No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: Independence Day

They’ll never take…OUR FREEDOM!


I know, I know….another post titled off of some obscure quote in a movie.  Maybe not so much in this case…but what can I say?  I like movies. 

All over the world freedom has been given a definition.  The freedom of press allows the press to write what they want when they want.  The freedom of speech allows us to say what we want when we want.  The freedom of religion ensures us that we can worship whomever we want without persecution.  We have the freedom to travel across these United States without hindrance.  Freedom to work where ever we like, go where ever we want.  One of the greatest expressions of freedom can be found here on the internet. 

Here in America we take advantage of this freedom because it is something we have always had.  Very few have worked to support that freedom.  There are a select few that have had the privilege to sacrifice for that freedom.    American freedom is something that is wanted many, and lamented by many.  It can be seen as a completely awesome right to which every American has, or it can be seen as the complete downfall of a civilization. 

What does the Bible say about freedom?  The Bible does have commentary on freedom.  There are some misconceptions though as to what freedom means in the Bible versus how freedom has been defined in a modern context.  Kevin’s last post gave us a context of how to respond to a government you are unhappy with.  He took a look at 1 Peter 2:13-17.  There is one verse in there that mentions the word freedom. 

16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

 

When you read the words “free men” and “freedom” does your mind begin to think about being free, as we are here in America?  I’ll be honest…mine always has.  But, is that what Peter means?  What are we free of?  What does freedom mean to God? 

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.   

In John 8:34-36 Jesus tell us what we are free from.  We are free from sin.  This, in turn, means that we are free from death.  This freedom comes with faith in the Son.  He has set us free.  This is indicated in verse 36.  Paul reasserts what Jesus had said in Romans 6:22 when he says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” 

This is not some simple point that the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins has set us free.  This point is extremely deep and has a very important meaning when put into the context of 1 Peter 2:16.  John 8:34-36 and 1 Peter 2:16 answer the question that I posed above:  What does freedom mean to God?

Let me introduce a concept here that some of you might have never heard of…Christian freedom.  In the second paragraph I touch on worldly freedom.  These are freedom’s that man can give to us, and take away from us on a whim.  Christian freedom can never be taken from us once we have accepted Christ.  The price he paid on the cross was once and for all.  At that moment he set into motion a plan that would create a WORLD of free men and women.  Free from sin and death.  That is our inheritance from Jesus.  Freedom!

1 Peter 2:16 serves as a warning for Christians not to hide behind the freedom that Christ has given us.  When put into a modern context it is easy to see why the warning is so important.  Because we have accepted Christ we cannot continue to do the same things we have always done, namely live in sin.  The acceptance of Christ, doesn’t mean that we can do or act however we want!  Quite the contrary.  We cannot have two masters.  We are either a servant to God, or a servant to sin.  Peter tells us to be servants to God, rather than to sin.  1 Peter 2:16 tells us to live our lives responsibly.  We cannot be using the freedom that was purchased with Christ’s blood as an excuse to carry on as we did before we were saved!  This cannot work. 

Do you use your salvation as an excuse to do bad things?  Have you ever caught yourself saying…”well it’s okay to do this because God will forgive me”.   If you have…1 Peter 2:16 is the direct rebuttal to such a statement.  The next time you find yourself faced with a situation where you are using your freedom to hide behind some of the bad things you have done, think of 1 Peter 2:16.  Remember to be a servant to God.  Remember the price that was paid for your freedom.

For those of you reading this that are on the fence or don’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God…know this.  Your freedoms here on earth can be gone in the blink of an eye.  The eternal freedom offered by God can never be taken away by politicians in Washington, or despots in North Korea, or mad men in Venezuela.  What God offers is eternal.  Not corruptible by men or government.  We have seen that men will lie, God will not.  Men will steal, God will not.  Men will take away from you what is rightfully yours, God will not.

If you are on the fence or have questions as to whether or not God exists, please look at these posts; The Historical Reliability of the Bible, Inerrancy of the Bible, and Why Would the Apostles Die for a Lie.

If you have any questions please feel free to leave an anonymous message.  We will be happy to answer any and all questions.

Remember, God has told us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

Unhappy with the Government?


I’m going to be out of pocket tomorrow, so I’m doing my G90X update a little early this week… Thought I’d take the Holiday as a good opportunity to remind us of a passage that isn’t always very comfortable. 1 Peter 2:13-17:

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. 15 For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. 16 Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. 17 Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

Of course, in America we have no king… but we do have a Congress and a President and a Supreme Court… Regardless of your political leanings there are probably several men or women in Washington that you are not a big fan of… In posting this passage, I’ve got another confession to make… I need to do a much better job of praying for the men and women in our government… I spend a whole lot of time complaining about them (not always out loud, but often in my heart), and only a fraction of that time praying for them… which I think, is probably the best way to honor and submit to them.

