Category Archives: Political

Post Election Thoughts

November 8th seems like yesterday. It was a truly glorious day. The election results poured in throughout the day and as the night went on it became more and more obvious that a huge change was sweeping over the nation. The Clinton agenda suddenly had a huge wrench thrown into it. Republicans were celebrating, and Democrats were weeping and I was ecstatic, because finally things were going to change.

Well, November 8th was not yesterday, I am speaking about November 8th, 1994. For the first time in 40 years the Republicans had taken control of the House of Representatives, and pushed back against the heavy handedness of Bill Clinton’s first couple of years in office. Newt Gingrich came up with an idea and a plan, or as we know it the Contract for America and a sense of disgust with the status quo dominated the election cycle and the Republicans picked up 54 House Seats and 9 Senate Seats, and created a change in tone for then President Bill Clinton.

Sadly, Bill Clinton learned a lesson from that early setback, and the GOP did not. The GOP found themselves in a position of authority over the Congress, and rather than put a halt to the corruption and scandal that resides where power sits they adopted it and made it their own. Very quickly they betrayed the people who had put them in these positions of authority and there was no way to tell the difference between them and the people they replaced.

What I remember most about this 1994 election was how excited I was at the prospects of things improving, but like many others I found myself distraught and disgusted with business as usual politics. This repeated itself in the 2000 Presidential Election when the whole nation was brought to its knees in the long Bush v. Gore ordeal. And I will admit, I slept less during those nights than normal, because I was deeply concerned with the outcome. But then it ended, and my man was at the helm, and of course things were going to change…but once again nothing changed.

Psalms 146 gives us a much more Biblical outlook on how we should view these elections:

1 Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
2 While I live I will praise the LORD;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
Nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help.
4 His spirit departs, he returns to his earth;
In that very day his plans perish.
5 Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help,
Whose hope is in the LORD his God,
6 Who made heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that is in them;
Who keeps truth forever,
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed,
Who gives food to the hungry.
The LORD gives freedom to the prisoners.
8 The LORD opens the eyes of the blind;
The LORD raises those who are bowed down;
The LORD loves the righteous.
9 The LORD watches over the strangers;
He relieves the fatherless and widow;
But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
10 The LORD shall reign forever—
Your God, O Zion, to all generations.
Praise the LORD!

Trump, Clinton, The GOP, the Democratic Party are all temporal institutions, and while we should remember our duty to pray for these individuals and leaders that they would rule wisely and rule well in the fear of the Lord, we must never place our trust in these men, or these institutions. It is the Lord who rules and reigns, and His Kingdom is a Kingdom whose increase will know no end.

So yes, rejoice if your candidate was victorious bask in the glory of the victory, but remember their plans perish with them. Go ahead and mourn and lose a little sleep when your guy or your gal loses, but remember this, if your trust is in the plans, policies or person at the head of the ticket rather than in the Lord God who made heaven and earth, you are just going to repeat this cycle again and again. Learn to put your trust in the Lord who reigns forever and ever.

Praise the Lord.

Christian Interventionism

Doctrine of the Lesser MagistratesThere is an interesting story in the news right now out of the State of Kentucky.  The Rowan County Clerk, Kim Davis, who objects to gay marriage for religious reasons, asked the U.S.  Supreme Court on Friday to grant her “asylum for her conscience.”  Since the Supreme Court ruling in the Obergefell case Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses.  Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her, arguing that she must fulfill her duties as an elected official despite her personal Christian conviction. A federal judge ordered Davis to issue the licenses and an appeals court upheld that decision.

County Clerk Davis, however,   has continued to hold firm and will not issue the marriage licenses.  Her attorney, Jonathan D. Christman, with the Christian law firm Liberty Counsel, wrote the court. He compared it to forcing a person who objects to war into the battlefield, or forcing a person who opposes capital punishment to carry out an execution.

“That searing act of personal validation would forever, and irreversibly, echo in her conscience — and, if it happened, there is no absolution or correction that any earthly court can provide to rectify it.”

Now I do not know how this case will turn out.  I have my suspicions and I am not optimistic, but there are a few things I find interesting.

First, there are some who think Clerk Davis should just resign, well, she is not going to do that.  Davis has said she will not resign from her $80,000-a-year job, and vowed that she will never license a same-sex marriage. She has turned couples away for two months, in defiance of a series of court orders.  She can’t be fired because she is an elected official.  The only thing that can be done to remove her is to impeach her.  Well, that is probably not going to happen, because the majority of the legislature in her state agree with her.  Last week the Republican Head of the Senate spoke at a rally in her defense.

