This week, America celebrates 239 years of political independence.
But Freedom is more threatened now than at any time since the General Howe nearly defeated Washington’s army on the shores of Long Island in 1776.
Friday’s ruling by the US Supreme Court is not ultimately about sexual freedom, or marriage freedom. The Court’s decision is a direct threat to religious freedom. It is quite possible that religious freedom in America will be vastly different in the days ahead.
Today, I want to talk about the Christian faith as the foundation of our freedom. My approach will utilize deductive methodology. I will give 2 statements, and examples that explain and support those statements, then I will provide a conclusion.
Statement #1. America’s Freedom and Greatness is built upon a Christian Foundation. I understand that secularists decry this statement. They believe that our greatness as a nation is due to other factors such as Geography, our laws or our democracy. But other nations have all of those same elements.
Some might go so far as to say that religion contributed to our greatness. But again, look at other religious nations. In fact, look at the most religious nations in the world today, where Sharia Law is practiced, and you will not find greatness or freedom. You will only find oppression and poverty.
America’s greatness and supremacy in economics, power and influence is due to its Christian foundation. You see, America embodied the greatest advances in Western thought and culture. And those advances propelled Western nations vastly beyond the rest of the world that was less influenced by Christianity.
To illustrate this, just imagine the scene that took place on the continents of North and South America, and the Islands of the Carribean during the 1500’s-1600’s. Portugese, Spanish, Dutch, German, and British explorers set out to seek the treasure and knowledge of the rest of the world. Everywhere they go, their technology and understanding of the world is hundreds of years ahead of every other culture.
Just 1500 years earlier, at the pinnacle of the Roman Empire, there was parity among nations in technology, medicine and economics. Rome was the world’s superpower, but the entire world experienced the same relative level of scientific advancement. Now, 1500 years later there are two worlds. Something happened that created powerful nations out of the rubble of ancient Rome.
Rodney Stark, a philosopher and scholar at Baylor University explains this in his book, “How Christianity Led to Freedom, Capitalism, and the Success of the West” http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=1809. Stark demonstrates that the progress of the Western nations was built on Capitalism. He writes,
How had the nations that had arisen from the rubble of Rome so greatly surpassed the rest of the world?…. The most convincing answer to those questions attributes Western dominance to the rise of capitalism, which took place only in Europe….Capitalism achieved that miracle through regular reinvestment to increase productivity, either to create greater capacity or improve technology, and by motivating both management and labor through ever-rising payoffs…… But, if one digs deeper, it becomes clear that the truly fundamental basis not only for capitalism, but for the rise of the West, was an extraordinary faith in reason…… from early days, the church fathers taught that reason was the supreme gift from God and the means to progressively increase understanding of Scripture and revelation…. Encouraged by the scholastics and embodied in the great medieval universities founded by the church, faith in the power of reason infused Western culture, stimulating the pursuit of science and the evolution of democratic theory and practice
So, it was the desire to KNOW GOD and the SCRIPTURES that led to Western advances that are the foundation for modern civilization. Examples of this are found in the great universities like Princeton, Harvard and Yale that were started as theological seminaries.
