Sunday, August 14, 2016

The War for Freedom & Liberty: Four Movements that can Restore America

Freedom and liberty are as vital as air to our Christian way of life.  Free will is the sovereign gift of God.  He grants us the incredible freedom to choose that which we will do.  It is such a sacred gift it is unimaginable what it might be like without it.  Inherent in the republic in which we live is the core concept of liberty.  We believe radically different from much of the world.  We believe that a single person knows better than a bureaucracy or a regulatory body, how best to live their life.  

We believe that a person is best when self regulating.  We believe a person ought to be free, led by their conscience, instructed through teaching from their parents, books, and teachings of religious organizations.  

I'm very thankful for that way of life set forward by God, and also honored by our founding fathers.  Unfortunately the elite of our society think they know better how people ought to live.  And they are so certain of their own superiority, they are sure that they must enforce their agenda on all of us.  

"It would be difficult for anyone looking around the world today to resist the conclusion that something has gone very badly indeed with what we continue to call “Western Civilization.” This awareness tends to be distorted and muffled – if not obliterated – by the media, which manage to induce us to take for granted the continuingly explosive situations that confront us on every hand, and to see as an enlargement of our freedom and an enhancement of the quality of our living the steady and ominous erosion of the moral standards on which our traditional way of life has been based." -Malcom Muggeridge, The True Crisis of our Time 

This is not a democratic or Christian way of conduct, but much more so a secular authoritarian way of conducting national affairs.  It is socialist in bent.  When the sovereign God of "In God we Trust" is removed from the equation, near instantly the government becomes the God.  And thus all must be appealed to the government for justice.  Sound familiar?  

The government may be appealed to as god, but it is not god. It will in fact be bent toward corruption.  That is of notable concern.  For as more and more power is ceded to the government, less and less influence remains with the people.  And eventually government grows and grows, until even everyday decisions must be regulated and guided by government.  Eventually the alphabet soup of federal agencies grows so large and so unwieldy that there exists a government network at the Federal level so extensive and unaccountable that the people become effectively ruled without representation.  

This network of controls and rules becomes increasingly necessary as a once free people embrace immorality, sexual liberation, and redefinition of key boundary markers.  Jump to today and we see morals and principles have been utterly destroyed in our society, and thus a growing authoritarianism is taking the place of liberty.  

“A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue they will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”
– Samuel Adams, in a letter from Samuel Adams to fellow patriot James Warren on February 12, 1779

As the many federal agencies grow and grow the executive branch gains more and more power.  Through legislative fiat the Supreme Court does much the same, expanding it's own authority unchecked.  With the executive and the courts exceeding their authority, the Congress, the most direct representatives of the people are left with little power to influence the course and stability of the nation.  Thus liberty has been lost in many ways in our nation.  

The Christian churches of America could do something about this, though as divided as we are, there seems little we can do on a national level. At times we fight and we have victories, but mainly it seems we go from defeat to defeat.  And decline seems constant.  Our first duty is to Jesus Christ of course, and the propagation of his gospel.   In fact Jesus is our gospel.  And Jesus Christ is alive.  He is seated in glory in heaven.  And he will come again to rule and reign on Earth.  This is a literal fact.  God is good.  His word is true.  This is our first purpose.

Our second duty is to our country, the United States of America.  And what a wonderful country it is!  We are called to guide civilization and help preserve it, as salt and light.  Liberty and freedom are more than words, or catch-phrases, they are shared meanings of the nation.  We agree to the rules of country before we even begin interacting on issues like government, politics, education, culture and religion.  We all agree to the rule book: The Constitution.  We agree that freedom of thought and action and word are non-negotiable.  They are to be held as sacred to each and every American, as shared values that must never be forsaken.  Though they are being forsaken.  Oddly enough they are being forsaken by our most educated and affluent. 

Malcom Muggeridge wrote, “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating boredom out of his own affluence, vulnerability out of his own strength, impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brings the walls of his city tumbling down, and being convinced that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.” ― Malcolm Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society

Is that to be the fate of the United States of America?  To slip into organized madness, to slip into a bizarre trance of self destruction unto utter extinction?  Great empires seem to have a way of turning and heading in that direction.  

