Monday, February 22, 2010

American Freedom at Stake cont...

I want to build on this notion of American Freedom. American Freedom is unique and potent but it has some standards that go with it. In order to have the kind of freedom we have enjoyed for over 230 years there are some responsibilities that come with the benefits. Those standards safe guard this liberty.

A large portion of our population has been attacking and nullifying those standards over the last 50-60 years. It has cost us a lot but these standards can be restored. It is called in old terms “revival.”

The Declaration of Independence claimed Freedom as God granted, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” (Emphasis is mine.)

This is a self-evident truth, that God created and intended men to be free. Our Founding Fathers claim to this brand of freedom is uniquely American. America Freedom is based on God’s idea of what real Freedom should look like. Like no other country in the world we have proven the benefits and superiority of this kind of freedom. That is, until we abandoned the responsibilities that come with real freedom.

American men and women of their time and hundreds of thousand since have been willing to die to keep it here. What’s more inspiring is that we have been willing to die to give it to men and women in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and various places all over the world. A taste of, or just hearing about this kind of freedom changes your life forever. No other system in the world will compare after you have enjoyed the opportunity to better yourself and keep the fruit of your labor to help others. Yes, that is part of God given freedom.

God given freedom is under attack. (American freedom is under attack.) The attack was first leveled on those principles that keep freedom strong and available to all. Hard work, self responsibility, and morality that protects you and keeps you from financial dependency have all been under attack without much defense.

I spoke about the uniqueness of American freedom in the last post and quoted two prominent figures in American history. They were not the only ones. It was recognized by all American’s in the early years of our country’s life. Lincoln acknowledged it in his Gettysburg Address:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

That liberty of course is granted by God, the God that the Bible tells us of. This is a critical point because the principles, standards and responsibilities required to maintain this freedom are found in the Bible. They are distinctly Christian. Here is Lincoln again talking about our founding documents and how Americans might look to them in the future (that’s us):

“…[T]hey established these great self-evident truths that… their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew that battle which their fathers began, so that truth and justice and mercy and all humane and Christian virtues might not be extinguished from the land…Now, my countryman, if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence…let me entreat you to come back…[C]ome back to the truths that are in the Declaration of Independence.” (Taken from Original Intent Barton pg 250.)

May I ask the same? I beg you in coming days when the financial crisis is in full bloom remember this. We don’t need a new form of freedom. We need a renewal of our original freedom with the responsibilities of it, renewal of our claim to the unalienable kind granted to us by God. This is the foundation of real freedom. It is the foundation of American freedom. The experience of this variety of freedom convicts us that we ought to keep it at all costs and that other men ought to have it too.

God is the author of the freedom our Founders tapped into. The principles in the Bible tell us how to keep it. Our Founders understood this and laid the foundation for the greatest country in the history of the world with Its guidance. We simply must return to the study of these principles.

The ability to discern Good from Evil is found there and we cannot maintain real freedom without this ability. What would American freedom be apart from God and Goodness? It would be the same as the "freedom" the French experienced in the French Revolution; Anarchy that consumed itself. It knew no guide for discerning Good and Evil.

May God bless and keep us free.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

American Freedom at Stake

Dark clouds are rolling in on American History. I was watching Glenn Beck this week and he scared the beans out of me in regard to our national debt. We have made the leap into the trillions with a recklessness that is destined to do great harm. There will be an accounting for this irresponsible spending.

With this reckoning American affluence is certain to fall. I’m afraid you only learn what a trillion dollars is when you try to pay it back. This is tragic.

With this said I want to remind you of who you are. Our affluence has deceived us over the last 100 years. We Americans have come to trust in our affluence. But our Founding Fathers were wiser than to trust in wealth. Proverbs 23:5 tell us that wealth “sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.” (They also knew better than to trust in politicians or government. Your can take that route if you like but if you haven’t already experienced a crushing disappointment you will.) The Founders pointed the way for us, if only we will listen. They had some wealth there is no doubt, but they knew better than to trust in it. Let me quote from the summary paragraph of the Declaration of Independence. After a long list of reasons for separating from England they pronounced:

We therefore the Representatives of the Unites States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name and by the authority of the good people of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown and that all political connections between them and the State of Great Britain is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent States, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliance, establish commerce, and do all other acts and things which independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
(Emphasis is mine.)

David Barton points out in his Original Intent that the Declaration of Independence was actually a dual declaration. They declared our independence from Great Britain and our dependence on God.

In this time of financial peril I should point out that they mentioned their wealth as a support to this Declaration. They put their wealth on the line for their freedom. Wealth is not the most important thing. Remember this in the coming months. Losing ones wealth is not the worst thing that could happen to you. They knew. Wealth is better to be sacrificed than be saved at the cost of ones principles.

You may have to make this choice very soon. The choice between financial stability and freedom is upon us now. We have already made the wrong choice to a large degree in letting the Federal Government prop up failed businesses that are failing for obvious reasons. In doing this we are printing trillions of dollars to dump into unhealthy businesses. Companies that are able to lose millions are very capable of losing billions. Stop. Short term financial stability is going to cost us our freedom. Stop trillion dollar deficits now.

It may already be too late. If it is, remember who you are. You are Americans. We have the recipe for real, lasting freedom. With some corrections in the power we allow our government we can renew this special experiment that has been a blessing to the world. Freedom as the world knows it was conceived, birthed and reared here. John Quincy Adams mentions this special variety of Freedom in a speech he gave on the Fourth of July 1837, “The position thus assumed by this One People consisting of thirteen free and independent states was new in the history of the world… This was a novelty in the moral philosophy of nations and it is the essential difference between the system of government announced in the Declaration of Independence and those systems which had until then prevailed among men.” (Celebrate Liberty David Barton pg 203) as does Daniel Webster in an 1851 speech, “I have said gentlemen, that our inheritance is an inheritance of American liberty. That liberty is characteristic, peculiar, and altogether our own.”(Celebrate Liberty David Barton pg 157.) The liberty we know is born from the conviction that all men are created equally and endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... Our freedom is not granted by the Constitution but by God. We were the first among nations to lay claim to that Freedom for all of our citizens. Don’t ever forget it. In dark days that may be ahead, never forget this. If Freedom dies in America, where we have truly understood it, the world will sink into a very dark place.

It’s time we renewed our commitment to the second part of the dual declaration in the Declaration of Independence… a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence… Let's start the renewal in our relationship with God and discover what pleases Him as we ask for His favor.