Stark provides further example:
18th-century political theorists as John Locke explicitly rested on egalitarian axioms derived by church scholars… from earliest days, the major theologians taught that faith in reason was intrinsic to faith in God. As … Tertullian instructed in the second century, “Reason is a thing of God, inasmuch as there is nothing which God the Maker of all has not provided, disposed, ordained by reason—nothing which He has not willed should be handled and understood by reason.” Consequently it was assumed that reason held the key to progress in understanding scripture, and that knowledge of God and the secrets of his creation would increase over time…. Augustine went on at length about the “wonderful—one might say stupefying—advances human industry has made.” All were attributed to the “unspeakable boon” that God has conferred upon his creation, a “rational nature. (Stark)
IN SUMMARY: Western advances in economics and personal and political freedom are rooted in Reason
Reason succeeded as the result of a quest to understand God’s World and God’s Word
STATEMENT #2: America’s Freedom and Greatness is Diminishing as We Reject our Faith in God
Secularists decry Christianity as the opponent of freedom. But True freedom is based on a proper understanding of things as they really are. Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl had opportunity to experience what the loss of freedom was all about. After he survived the Nazi concentration camp, he wrote this concerning how distortion of reality contributed to the holocaust:
If we present man with a concept of man which is not true, we may well corrupt him. When we present him as an automation of reflexes, as a mind-machine, as a bundle of instincts, as a pawn of drives and reactions, as a mere product of instincts, heredity, and environment, we feed the despair to which man is, in any case, already prone. I became acquainted with the last stages of corruption in my second concentration camp in Auschwitz. The gas chambers of Auschwitz were the ultimate consequence of the theory that man is nothing but the product of heredity and environment—or, as the Nazis liked to say, of ‘Blood and Soil.’ I am absolutely convinced that the gas chambers of Auschwitz, Treblinka, and Maidanek were ultimately prepared not in some Ministry or other in Berlin, but rather at the desks and in the lecture halls of nihilistic scientists and philosophers. —Viktor E. Frankl, Holocaust survivor and Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, University of Vienna Medical School; from his book, The Doctor and the Soul quoted by The Independent Institute. http://www.independent.org/research/coccs/
According to Frankyl, distorting reality results in the loss of freedom. America has been losing its freedom for a long time. In 1976, theologian and philosopher Francis Schaeffer wrote this:
I believe the majority of the silent majority, young and old, will sustain the loss of liberties without raising their voices as long as their own life-styles are not threatened. And since personal peace and affluence are so often the only values that count with the majority, politicians know that to be elected they must promise these things. Politics has largely become not a matter of ideals – increasingly men and women are not stirred by the values of liberty and truth – but of supplying a constituency with a frosting of personal peace and affluence. They know that voices will not be raised as long as people have these things, or at least an illusion of them. Francis Schaeffer, How Shall We Then Live, 1974
Schaeffer’s insight would prove to be highly accurate. He saw America’s focus on a distorted reality of personal peace and comfort and rightly predicted that the loss of freedom would soon follow. And that is where we are today.
Contrary to the prevailing philosophy of our day, we as Christians know that true freedom is based on the knowledge of God.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. (Psalm 111:10)
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10, ESV)
Without it’s Christian foundation, Freedom becomes Chaos, Chaos become anarchy, and anarchy leads to despotism.
Let’s look at some examples of this.
Freedom to Chaos is exemplified in the popular acceptance of gay marriage. According to the latest Gallop polling, 60% of American’s approve of gay marriage. http://www.gallup.com/poll/183272/record-high-americans-support-sex-marriage.aspx
The astounding part of this survey is NOT that approval went from 27% to 60% in 20 years. It is that 1996 was the first time Gallop ever asked this question! It was unthinkable before then, which begs the question, how does the Supreme Court determine that something is a right when no one seriously considered this prior to the mid 1990’s?
Another example is the Court’s Legal approval of Same-sex Marriage. In his opposing comments, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?
But we do not have to rely on Justice Roberts to clarify this question. This has been settled since the beginning by God.
“You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22, ESV)
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9–10, ESV)
“just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones.” (Jude 7–8, ESV)
Facts that we don’t hear
Prior to Friday’s ruling, Same sex marriage or civil unions (NJ) were legal in 37 states
But only 3 of the 37 were achieved by ballot initiatives.
34 States voted to reserve the institution of marriage as between a man and a woman.
Like abortion, same sex marriage has been created into law by the US Supreme Court
How many same sex households? The 2010 US Census (the most recent one) identified 605,472 same-sex couple households. Of that number, 168,092 reported being married couples Now there were a limited number of States in which same-sex marriage was legal in 2010, so the number of married same-sex couples would likely be higher today. However, the number of same-sex couples likely would not. Or, at the most, it would be slightly higher.