Our job remains, to carry the gospel of Christ and to preserve the free society.  A free society is best for the propagation of the life providing gospel of eternal life.  The gospel encounters trouble when shunned, attacked, or outlawed in socialist/communist nations like China, North Korea, and Russia.  Therefore it seems vital that we fight with all our might to preserve the free society.  And to do so at all costs.  

Why as a Christian minister do I write so much about politics?  Well, if it was still the 1950s or even the 1990s I wouldn't have a need to.  It's just that I can't help but find politics pressing into my religious area quite regularly.  But even if it weren't, Christianity is for all parts of life.  Not to be enforced through theocracy, but practiced personally as a way of life.  We simply want a free society, without coercion.  

We didn't start this fight.  They did.  And they keep pushing forward, at a steady drumbeat, destroying our society, convinced of their own superiority and righteousness as they do so.  The secularism we deal with today is not a passive secularism, it is a rabid anti-Christian secularism.  It is at war with religious faith. 

Think I'm wrong?  How does the media portray Christianity?  Think of Dan Savage and his show on ABC.  Think of Bill Maher on HBO.  Think of the hostility of people like Bill Nye who teach their worldview to our children on public dime.  Think of the hostility toward private practice of Christianity by children in public schools.  The fear permeates parents and children, that if they dare speak of Christ in school they might be sued, fined, or suspended.  Think of the hostility toward creationism and intelligent design in the scientific community.  Think of the rabid hatred of Christianity in television media and Hollywood.  And think of the expulsion of Christianity from academia.  Think of the college professors who make it their mission to drive faith out of their students.  Think of the legal battles being waged today on the government level.  Think of how Christian organizations and schools are being forced to bend the knee to abortion ideology, gender ideology, and the radical redefinition of marriage.  Our foes are not content to change these cultural norms merely on a national level, they must also force them upon us, force us to endorse them, and punish us for the perceived injustices of the past.  This is a rabid secularism, a hostile secularism, and it's getting more hostile and brazenly so.  

We must stand for freedom and liberty.  Our ideological foes don't necessarily care much about freedom.  They may garb themselves in American philosophical themes to garner public support, but beneath the garbs are always one thing: force.  Beneath the garb is always authoritarianism, using government power to enforce new standards on a resistant population.  It is the outgrowth of tyranny  in our modern day.  We must reject it and fight back.

We are doing just that.  Many organizations are fighting back against this evil growing in America.  There are many movements beginning to rise up and challenge these ideological progressives.  Their agenda really does scare me.  And they are so brash about it.  They are so loud about it!  They hold so many of the key microphones of the society.  They flaunt their hatred for traditional American values through people/programs like Samantha Bee, Trevor Noah, SNL, Dan Savage, The View, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert, John Stewart, Chris Matthews, Van Jones, Al Sharpton, the list goes on and on.  

I puzzled for many years at what seemed to be the lack of push back from constitutionalists, conservatives, Christians, and the like.  But there really is a strong push back.  The problem is the secularists hold almost all of the megaphones of culture and media.  And they make sure you almost never hear of public resistance to their agenda.  But if you go on social media or on local levels in more suburban areas the adherence to traditional Judaeo-Christian American values is near universal.  As you wade into social media, grassroots organizations, and alternative media you realize there is this massive, huge, gigantic "revival" of sorts going on toward liberty, justice, faith, family, and morality.  The zeal is real.  People are passionate, and they are using new media to fight day and night to spread the message of liberty.  

I participate in this.  I do it everyday through social media.  It really is an exciting time.  People are energized.  But our ideological opponents are strong, and they go after the minds of the young.  So it's tough.  It really is tough.  And it's heartbreaking.  The more you read and learn through alternative media, the more disturbing are the realizations that come.  

Today, in a seemingly short amount of time we Christians have found ourselves surrounded by enemies.  It really is quite a fascinating development in the life of our nation.  Who would've thought?  Francis Schaeffer could see it coming, as he wrote in his landmark book "How should We then Live?"  Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias said that in the 1970s if someone had told him America would be like it is today he would've never believed it.  He said he thought Francis Schaeffer was perhaps a bit too strong about the possible dangers ahead.  But it turns out the worst case scenario has been realized.  

