The Ideology of Freedom (VI)

 Liberation and the law of God go together. God’s announcement to His people that He is the God who delivered them from Egypt, and then His presentation of the Ten Commandments, makes this connection between freedom and Biblical law inescapably clear. The Christian economist who takes God’s word seriously has a responsibility to begin to examine the case-law applications of God’s law to see where economic issues are involved, and what requirements God sets forth for economic relationships.

To abandon faith in the reliability of God’s law in economics is to abandon faith in what the Bible proclaims as the only basis of liberation, namely, liberation under the sovereign power of God, who sustains the universe and calls all men to conform themselves to His ethical standards in every area of life, in time and on earth.[1]

Christians do not know just how important the Bible is. It has been Biblical ideology that has been at the forefront of the West’s progress, and has been the key to freedom historically.

Should we be surprised about this? God designed and made us, and everything He made was “very good” (Gen.1:31). He has provided the Ten Commandments and the rest of His law, as a foundational blue-print for every society’s health and success. When Christian people take their knowledge of the Bible and apply it to themselves, their family, their Church and then to society and government, good things can begin to happen around them.

Concerning the godly man, the Bible says that “his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does he prospers” (Ps.1:2-3).

The great tragedy is that we have not done this consistently throughout the Church for over two hundred years, and so a great rot slowly set into the West. Now, the West is in steep decline, and the only thing that will change the West now for good, is Christian people picking up their Bible, getting some understanding of it and obediently applying it again, everywhere. Yes, this will take time, but it can be done. It must be done, or else the West will inevitably end up in tyranny. We’re nearly there now.

Israel’s society went into decline when Israel turned from God, but God saw to it that prophets came and spoke to the nation, ordering it to repent. Mostly, those prophets were ignored, so God turned up the pressure by sending judgment in some form: drought, invasion, even captivity. Economic pressures are the things that tend to bring a change of heart amongst God’s people, if they have initially been resistant.

Is that where we are now? I don’t know, but I do know that unless we Christians make radical changes, our societies are going to continue to deteriorate.

Jesus said that “the kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened” (Mat.13:33). What did He mean? The Bible elsewhere explains that “leaven” is like teaching, or doctrine (Mat.16:12). Thus God’s will is that the teaching or doctrine of the kingdom of God is to permeate everything in society, and our task as His ambassadors is to see that this happens.

We must not be intimidated about this. We must not say as Moses said, “Lord, choose someone else,” or as Jeremiah, “I’m not old enough.” Of course we have to start with ourselves, and combat the evil that is in our own hearts, lest we be exposed to the charge of hypocrisy when we confront another.

The field of Christianity is the world. The Christian cannot be satisfied so long as any human activity is either opposed to Christianity or out of all connection with Christianity. Christianity must pervade not merely all nations, but also all of human thought. The Christian, therefore, cannot be indifferent to any branch of earnest human endeavour…. The Kingdom must be advanced not merely extensively, but also intensively. The Church must seek to conquer not merely every man for Christ, but also the whole of man….

 What is today a matter of academic speculation begins tomorrow to move armies and pull down empires. . . . The Church has no right to be so absorbed in helping the individual that she forgets the world. . . . [2]

God knows all about freedom. He said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt…so I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians” (Ex.3:7-8). He got them out with signs and wonders under Moses at the Exodus. He is the authority in the universe about freedom, as He is about all things. Thus an ideology of freedom is to be found in the Bible in many places, and Christians must be able to expound that ideology, becoming authoritative in it.

It also means we must be willing to confront violations of freedom, when they appear. They may be spiritual, personal, moral, economic and governmental, to name just a few. We must be quick to spot violations (beginning with ourselves), and readily confront them so that they are removed from society. Wilberforce for one was successful in this, in relation to slavery in England.

That might be new for us, and represent a change of focus, but that’s all right. Christians have been successful at this over the centuries, because we have Biblical knowledge, along with confidence and power: “…the righteous are bold as a lion” (Prov.28:1).

Let’s find our individual places in the kingdom, where the Lord wants us to expound His ideology of freedom. God knows we need it, the Church needs it, society needs it. He will equip us, but we must be willing to get off our tails and get to work. Ready?

History has never been dominated by majorities, but only by dedicated minorities who stand unconditionally on their faith (Rousas Rushdoony).

[1] North, G., “The Sinai Strategy,” 1986, p.23-24.

[2] Gresham Machan, “Christianity and Culture,” 1913, pp.49-52, quoted in “Theonomy,” (G. North), 1991, p.92.

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