral authority of the local church, fed false notions about Jesus and about our own identity, and reinserted as thorns and weeds to infect the local church with these modernly false ideas, only to turn around and recruit more women to do the same. It’s a multiplying movement that fulfills several scriptures about how false doctrine gets into the church.
Source and video below.
PROBLEM #1: Their premise is based on doubt.
The title “IF:Gathering” comes from their motto, “If God is real, then what?” The purpose statement on their IRS forms is to equip women by having them share their feelings about Bible passages posted online, and the by-product is to instill or institutionalize doubt. Their IRS tax form statement of purpose states:
If:Lead: equipping women to share and learn through Christ-centered discussions
IF:Austin: a two-day gathering that brought thousands of women together in Austin and at local gatherings across the globe. The gathering is a fresh, deep, honest space for a new generation of women to wrestle with the essential question: if God is real… then what?
If:Equip: a holistic, strategic, deep way to connect online with a like-hearted community and relevant resources. We hope to prepare women around the world to know God more deeply and to live out their purposes by sharing comments and feelings about daily passages posted online.
PROBLEM #2: It’s based on feelings we have, not on biblical truths revealing who Jesus is
Did you notice the ‘like-hearted‘ community? The Christian faith is not about feelings, but about what we know about Jesus. It’s supposed to be like-minded. This is an organization that calls their homes ‘spaces’, their local communities ‘contexts’, and their goal is to ‘change the world’. Its mission is to wrestle with the notion IF God is real. Using this amorphous, non-specific language helps cultivate the doubt, which is the opposite of the certainty we are supposed to preserve and promote as believers. We’re believers, not doubters. It’s Good News, not Maybe News.
The ‘gathering’ part is actually brilliant. They aim to disciple women in gatherings at homes, dorms, and other locales, sometimes churches. It’s not public, nor it is under the authority of local churches or of men. Participants know where to gather through social media, which is employed in a major way. It’s why this is a stealth approach to infect the church. Galatians 2:4 and 2 Peter 2:1 said this would happen. Yet discipleship is supposed to take place within and around the local church.
PROBLEM #3: Secretiveness
There aren’t any posters, advertisements, billboards, pamphlets that one can see. They don’t normally make known who will be speaking at the annual large Gathering ahead of time. That’s allegedly so that people don’t come for the personalities but for the fellowship and learning. But would you want to spend time and money to go to a conference without being able to vet the speakers? Or your own pastor helping you vet the speakers?
Instead, there’s texts, social media whispers, person-to-person promotion, all of it done in a way that is more subterranean than any other generation’s Christian activity (apart from the actual persecuted church.)
IF:Gatherings are ongoing in living rooms and lawns by the thousands. There are A LOT OF GATHERINGS. Look. This map is four years old and their gatherings are only increasing in number:
The idea to disciple women is a good one. However, that is an activity that the church is responsible for. These gatherings take place outside of the auspices of the local church and its pastoral authority and is based on curricula that has shaky scripture interpretations at best.
PROBLEM #4: Founded on direct revelation
The gatherings were born from the mind of a young woman named Jennie Allen. At the first Gathering, she revealed that she had heard God whisper to her, and after a few years decided to step out from her church to enact this so-called God-whispered “vision to gather, equip, and unleash women to live out God’s calling on their lives.”
“together with a team of friends, formally established IF:Gathering. … Some of the first friends to believe in her vision put aside their own individual ministries to leverage their collective influence for the glory of God and the good of His Church.” (Source, source).
So they abandoned their local ministries to go online for the good of the global church? Exactly wrong. Here is Jennie Allen claiming direct revelation from God as the catalyst for IF.
PROBLEM #5: Draws women away from local churches, the place where we’re supposed to disciple
They abandoned their ongoing locally accountable ministries, to follow a young woman who’d heard a whisper, in order to establish Bible studies about a God they doubted existed, in order to equip women to discuss feelings about the Bible, enact social justice, reconcile the world, heal the nations, and disciple a generation. Hmmm. I’m not being satirical. All that verbiage is from their own statements.
