Is freedom guaranteed? Is political freedom the default position throughout the pages of history? No, not at all.
My friend Os Guinness wrote the following, powerful words in his book A Free People's Suicide:
"Freedom can no more take a holiday from history than from gravity, and the plain fact is that it is harder to be free than to not be free, for freedom's fire has not only to be lit once but must be kindled and rekindled all over again in each succeeding generation.
"Although glorious, free societies are few, far between and fleeting. In the past, the high view of human dignity and independence that free societies require was attained by only two societies with world influence: the Greeks with their view of the logos, or reason within each person, and the Jews with their notion of the call of God to each person.
"Today's worldwide explosion of freedom is, therefore, rare and cannot be taken for granted. If the hundred-centuries clock of civilization is compressed to a single hour, today's interest in freedom and democracy appears only in the last minute or so before midnight, so to take it as the norm is folly."
The promises of lasting freedom offer no security to those who refuse to take seriously the responsibilities that attend freedom. America's Founders gave a plain prescription for maintaining the foundation of a godly nation:
- George Washington wrote, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports."
- John Adams wrote, "It is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand."
- Prayer in America's churches must be re-established, led by the senior pastor.
- Spiritual men and women, those who possess wisdom, must take back the public square from Secularism—and in the busiest and most public places of the nation: public education, higher learning, main street media, Big Business, Federal Courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the Fortune 500, and Hollywood. "Wisdom is the principle thing," exhorted Solomon (Prov. 4:7). Once men and women of Issachar return to the public square, wisdom will raise her voice—loud and clear.
The Founders' reliance on Jehovah was never a secret. They believed and broadcast that liberty depends on upon virtue and virtue depends on upon Christianity. Evangelical and pro-life Catholic Christians have blotted out the obligations that come with the privileges of freedom and liberty. Thus, even as Christians abandoned the public square for the last two or three generations, Benjamin F. Morris points out in The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States secularists have confiscated control of education, transfiguring the views, values, politics and laws of the people of America.
Here is what I find most terrifying about the surrender of civil government to those who are in rebellion against God. The Secularists' brazen defiance of God's Law now drives the opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court and shapes the making, enforcement, and adjudication of laws.
For the first two centuries or so, America seemed to have Jehovah's "Favored Nation" status. The exaltation of Jesus Christ in the Public Square, and public education, produced an exceptional America whose people incorporated the character of God in their lives and their laws. Biblical wisdom and knowledge, a derivative of the "Fear of the Lord" (Prov. 9:10; 1:7), was the hallmark of America.
20th-century America forfeited her high calling by embracing secularism and fomenting rebellion against God. The Lord equates rebellion as witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). Instead of being a light to the nations and showing definitively that "righteousness exalts a nation," America now walks in the sins of rebellion and wickedness. Having rejected Him, He is absolved from any obligation for security and protection.
America was founded by those on a spiritual mission to, as Robert Hunt, founder of the Jamestown colony, put it: "to reach the People within these shores with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to raise up Godly generations after us and with these generations take the Kingdom of God to all the earth."
If the Founders were available in 2016, they would be nauseated to survey American culture. Our descendants will be appalled that nine unelected and unaccountable Supreme Court Justices removed prayer and the Bible from public education in the '60s, legalized the murder of unborn babies in the '70s, and legalized same-sex intercourse and marriage in 2015. All of this without revolt, revolution or repentance from Christians.
Jesus established a principle, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded." No nation in history has accumulated the wealth that has been conferred on America. It may be hard for secularists to accept, but in early America it was not hard work alone that brought blessing, but also—and more essentially—it was righteousness that ushered in prosperity and made America famous, per Proverbs 10:6. The Founders created a unique system where they established Christianity as the official religion of America in the original 13 State Constitutions. Their muscular Christianity was never a "private thing."
However, like the nation of Israel during days of apostasy, the United States, as Daniel I. Block noted in Ezekiel Commentary, has "wallowed in the mud of rebellion, desecrated the sanctuary, and defiled itself. Instead of serving as a model for purity, she has won the international contest in wickedness. Her example serves as a stern warning that 'those who have the name and face of God's people may become worse than the heathen.'"
What do we do?
We need a Rahab or a Gideon to stand.
David Lane is the founder of American Renewal Project.
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