No Greater Love Than This
Ramon Arias | May 27, 2013
America honors those who have paid the ultimate price in the service of the nation. I personally know of many courageous acts in the battlefields by those in uniform for their fellow soldiers. It is the nature of many to be willing to pay the ultimate price in the belief that what they're being commanded to do is the right thing. So in their memory, we must never forget their bravery and willingness to lay down their lives.
In spite of all these sacrifices, there is something that disturbs me constantly whenever I hear it said that they died to preserve our liberties. Especially when I see what has happened to America, I have to ask myself if that is the correct meaning of what preserving this brand of "liberty" truly means.
During the Vietnam War, thousands of young people were burning their draft cards refusing to be enlisted to fight in that faraway land. In my case, I walked into the Marines recruiting office in San Diego, California and voluntarily enlisted. I passed all the required tests and waited for my instructions for my departure date for boot camp and then off to war. However, when I received my telegram it was with the news that President Richard Nixon had ended the draft and no more soldiers would be going to Vietnam. I was outraged at the idea of the United States accepting defeat in this conflict with North Vietnam. At that moment, I did not understand the world politics and corporate interests behind that war. I just knew I wanted to give my life to free people I never met from Marxism. I understood very well what Marxism was all about. Even though I was an atheist, I was not a communist and I wanted my life to count for something.
Not long after my experience of volunteering for war, I read the Bible for the first time and found my life’s purpose. For over 40 years I have continued to embrace the revealed truth in its pages. The Bible is the only blueprint for the restoration of mankind; there is no other manual that can compare or even begin to compete with its wisdom and accuracy. In the pages of the Bible we gain understanding of what true liberty is all about and how to resolve all our problems.
The greater my understanding of the Bible, the more I understood the true foundation in this nation called America. Most of my life I have read the history and cycles of wars. As hard as it may seem for some to accept, the Bible gives clear directions for the reasons for war. Wars are awful and the devastation is clearly seen, including wars for independence, revolutions and counterrevolutions. The landscape of human history is filled with all kinds of wars, and they will continue due to the sinful nature of mankind. However, when men acquire the knowledge of the Lord, then wars will cease and the weapons will be transformed into tools of productivity.
America was born after her War of Independence from the motherland, Great Britain. The colonists fought against tyranny, they resisted the ever-expanding dominion over them. They wanted to remain a free people under God's moral law. They understood there could be no freedoms apart from being under God’s government in order to effectively develop the duty, responsibilities and rewards of self-government.
Dying for true liberty under God is what made this nation exceptional. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:13-14). Ignorant, foolish and confused people despise the idea of American Exceptionalism due to their lack of knowledge or acceptance that America was built upon the Bible.
Next time you hear about or remember the ultimate price that was paid by courageous people in order to keep America free, make an honest assessment and question if what America is becoming is a free nation from the Founding father’s perspective. Most importantly, ask if it is becoming more in tune with the biblical worldview.
Can we honestly speak about American freedom when the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress have allowed the slaughter of more than fifty-six million innocent children in the mother's womb even though the Constitution does not grant this so-called right? Do you honestly believe that the Framers of the Constitution created such a monstrous right? If you are honest you will also recognize that America is drowning in immorality, perversion, political corruption, corporate greed, out-of-control education, an irrelevant church, the ever expansion and intrusion of government in the lives of people, and reduction of liberties. Add to the list the constant attack for the destruction of Christianity, the redefinition of family by promoting same-sex marriage, crime, and violence, and overtaxing the productive members of society for the good of the collective. Not to mention the ever-increasing welfare system that is destroying people’s sense of personal responsibility, creativity and innovation all of which would make them better citizens if they embraced it.
The atmosphere around us reminds us America is becoming more of a police state than the guarantor of our freedoms under God. Once again the nation is crying out for her redemption. The good news is that people are beginning to understand that our freedoms are shrinking and we must take back the nation under the direction of God's ethics. The price we pay will be well worth it.
Consider and take to heart what Ronald Reagan expressed on March 30, 1961:
“Our Founding Fathers, here in this country, brought about the only true revolution that has ever taken place in man’s history. Every other revolution simply exchanged one set of rulers for another set of rulers. But only here did that little band of men so advanced beyond their time that the world has never seen their like since, evolve the idea that you and I have within ourselves the God-given right and the ability to determine our own destiny. But freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it and then hand it to them with the well-taught lessons of how they in their lifetime must do the same. And if you and I don’t do this, then you and I may well spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in America when men were free.”
As President he said:
"I believe with all my heart that standing up for America means standing up for the God who has so blessed our land. We need God's help to guide our nation through stormy seas. But we can't expect Him to protect America in a crises if we just leave Him over on the shelf in our day-to-day living."
Reagan was a visionary of liberty for all mankind:
"Someday, the realm of liberty and justice will encompass the planet. Freedom is not just the birthright of the few, it is the God-given right of all His children, in every country. It won't come by conquest. It will come, because freedom is right and freedom works. It will come, because cooperation and good will among free people will carry the day."
Are you ready to pay the ultimate price by embracing the words of Jesus that say there is no greater love than to lay down our lives in the service of others? It’s your call.