True Liberty Versus License

posted Jul 10, 2017, 12:12 PM by Edward Georgen   [ updated Jul 10, 2017, 12:12 PM ]
Having just come out of a season of several patriotic holidays this might be a good time to reflect on and consider the topic of freedom.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....” With these and other words a nation was born. In fact more than a nation – the greatest experiment in liberty of all time.

What a privilege to be an American! But what responsibility goes with that privilege and blessing of God. “We hold these truths....” Do we? We should hold them first in our hearts as most precious, and as our guiding principles. But we should also hold them forth for our fellow citizens, coming generations, and the world.

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it along to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” In order for that to never happen, we need to understand what those truths are.

First of all, those truths are self-evident. That means they are realities that any sane, reasonable person can recognize and acknowledge as true and factual.

What are these truths that we hold to be self-evident? First, that all men are created equal. Notice the use of that word “created.” At the time of the writing of these words in the Declaration of Independence (1776), Darwin's theory of evolution was not in existence. Even if it had been, however, the founding fathers generally would not have bought into it, being highly educated and godly men. I thank god for our nation's founding documents that acknowledge and honor our Creator.

As I said, these self-evident truths acknowledge that “all men are created equal.” Sadly, our founding fathers dropped the ball on this one in allowing the institution of slavery. This was later corrected. However, it is still a wonderful thing that this self-evident truth is officially acknowledged as our Creator's intent.

It is sad that some people speak of and promote racism and social class. Truly, there is only one race – the human race. All the genetic material for all human beings came from two common ancestors, Adam and Eve.

Racism is a matter of ignorance and hate, unworthy of any American holding the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal.” Racism is an affront to God, as every person is made in His image, and it is an affront to the dignity of the individual.

Another truth we hold to be self-evident as Americans is that these men, created equal, are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Inalienable means “unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.” We, as human beings, have a right to live (including the unborn children in the womb), to do so freely, and to pursue happiness responsibly, not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights.

There are some in our nation who think freedom is being able to do whatever they want to do at any time, even if other's rights are denied in the process. They have the attitude that they are entitled to rights that others don't have. Groups like “Black Lives Matter,” by their criminal actions as well as hateful words and their very name, deny the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal” and show themselves to be the true racists. They deny those of a different skin color the human dignity and respect that is due them because of the hate that is in their hearts.

God-given freedom is not the same thing as license. The definition of license is “freedom to behave without restraint” or “to deviate from facts or accepted rules.” This sort of freedom, which is license, often turns into lawlessness, and is not true liberty. True liberty takes into account the welfare of the individual and society. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the sinful nature, but through love serve one another.”

Mark Levin writes, “The individual in the civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous – that is, restrained, ethical, and honorable. He rejects the relativism that blurs the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, and means and ends. In the civil society, the individual has a duty to respect the inalienable rights of others and the values, customs, and traditions, tried and tested over time and passed from one generation to the next, that establish society's cultural identity.”

In the last few years, we've seen a trend toward license and lawlessness in the name of liberty and justice. This is like trying to mix oil and water. It's not going to work. Even some of our government leaders have been guilty of this. They need to be held accountable.

It's high time we took seriously that axiom, “Freedom is not free.” Are you and I willing to pay the price for freedom? What is that price? Someone has said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” I borrow again from the Apostle Paul's writings in Galatians 5:1. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

Let's remember, defend, and live those great words of our nation's Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....”

And in the words of Leviticus 25:10, inscribed on the Liberty Bell, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”