Pastor Toby Sumpter prayed that God would give us thousands more men and women with courage and conviction like this.  I have to echo this prayer.  Davis is doing nothing more than putting into practice the Christian Doctrine  of the Lesser Magistrate.  One of the issues that confronts us as we enter into an America of ever increasing tyranny is what can we do? Are unjust or immoral actions by the government simply to be accepted and their lawless commands obeyed?

I know this kind of action troubles some of you, but I would like to recommend a great little book on the subject.  Matthew Trewhella’s “The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates.”

https://lessermagistrate.com/lesser-magistrates-book/

Pastor Trewhella shows how Americans can successfully resist the Federal government’s attempts to trample our Constitution, assault our liberty, and impugn the law of God. The doctrine of the lesser magistrates declares that when the superior or higher civil authority makes an unjust/immoral law or decree, the lesser or lower ranking civil authority has both the right and duty to refuse obedience to that superior authority. If necessary, the lower authority may even actively resist the superior authority. Historically, this doctrine was practiced before the time of Christ and Christianity. It was Christian men, however, who formalized and embedded it into their political institutions throughout Western Civilization.

Sadly most Christians know nothing about proper Christian resistance.  We need to keep County Clerk Davis in our prayers and pray that God would show us mercy by raising up many more like her!  May God have mercy on our nation.

 

What the Bible says about Homosexuality

Go out and start the Homosexual, Adultery, or Murderers Club

Homosexual Lies and Mistruths

We live in an age of lies. Not just homosexual lies. We hear lies from the time we are very small and by the time we are of the age where we should know better we are desensitized to the truth. This should not be so stunning to us. After all, our politicians, both Democrat and Republican have made their careers through lying. It’s ok though, because these lies are something we have agreed to accept. Every 4 years, every 2 years, or every 6 years, depending on the office they are campaigning for, they shell out the same old lies-and when we elect or re-elect them we give tacit agreement to the game.

I can think of countless examples of lies we have grown to embrace, but what makes me most sad is that the people who should stand for the truth, the Church of Jesus Christ, have embraced their own set of lies.

Our Foundation: Sola Scriptura

Christians are supposed to be a people of the Book. One of the cries of the Protestant Reformation was “Sola Scriptura.” By this it was meant by Scripture alone can we arrive at truth. After all it is God’s Word, as found in the Bible that we can know truth. Jesus prayed in His high priestly prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.”

Theological debate and argument are fairly common place amongst Christians. There are arguments about all kinds of things. However, there are certain areas and topics where the Bible has spoken as clear as can possibly be. It is true that you may have disagreement amongst people as to whether or not Jesus rose from the dead, but the argument is not truly a Biblical argument, because the Bible clearly says that Jesus rose from the dead. One of these people is arguing from a non-Biblical viewpoint, and those who claim to hold the Bible as a standard should easily know with whom to side.

Homosexuality SinThe above argument is of course very simple, but we see similar things all the time. I use for example the idea of Christian homosexuals. There are some who say that there is no contradiction between the two. I do not doubt their sincerity, however, I can assure you they did not reach their conclusion from the Word of God. The Word of God, clearly and without any equivocation states the Biblical position in 1 Corinthians 6, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.”

Why do I single out homosexuality of all the sins listed in the above text? Well, last I checked, there were no Christian fornication advocacy groups. There were no groups going around claiming that drunkenness was their special gift from God. There are no churches that minister specifically to the extortioner. Now, I may be wrong. With the growing perversions and delusions of many American Christians there actually may be a Christian Adultery Club, but I think any Biblically minded person will realize that Christians do not condone or advocate adultery.

Such Were Some of You

Please note, I am not saying that anyone who has committed any of these sins is lost. What I am saying is if a person continues to identify himself, or herself by their sin they have a problem. “Such WERE some of you, but you were washed you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of God.”

David was a man after God’s own heart and yes he committed adultery and murder. But David confessed his sin, and repented. He did not embrace his sin and call it his gift from God. He did not go out and start the Covenant Adultery and Murderers Club. And when Nathan the prophet told him that He was the man, David did not respond with, “don’t judge me buddy.”

The Scripture is clear, all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. And Christ Jesus died as a propitiation for our sin. One of the things we must continue to do, however, is to confess our sins. We are promised that He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we embrace our sins instead of the cross then it is apparent who we are.

What We Need

We need to stop lying to ourselves and embrace the truth of God’s Word. Abortion is a national sin, the nation is being judged for it. Homosexuality and homosexual acceptance are national evils. The fact that there are so few willing to speak the truth of God’s word about the issue is evidence of God’s continued judgment upon us.

