The Perversion of Liberty
Ramon Arias | March 3, 2014
Human beings have done the most unspeakable acts of perversions in all areas of life in the name of liberty. “Where is my liberty?,” the cries can be heard. “I want my liberty! Do not mess with my liberty!” We constantly hear this and more through the halls of history and it is no different in our times. What is liberty? Who or what defines liberty? What or who is the source of liberty? Those and many more valid questions come to mind. The type of answers you get will depend on who is dominating the social landscape when it comes to liberty.
Since the beginning of the human race, man wanted liberty and to be the one to determine right from wrong; that fateful decision afflicts us all up until today. Even Christianity has been infiltrated with moral, social and cultural confusion. In the process it has accepted the humanist’s concept of morality and its definition of liberty, and has helped push their pollution of political correctness, multiculturalism, and coexistence. In pursuing this worldview, the end result is always the same: tyranny!
We really do not have too many choices in order to understand the source of liberty and the moral law that regulates it. The truth is that we only have two choices. The first option is if we accept that man is the beginning and the end of all knowledge and decisions. If we agree that man is the one who has the authority to define what liberty is, then we must accept tyranny as a way of life. Except there’s a problem with this idea, because history reveals that humans do not want to live under tyranny and always look for a leader who will deliver them. The sad, painful and costly part of it all is when this cycle repeats generation after generation.
The second option is to accept that the universe, the Earth and humans are created with specific purposes. We must understand that man is not autonomous to invent his own laws and is subject to a higher moral law and the laws of creation. History discloses that when man accepts, connects and lives with this revealed truth the benefits for humanity are self-evident.
Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthians said, “But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
Notice the sequence:
“…when one turns to the Lord.” Humans are born slaves to sin, regardless of their social status. Sin will never allow a person to be free spiritually, intellectually, emotionally and physically. The law of sin dominates the person from within and they must turn to the Lord to be free and accept His terms for self-government to develop a worthwhile life. This decision and commitment removes the veil of ignorance.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Apart from the life given by the Spirit of God it is literally impossible for a person, family, society or a nation to enjoy the fruit of liberty. If God’s standards for living are not embraced in all areas of life it is impossible for that society or nation to have social stability.
“…beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” Fundamental transformation from the old to the new life in Christ is essential for every follower of Christ. Please note that the goal is to be transformed into the same image of Jesus Christ in this life. It is not about calling ourselves “Christians,” or members of x,y, or z denomination. This dimension of transformation in the personal life moves into the arena of public life.
When Jesus began his public life away from Nazareth, where he grew up, He began to impact lives. Upon returning to Nazareth, He did what was normal for him on the Sabbath by going to the synagogue where he was handed the scroll and read from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor… And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:18-19, 21).
Jesus received the praise of men; however, when he began to condemn them for the perversion they had done to the Scriptures and the terrible consequences for society that followed as a result they wanted to kill him.
Jesus made clear the importance of knowing the truth and remaining in the truth day in and day out:
“So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.’ ‘How is it that you say, «You will become free»?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever’” (John 8 31-35).
As you can see, it is very easy to pervert the concept of liberty in spite of the terrible consequences individuals and society may find themselves in. Any ideology that moves in the opposite direction of God’s revealed truth can only produce oppression and slavery even though people might think they live in the greatest free nation.
This was Paul’s warning to the Galatian Christians who were part of the “freest” Roman Empire, and it is a warning to Christians in America and the world over:
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery…. For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:1, 13).
God’s people must not pervert freedom/liberty. If they do pervert it, then it will be impossible to be the salt and light that societies and the world need. Furthermore, it will be impossible to do God’s will on earth as it is in heaven under those circumstances. We must be authentic like Jesus was and is the perfect example. God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit will never compromise the established standard. Neither of them is interested in the church we attend but they do take much notice if we are representing His interest here on earth where people can see our good works and glorify the Father (Matthew 5:13-16).
Do not forget the small percentage of American colonists who had to fight against a tyrannical government and church whose power was centralized in England. We must consider their understanding of liberty based upon biblical principles and the legacy they left for future generations and how it has been perverted in the last two hundred years:
"They who can give up essential Liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor safety.”
“Freedom is not a gift bestowed upon us by other men, but a right that belongs to us by the laws of God and nature.”
“Man will ultimately be governed by God or by tyrants."
- Benjamin Franklin.
"Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say 'what should be the reward of such sacrifices?' ... If ye love wealth better than Liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!" Samuel Adams.
Do you remember Patrick Henry’s famous declaration? "Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me Liberty or give me death!"
Thomas Jefferson affirmed, "Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness which inevitably awaits them if we basely entail hereditary bondage on them."
Can someone who claims to be “born again in Christ” and uses the title of son or daughter of God be for real while submitting to a morally and culturally decadent society? The patriots of the late 18th century had knowledge of God’s understanding for liberty and they knew that with the Declaration of Independence they were determined to use their lives and their fortunes to remove themselves from tyranny and work to rid the colonies of all evil doing.
I am encouraged by the sparks of awakening from our fellow countrymen who understand the threat and are really stepping up to the plate, embracing the truth that sets people free and turns the nation around. This is happening across the nation and their voices are getting louder and clearer. America must be governed by God’s law and not by man’s laws.
We must educate the American people in the most fundamental principles of God’s ethics so people can know without a shadow of a doubt the difference between the rule of law based upon God’s principles and the rules of men. We have to fight ignorance in all areas of life with passion and encourage individuals to develop the moral stature of the generation who fought for liberty and understood that God rules supreme in the affairs of men and nations.
Pay attention to the voices of the past, they knew we were headed toward this mess but as Thomas Jefferson also pointed the way out:
"I place economy among the first and most important virtues and public debt as the greatest dangers to be feared. ... To preserve independence ... we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. ... [W]hen all government ... shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another. ... Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread. ... The fore horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follow that, and in its turn wretchedness and oppression." Thomas Jefferson.
Samuel Adams exhorted:
"If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation." Samuel Adams.
It is important to work for temporal as well as eternal results by being on God’s side than with men who disregard and pervert God’s liberty for the human race.