When we are dissatisfied with certain things that our government is doing or not doing how should we respond? Robert touched on this in a previous post after he was very upset over the passing of the Health Care bill. I think 1 Peter 2:15 sheds a lot of light on what we can and should do… It’s easy to complain (believe me I know from 1st hand experience), but I think that our first obligation is to stop and pray and silence useless/foolish talk…

What do I mean by that? Here’s a question… What can actually (legally) be done to change the government? Vote them out, right? Of course you can write your elected officials and let them know how you feel about certain issues and how you will vote based on those issues… If you are dissatisfied with what they are doing/not doing – go to it… but the opportunity to actually make a change (by voting) only comes around every couple of years, right?! And there’s no guarantees that someone more worthy will be running against them. Our complaints in the meantime are futile and do more to rile us up and make us discontent and take our focus off what’s more important (i.e. the Kingdom of God, lost souls and hurting people around us)…

If our complaints are largely futile could they then be considered “ignorant talk of foolish men” in light of verse 15 and Ephesians 4:29, which says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”? Not convinced? Check it out in context (Ephesians 4:25-32).

Thanks to the sacrifice of countless men and women throughout America’s history we have the freedom of speech… We have the freedom to complain… But 1 Peter 2:16 reminds us, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.” Do our complaints build others up… do they mark us as servants of God? Am I saying folks on Fox or MSNBC are evil in being political pundants? Not really… However, as Christians we should think about how WE need to respond to our discontentment on a daily basis.

So what can be done DAILY to change the government? The Answer is Prayer.

God has the ability to change hearts and minds… I truly trust in His power and sovereignty… If He has that power and ability, then let us lean on Him to do so… Let’s pray for our government officials that God would give them supernatural wisdom and that they would make God-honoring choices… Let us “cast all our anxiety upon Him because He cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7) – It can make a difference in our nation, in our lives and our attitudes… I certainly want to do the will of God and definitely do not want to be considered by Him to be a fool who’s engaging in “ignorant talk.”

Maybe I should pray more…

Were the founding fathers Christians?


Were these men Christians?

So I was setting out to write something for the 4th.  I thought to myself…. ”Self, why not write a post that talks about the faith of the founding fathers.  It should be pretty easy to do.  Common knowledge is that the founding fathers were religious.  Piece of cake.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  What I discovered is that there are some misconceptions surrounding the faith of our founding fathers.  To be honest, I understand the misconception.  The word “God”, is used in the Declaration of Independence.  The manner in which it is used lends it’s self to this misconception.   There are letters written by the founding fathers calling on a Supreme Being, or God.  But does that mean what we think it means?

Before we go forward it is important to define the word deism.  Deism is a religious and philosophical belief that a supreme being created the universe, and that this can be determined using reason and observation of the natural world alone, without the need for either faith or organized religion.  Deists do not believe in miracles.  They do not believe in the Trinity.  They do not believe that Christ is the Son of God.  They do not believe in atonement or the resurrection.  I look at deism as the intellectual’s view of Christianity – It’s agnosticism in that it believes there is a god, but that god cannot be known. 

Why is this important?  Because, MANY of our founding fathers identified themselves as or communicated in a manner that was deistic. 

Take a look at the following charts I found on THIS WEBSITE

  Communion Confirmation Attendance Vocabulary
Washington No No Yes Mostly Deist
Adams, John not applicable not applicable Yes Both
Jefferson No No Yes Deist
Madison No No Yes Deist
Monroe No No Yes Mostly Deist
Franklin No No Yes Deist
Paine, Thomas No No No Deist
Adams, Samuel not applicable not applicable Yes Orthodox

 

Beliefs: Resurrection, Christ-Divinity, Trinity, Miracles

  Resurrection Christ-Divinity Trinity Miracles
Washington ? ? ? ?
Adams, John Yes Yes No Yes
Jefferson No No No No
Madison ? ? No ?
Monroe ? ? ? ?
Franklin No No No ?
Paine, Thomas No No No No
Adams, Samuel Yes Yes Yes Yes

 

As you review this chart think about the definition of deism.  Of the 8 listed founding fathers (some of the most popular) 6 were deist…not Christian.  3 do not believe in the resurrection or the divinity of Christ.

To avoid diving too far into this rabbit whole let me just say this.  We have to be careful in how we characterize our founding fathers.  In looking at the above charts the statement that “The founding fathers were Christians” might not hold as much water as you think.  Of those mentioned here Samuel Adams was the only one who identified himself as a Christian (as we identify with today).

Now, is it fair to say that America was founded on Christian ideals?  Sure I believe it to be.  The Nation may have been founded on Christian Ideals, but not by Christians… However, this is not reason to despair! The religious underpinnings of our country’s foundation matters very little in comparison to our present circumstances.  Remember this… what makes America great (or not) is you.  What can make America better?  You living in and living out the Word of God.  What can destroy America? A continued moral decline and turning away from the God of the Bible. Will you stand up for THE CAUSE of Christ? Our nation depends on it.

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