Freedom in The Balance
31 ... Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31 - 32; 34 - 36)
It is a sad fact that many in the United States of America no longer understand what freedom truly means and how fragile it is until it is taken away from you. The United States has long been a beacon from which the world has measured freedom and prosperity. The American governmental system is by no means perfect, but because of its founders and the agreed upon Constitution, Americans and immigrants residing in the USA have enjoyed freedom of speech, the opportunity to be educated, freedom from an oppressive hand that would prevent one from making a living to realize the American Dream, the freedom to practice the religion of one's choice, and much more.
Who would want to give that up? The answer is; no one in their right mind would knowingly give up freedom. The only way to make people give up any freedom is to coerce them into believing that freedom is not always good. Keep in mind that coercion is not always forceful and can be most effective when done on a phycological level without the conscious knowledge of those who fall for the deception. In fact, coercion works best with willing participants who think that they are changing course for the greater good.
Who would not want a better life for their neighbors who struggle? Who would not want to eradicate poverty? Who would not want to do away with injustice? We all have an inner sense of fairness and what is just and what is unjust, as we were all created in the image of God who is perfectly just. It is precisely because of this inner sense, that the pursuit of social justice seems so noble and necessary. Perhaps it is because of this desire to pursue noble causes in order to help one's fellow humankind, that many churches have been laser focused on cultural issues for the last four to five decades, while ignoring the true character and nature of God. The fact is that without the knowledge of who the Judeo- Christian God is, many will be led astray. There seem to be two parallel social justice movements happening concurrently, or is it one and the same? What distinguishes today's secular social justice movement from that of the Judeo-Christian idea of social justice?
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If you are watching, reading, or listening to any news in our current day, there is little doubt that you have heard numerous claims that groups like Antifa are merely ideas. Some of these same individuals claim that America is also only an idea (it is important to note that the vast majority of these claims are stemming from one particular political party as a way to deny their significance). These claims could also lead us down a deadly path of denial of many other groups or entities, like the Ku Klux Klan, white supremacy, and for that matter the Judeo-Christian faith. Where do we draw the line? In the physical realm when ideas take root real people will be affected. Many ideas can be traced to wishful thinking, such as creating a utopia here on earth, which at its core is a search for a wholeness that only the Judeo-Christian God and a universal theocracy can supply. The movements fueled by ideologies will inevitably create dilemmas that require choices and changes of lifestyles and belief patterns.
The reality is, is that we live in an imperfect world where there will always be inequality, misunderstandings, poverty, and all other types of tensions. We all desire justice for all, but it is unrealistic to believe that humans can achieve that equity on their own. When the Church begins to take up secular social justice issues it needs to do so with the greatest of discernment while employing critical thinking at every juncture. The secular idea of social justice has inevitably led civilizations down a path of force and intolerance. An atmosphere of might makes right is the final outcome, ask anyone who has escaped from a socialistic country to seek residency in the U.S.A.. Once the seeds of socialism inexorably take root, the social justice focused Church will find itself on the side of compromise. Make no mistake about it, there is no room for the God of the Bible in a socialistic society.
I have found myself watching and amazed at how the vast majority of the church population has become apostate over the past thirty years as it has tethered itself to the cultural issues of the day. Issues that are cloaked as social justice in nature, but even the slightest amount of research reveals a movement fueled by misinformation and intolerance for opposing views. There has been a steady and persistent chipping away at the integrity of the U.S.A. since the 1800’s. Unbeknownst to the average citizen, there has been a determined socialistic movement to not only misinform children of the historical facts behind the formation of the U.S.A. through the educational system, but a concerted plan to remove any notion of the reality of a metaphysical ultimate being that was said to have created the universe, from the public arena.
Depraved humanity is not able to govern itself without sincere reverence and recognition of a holy God. Without a higher authority, people seek guidance from those in power. The population understandably begins to seek leadership and answers from human authorities. In a socialistic culture, there can be no competition for authority from any higher entity than the government at hand. A socialistic governmental system sounds fair and just on the surface, but in practice becomes a heavy-handed dictatorship of human rights, that removes freedom of choice. Jesus told his disciples, that the poor would always live amongst us, and that if we are able and choose to, we can help others that are less fortunate (Mark 14:7; Jas 2:14-17). There is no such choice in a socialist run society where those in power use the system of taxation to redistribute wealth. A basic study of how economic systems work will reveal that when taxation becomes high enough there is a disincentive for people to work. Once a stagnant economy takes hold of a culture, the entire infrastructure of a society begins to implode as the middle class is no longer able to survive and enforced poverty becomes the norm.
Another area that suffers is the freedom to have differing views from those in power. We have seen this as the meaning of tolerance has become so incredibly distorted and subjective over the past twenty years that it no longer even makes sense. Not only are differing views not welcome, but they are punished as is clearly evident by the actions seen in what has become known as the “cancel culture.” God has wired humans not only to seek him, but to thrive on being free, allowing for self-censorship and choice. The choices people make who firmly hold to a belief in the God depicted in the Bible will indeed be different than the choices and attitudes made by those who do not recognize the existence of a holy God, but at least there is choice. True freedom can only come when we strive to live by and have respect for a holy God. When a culture recognizes that there is a higher authority other than a manmade government, the possibility for true freedom can become a reality, but where God is not realized there is only darkness and disparity.