We were created for freedom and the human spirit longs to be free. The Canadian Truck Convoy, also known as the Freedom Convoy, is a cry for freedom. It is a populist uprising of common, everyday people wanting freedom.
It is not an insurrection. They have no desire to take over the government. Neither is it an anti-vax movement, for 90% of the truckers have been vaccinated. It is a movement of freedom. They want to be free from the tyranny of government-imposed mandates that have destroyed so many lives and livelihoods.
Canada has had some of the most draconian mandates and shutdowns of any country in the world. A friend, who is Canadian, told me about returning to his home province after a business trip and being forced to quarantine in a government-designated hotel, even though he did not have the virus.
Even though he had an empty home a few blocks away, he was forced to pay $200.00 per night for the hotel room. In addition, the police regularly checked to make sure that he and others who were forcefully quarantined did not leave their rooms. He said, "I feel like I am in a communist country."
Through the Freedom Convoy, people are saying, "Enough is enough! We want back the freedom to live our lives and make our own choices for our families, our health and our future."
Any peaceful movement for individual freedom from government tyranny is a positive thing and should be wholeheartedly supported by the church and individual Christians. Freedom, after all, is a God thing. Jesus said in John 8:36, "Whom the Son sets free is free indeed."
As Christians, we need to support the convoy and bring the emphasis that ultimate freedom is to be found only in Jesus Christ. This is what happened in Colonial America when the Great Awakening occurred alongside widespread civil protests against British tyranny. Out of these two parallel movements, the United States of America was formed.
The protests began as a result of King George III levying oppressive taxes and mandates on the colonists. With the American colonies experiencing significant growth in both population and prosperity, George saw them as an easy source of revenue for the British crown. He saw the colonists not as free citizens but as his subjects.
He, therefore, imposed the Sugar Act (1764), the Stamp Act (1765) the Townshend Act (1767) and other taxes and tariffs without any input from the colonists. He also sent custom officials who set up custom offices to make sure the taxes were collected.
These actions led to vehement protests throughout the colonies, especially in New England. When George imposed a tax on American tea but left British tea untaxed, it was seen as an effort to put American tea companies out of business and rejuvenate the British-owned company. For many, they had seen enough.
When a ship loaded with British tea docked in Boston Harbor, about 50 Bostonians, led by Samuel Adams, decided to take action. Dressed as American Indians, they boarded the ship and proceeded to dump the cargo of tea into the harbor. This became known as "The Boston Tea Party" and it stirred the passions of many for complete freedom from the British.
The British responded with a series of mandates that became known as "The Intolerable Acts." King George sent six regiments of British soldiers who occupied the city of Boston and closed its port. They housed their soldiers in people's homes against their will. George also revoked the representative style of government the people of New England had practiced since the time of Pilgrims.
In place of the people's elected leaders, George appointed leaders of his choosing who would carry out his plans for the colonists. These Intolerable Acts, however, only provoked more anger and protests.
But something else was happening alongside the civil protests in Colonial America. At the same time Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty were fomenting civil protests, George Whitefield, Gilbert Tennant, Freeborn Garretson and others were igniting a Great Awakening by preaching that ultimate freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ.
The preachers of the Great Awakening did not oppose those protesting the tyranny of the British crown, but they infused into the movement the Christ-centered message of ultimate freedom through faith in Jesus. The Great Awakening, in fact, had such a profound impact on the civil protest movement that a British-appointed official wrote to his superiors in England,
"If you ask an American who is his master, he will tell you he has none, nor any governor but Jesus Christ" (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 81).
I am glad the Awakening preachers did not reject the civil protest movement. It was the influence of the Great Awakening on the movement that caused the delegates of the First Continental Congress in September of 1774 to open their proceedings with an extended time of Bible reading and prayer.
Samuel Adams, John Adams, George Washington, Patrick Henry and other American founders had met to discuss whether to declare independence from Great Britain. John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail of the spiritual power that was present at the gathering, especially during Bible reading and prayer. He said he had never seen such an impact on an audience and that tears gushed into the eyes of many (Hyatt, 1726: The Year that Defined America, 108).
I am glad the Awakening preachers did not condemn and reject the civil protest movement against British tyranny. As a result, prayer and Bible reading permeated every aspect of the birthing of this nation. Because the Awakening preachers supported those seeking their civil liberty, Christian values became the founding principles of the new nation.
For a similar reason, we should not reject or condemn the Canadian Freedom Movement, which is now spreading into many nations. It is spreading because freedom is not a Canadian or American thing. It is a God thing and human hearts in every nation are crying out for freedom.
So let us be supportive of the Freedom Convoy and see it as the wonderful opportunity it is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus and the freedom only He can bring. As we do our part, there is no telling what God may bring forth through this movement, perhaps even the Great Awakening for which so many are praying.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the founder of The 1726 Project and the author of numerous books on Spiritual Awakening, including 1726: The Year that Defined America, from which this article was partially derived.
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