Proverbs 14:34 “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (NLT) / Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. (NKJV)
Last weekend, the wife and I attended the Sunday Worship service at the Little Church in the Pine, in Bass Lake, California over the Memorial Day weekend. Pastor Herk Rolff reminded us that God finds regular people and raises them to the task at hand in history. American Founding Father Patrick Henry is known by most people for one phrase: “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Liberty is defined as freedom from restraint, in a general sense, and applicable to the body, or to the will or mind. The body is at liberty, when not confined; the will or mind is at liberty, when not checked or controlled. A man enjoys liberty, when no physical force operates to restrain his actions or volitions. Natural liberty consists in the power of acting as one thinks fit, without any restraint or control, except from the laws of nature. It is a state of exemption from the control of others, and from positive laws and the institutions of social life. This liberty is abridged by the establishment of government. Civil liberty is the liberty of men in a state of society, or natural liberty, so far only abridged and restrained, as is necessary and expedient for the safety and interest of the society, state or nation. A restraint of natural liberty, not necessary or expedient for the public, is tyranny or oppression. Civil liberty is an exemption from the arbitrary will of others, which exemption is secured by established laws, which restrain every man from injuring or controlling another. Hence the restraints of law are essential to civil liberty. Political liberty is sometimes used as synonymous with civil liberty. But it more properly designates the liberty of a nation, the freedom of a nation or state from all unjust abridgment of its rights and independence by another nation. Religious liberty is the free right of adopting and enjoying opinions on religious subjects, and of worshiping the Supreme Being according to the dictates of conscience, without external control – Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.
America was founded on the Christian faith, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the sovereignty of God (who intervenes over the affairs of mankind and leads a nation to its destiny). The depravity of mankind is that we are all sinners, but the Believer is saved by grace through faith. The Bill of Rights (which Patrick Henry was instrumental in establishing) protects individuals centered in God righteousness and begins with our first Right – Freedom of Religion.
Our 1st President of the United States of America, George Washington wrote: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” Similarly, our 2nd President of the United States of America, John Adams wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Let's continue Pastor Herk's Memorial Day message on the next post.
In Christ, Brian