What a blessing to live in America! Like most amazing gifts given to us by the Lord, it is always possible to take our freedoms and liberties for granted and lose them amidst an often-unseen battle going on around us. As we stop on this 4th of July, we have many reasons to rejoice in the current progress for liberty and freedom for the Nation going on. Recent, important decisions made by the Supreme Court have been very encouraging regarding the upholding of our Constitution and the cause of freedom. This constant battle for freedom has always been going on in every generation and was seen clearly by our Founding Fathers. Consider the following comments by some of the pillars of American liberty and freedom and their personal understanding of the great battle for freedom and liberty that is always underway.
Many Americans have long understood that our freedoms must be vigorously defended in every generation. The moment one generation surrenders to the cultural sirens of slavery the Nation will begin fade away from the foundations of liberty without firing one shot. You see it is the quiet battles, that are ultimately spiritual in nature, that are always fought first. IF those battles are lost, the Nation will move toward slavery, tyranny and totalitarianism. As a result, it should be the goal of every freedom-loving American to speak up,vote and make sure that people are warned when such challenges to freedom arise from our own citizenry and government.John Adams- "You will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve YOUR freedom. I hope you will make a good use of it."
Patrick Henry- "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Thomas Jefferson- "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Thomas Paine- "What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."
Samuel Adams- "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."
Back in 1776, around the time of our Nation's founding, a European historian, Alexander Fraser Tytler, published a work entitled, "The Decline and fall of the Athenian Republic." In his work, Tytler made the following observation:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over a loss of fiscal responsibility, always followed by a dictatorship. The average of the world's great civilizations before they decline has been 200 years. These nations have progressed in this sequence:From bondage to spiritual faith,From spiritual faith to great courage,From courage to liberty,From liberty to abundance,From abundance to selfishness,From selfishness to complacency,From complacency to apathy,From apathy to dependency,From dependency back again to bondage
As we look back on the last 242 years since our Nation was founded, we can begin to see American traveling down this same path of cultural decline. Perhaps the biggest sign of where we are right now is the rapid and rising growth of socialistic thinking among the electorate. The 2016 Presidential election marked the 1st time an avowed socialist, Senator Bernie Sanders, ran for the office. Since that time, we have been seeing a marked "mainstreaming" of socialistic thinking going on in our public square. Socialism is no longer for Europe or places like Venezuela; it is now seen as a viable option for a growing number of Americans. This rapid rise and growth of socialism is particularly strong among our young, especially our Millennial Generation, the largest American generation in history born between 1982 and 1996. In an article published by Bradford Richardson for the Washington Times on November 4, 2017, a poll was taken that revealed the following about what several our Millennials seem to be thinking about socialism.
The majority of millennials would prefer to live in a socialist, communist or fascist nation rather than a capitalistic one, according to a new poll.
In the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation's "Annual Report on U.S. Attitudes Toward Socialism," 58 percent of the up-and-coming generation opted for one of the three systems, compared to 42 percent who said they were in favor of capitalism.The most popular socioeconomic order was socialism, with 44 percent support. Communism and fascism received 7 percent support each.Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, said the report shows millennials are "increasingly turning away from capitalism and toward socialism and even communism as a viable alternative.""This troubling turn highlights widespread historical illiteracy in American society regarding socialism and the systemic failure of our education system to teach students about the genocide, destruction, and misery caused by communism since the Bolshevik Revolution one hundred years ago," Mr. Smith said in a statement.
The results of these polls should be a "wake up call" for every America that loves our Nation, freedoms and way of life. Sadly, our media, schools and culture are creating a "new" Nation before our eyes that has increasingly less and less to do with America as founded and understood in our Constitution. What the polls show us is that America is slowly, but surely losing our ability to understand what happened on the 4th of July and why it matters to every generation. As a new generation of socialistic thinking emerges, American freedoms will begin to die, and many won't even know what happened until it is too late. Americans may still have the 4th of July on the calendar and even shoot off some fireworks, but the real meaning of the holiday will be replaced with a revisionist meaning that has nothing in common with the original one.
Of course, the heart of our Nation's struggles with socialism has been as a result of drifting from the Lord Jesus Christ and the Christian Faith. After all, the rise of socialism reflects the loss of the Christian Faith and the void that is created when the Lord is gone. The rapid growth and control of the government over our lives is a barometer of what a society really wants to rule over them. Europe has already drifted into these socialistic patterns for a generation now and has ended up post-Christian in every case. America cannot be far behind based on what we are seeing now.
The spiritual principle and lesson of the hour is that no human system of government can rule over hearts, forgive sins or save souls. Real freedom and liberty come from the Lord alone. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can give us the deepest freedom we all need, a freedom from the bondage of sin and human government without God. That is the freedom our Lord talked about with the people of His day when He told them in John 8:31-36,
On this 242nd anniversary of our Nation's founding, the Gospel message is still the Good News for any individual and/or society. One simply cannot remove God from any society and remain free. The Founders of this Nation understood that powerful truth from the beginning. When the Lord is our Lord and when our sins are forgiven we are a truly free people. When we know the Lord, we have found the true Government we all are looking for in this life and the world to come. Real freedom is living out the Christian life each day and enjoying the Lord forever. Such truth always leads to praise, worship and thanksgiving of which fireworks is but a small witness this 4th of July. Let's all run to Jesus as our King and celebrate our glorious freedoms in Him alone.To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Jesus replied, "Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."