Christians need to repent of their idolatry of reputation and conformity and let their mind be transformed by the washing of the Word of the Lord. Until this happens we will continue to walk in darkness. May the truth of the Word of God give us strength and the boldness to declare it to a world that loves the lie more than the truth.

Star of David

The Question of Israel

“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3 NKJV

The above verse or variants of this verse are often quoted by well meaning Christians as reasons that we must support Israel. By Israel they are usually speaking of the country in the middle east that was established in 1948. According to this way of thinking, nations rise and fall based on the way they treat this little country. If you dare speak out against this position you are accused of opposing God’s “chosen people.”Star of David

It is my contention that this is not at all what the above passage is about. Modern day Israel, it is assumed, is fulfillment of the prophecies of the Old Testament. It is my belief that this confidence is misplaced.

First let’s look at it from just basic human understanding, and then we will go to the Bible. Modern Israel is not in anyway, a godly nation. The vast majority of Jews are atheists, and secularists. The laws of Israel are perhaps the most liberal in the entire region. Yes it may be called the holy land, but in truth the land is distinctively un-holy.

Now let’s look at some Biblical evidence. First off, we have to answer the question what is Israel and how is it used in the Bible? The first appearance of the word Israel occurs in Genesis 32:28. Jacob, the son of Isaac, was returning to his homeland after a long period away. He had left his home because he was in fear for his life at the hand of his brother Esau. Jacob had deceived his father and received the blessing that Isaac thought he was giving to Esau, and Jacob had earlier purchased Esau’s birthright for a bowl of beans. In doing these things Jacob was living up to his name. He was Jacob, a supplanter or a deceiver.

Jacob was convinced that Esau was going to kill him. On his return journey he hears a rumor that Esau is coming, and he is sure that Esau wants to kill him. At night when Jacob is sleeping he is attacked by a ferocious stranger who attacks him and does battle with him. It is likely that Jacob thought it was Esau who was attacking him, and he fought for his life. During this combat the man touches Jacob on his hip and cause great pain and dislocates the hip. Jacob then realizes that this is no ordinary man that he is fighting and hangs on to him asking him for a blessing? The Angel who is combating him asks him a question, and that question is “What is your name?”

Unlike today this is not so simple a question. Names carry with them meaning. They are thought to represent the character of the named. Jacobs name, as we have discussed means supplanter or deceiver. Jacob has spent his whole life living up to his name. And now this Angel is asking Him who he is. Of course the angel already knows this, but it is his intention that Jacob must speak his name. When Jacob does answer it is a form of acknowledgement and repentance and the angel then changes his name. Again going back to the names having meaning, this Angel changes the name of Jacob to Israel which means “Prince with God.” So the deceiver, the supplanter has now been changed, he is now a Prince with God. This name was a spiritual name. It represented Jacob’s victory over a life of deception. He was given a new name, thus he was a new creature.

Israel, who was formerly called Jacob then with his sons moved to Egypt because of a famine in the land of promise. Joseph, as we know, had been sold by his brethren into slavery and had been raised to the position of Prime Minister in Egypt. The only person in all Egypt who had more power than Joseph was Pharoah himself.

What I would like to do is see how the Bible views Israel. Israel is mentioned over 2,500 times in the Bible, so I won’t be able to cover every single reference, but I would like to get an overall picture and see if we can draw some sort of conclusion.

Let’s start with how Israel is viewed in the Old Testament

First Israel is identified as God’s son, and specifically His first born.

These families and people are the literal physical descendants of Israel
Exodus 1:1-7 Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them.
Later in the book we see that the entire nation is now referred to as Israel. The Israelites, literally “heirs of Israel,” have now become a nation. And in Exodus 4, the nation is referred to as God’s son and as his first born. Remember the first born is the heir.
Exodus 4:21-23 And the LORD said to Moses, “When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”’”
Now who else in the Bible is referred to specifically as God Son, and who is the heir of all the promises of God.

Second, Israel is identified as a vine.

Psalms 80:8 You have brought a vine out of Egypt;
You have cast out the nations, and planted it.

This passage speaks to the fact that God had brought Israel from Egypt and “planted” her in the promised land. There are numerous other references in the Old Testament where Israel is referred to as a vine, or the language of a vineyard is used in referring to Israel.

Hosea 10 speaks of the vine of Israel which is planted in luxury, but that rather than turning to God because of their blessing they further embrace idolatry.

