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Certain inalienable rights endowed by our Creator

Updated on August 17, 2014
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We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry

Questions to consider

I have a question for you my friends. How many of you have ever considered your own liberties or rights? Are you thankful for them? Do you feel they’ve been violated? Are you fearful for them?

How do you think you REALLY got your freedoms? Do you believe that our freedom is a human invention apart from God? Do you believe that it was the men bleeding the field red apart from any divine intervention of King Jesus that won your freedom? Or do you believe that your freedoms and liberties were chosen to be given to you by God exclusively; with human beings as His instruments to carry this out; the rights and values underpinning those liberties bought and paid for exclusively by the blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ, upon the cross at Calvary?

Do you think that you allow or disallow your liberties being upheld or infringed upon?

How do you believe that freedoms and justice and lawfulness will be ensured in our nation?

And finally, let me ask you my friends: when you hear questions of government philosophies and legal applications, how do you discern wisdom from error?

Let me start with the first set of questions and continue from there.

How many of you have ever considered your own liberties or rights? Are you thankful for them? Do you feel they’ve been violated? Are you fearful for them?

The godliness of our attitudes on these questions, depends on what way that we consider our own rights and liberties. If thinking of them drives us to praise, worship and thankfulness to God then that is good. He and He alone have given them to us. We’ll get to that further in the blog.

Let me ask you though: when considering rights and liberties, can you remove yourself and your family from your mind and evaluate them in a completely unemotional manner? Do you think of the rights of all people collectively? And do we ever think of how Jesus reacted to His divine rights being infringed upon?

Was Jesus concerned with upholding His liberties?

The Christian and Politics (John MacArthur)

Liberty of Servitude

Jesus emptied Himself in His humanity of His divine abilities, that He possessed and had every right to use. He made Himself literally a servant to those who by all rights were far beneath Him as His own servants.

Philippians 2:5-8

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Jesus didn’t even take up arms against those who sought to torture and kill Him. He allowed Himself to be tortured and crucified, and laid down His own life willingly. He even commanded Peter to not fight those that came to arrest Him unjustly in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Does this sound like a man obsessed with His own rights? Did He desire to kill all of the infidels and send them to hell, to avoid the persecution of His closest friends and servants? It was Jesus’ right to do that, and so much more!

He didn’t do that though.

2 Corinthians 8:9

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”

Matthew 8:19-20

“And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”’

Jesus had the right to live in the most lavish and palatial of dwellings. Instead He chose to be born into poverty, in the most humble of settings. Christ became poor and even essentially homeless as He traveled with the disciples during His earthly ministry.

His concern wasn’t taxes. He said ‘give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and give to God what is God’s’.

He wasn’t concerned with minimum wage. He was concerned with the kingdom of God first and foremost; goodness; justice; and the glory of God!

Mark 10:41-45 (see also John 13:1-17)

“And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”’

I find it so difficult in my sinfulness to always exhibit that servant’s heart. I desire to always be serving my fellow man and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. However, sometimes I find myself concerned with whether or not somebody is doing me wrong. Sometimes I preoccupy my own mind with what I think I “deserve” to have.

Do I really deserve any better than Jesus, the only sinless man to ever walk the earth? Do you?

Are we entitled to anything?

Consider also Paul, who had been a very privileged Jew from a remarkable pedigree: both in terms of genealogy and in terms of his education by Gamaliel. He was arrested; jailed and was going to be flogged without being condemned by trial. As a Roman citizen this was completely against his rights. Paul did not once assert his rights until it benefitted his mission to spread the Gospel (see Acts 21:27-22:29).

Paul was obedient to be a disciple that brought the Gospel to all nations and made disciples of all nations. He suffered imprisonment; multiple floggings; and even a failed stoning attempt on him. Would we subject ourselves to this for the Gospel? Heck, would we even subject ourselves to even the most remote amount of persecution?

In our nation we have people who are more worried about our First Amendment right of free speech; free assembly; freedom of religion; freedom of the press; and the right to redress grievances with our government than they are worried about the reasons that they have those freedoms in the first place!

