If there were ever a time that we as Americans were sliding down a steep and slippery slope of cultural implosion, now is that time. Our moral confusion has produced for us a political climate in which evil is upheld while those who hold to a standard of right and wrong are villanized and are held in contempt.
For one thing, gone is any semblance of a collective adherence to a biblical interpretation of marriage (by which I mean a holy institution created by God for His divine purpose, a uniting of a man and a woman exclusively to one another until death parts them). For another, brutal and savage go the “Pro-life and Pro-choice” wars (but how can they not be with the lives of millions upon millions of innocent babies and misled and oppressed women continually at stake?). Not only that, but our own government spies upon its own private citizens and can act with apparent impunity upon anyone who disagrees with it (through the strong arm of its Internal Revenue Service and, conceivably, its Department of Homeland Security).
Of course, the concept of “freedom” is rapidly morphing. In general, the term is associated today with boundless access to whatever privilege and pleasure we desire. Such sentiment finds attached to it an idea of “entitlement”, an attitude that fosters laziness, irresponsibility, cruelty, and even insurrection (a rebellion to the traditions and values that ironically have preserved for us what we celebrate every Independence Day). Such entitlement is nothing more than the institutionalization of envy and the political policies that are being employed are merely expressions of social jealousy. Civil rights are one thing: they are worthy causes if and when they hold to the standards that God has instituted. But it is an insult to those who have spent (and lost) their lives for justice and equity when we apply the term “civil right” to anything that is ignoble and counterproductive to the ideals of honor, courage, integrity, compassion and self-sacrifice just as much as it is a farce to call “freedom” our tendency to have temper tantrums whenever we cannot possess what we have not earned, cannot take whatever we want from others, and cannot do whatever any inclination our passions and sloth suggest to us (no matter who we hurt if we were to have our way).
And just what does it mean to be free anyway? Does it mean I can have whatever I want whenever I want it? Does it mean that the government bribes me with material promises at the expense of privacy? Does it mean that I should consider the government my greatest friend no matter that I am compelled by the courts to compromise my religious convictions? Does it mean that the government is a well-spring of justice and is the “big brother” that will see to it that all my needs (and the needs of my family) are met… as long as I cooperate with its policies - no matter that I am no longer permitted to speak out against social ills? Is any of this or even some of it what freedom really is?
Certainly not. What we have done is taken the high and hallowed concept of “freedom” and distorted it just as the serpent distorted it in the ears of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (see Genesis 3). We have chosen to take our eyes off the Giver of liberty and make it yet another vehicle of self-worship. We have been given the opportunity, as private citizens, to put God first in all we do, but over the course of a couple of hundred years we have made it our license to bow down to our own greatness and idolize blessings instead of the Blesser.
Even now, we look to government (as an agency of our collective will) to do our bidding, not realizing that with every new policy and law it passes or mandates, we become entwined with yet another shackle. And God permits it, allowing us to have what we think we want, while we fail to realize that He will at some point say, “Enough.”
“The LORD looks down from heaven; He sees all the children of men; from where He sits enthroned He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He Who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds. The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength. The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His steadfast love…. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield” (Psalm 33:13-18, 20 ESV).
During this Independence Day weekend, consider what it is that you are really celebrating. Think well on what it means to be free. Thank God for the opportunity that He has given you to worship and serve Him with all your heart. And remember: The surest path back to bondage is the abuse of freedom.
Copyright © Thom Mollohan
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