In Isaiah chapter 5 we read the account of the Vineyard. This vineyard was planted to yield grapes, but instead the vineyard yielded wild grapes. Isaiah then details what will happen to this vineyard. It will be dug up and destroyed. In verse 7 Isaiah
identifies the vineyard as Israel.

For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help.

In Ezekiel 15 God speaks regarding the vine that he will make the land desolate.

“Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I set My face against them. Thus I will make the land desolate, because they have persisted in unfaithfulness,’ says the Lord GOD.”

Third, we see Israel identified as “The Descendents of Abraham.”

Isaiah 41:8 “But you, Israel, are My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
The descendants of Abraham My friend.

This title “Descendent of Abraham,” is meant to draw our attention to God’s original dealings with Abraham in Genesis 12.

“I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Fourth, Israel is identified as the Servant of God. We have the above verse from Isaiah 41:8 but we also have Isaiah 42:1-3 and Isaiah 49:3.
Isaiah 42:1-3 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.

Isaiag 49:3 “And He said to me,
‘You are My servant, O Israel,
In whom I will be glorified.’

Well by now I would hope we can see where I am going with this.

In the Old Testament Israel is identified as Gods Son, as a vine, as the seed of Abraham, and as God’s servant. True there are other characteristics that Israel is identified with, but I want to take a moment and discuss a basic hermeneutical principle. Hermeneutics is the Science of Interpretation. When reading the Bible there are a few rules that we should follow when reading to make sure we get the proper meaning of the text. One of the most important rules is that we use the New Testament to Interpret the Old. It is very important that we don’t reverse this. The Old Testament is the Shadow the New Testament is the fulfillment.

Jesus told the two men on the road to Emmaus that “these” (the law and the prophets) “are they that speak of me.” It is very important that we understand when reading the Bible, Old and New Testament alike, that it is about Jesus.

With that in mind, how does the New Testament help us understand these Scripture in regard to Israel?

First let us look at Matthew 2:13-15:
Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”
Not only does God refer to Jesus as his son in the following passage, but he also takes the prophecy in Hosea 11:1 which was spoken of the nation of Israel and applies it to Jesus Christ. Christ becomes the fulfillment of the Hosea prophecy. We begins to see that Christ is the new Israel that fulfills the promises to Israel.
In Matthews Gospel, the author goes into great detail to show that Jesus is actually retracing the steps of ancient Israel, showing that he is the fulfillment of these Israel prophecies.
Israel, after leaving Egypt crossed the Red Sea. 1 Corinthians 10:1-2 calls this their Baptism.

Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,
In Matthew 3, which is right after the account of Jesus Birth and his early life, and his “calling out from Egypt.” We read the account of Jesus Baptism.

After Israel’s baptism at the Red Sea, they then go into the Wilderness for 40 years of wandering and trials. Reading through this account we see that these 40 years are marked by continual murmuring, complaining, and idolatry. After Jesus Baptism in the Jordan he goes into the Wilderness to be tempted of the devil. While there he is tempted three specific times, and in answering each temptation he quotes from the Book of Deuteronomy which is the Book that was given unto Israel while they were in the wilderness.

Israel the nation went to the Mount of God at Sinai where he revealed His Law unto them. Jesus, after his overcoming of the tempter in the wilderness also went to a Mountain. In Matthew 5-7 we read the account of the “Sermon on the Mount.” The sermon on the mount was not an overthrowing of God’s law given on Sinai, but a practical explanation of the law.
We have already seen that Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy regarding Israel being God’s Son. In Matthew 12:15-18 we see Jesus specifically fulfilling the prophecies regarding Israel as God’s servant.

But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. Yet He warned them not to make Him known, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
“Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
And in His name Gentiles will trust.”
Jesus applies the prophecy of the Vine to himself in John 15:1 in a very unique way. Not only does he identify himself as the vine he calls Himself the True vine. The implication is that in contrast to Israel, which became unfaithful and incurred the judgment of God, Jesus remains faithful and thus fulfills Israel’s calling to be the vine of God.

Lastly in Galatians 3 Jesus is identified as the seed of Abraham.
Galatians 3:16-17 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect.
As Israel is identified as God’s son so is Jesus. 2 Peter 1:17
As Israel is identifies as the vine, so is Jesus. John 15:1
As Israel is identified as the seed or descendant of Abraham, so is Jesus.Galatians 3:16

Israel was one man and his heirs became a nation, Israel, so to Jesus, the new Israel, is one man and his heirs are also Israel. According to Galatians 3:26-29 if you belong to Christ then you are Abraham’s seed.

