Building our houses on sand

Exegetical implications of the Sermon on the Mount for religious freedom


  • Nicholas Kerton-Johnson


United States of America, religious freedom, responses, Christian ethics


This article asks that we consider a vital question with regard to religious freedom: Does our response to hostility reflect Jesus’ model and his call to expand the Kingdom of God? At the heart of the Christian defense of religious freedom is the call to be able to live according to the dictates of scripture, yet this places a burden on Christians to carefully consider whether we are, in fact, being obedient to the scriptures we seek to live by. This paper examines the Sermon on the Mount to reflect on the implications of Jesus’ famous sermon for how we respond to religious freedom challenges and concludes that the primary defense of religious freedom is to be found in a church that actively lives out Jesus’ Kingdom-advancing instructions.



2021-09-29 — Updated on 2021-09-29