Institutions of Freedom

I just read an outstanding article by Alan Keyes at renewamerica.us.

Contemporary politicians lack the knowledge and ability to conceive of, much less understand and defend, the social institutions characteristic of liberty. They talk about the marriage issue as if it is just a matter of sexual or religious preferences. They typically treat the concern for liberty as if it is merely a rhetorical device, with no relevance to practical politics and decision making. It seems never to have occurred to them that the real issue for statesmanship has to do with the relationship between marriage and liberty. [Read More]

Picture and Quote taken from http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/keyes/070826

I haven’t been a follower of Alan Keyes so I don’t know much about him, but I loved this article. It is actually a part of a series of very thought provoking articles that he has written at renewamerica.us.

It is so rare that I find something that actually challenges me to think!

(article continues below)


I would challenge you to look for some of the following ideas in his article:

  1. There are a number of institutions in society, and it takes all of them to maintain freedom for a people.
  2. Marriage is an essential institution for the preservation of liberty, it is not just a matter of “sexual or religious preference.”
  3. The seventeenth amendment to the Constitution effectively removed the representation that state governments had in the U.S. federal government!
  4. The establishment of the Federal Reserve (which regulate our currency, the U.S. dollar), and the sixteenth amendment (legalizing income tax) put the control of our national income in the hands of a “centralized elite.”
  5. The “New Deal” (Franklin Roosevelt and gang, during and after the Great Depression) helped change America from the “land of the free” to “land of workers with a government-guaranteed income.”

There is much here that I am not an expert on, but I would like to discuss several principles of freedom that I have observed.

Following up on point 1 above: It is essential for a free people to have a number of institutions that are free from government control in order to keep them safe from tyranny. We seem to currently be living under the assumption, for example, that the government is responsible to educate our children. However, this comes with some inherent risk. If people are vying for power in a government, and the government controls education, and education so strongly influences the future ideas that the educated will have, then there is great incentive for the struggle for power to also try to control education. The government tries to control education towards its own ends.

However, if individuals (the most basic “institution” of freedom) organize into families (the foundational institution of society), and those familes “control” education, then those families have the greatest influence on the common thinking of the future!

So here is the question. Do you want the government controlling education, and thus having the greatest influence on future thought, and thus securing its own ideologies in the future? (The government influences the people) -or-

Do you want individuals and families controlling education, and thus having the greatest influence on future thought, and thus securing the families own well-being in the future? (The people influence the government!)

Principle#1: It is absolutely essential that individuals and families have authority and supervision over the education of their children in order to preserve individual and corporate freedom for posterity.

Principle#2: If the institution of family is messed with or defined or controlled by the government, one of the most essential checks on government power is at risk!

Well. There is a start. Alan’s article was rich with content! I must go to bed now, but join me in my quest to understand principles of Freedom!

Goodnight for now!

ThirstyJon

Is God into Tyranny?

One man ruling all others is an invention of men. It does not come from God.

In I Samuel 8 the Israelites realize that Samuel is getting old. They tell Samuel that they want a king.

Examine God’s response to their request.

1. God equates their request for a human king as rejecting Him as their King! God says to Samuel “[the people] have not rejected you [Samuel], but they have rejected Me…” I Samuel 8:7b

Could it be that it is NOT God’s will for us as human beings to become slaves to another human being in order to be “protected?” Could it be that God’s plan is for each man to be a “king” treating his brothers as equals? Could it be that men are to “protect” one another as equals, not requiring a pledge of fealty?

2. God equates their request for a human king as idolatry! He directly equates it to the worship of other gods! I Samuel 8:8

I do not believe God wants His children to look to other men to be their salvation. The desire to be “ruled by one” when referring to a mere man is idolatry.

3. God warns them of the problems with “one-man-rule” “top-down” authority.
a. The “dictator” is going to want an army at his command and there will be a draft. I Samuel 8:11-12
b. The “dictator” will make slaves out everyone, men and women, requiring them to work for his agenda. I Samuel 8:12b-16
c. The “dictator” will implement taxes on goods and finances in such an oppressive way that all will be like slaves. I Samuel 8:14-17
d. The people will just come to God in the end crying out for deliverance from the very government that they themselves asked for! I Samuel 8:18

Oh My!

When I was a teenager I remember Ronald Reagan saying “the government is not the solution to the problem, the government is the problem!”

I don’t know if Reagan originated that quote, but I believe the Bible is filled with such ideas! I Samuel 8 is one of the best and most insightful warnings I have seen against the dangers of “all-mighty” government.

Why didn’t the government save us from September 11? Why didn’t they stop those Hurricanes in Louisiana? Why are there children starving?

I believe we as humans are responsible for one another. We are responsible for starving children. We are responsible to stop evil. We are responsible to aid our fellow man during a disaster.

BUT! But I must warn my fellow man. We need to be very careful looking for salvation from a human king. Even if we make the “government” king we are in danger of being reduced to slavery.

