For the Love of Liberty
From the Pastor’s Desk
April 18, 2021
Religious liberty from the commandments and traditions of men and political liberty from the arbitrary, lawless intrusions of men are blessed fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Sin-enslaved men will never be liberty-possessing men. The first liberty and the foundation of all other liberties is deliverance from slavery to sin and Satan (Rom. 8:21; 2 Tim. 2:26). True liberty exists when men walk in obedience to God’s commandments in holy Scripture (Ps. 119:65).
Too few today, and far fewer in actual positions of authority, understand this relationship. All liberty is a gift of God, the fruit of faith, and his blessing upon an obedient people. The particular liberties codified in our Bill of Rights to the Constitution are the fruit of faith and of suffering. Their forefathers had suffered under European civil and religious tyranny; the fires of Romanism were hardly cold. Without clear delineation of each state’s fundamental liberties and restrictions upon federal power, they would not agree to the compact, for this is what the Constitution was called, a compact between sovereign states. It is entirely legal, righteous, and necessary for state governors and legislators to declare federal dictates that violate the Bill of Rights to be null and void within their respective boundaries.
Thus, if federal authorities make laws “respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” state and local authorities have legitimate authority under our system to oppose this legislation and to ignore it within their boundaries. If federal authorities pass laws confiscating the arms necessary for a people to defend itself from enemies foreign and domestic, state and local authorities should and must nullify and refuse to enforce such dictates. If federal authorities or its agencies mandate vaccines as a condition for work, travel, or commerce, they illegally and unreasonably search our persons, without due process of law. The Constitution grants no such authority to the federal government; state and local authorities should oppose and nullify those laws as violations of our civil liberties.
But there has been a great divorce in our land between law and power. This is the consequence of unbelief and God’s resulting judgment. Revolutions against God are always power grabs. They do not have the legitimacy of law behind them, at least not in our land, for we were a Christian people who understood that the state is not God. Its authority is not absolute in its own sphere, and certainly not in other spheres of authority into which it should not encroach.
There has been a deeper divorce between the Christian faith and liberty. The “grand experiment,” as historians have described our national origin and its laws, was grand because it was produced by faith in the God of the nations, faith in Jesus Christ forged in the fires of suffering, and faith expressed in courage and wisdom to restrict civil governments. It is a faith that has been lost in our land, a faith that is no longer understood by the average church-goer, a faith without which liberty cannot endure. This is because God is a covenant-keeping God. Keep covenant with him by faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to his law, and he will give and preserve liberty. Break covenant with him, and the land will be overrun with rebels and tyrants. This calamity has come to our land; the Lord had done it (Amos 3:6).
A conflict is inevitable between the remnant that has some basic understanding of these truths and those who want to sweep away Christianity in the fires of social crusades and revolutions. Only the Christian faith possesses objective truth and moral courage through union with the risen, reigning Prince of Peace to resist tyranny. Only the Christian faith understands that social revolution against God are instigated by the devil (Rev. 12:17). Where lies, murder, and tyranny exist, there he is, doing his evil work, endeavoring to weaken, assault, taunt, and torment the followers of the Lamb. Only the Christian faith is able to expose sexual liberation as a lie, sodomy as evil, abortion as murder, transgenderism as perversion, and statism as idolatry. Followers of the Lamb, therefore, will never make peace with Satan and his slaves (2 Cor. 6:14), for they are the redeemed of the Lord and fight in his war. He started it in Eden (Gen. 3:15), triumphed at Calvary in his Son (1 John 3:8), and established his mediatorial kingdom at the ascension and enthronement of his Son (Rev. 12:10).
This war is upon us. “Be not afraid” but “watch unto prayer” (Prov. 3:25; Isa. 8:13; Matt. 26:41; John 6:20; 1 Pet. 4:7) are our Lord’s fundamental marching orders. His promise is that “when he leads his own sheep out, he goes before them” (John 10:4). Whatever the crisis, “he will never leave or forsake us” (Heb. 13:5). Faith, not fear, gained our liberties and built the church in this land; faith, not fear, will enable us to follow the Lamb and overcome in his strength.
To fight wisely and faithfully, followers of the Lamb must remonstrate strongly against and if that fails leave churches that will not preach against Romanist views of justification, practice church discipline, and reject the false gospel of social justice as defined by the mob and egalitarianism. Churches that lead men away from the Bible as God’s all-sufficient word are no true churches. The more men hate and reject God’s law, the more we must love and keep it (Ps. 119:126-128). God’s word is the sword that beats back the evil one and shields our hearts from fear in evil times.
Pray for your state and local leaders, as we are commanded, that the Lord will embolden them to resist the lawless spirit of the federal government. Pray that he will use them as his ministers, whether or not they recognize it, to bless the righteous and punish evildoers. Get to know your local law enforcement officers; encourage them in the right way and tell them you are praying for them. You, child of God, who recognize the authority of God, submit to Jesus Christ, and uphold the lawful commands of our land, you are the law-abiding citizen. Do not let rebels tell you otherwise. Might does not make right; fires and crusades should never be equated with a righteous cause.
Be prepared, finally, for a different way of life. We are being required to stand for God’s truth and our dearly purchased liberties in ways we have not been for generations. We shall need to learn in practical ways to “come out from among them,” such as supporting and developing Christian businesses and trades that do not require bowing to the “image of Nebuchadnezzar,” the secular state’s and its corporate enforcers’ demands for compliance, in order to provide for our families. Likewise, it is imperative that Christians remove their children from government schools, for they unashamedly teach critical race theory and transgenderism as the new morality. We cannot expect our children to walk the old paths of obedience to God’s word if they are radicalized by the religion of man. Statism is erecting its images on the fruited plains of this land just as Nebuchadnezzar did on the Plain of Dura. Do not bow down. The Lord alone is God and Christ alone is King.
Liberty, religious and civil, is precious. It is costly, and worth the cost. It is a spiritual battle, won primarily on our knees and by believing obedience to God. It is not won by hatred, cynicism, or anxiety. It is won by standing fast in the Lord’s strength, being rooted and grounded in Jesus Christ, and by faith. Do not wait to fight until the enemy is at your door to seek God’s help and a closer walk with Jesus Christ. Come now. Take to God our Father in fervent, constant prayer, the cause of Jesus Christ, the authority of his Word, and the building of his church and kingdom. His Spirit will give us wisdom in the hour of need that our enemies will not be able to oppose (Luke 21:15). It is Jesus Christ who fights for his faithful Bride. Be faithful, humble, and obedient to him. And love one another fervently. When those who are most devoted to God’s truth and gospel are equally tender and compassionate to one another and loving toward all men, Satan is doomed afresh. Heavenly love beats hell’s hatred and sham loves every time. John 13:35.