PROBLEM #6: Feminist oriented
The constant refrain in the IF material is that these women will “change the world” (source, 2022 promotion). This is why I call it a stealth feminist takeover. I’m not being hyperbolic, it’s actual, from their own vision statement
I wonder how it works to be submitted to a local church, yet to draw away women from other churches to come to your house to discus your feelings about direct revelation, extra biblical Jesus while then returning to church to ‘take initiative.’
Conclusion- Concerns with IF:Gathering are:
Founded on Direct Revelation: Founder Jennie Allen said she heard a whisper from God telling her to start a discipleship group. (source, also see above). Direct revelation is hazardous to one’s soul. If you test a direct, audible command from God against the Bible and it’s there, you do not need the audible command. If it is not there, it’s a lie and you don’t need it anyway. That’s a paraphrase from John Owen.
Doubting God: The premise itself is based on study of a God that those who gather doubt exist. IF God is real? Doubt is not noble. The Bible says doubt is a destroyer of life. (James 1:5-8).
Lack of male oversight and involvement and severe emphasis on women-led initiatives: Jennie’s husband Zac says he provides theological oversight, but he is listed as working only 10 hours per week at the 501(c) 3 non-profit, and the only other male on the Governing Board is David Willis for 2 hours per week. The 40-hour/weeks are put in by Jennie and Lisa Huntsberry. It’s Jennie’s baby, she is listed as Principal Officer on the tax forms. It’s led by Lisa Huntsberry who’s listed as CEO. The fact is, it operates as a woman-led, para-church organization with little male accountability or pastoral oversight.
The IF:Gathering’s premise is flawed and so are its goals. Again, from their IRS form, it states that their goals are to foment a ‘global movement’ that ‘promotes healing around the world’. Is that what the Bible says women are to do? Unleash movements? These women are mothers. With children at home. The Bible tells us what we are to do: raise the kids, support the husband. Did even Jesus come to promote healing around the world? And just what IS “healing”, anyway?
Goals are postmodern and extra-biblical: As Tim Challies said, the words reconciliation and healing have a different meaning to the postmodernist liberal than they do to the Christian fundamentalist:
“…perverts the Biblical meaning of “reconciliation.” The Bible does not use this word arbitrarily, but speaks of the reconciliation of man to God and how this can be accomplished. It speaks of redemption! Salvation! Our ministry of reconciliation is not relational healing of myself to my neighbor (right and good as that may be), but the far more important relational healing of a sinful man to a holy God.
The ‘reconciliation’ the IF-ladies intend is the latter, promoting relational healing. Hence their emphasis on feelings and their activity of social justice.
Liberal-to-false teachers as partners and speakers. For example- Ann Voskamp. Does she even know how to use the English language anymore? Below is her tweet. I thought teachers were supposed to be ‘able to teach’. (2 Timothy 2:24). Being able to teach presumes a facility with the language so as to communicate truths in a way that will edify the hearer. Voskamp’s gone beyond #babble all the way to to #Babel.
The list of IF speakers for the recent gathering that concluded in March 2021 is posted but their talks are behind a paywall. Nevertheless, this list is only a quarter of the amount of listed speakers, and demonstrates immediately that the speakers are part of the problem with IF:Gathering leaders’ discernment. Francis Chan, Christine Caine are false teachers, Lauren Chandler and Lysa TerKeurst are heavily suspect, as well as severe concerns with Jackie Hill Perry and Jefferson Bethke (of the ‘Why I hate religion‘ author)
I hope any of this information helps you. IF gatherings are occurring every day in living rooms, dorms, (they are coming for your daughters-)
No town is too small, too rural, too citified or too sophisticated to host an IF:Table. The brand of Christianity the women promote is far from the Bible’s call to obedience for women, due to their emphasis on social causes, feminist living and usurping thrust of the IF:Movement, doubting God, and discussing their feelings. I pray you protect your daughters and granddaughters from any and all IF activities.
