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How are we using our freedom?

Old Glory © D.P. Clarke
Old Glory © D.P. Clarke
Old Glory © D.P. Clarke

America is called the land of the free. The liberties established by its Constitution beckon foreigners to its shores. After several hundred years, America is still a land of hope. Alas, America is also in danger of becoming a has-been, an also was, a shadow of its former self. Why, because its citizens haven’t followed Paul’s advice to the early church. Paul instructed the Galatians to not use their liberty as an occasion to the flesh.

What countless Americans don’t understand is that their Constitution was established on the understanding that people of character didn’t need excess government. The Founders of the nation, who sacrificed their lives and fortunes to establish it, believed the Christian faith of their peers would cause people to govern themselves. For a century and a half, it worked.

Unfortunately, in the middle of the last century people began casting off the moral restraints of a faith based society. The Bible was removed as a textbook. Prayer was eliminated from school. Gradually it was no longer enough to earn an honest days wage for an honest days work. It was no longer enough to remain sexually pure until marriage. It was no longer enough to consider the welfare of others above ones own. Just like the children of Israel did so long ago, Americans no longer wanted to follow the guidance of their Creator.

The Ten Commandments are carved into the wall over the heads of America’s Supreme Court justices. Ten simple rules given to Moses by God which would help His people reap the benefits of their newfound freedom from slavery. America now has thousands of laws to enforce those ten rules. The laws aren’t working to deter the moral decline of the nation.

Moral decline can only be stopped by personal salvation. A restoration of moral character to its citizens is the hope for America. The church is the hope for future generations. Followers of Lord Jesus can lead America back to greatness, but only if they allow their heavenly Father to establish His character within them first.

One facet of this restoration believers should be cautious of is confronting the morally neutral on their own terms. As it has been demonstrated over and over again, those who deliberately attack Christian values come out looking like victims, gaining sympathy for their cause when Christians respond to those attacks in kind. Jesus warned His disciples to not give in to anger, but rather give place to wrath. Vengeance belongs to God. If Christians will forgo the confrontations and display a loving forbearance towards their attackers, who knows what God would do to stop the attacks on their behalf. Believers can trust Him to fight the battle while they give themselves to obeying His commands.

The old saying, “It takes two to tango,” is a good example. Ignoring attacks against the Christian faith might cause them to die on their own, while winning souls one by one can help restore America.