Summary: Martin Luther King Jr marching in the streets, arm in arm, standing for liberty.
Martin Luther King Jr marching in the streets, arm in arm, standing for liberty.
King Leonidas of Sparta, standing arm in arm with Spartans, and Greeks, standing for liberty
The alliance of nations at Waterloo standing with muskets, against Napoleon, the dictator, for liberty
Socrates standing before the leaders, condemned for speaking the truth, standing up for liberty
Martin Luther, a single lowly priest, standing before the bishops, in defense of Christ alone, for liberty
Spartacus, leading the slave rebellion in ancient Rome, standing before the might of the Roman army, for liberty
Mahatma Gandhi, stoic in protest, unmovable before the vast power of the British empire, standing for liberty.
Nelson Mandela in South Africa, resisting and standing against the evil of apartheid, for liberty
George Washington and his army, sickly, half starved, at the brink of defeat, crossing the Delaware river, last ditch effort, for liberty.
Jesus Christ, standing before the pharisees, declaring the truth boldly, declaring the hypocrisy, breaking the chains of man-made rules, for liberty.
Something within the human heart craves liberty, to be free, to make our own choices. And yet something within us also craves to be mastered, to be controlled, to be taken care of.
“It was for liberty you were created, but not use your liberty as an opportunity to indulge the flesh.”
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not be encumbered once more by a yoke of slavery.”
1 Peter 2:16 “Live in freedom, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.”
Think about that… you were made for liberty. For choice, to freely make choices, whether good or bad. Think back to Adam and Eve in the garden. God made them good. Perfect, righteous and full of love.
Yet he issues this command, eat from any tree in the garden, meaning, live here with me, in joy, in relationship, but, don’t eat from just one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Very interesting. There was no razor wire around this forbidden tree. There were no armed guards. There was liberty to choose all this good, any of hundreds of tree, but an option, given free will, to choose evil.
Free will. Choice. Liberty, and freedom, to choose our own destiny. And yes the freedom to choose evil, and disobedience. They were not forced to choose the right, they were given the option to do either. That’s God given liberty.
Fundamental to your design as humans is to be free. To make your own free choices.
In the world today, the fallen world, like the original garden, the situation is reversed. Now we are surrounded by a forest of sin. It seems like almost every tree leads to evil. We’re constantly tempted by the trees of sin, the tree of pornography, the tree of dope, the tree of selfishness, the tree of lies, the tree of gluttony. Yet we still have the free choice. To choose what tree we will choose. And like in the original garden there was just one tree that led to sin, now there is only one tree that leads to life.
That is the tree of Calvary the tree of the cross of Jesus Christ, where Jesus our savior our God was nailed to the cross, to remove our sins, to give us liberty, and bring us back to paradise.
That’s your personal liberty, the liberty to choose. But what about group liberty, the liberty of a society? Let’s consider two revolutions, the American revolution and the French revolution. They both occurred in a time in history when king and queens ruled over nations. Personal liberty didn’t really exist. Religious liberty didn’t really exist. If the king was catholic, you were catholic, and guys with swords would come take you to jail if you disagreed. If the king was protestant, guys with swords would come take you to jail if you disagreed.
The American revolution took place, a rebellion against the authoritarian reign of great Britain, forcing their American colonies to pay high taxes, without representation. They would send their criminals to the USA, to get rid of them. They passed laws that forced the colonies to let British soldiers stay in the houses of colonial families for free. So they rebelled. They fought the British. And declared the rights of humanity, under God in the declaration of independence. They formed a nation based on laws, and “In God we trust.” That our rights come from God, and government only exists to guarantee those rights that already exist in natural law.
Consider the French revolution, it took place shortly after the American revolution. It was a revolt against the royal monarchy. But it happened in a very different way, it became a secular revolution, a fight against God, to throw God out of society, and to reform society around man being supreme. The government became the God, and in the end it became the revolution of the guillotine, with heads being chopped off left and right, and in the chaos rose Napoleon, a dictator who would attempt to conquer the world.