IF:Gathering says, IF God is real, then what? Satan says, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Satan says, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here…” (Luke 4:3, Luke 4:9)
I’m a lay person, a Christian woman, who happens to write. I’ve made my living from writing in the past and I’m thrilled to be able to use the talent God gave me for His glory now, writing as a Christian about biblical things.
I’m older and I distinctly remember life before internet. As a writer wanting to publish, bumping up against the monoliths of the Madison Avenue publishing companies, and the chokehold of the magazines and literary journals, (and the publishing rejection letters) having a free platform in which to share one’s thoughts and words with the world was a revelation. I took to it instantly and with glee, going online in 1996 and becoming an Amazon.com customer in 1997. Finally, an equalizing global conversation could be had.
I don’t think young people have a well-developed sense of just what a privilege it is to have global access to speaking one’s mind on any topic. I remember the frustration of rejection letter after rejection letter, of seeking the underground, mimeographed ‘zines as they were called then, of a regular person not having a voice. Or seeing the ones with voices squander them or limit them or censor them. Conglomerates purported to speak for the masses, and more often they didn’t, but their lobbyist money did speak to the corruption. Journalists were supposed to speak for the voiceless but more often they were kowtowing to Corporate. Benjamin Franklin felt the same frustration so he started his own papers and printed them on his own presses. The Second Amendment gave the promise of free speech, but never made any promises about how or where. No platforms were ever promised. That, one had to figure out for one’s self.
Of course all my words back then were unfettered into in the civic or personal/creative realms, but were wind and chaff to God because they were not for His glory.
I converted to Christianity late in life at around age 42. Until then I’d been occupied with writing for my weekly newspaper and curating its online version. When I sold the paper in 2006 and moved down south I needed to fill the void left by not writing intensively, so I started my personal blog The Quiet Life in August of that year. It’s hard to believe it’s been more than a decade since I founded it. What a joy to play with the Layout format, press ‘publish’ and one’s thoughts and words could be seen by the world. Of course, back in 2004-2006 blogging exploded and there were a million blogs starting a day, it seemed. How to make one’s own blog rise to the top amid the sea of cacophonous voices also clamoring to be heard was something left to one’s creative problem solving. Now we had the platform, but how to make people listen…
As the Holy Spirit solidified my faith and grew me in sanctification, I founded this blog in January 2009, and once again it’s hard to believe it’s been 11 years since then. Though I write intermittently on The Quiet Life I am committed to using the gift of writing and proclamation and exhortation for the Lord and I’ve been faithful to write daily on this blog since the beginning. Though I’ve been writing longer at The Quiet Life and there are 70 pages over there, there’s double the amount here, containing about 3,600 essays. And fortunately, I don’t have to stress over about whom to make listen. The Holy Spirit takes care of disseminating the message to whom He desires.
I joined Facebook in 2008, and joined Twitter then also. This year I added another Facebook page, The End Time. Online newspapers and journals enabled comment sections. People from the great to the small posted their email address, allowing direct conversation. Cell phones, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Flickr, Podcasts…Suddenly, there were platforms everywhere and it seemed like the cacophony grew but so did the possibilities for getting the Gospel out.
The question today is, just because social media exists, does that mean it is wise, profitable, or even safe to enter the fray?
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
That is a question for each Christian to answer and there are different considerations if one is a parent, a missionary, or is living under a restrictive regime or just to personally consider in the face of doing our utmost for His highest (to paraphrase O. Chambers).
Here are some thoughts in my experience, in my opinion, and remember I’m just one lay-woman with a small sphere of influence. There have been pros and cons with being so present on social media. Just as with anything, there are considerations and there are joys.
I am a single woman so there are safety issues with being too open.
Yet I feel compelled to be truthful and transparent, openly proclaiming the message to as many as possible.
If The Lord allowed the internet to be invented then I resolve to use it to the best of my ability to honor Him and spread His message.
Yet there are also a great many temptations to sin with my mind and with my mouth (typing fingers) and present a poor witness.
I have stumbled before in being so present online.
Yet when I sadly do, it presents more opportunities to repent, grow, obey and rely on Him- and to be mindful next time.
