America peers longingly after fleeting dreams of freedom, wondering if someone, a politician maybe, will recapture its famed beauty. What is it about the Presidential elections that get 59 million people to watch debates that in previous elections only drew a fraction of that? Perhaps a lament of what once was, what we may yet realize again. . . a man to lead us back, to take up the arduous labor that is liberty’s duty. Is Obama America’s Cyrus to march us through the challenges facing democracy or is Romney our long awaited Cromwell who will restore the consent of the governed to its rightful place? Can any political leader, no matter how great, lead us back to America’s birthright, away from the horrifying similarities of the conservative individual, permissive liberal and cloistered libertarian?
America’s modern notion of freedom is simply license, the absence of restraint—to do what I want, when I want.
Whatever America’s freedom was we are now confronted on all sides with the crisis that living a fictitious freedom has created. And no elected official can save us from ourselves. This license has leached into education through secularization and deviant sex education, ‘freeing’ children with the idea that they are nothing more than animals and should act like it. It has coerced church leaders to sit in a passive corner of society, falsely threatening their 501(c)(3) tax exempt status lest they freely teach, rebuke and exhort a godless culture to repent. It has poured itself into politics pandering new legislation to the rich and powerful, releasing a new and unnatural morality, even going as far as to dehumanize babies in the womb so that their inconvenient lives can be destroyed. This license has marched its way into medicine with its perverted notion of absolute patient autonomy (a.k.a. free choice) ignoring all other key medical concepts such as ‘do no harm.’ This feigned freedom has seeped its way into the economy in both the acidity of conservative individualism as well as bloated liberalism’s abuse of centralized government, redefining traditional social relationships between a husband and wife, a parent and child, a doctor and patient, and a teacher and student.
The only way this weedy notion of freedom could have taken root is for most Americans to collectively embrace the same belief: Pluralism. Pluralism is the idea that any belief or set of beliefs held by anyone is just as valid as any other belief. This changes liberty’s meaning to—living a good life however I define it. This type of ‘freedom’ is chaos. If this freedom is not stopped then more people will die. They will not die for freedom, as an unalienable part of humanity but by the hand of those who wield it, invoking the eerie words, “It’s my right,” or “It’s for the good of the people.”
To put it another way, true liberty requires the death of fictional freedom because true liberty requires self-effacement; a kind of self-discipline born out of a belief in a higher authority to which we all must submit. This is a denial of the way freedom is currently defined. Modern freedom cannot coexist with true liberty. If we fail to revive liberty with a shared belief in Jesus Christ, which acknowledges the depravity of natural human license, then we will find ourselves all too soon in the fiery chasm of tyranny, the unavoidable result of our pluralism.
Liberty is the ability of a man to realize God’s ultimate good purpose for him without external constraint and the ability of society to provide a place where good men can flourish together. If humanity is made in the image and likeness of God then thinking and acting in ways that are consistent with His character is the ultimate good for a man. Sin is basically selfish license, which enslaves and hinders us from that good end. The cross of Christ liberates us from that fictional freedom, giving us self-restraint as a tool on our journey to Christ-like liberty.
Liberty then could be defined as freedom from the debasing, dehumanizing, animalistic instincts of the ‘whatever-I-want-or-believe’ mentality. Christ frees us from the chaos of selfish pluralism which is a cancer to all free civilization. And where pluralism runs rampant in law, education, politics, ministry, and medicine it tramples the humanity of the voiceless, powerless, and disenfranchised—like babies in the womb. Then those stalwarts of true liberty will stand between them and that deadly pluralism as did Jesus on behalf of sinners. For it is the duty of all men who call themselves faithful disciples, to freely sacrifice their lives and good fortune on behalf of those who will otherwise die without a redeemer.
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