The Illusion of Liberty
America has long been the heartbeat of liberty around the world. The U.S. Constitution has remained a stable form of government while other nations change regularly. America has joined in global wars throughout the decades to liberate those that are oppressed. America has fed the world, clothed her poor and needy, and has done all of this “with a firm reliance upon divine Providence.”
But times have changed. Today the land of once free finds herself in oppression. This oppression has come subtly, and always “for the greater good.” The internal heartbeat of loving your neighbor is now an external list of mandates and demands, so much so that you cannot do what you want with your own property. You can only do what the government allows you to do. If you do not pay your property taxes, the thing that you purchased with your own blood, sweat and tears will be taken from you by the government that now owns you in the form of annual recurring taxes.
What permit did Thomas Lincoln, Abraham’s dad, file to build his log cabins? There were none. In multiple states (Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois), the Lincoln family set up shop, carved out their niche in the wilderness, and homeschooled a man who would become President of the United States. Today that same cabin would be out of compliance, Abraham would be listed as a truant for not attending government school (or filing the necessary papers for homeschooling), and the liberty we once enjoyed at every level is gone. What changed?
The fact is this. We have changed. Little by little we have enabled tyranny to creep into our lives, as long as it gives us what we want for today. If we crave security, comfort, or a nice neighborhood, it gives us those things. But it removes liberty in the name of community planning, government schools, and government-hired security. There are many things in this arrangement that are good, but the loss of liberty is priceless. We don’t return to liberty because it is now too dangerous, too extreme. And yet that is the only way that America can truly survive.
So what is liberty anyway? Liberty is found only in Judeo-Christianity. It is rooted in God’s command to man, because mankind cannot conceive of liberty on our own. Liberty must have a framework of freedom. This is articulated in the Bible as the Common Law of society. Everything else that is fabricated in an additional law, layer or practice, is tyranny. It doesn’t matter if it’s for the children, for the greater good, or because we want things our way. Everything else is tyranny, and must be rooted out so that liberty must prevail. This is hard, because we must root out this evil, even when it has a pleasant face.
God told Jeremiah to “root out, pull down, destroy and throw down.” Only then could the prophet build and plant. (Jeremiah 1:10) As Christians we are commanded to “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and not be tangled again with the yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1) Therefore liberty is to be taken very seriously by us, both in the spiritual and the literal realms. In this season it must be reclaimed once again.
So, where do we start? What will you do? Will we stand for liberty in taxation? Abortion? Fair and open exercise of our Christian faith in every area of society? Each of these areas will provoke a fight. Maybe it’s a fight worth making, and you and I are the ones to do it. Liberty is precious. Let’s treat it as such. Then we can truly have liberty and justice for all once again. Today we are slaves under the thumb of an American Pharaoh. It’s time for the spirit of Moses to arise and let God’s people go. Let’s begin on our knees and arise to be free once again.