Seeing before me in living color so vividly the woes and successes of fellow believers; and being accountable to an online community of believers widens my perspective and reminds me of how large His body really is.
It presents a tendency to want to focus on just the virtual believers to the exclusion of those in real life.
When someone is encouraged by something I’ve written, it offers a high incomparable to any other.
When I receive letters from people who have come out from under a false teacher, or have strengthened their walk because of anything I’ve written, it makes it all worth it
People online can be mean, nasty, and hide behind cowardly anonymous comments. Combating their effects can steal your joy and re-direct your energy better used in other ways.
So, you see, the pros and cons are similar to laboring in any other medium or any other sphere. No better, no worse, just different considerations to consider.
Unlike other people who have expressed distrust or disdain over social media use to share a holy Christian witness, I don’t believe social media is the devil. It is merely a vehicle into which we can pour our energy and message depending on what the Lord has called us to do. Some pour their message into children through motherhood. Others who are not called to motherhood became missionaries and brought the message to orphans overseas. Some who were writers without the advantage of social media got the message out anyway using the vehicles of their own day- hymns.
So be mindful of the medium you choose to employ to spread God’s message, from your own tongue in real life to the cold virtual reality of a laptop keyboard, to… whatever else. As a matter of fact I’ve always held that the internet is one of the world’s great inventions. The Gospel message can be disseminated in podcast, tract, devotional, online bible, visually through art and animation, Youtube, the ancient writers’ work is spoken alive online to new generations orcan be read anew for those who can’t afford the precious tomes but can afford the lower price of an online connection or even free at a library. Wow!
Through online blogs and sermons and devotionals I was strengthened by John MacArthur’s preaching and discovered the Puritans and Reformers. I connected with solid doctrine at The Master’s Seminary and learned of Paul Washer’s fire. I learned that I, too, had a platform that may strengthen even one woman seemed too good an opportunity to pass up- as long as I kept my priorities straight. But that’s like any ministry, it’s life, isn’t it? It is all a struggle and no matter the sphere or means the Lord provides, the devil will attempt to corrupt it.
So make your decisions about social media with your husband or pastor or family. Decide how “out there” you feel led to be, and which means to use. Elisabeth Eliot, Gladys Aylward, Eliza Spurgeon, Fanny Crosby, Katharina von Bora (Mrs Martin Luther) all used the means at their disposal and through obedience to the Lord to influence those in their spheres. How large or small or what that means the Lord will use through you within that sphere is a personal decision. But don’t let scary stories or condescension about social media taint your view of how useful it can be to getting the message out there. Just be safe, be wise, and the Lord will take care of the rest.
A dear sister asked me about a new author. Her discernment radar is always up, and she is cautious about who she absorbs. In reading my answer I hope any ladies will gain an understanding of not just about the person in question, but of how I go about checking an author or teacher. We read or listen to their actual content and compare it to the Bible first, of course, (Acts 17:11), but we also check a number of other items in the author or teacher’s life.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires… (2 Timothy 4:3)
Do you notice that word “endure”? The verse does not say “they will not like sound doctrine…” It does not say “they will not enjoy sound doctrine…” It doesn’t even say “they will not accept sound doctrine.” It uses the word endure. When you endure something, you writhe. You wish you were not there in the midst of it. If anyone has ever undergone physical therapy, you know that you have to endure it but if you could you would shoot out of the gym so fast you’d be like a speeding bullet. If anyone has ever had to get a root canal, you know that you endure it. You do not seek it, you do not like it, and if you could, you go away from it. Continue reading “They will not endure sound doctrine”→
An historic tussle is occurring in the United States right now between Church and State. The Framers of the Constitution were mindful of the potential for overreach in their civil leaders, monarchs, and other authorities. They had known of the persecution of the Protestants, Puritans, and Huguenots of the 1600s. So when they hammered out the rights of the citizens, protecting the freedom to worship (or not) was part of the foundation of this country.
The highest law in our land is the U.S. Constitution, which has some amendments, known as the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights guarantees that the government can never deprive people in the U.S. of certain fundamental rights including the right to freedom of religion and to free speech and the due process of law. (Source)