I wrote the following on January 5 of this year. I didn’t publish the article at the time and placed it in an unpublished file. When I wrote the article, I sensed something was coming that could give what I wrote a greater clarity. This morning, I was led to review my unpublished file and discovered this piece. I felt a nudge by the Lord to release it today.
As people of faith, we must be able to read the signs of the times. This requires that we look through the lens of the Spirit to discern what is taking place in the world around us. To not see the struggles that accompany these telling signs is to lose a tremendous opportunity to provide hope to the hopeless.
I like to read what men and women in places of authority spoke in times of personal and cultural peril. In my reading, I recently came across a speech delivered by President Roosevelt on January 6, 1941, during a time of emerging global conflict. It was a speech delivered eleven months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Hitler was already on the move in Europe having invaded Poland in September of 1939.
As I read Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech, one excerpt stood out to me:
“In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.”
President Roosevelt went on to describe the four freedoms as freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. I want those freedoms as an inheritance for my family, for all nations, and for all future generations no matter who they are or where they live. The four freedoms expressed by Roosevelt have always been the greatest threat to tyrannical governments and the agenda of the thought farms of higher education where the future oppressed are educated into enslaving conformity.
The message of freedom we carry in Christ offers us the hope of a flourishing future where God’s truth, justice, and righteousness are allowed to have their way while people still have the freedom to exercise their will under civil governance, even when that expression is in opposition to the freedom being offered. This is how a healthy civil government is supposed to function while being influenced positively by the Gospel. This is not some nationalistic demand for freedom sourced only in the outcomes of civil government. It is a freedom that is the desire of God for all people and hopefully, a freedom that is expressed and supported through human forms of government and implemented across all spheres of cultural influence to all people.
When Jesus gave us The Great Commission it did not mean we were to remain separate from the affairs of this world and not bring a positive influence to society and its institutions. A short review of the last 300 years of United States history will reveal the positive changes that came when people of faith became courageous, vocal, and visible expressing themselves in the halls of government where disparity of all forms was challenged. This challenge was empowered by a commission to disciple all people in all nations toward a flourishing future, under the guiding influence of God’s love.
In the days ahead it will be critical for the Church to emerge from the misguided thinking of social disengagement and isolation. A new rank and file are emerging with a Kingdom mandate to help free those who are being held prisoner by the hard shackles of disbelief, appeasement, and assumption. We can never allow any form of enslavement, whether political or religious, to remain unchallenged. This is the essence of loving our neighbor as ourselves.
As followers of Christ, we are already free. We do our best work from that understanding. It helps us remain focused on the Lord and His mission, and not allow frustration to lead our response to the issues of this life. Our freedom is sourced singularly in the person of Jesus Christ. Understanding that truth will direct our steps and never leave us feeling hopeless no matter what transpires in our world.