Jesus said (Luke 12:48b) “…Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”

With this great freedom of ours comes a great responsibility to share the Gospel; glorify our God; and seek first His kingdom! That is why God gave us these liberties in this nation of ours. It was not so that we might have a more comfortable or stress-free life. It was not for the sole reason that our children might recite His name briefly in a pledge of allegiance to our nation. I don’t have a problem with pledging to obey authorities, since that is biblical. However, have we taken a pledge like that to our Lord? Do we daily pledge like this and have our children join us in pledging our allegiance to God?

Do we routinely use our freedom to lovingly and gently share the Gospel with our co-workers; customers; neighbors; unbelieving family; friends; or even strangers?

If we aren’t consistently willing to do that, then why should we be even remotely concerned about that right? If we aren’t willing to exercise that liberty for the purpose that God gave it to us for, do we even deserve it? Do we think that God wants us to continue to have it, if we consistently refuse to obey His Great Commission?

Signing of the Constitution

Source

The Second Amendment vs. Martyrdom

How about our Second Amendment? For those of you who are unfamiliar, that’s the right to bear arms.

All arguments about self-preservation and defense of our families against attackers aside – I have heard and read of NUMEROUS Christians who have talked about taking up arms against our government. I’ve even heard and read from some who talk about arming hidden “security” personnel within Christian churches for fear of attacks by unbelievers!

This is tantamount to saying we’re more okay with murdering and sending an unbeliever straight to hell than we are with dealing with the discomfort or possible social awkwardness of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. This should not be!

Jesus commends the Ephesians church in Revelation 2 for bearing up and being willing to endure persecution, but not tolerating evil behavior and false doctrine. Sadly in many churches today the exact opposite happens.

Jesus tells us that we WILL be persecuted; that we are BLESSED when we are persecuted; and to ENDURE persecution!

How does that fit in with the narrative of shooting an unbeliever who would attack us? How do we honor the “king” in our nation and obey the ruling authorities when we take up arms to try and kill them? How will we show the grace; love; peace; kindness; gentleness; perseverance and self-control of Christ to others if we’re shooting at them? How will we relate to Christ’s sufferings if we refuse to go through any ourselves?

I’m not saying to try and make suffering or persecution happen. But why do we whine about it so much? Why is escaping the purpose of our salvation so at the forefront of our minds? And why is fulfilling that purpose often not even on our mental radar?

See the following Scriptures for just a sampling of what Scripture commands and teaches us in the way of persecution (Matthew 5:10-12; Matthew 5:39; Matthew 5:44; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 3:14-17; 1 Peter 4:12-14; Luke 6:22; 2 Corinthians 4:8-12; Romans 8:35-37; Romans 12:17-21; John 15:18-25; Romans 5:3; Mark 13:9; 2 Timothy 2:9-12).

Justin Martyr

The Prefect Rusticus says: If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy. Justin replies: That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence...
The Prefect Rusticus says: If you do not obey, you will be tortured without mercy. Justin replies: That is our desire, to be tortured for Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and so to be saved, for that will give us salvation and firm confidence... | Source

Why Christians Should Be Involved In Politics (Abbreviated Web Version) - Frank Turek

Where does liberty truly come from?

This leads us to the next question:

How do you think you REALLY got your freedoms?

Many of us think that we got our freedoms through a political process. Some think that we have our freedoms because of some great democratic voting process. Others still will insist that our freedoms came solely from military victory after much spilled blood of American soldiers and nowhere else.

None of these assertions could be more false. Sure God used the revolutionary soldiers to bring about the nation that He wanted, for the PURPOSES that He wanted it for. And yes, God’s work has been done in the years past through elections; legislative sessions; and the judiciary. Don’t forget though, that we need none of these for God’s will to happen and none of these can resist Him!

While we should never compromise our faith and disobey God in order to obey our government, we should also consider how God views our disobedience at other times. This is especially true when it comes to taxes and civil laws that do not violate any of God’s commands directly (and this has always applied to those who lived in this nation).

Romans 13:1-7

“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.”

There is no question that some governments fail in their God-ordained task to govern justly and in obedience to Christ. And they will be judged for that accordingly.

However, do our attitudes reflect Scriptural command or our cultural norms? Do we pay our taxes? Do we try to escape from paying them?