Government has its purposes, and is appointed by God Himself, but it is NOT the Savior of the World. That Honor and Duty remains with Jesus Christ. Thus the early Americans cried out that famous line: “No King but King Jesus!”

As long as we expect government to solve our problems, we will never be free.

And as you know, I am thirsty to be truly free!

ThirstyJon

Freedom Thirst

What does it mean to be free? And how does it relate to “submission to authority?” So many of the men of God that I have known really emphasize “submission” to authority. When I was younger, I really embraced this. I remember the day my life became “You say jump, and I will say ‘how high?'”

It was a season of great release for me. It was after that moment that I started to become more and more released in authority at the Mission Agency I worked with. Team Leader. Outreach Leader. School Leader. School Director. Ministry Team Leader. Then I fried a little. I always had the sense that “this isn’t quite it.” I am not doing what God put in ME. I am fulfilling the goals of other men.

But what does that mean? Is that GOOD? Is that GOD’s Training? I began to have this sense, that like Jacob, it was time for me to be raising my own flock. It is time to do what God has put in me.

I always struggle and wonder, am I a rebel? Why do I wonder if there is something wrong fundamentally with the way one man leads another in this world? Why should I tell the government my income? Who gave them the right to know that? Why do I need a license from the State to get married? Why do I need “approval” from human leaders to follow what God has put in me?

I believe I have to follow what God has given me whether or not anyone else on the planet believes with me, and whether or not anyone ever approves. That includes leaders, governments, friends, family, etc. I also believe that God has appointed leaders for roles in the development of a man. Parents, Pastors, Prophets, Brothers, Sisters.

My struggle is this. My heart does not buy that “submission” means doing what you are told. I have done so much doing what I am told. I want to be free inside. I want to be submitted to God in such a way internally that I can say “Judge for yourself whether or not I should obey God or men.”

But I am afraid. How do I separate the rebellion in my heart from the conviction that I must do what God wants? Even more of a struggle, what do I do with the part of my heart that INSISTS on being respected as a MAN, and OWNER, and an INDIVIDUAL? I am not defined by what anyone says I am – including the authorities God has placed over me.

How does it work? Submission to God vs. Submission to Man is easy when it is a clear moral issue. (Go commit murder! I cannot obey!)

But what if there is something in me that is convinced that I have a RIGHT and RESPONSIBILITY to be the Ruler of My Life. Not in the way the world does it (Every man for Himself), but as a free adult before God. I know, “Ruler of My Life.” How terrible. It sounds so WRONG in Christianeze. I must be a rebel, a self-willed, selfish rebel.

OR, is it actually true. All men are created equal and are endowed by God with Certain Inalienable Rights. What if it is WRONG to deny those rights?

I am not talking about THIS WORLD’s ideas about rights: “I get to do what I want, to hell with how it affects everyone else. To hell with God.” No, NO, NOOO!

What if I must worship God according to my conscience? No matter what any human authority says? What if I must speak what God has put in me?

What if I must steward my life according to my conscience? Those are the easy ones.

What if others around me think they know what is best for me? Only a fool would completely disregard the input of those who love them and who fear God as if they will give an account for one’s soul.

But in the end, each MAN must steward his life! I am concerned that I might close out the input of those who love me because I am so HUNGRY TO BE FREE!

I am a thirsty man. I desire to be free. First I want to be free inside. Free from the Devil. Free from Myself. Free from the Evil that tries to Dwell in my Flesh. Freedom from bondage to my flesh!

Then I wish to be free from other Tyrannies. The Tyrannies that men try to put on you. It seems to be innate in one man to want to control the other.

I wonder. Is it possible that no man ever has a right to exercise authority over another man unless ordained by God Himself? And even then, it must be exercised consistent with God’s boundaries and methods? No man has authority over another in and of itself. Didn’t Lex Rex settle that the Law is Indeed King?

No man is King. A child of God owes fealty to no man. No King but King Jesus. He is the only being in the universe that has a right to exercise authority over another as an inherent right. And he doesn’t even exercise it as a right. Look at the world. Is God forcing people to obey?

As I stated earlier, when it is a clear moral issue, it is easy. We must not sin against God. But what do I do with the demand for respect as an individual in my heart?

I am open to the Scriptures. I am open to the Lord. I am not open to being compelled to be and do something by MERE MEN. No way. Lord! I’ve got to know! What does it mean to be free? How does that relate to human authority?

I don’t know if I buy what I have heard. So I am on a Quest. A Quest for True Internal Freedom. An internal Freedom that knows how to flesh it out into this world externally. I am thirsty. Thirsty for freedom. I have a compulsion. A Freedom Thirst.

What would happen to the world if all men wanted, sought, and attained a greater measure of that kind of freedom? I intend to find out. Join me!

In Jesus,

ThirstyJon