For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

… and Justice For All

As mentioned in the previous post, our Pledge of Allegiance ends with the line, “and liberty and justice for all.”   One of the particularly disturbing aspects of our pledge is that though we learned it in grade school,  most Americans have a warped understanding of liberty and  as we will see today, perhaps even a more warped view of justice.

 

A basic definition of justice is “the act of being just or fair.”   This definition is lacking in that it does not deal with the question of what is just nor of what is fair.     Justice, you see, must be defined in terms of a system of ethics.

 

It should be obvious, but the ethics taught by Jesus and the Bible are very different from the ethics espoused by most moderns.   Since that is true, the justice that the Bible demands must be very different from modern conceptions of justice.   A prime example of this can be seen in the recent debates and discussion over same sex marriage.  It has been claimed over and over by certain individuals that this issue of same sex marriage is an issue of equal justice for all.

Marriage is perhaps the oldest institution known to mankind.   Marriage was established in the 2nd Chapter of Genesis:

22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

God established marriage, and in doing that He also defined marriage.   Marriage is the joining of a man and a woman and the two becoming one flesh.   The idea that two men can marry one another, or two women can marry one another is not an expansion of marriage, but a perversion.    Any society that perverts God’s law must also of necessity pervert God’s justice.

Now I can see and understand how unbelieving pagans would try and make this issue about justice, but what really is disturbing is when professed believers make the same claim.   It becomes apparent that their view of justice has been shaped more by the world than by the Word of God!

True justice, at least according to the Bible, is not possible when God’s law is rejected as the standard for a people.   We live in a society that see’s injustice everywhere.   This is not by accident.   Two thousand years ago an angry mob in Jerusalem had justice standing in their very midst and cried out, “We will not have this man to rule over us.”  We may look aghast at them, but in a very real sense we have done the same thing in our churches and in our nation when we disregard the law of God in exchange it for natural law or so called common sense.   Every law system has a different view of justice.

The justice that is brought about by a society that embraces same sex marriage and the justice that brings about reconciliation with Christ the King are two different justices.   When we say and justice for all we must make sure we identify whose justice we are seeking.

LIBERTY!

The Pledge of Allegiance ends with the words, “with liberty and justice for all.”   Most Americans learned their pledge while they were very young. In a very real sense we can say we were catechized with this American idea and concept of liberty. Is this notion of liberty the same as liberty when spoken of in the Scriptures?

In John  8  Jesus is speaking to the Jews who are under some sort of  illusion that they are free.

 “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free?’ ”Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

I think we learn a few things about freedom in this discourse that are foreign to most Americans.

First, Freedom comes from knowledge of the truth.  These opponents of Christ were wrapped up in traditions and ideas that they were deeply invested in, and they believed very strongly that they were free.   And yet Jesus tells them very plainly that they are in fact in bondage.

The notion that they were a free people is actually rather comical.   Perhaps while they were speaking their Roman occupiers were also listening to their discourse.    Can you imagine the Roman soldiers reaction to the statement,  “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone?”  Further more, it only takes a cursory reading of the Old Testament to realize that their forefathers were a people who tended to move from bondage to bondage, Jesus tells them very plainly that the key to becoming free is to abide in His Word.   To abide in the Word of God is to place our trust in Him.

Secondly, in this passage enslavement and sin seem to be very closely related. A people who are ignorant of the truth of the Word of God are not only enslaved to sn, but they are also essentially open to every other kind of deceit and enslavement.  There are countless examples of this throughout the history of the World.    Nations and people have often been ensnared by charlatans and hucksters who prey upon the ignorance of their victims.

Hosea 4:6 Says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge,”   The knowledge that is being talked about here is clearly the Knowledge of the Word of God.   When people are equipped with God’s Word and the Truth that comes from it, then all chains of bondage necessarily slip away.

Perhaps the worst kind of bondage is the bondage of the mind.   There is nothing more alarming, than a people who believe they are free, but in actuality they are
deeply enslaved.   I believe that this is the bondage that we “free Americans” suffer from the most.   America’s early founders were men who had a deep and abiding knowledge of God’s Word and what it had to say about actual liberty.   I think we have used the language of liberty and actually forgotten what it actually means.  We are now living on the borrowed capital of these actual students of liberty.

The Bible says that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.   We can infer from this that where the Spirit of the Lord is not there is bondage.   I do believe America is still more free than most nations that have risen and fallen, but we are losing freedoms everyday, and we seem oblivious to it.   As we have embraced the God’s of pluralism and the ideas that freedom can come from anywhere outside God’s word, we move further and further away from true freedom.  As a people forget God their first loss is usually liberty.

Perhaps it would also be interesting to see how we deal with the subject of justice.