How are we doing on giving respect and honor to whom it is owed. According to this verse our current President, as wicked as he is, was appointed by God Himself. And because of that he is owed our respect and honor. He is owed it! How are we doing on that?

For every one of my liberal friends who is snickering at this, how did you do when his predecessor was in office – also appointed by God?

Get the picture?

God tells us that HE gave us our freedoms. He gave us our government. He gave us our many blessings and our wealth. He gave us our opportunities. He gave us our influence in the world. He gave us everything!

We should thank no one if we are not thanking God! We should praise no one openly for any of these things if we are not praising God!

Who died to purchase our freedom; to redeem us; to give us a heart that would be righteous; and to liberate us from bondage to sin and spiritual darkness? Jesus did that, nobody else.

Every good thing that we have flows from God and what Christ did on the cross.

It is the blood of Jesus and none other that is the TRUE reason why we have our freedoms today! Do you think that there would even be any Christians to have thought up our Constitution or to preach liberty and justice in our pulpits? Do you think that there would be abolition from slavery and equality of all mankind if not for Jesus?

I love our nation and our soldiers, but the one to truly thank for all that is good that we have is Jesus. I won’t forget the MAN (Christ) who died who gave those rights to me. And I’ll proudly stand up by His power, next to my brothers and sisters in Christ, and declare Him once again. My prayer brothers and sisters is that we all remember this when we think about our nation and our liberties.

The Book of Revelation (The New International Greek Testament Commentary)

Charles Spurgeon On Christians & Politics

Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative

How do you believe that freedoms and justice and lawfulness will be ensured in our nation?

Here’s another one of the questions we’ll consider:

How do you believe that freedoms and justice and lawfulness will be ensured in our nation?

Some people think that the use of political media forums; the news; protests; and votes are what we need to ensure this. Others think that a host of laws and military might will ensure this. I respectfully say to you my friends that if you think those things, you are in error.

We will never maintain liberty or justice, let alone both, if this nation is run by wicked men and women. We will never have law-abiding citizenry if our citizens are given over to wickedness. We can’t even have lawfulness if the believers in our nation are carnal.

How can we realize this?

It is only through focusing on spreading the kingdom of God and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ until we win the hearts and minds of our countrymen that will accomplish this.

Ungodly people will not, ultimately cannot, and should not be realistically expected to obey all of God’s laws or laws that are based upon His precepts. This just does not consistently happen. Only Bible-believing, Holy Spirit-filled, converted and committed followers of Jesus Christ can do this.

The question then becomes, what are we doing to ensure that we have enough of these in our society to see justice, goodness and lawfulness prevail?

Voting and even winning elections suddenly is not enough. Setting up brilliant legal strategies ultimately will fail. Only the spread of the Gospel can achieve this!

This is the goal that Christ died for. This is the reason we have our freedoms. It is for the spread of the kingdom of God that we have our liberty. Let us remember than and use it accordingly!

And finally, let me ask you my again my friends: when you hear questions about politics, government philosophies, and legal applications, how do you discern wisdom from error?

Many will say ‘look at our Constitution’ or some other document. Some will say that we should look to popular opinion or the media. And still others would suggest we look to the minds of brilliant strategists.

These all have their place, but none offers true wisdom. For that there is only one source: God. His word contains all the wisdom we will ever need. His Holy Spirit shows us how to apply it.

When we consider the justness of a law; a bill; a political movement; or an economic institution are we looking at some document from our forefathers or are we looking at the very words of God? When we consider the morality and wisdom of a legal precedent are we gaining that from God’s word and His Spirit of Truth or do we get our thoughts from the pundits and news anchors?

This is true whether we are speaking of caring for the poor; abortion; immigration policies; war; liberties of our citizens or tax policies. Wisdom in these areas comes from God, not from our political or educational arenas.

The Gospel is to permeate our lives. God’s word is to form our entire world view on all issues. The Holy Spirit is a lamp and a guide for us to walk by.

How are we doing in this?

Do we think our Constitution will save us? Will a great President make everything right?

We already have a Savior! We already have the ability to know what’s right. We can avail ourselves of this.

You consider that my friends and God bless!

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