Monday, April 2, 2012

Land of the Free


We live in the so-called "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave," but how true is that statement?  Surely there are many brave Americans, but there are many others who are cowards.  I hear these cowards every time I hear someone try to justify the institutional molestation of children and shaming of women so these "men" can feel slightly safer.  Of course, these same people probably buy one lottery ticket and expect to win because those are about the same odds of being killed in a terrorist hijacking.  But what about free?  We love to claim how free we are, but I was thinking this weekend of how that is a grand illusion.  It makes true what was said in the Word of God about what an earthly king would do.
And he said, "This will be the behavior of the king who will reign over you: He will take your sons and appoint [them] for his own chariots and [to be] his horsemen, and [some] will run before his chariots. He will appoint captains over his thousands and captains over his fifties, [will set some] to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and [some] to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters [to be] perfumers, cooks, and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields, your vineyards, and your olive groves, and give [them] to his servants. He will take a tenth of your grain and your vintage, and give it to his officers and servants. And he will take your male servants, your female servants, your finest young men, and your donkeys, and put [them] to his work. He will take a tenth of your sheep. And you will be his servants. 1 Samuel 8:11-17 NKJV
America was supposed to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people, but that is not reality.  It is never reality when man is involved.  The reason is because what that really means is government of sinful fallen man, by sinful fallen man, for sinful man.  Government becomes about control and self-perpetuation. How often do you see someone cross party lines and say that a candidate of another party is the better choice?  Sure it happens, but it is exceptionally rare.  What we have are a collection of sinful politicians passing laws to help win votes.  It is nothing more than that and it is truly sad what we have become.  Let us look at just a few examples of how free we really are. 

First, you may say that you have freedom to travel.  Of course, you had better wear your seat belt otherwise you may get a ticket.  I am not saying that you should not wear a seat belt, they do save lives, but why do we have to pay the state if we fail to protect ourselves?  If anything, we should owe ourselves the money!  As for the car you drive, you just spent thousands more dollars on it to comply with the many federal regulations for efficiency and safety that are attached to your vehicle.  Maybe you want to take an airplane instead of driving?  Well take extra time to practically strip before you walk barefoot into an x-ray machine so some glorified mall cop can look at a virtual picture of your naked body.  If he finds something wrong or if he just feels like it, you bad better be prepared to be touched in ways that only your spouse or physician should be allowed to touch you.  Also, do not bring cupcakes, the icing can apparently be an explosive.  However, knitting needles are okay.  As for the airplane ride, for all that extra humiliation to keep you safe, you are paying a special tax to pay for it all.  Of course, we can not forget about the TSA VIPR teams setting up shop at sporting events or just making a checkpoint on the highway to randomly search you, your car, or your truck for no other reason than that they feel like it.  I can go on, but you get the point.

Maybe you think you have the freedom to own property.  Do you, though?  First of all, in many cases, the township actually owns the front few feet of your lawn (or many feet in some cases).  Not only that, but you need permits or permission to do just about anything to your property.  This include indoor items that really have no effect on your neighbors.  It is, of course, for our own safety to make sure everything is up to "code."  In many places, you are forced into Home Owners Associations that have gone so far as to control what cars you park in your driveway and what plants you plant in your own garden.  Perhaps, though, the most egregious violation of any idea of owning your own property is the idea of property tax.  That is the money you pay for pay for the right to own the property you pay for.  If you think you own your house and land, just stop paying the taxes and you will see how long it lasts.  Even if you pay your taxes, the government still may force you to see at a price they set if they want someone else where your property is. 

What about a freedom of choice?  Many people even like to say that they have a freedom of choice.  Do we, though?  Can you choose to buy raw milk?  In some places you can, but in many you can not.  This is evidenced by armed raids on Amish farms who had the audacity to sell raw milk to people who knew exactly what they were purchasing.  Can you go out to a store and by a real home-made baked good?  In New Jersey, unless it is a charity event, you have no such right because it is illegal to sell anything made in a home kitchen.  If the current administration has its way, you will no longer even have the choice of whether or nor to have health insurance.  They will fine you if you do not.  This should be of no surprise, there are many cases where healthcare was forced on people by judges or legislators.  There are many products that people used to use or still use on the black market that were deemed unsafe by someone or another. 

We live in a country where you are even limited as to how can raise your own children.  It seems that I am hearing more and more stories on how more and more families in more and more states are losing their rights.  Homeschooling is becoming more and more regulated.  Parents are being forced to treat or inoculate their children.  Children are forced to participate in more and more things in schools over the objection of their parents.  In fact, in some cases, children are encouraged to challenge or even "correct" their parents on certain issues.  We have Children and Family Service organizations of the various states removing children from parents of practically no evidence of any wrongdoing whatsoever and parents spending fortunes to prove themselves innocent in order to get their children back.  We have more and more "rights" being granted to children, stripping parents of much of their authority. 

And, finally, let us talk about freedom of religion.  We still do have the freedom to be part of any religion we wish, but practicing that religion has become more and more of a challenge.  Home churches, in some cases, are being disallowed.  New York no longer allows churches to rent rooms for weekend services.  In most towns, a zoning war erupts any time a church wants to build or expand.  Your children are practically forbidden to even mention their religion (especially if they are Christian) in schools.  Public officials are barred by judges from praying at public events.  Graduating students are being forbidden from mentioning Jesus in their speeches.  Children are not allowed to sing about Jesus in school Christmas, I mean "holiday," programs.  Christians are arrested for preaching the gospel should it be done around people who actually need to hear the message. 

Considering this is not a political blog, you may be wondering what point I am trying to make.  I am getting to that.  Personally, I get frustrated with Christians who think that the answers to our national problems can be solved by government.  Whether it be electing people who will provide less government and allowing us more "freedom" or others who think we should elect people who will grow government in order to use its might to solve our problems.  Neither of those are the answer.  Neither of those will bring any kind of true liberty to our nation.  The fact is that God has given us the government He felt we deserved and the only way to change it is to change hearts.  It is not about hanging signs for Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, or Barack Obama, but about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The only way to change things is to change hearts.  The only message that can change our nation for the better is the message of Jesus.  Otherwise, we will have unredeemed men and women electing unredeemed men and women to control our lives.  People will vote for those who will give them what they want with no concern as to what it may do to other people.  With that reality, there is no hope of anything changing. 

Even should the whole nation become Christian, things will still not be perfect.  Man is not perfect and so government will never be.  We like to idealize the past, but our nation has always had its issues.  Perhaps they are worse today, as laws pile upon laws with every new issue-Du-jour that requires some new law or regulation, but that is how it is when man rules.  I long for the day when man is no longer our ruler and we join Christ to rule the world with perfect government.  A day when justice is truly just, when laws are really about right and wrong, when promises made and never broken, and when being a politician as become an obsolete profession.  Then, and only then, will we truly experience liberty.  This liberty will be a freedom not to do whatever our flesh desires, but freedom to truly follow where the Spirit leads.  As for now, we must learn to trust in only God and the message of salvation to change our national direction and never trust in any politician or party platform, which will only serve to lead us further along the path to tyranny.  Put our nation in the hands of God, and God alone, and trust that just as He saved your soul, He can save this nation. 
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.  2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV

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