I grew up in a medium sized city of about 100,000 people in central Wisconsin.  The culture was conservative and still is fairly conservative.  But the young people even in Wisconsin turned quite decidedly from the shared religious meanings of the past.  Many of the churches, with some notable exceptions, were and are congregations of the elderly, that will close their doors given a few more funerals.  Today I live and work in a community in Michigan of about 12,000 people.  And even here, in Upper Michigan, where it seems as if I'd stepped back in the early 90s, you can see it with the young, the teens, and young adults, they've diverted away from Christianity, and into secular thought.  Not on a militant level, but simply passively, lulled in that direction.  It's amazing how uniform that is even in smaller communities. 

I can sense the hostility from people my ages, people in their twenties and thirties to the Christian message.  Even within the apartment complex where I live I can sense the hostility from my neighbors!  But the most hostility comes through in the media and television world.  Today we are more than ever surrounded by those who consider us adversaries, or at least oddities.  

 But as Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

They keep telling me we're in the end times.  I want to slap people who say that to me.  But then again it could be quite true.  Though I won't accept any notion that might imply we ought to surrender prematurely.  I say fight to the last man.  

We should don our armor and march onto the field of battle lined up row by row, shoulder to shoulder, unflinching, totally dedicated to our principles and values.  We should march onto the field outnumbered and outgunned.  And make our stand.  I think we can, and I think we will.   We'll march on the gates of hell, and make war on the broken fields of mount Doom.  We'll take on the hordes of useful idiots, the zombies of progressivism and though we be outnumbered 3 to 1, we shall win the day.  

There will be four columns of troops I hope, from four distinct movements within our nation.  They are:

1. Constitutionalists - A massive force of principled conservatives will lead the charge, arrayed in force to restore rule of law, personal liberty, and economic freedom.

2. Christians - A force of Christians, sent from evangelicalism will join in the fight to save America.  They will fight to help restore religious freedom, sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.

3. Libertarians - Our friends in the liberty movement will join us to take on the enemies of truth, justice, and republican government. They will fight for free markets, spending cuts, personal freedom, and state sovereignty.

4. Alt Right - The alt right was bailed out of jail and the commitment to the mental hospital was stayed just long enough for these folks to join us at the battle of the last alliance on the slopes of Mt. Doom.  No one is sure who invited them, but they showed up, and maybe they can help with political correctness, freedom of speech, and federal overreach. 

Then Alinsky's hero Lucifer may stride onto the field and we would find ourselves in a great struggle indeed.  The struggle is ultimately against our spiritual foe.  For the struggle of western civilization, of the United States is ultimately not about men, women, philosophies or even ideas, it is about the spiritual battle between good and evil.  It is the struggle between the selfish self righteous heart that strives to create a secular utopia on earth, and the selfless heart of love fully surrendered to Christ the savior set on fighting for freedom in this life and fighting for eternal life in the next.  That is the ultimate struggle we face, as we fight for the soul of the United States of America.  

"There is a moral and spiritual war for the souls of Americans. And this war must be waged by preaching the Gospel, prayer, and obedience to God's Word."
- David Jeremiah

I hope we can unite as Americans to stand against this progressive secular agenda perpetrated by the elites in our cultural institutions.  I hope and pray God will grant us the victory.  Join me in prayer, and appeal to heaven for our country.  Get organized and speak out.  Trust in God.  Preach the gospel of Christ.  And fight for freedom!  May God be with you all, and may you be with Him.  Amen. 

"I am sure there never was a people, who had more reason to acknowledge a divine interposition in their affairs, than those of the United States; and I should be pained to believe, that they have forgotten that agency, which was so often manifested during our revolution, or that they failed to consider the omnipotence of that God, who is alone able to protect them."
-George Washington, Letter to John Armstrong, 11 March 1782, in Ford's Writings of George Washington (1891), vol. XII, p. 111. 

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