According to the 2010 census, the number of same sex households amounts to less than 1% of all households!!!
Same sex marriage is an imitation
Vigorous attempts are made to make same sex marriage the same. Adoption, artificial insemination, are all vain attempts to change what God ordained.
The real issue is not sexual freedom or preference, but defiance against God.
Take for example Bruce Jenner. Consider the great lengths that he has gone through to achieve his perceived status as a woman – expensive operations, expensive and extended drug therapies, and a whole lot of make-up. But it will never change the biological distinction that made him a man.
People can claim that men can become women, that women can become men, and that same-sex couples are just the same as opposite sex couples. The can go to great lengths to compensate for the things that they consider wrong or inadequate with their created order. It’s like God gave us a Mozart symphony, with all of its intricate movements, themes, instruments, harmonies, rhythms and instruments. But In defiance we REJECT the symphony, and play CHOPSTICKS, bragging that we have created music.
The real motive is not sexual freedom or marital freedom. It is the silencing of Christians
30 years ago I remember concern for the loss of our religious freedom. Would it be a law against Christians?
Now we see how Satan’s plan is unfolding.
Many Christian legal scholars fear that If you do not approve of this “Constitutional right” you will be fired, fined or prosecuted. Businesses like bake shops, photographers and wedding chapels have already faced such prosecution.
Christian colleges and universities are next. Then Christian schools.
Legal scholars anticipate that Government employees will be asked if they accept same-sex marriage. Those that are honest and say that they do not will be fired or refused a job.
Then the persecution will come to citizens and churches. Donald and Evelyn Knapp are both ordained ministers, who run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel. Officials from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho told the couple they were under the city’s non-discrimination statute and must officiate a same-sex wedding. The Knapps face a 180-day jail term and $1,000 fine for each day they decline to celebrate the same-sex wedding. If the Knapps even wait a week before they officiate at the wedding, they could face three and a half years in jail and $7,000 in fines. http://pointofview.net/viewpoints/ministers-sex-marriage/
Al Mohler wrote this:. Assurances to the contrary, the majority in this decision has placed every religious institution in legal jeopardy if that institution intends to uphold its theological convictions limiting marriage to the union of a man and a woman http://news.sbts.edu/2015/06/26/mohler-responds-supreme- courts-same-sex-marriage-decision/\
Justice Anthony Scalia wrote in his dissenting opinion, “Today’s decree says that my Ruler, and the Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast, is a majority of the nine lawyers on the Supreme Court,”….”This practice of constitutional revision by an unelected committee of nine, always accompanied (as it is today) by extravagant praise of liberty, robs the People of the most important liberty they asserted in the Declaration of Independence and won in the Revolution of 1776: the freedom to govern themselves. http://www.businessinsider.com/scalia-gay-marriage-dissent-2015-6#ixzz3eI5anwg0
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote, The majority’s inversion of the original meaning of liberty will likely cause collateral damage to other aspects of our constitutional order that protect liberty.
Conclusion. Spiritual revival must happen or freedom will be lost
Revival may come through persecution. We need not fear. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:12–17, ESV)
The world has been conditioned by the Satanic philosophies. We must overcome the false stereotype of hatred with reason, love and compassion.
We must proclaim hope for those trapped in darkness!
Hold onto Biblical Truth. It will save your soul and your family.
Remember the Kingdom to which you belong. “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Philippians 3:20, ESV) If there was ever a picture to remind us that we are citizens of heaven, before we are citizens of America, it is the picture of the White house lit up in the rainbow symbol of gay rights on the night of the Supreme Court ruling.
Speak Truth to those who have been blinded by Satan’s deception
Pray for Christ’s Return but since we do not know the time or hour……
Prepare for the next generation!
you will give an account before God’s Supreme Court
you will be a blessing to others (good citizenship)
you will be fulfilled in a life that honors God and understands the nature of the world in which we live