“The people [Israelites in the wilderness] appeared to be totally unwilling to accept any kind of inconvenience or hardship in order to achieve their liberty and independence, overlooking completely the fundamental truth that freedom, prosperity, and power simply cannot appear automatically as a bestowed privilege, but must be won by suffering, diligent work and faithfulness” (Leviticus / Numbers, p. 355; James Coffman)
One can’t live in this country without hearing from some the significance of those who have gone on before us, some even paying a high price for liberty so you and I can live in freedom. I agree with this expression in whatever form it may be expressed. I was willing to serve my country because I believe in the ideals of its founding. While some are chipping away at those foundations, doing their best to make us pay for the mistakes of those who have gone before us, it’s the Lord who reminds us that when we put our trust in Him, the dreadful mistakes of the past are carried and paid for by Him. What He requires of us is our commitment to His way, which expresses itself in faith and obedience. The price of Liberty is that Jesus paid a debt I could not pay. RT
It is this week that many reflect upon the up-coming holiday known as “The Fourth (4th) of July.” The day (evening) in which fireworks are shot into the night’s sky celebrating our country’s independence from Great Britain with our Declaration of Independence. The day of independence was actually July 2nd with the Continental Congress voting and declaring themselves free from the British Empire; after some additional debates and revisions to the Declaration, the final vote and declaration was on July 4th.
In my mind, since I like history a good bit, this is a great day of the year. It has lost its luster (shine), however, because now many in our society have failed to understand our country’s history, the tortuous fighting and laboring to keep it strong. Even by those who still know our history the luster is lost because we take it for granted we will be existing in the entirety of our individual lifetimes. Unfortunately, just this week, I saw a headline that 44% of those asked believe we are headed toward another civil war! As a people we have certainly failed to understand our history and the guiding force undergirding our existence. George Washington did not, however.
George Washington is known by nearly all in our congregation (except our youngest), and it is perhaps not as well known that he strongly believed in God and His Providence. On one occasion (July 20, 1775), he gave this order: “The General orders this day to be religiously observed by the forces under his Command, exactly in the manner directed by the Continental Congress. It is therefore strictly enjoined on all officers and soldiers to attend Divine service. And it is expected that all those who go to worship do take their arms, ammunition and accoutrements [other military necessities], and are prepared for immediate action, if called upon” (America’s God and Country, p. 638).
Maybe our country has forgotten those things that are important, such as God and all things related to His guidance, but what about those who call themselves Christians, Have they?
One would think not, but when attendance with the saints is spotty, when the Lord’s Scripture is not read, when financial support for the righteous cause of the Lord is lacking and when there is a general lack of application in Christian principles in the life of each who identify as Christian, then one has indeed forgotten. Jeremiah long ago spoke (and wrote) some hard-hitting words to those who identified themselves as belonging to God. “For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’—in doing evil! But how to do good they know not” (4:22, ESV).
The people of the Lord were foolish because they did not know God, that is, they took no time to learn and apply His will in a faithful and steady way. As the English Standard Version reads, the Lord called them stupid!
The day of liberty, the day in which your sins were forgiven is to be the most significant day of your life; better than any other day in your life that is associated with some great event (graduation, wedding, retirement, etc). It is the greatest day because on that day, as Paul said, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1, emphasis RT).
Is this something you believe? I know I do. RT
It has been said that “liberty, without wisdom, is license.” A powerful remark when one thinks about it. In what sort of way is the remark powerful? Think about it along these lines. We live in a country where freedom is the norm for each of us; yet, this freedom is not absolute. If it were, then each of us could do what is desired at no risk of arrest or imprisonment. Thus, our freedom has limitations. These limitations, however, are necessary for a civil society, and thoughtful people can easily see the rational and wisdom of this.
The limitations that are placed on society have their origin in one of two sources. They are from God or man. Consider the limitations placed on man (society) by God. First, man’s moral makeup is such that there are certain behaviors that are absolutely wrong at any time and in any context. Murder, for instance. Since murder is the taking of innocent life (or unlawful killing with malice as a motivation), there is never a time in which it is morally warranted to take the innocent life of another person. This is why abortion is an inherent evil. Consider another illustration. Adultery. Adultery is willful (voluntary) sexual intercourse of one with another not his/her spouse. When a man and a woman marry, there exist an implied trust between them both. When a man gives himself to his wife, she trusts him to be loyal to her and to no other. When that trust is broken, then the sabotage of the marriage, if not already completed, has a jump start toward completion. Thus, from the vantage point of God, man has placed on him a limitation. The value of this is obvious to any who think on it.
Consider the limitations placed on civil society by man. If God is not the source of liberty, then man determines what it is that can and ought to be done. With regard to the two previous examples (murder, adultery), it cannot be objectively established that either is morally wrong. We have seen this readily in the last half-century. Many in society have jettisoned God and all things righteous and moral from the local community, even including the larger community. Consequently, we have no earthly idea (as a people) what is right and what is wrong. In this there is no liberty, only confusion.
A perfect illustration of this is the current immoral behavior of transgenderism, especially as our current president and those who think as he does have been promoting it. Transgenderism is a choice between two ways of thinking: natural, unnatural – a lot like homosexual marriage. Unnatural behavior is self-defeating, that is, it can’t procreate, but results in extinction. Neither can it defend itself in a moral universe, not only because it is self-defeating, but also because the moral compass of man is the origin of its morality. What this means is this: man’s moral base has no more of a substantive foundation than his “I thinks.” What is moral today will be considered immoral tomorrow—by the same source.
In our freedom loving country we have liberty, but our liberties are eroded with people in political power who are more loyal to partisan parties than to anything originating with the Lord. No Christian should support such a way of thinking. Paul said in Romans, “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32, ESV). On a practical level, no Christian can escape their contribution to an immoral society who vote/support such behavior. What about in regards to eternity? RT