In our current confrontation with Radical Islam the battle lines are portrayed as those between a secular society, us and a religious society, them. I reject this portrayal as a betrayal of the faith of our Founders and of those patriotic Americans who still hold fast to Jesus as God and Savior, we too are a religious people.
America was founded as a Christian country. Anyone who denies that has not studied enough History or has been sadly misled. Columbus accentuated his desire to spread the Christian faith to his patrons the King and Queen of Spain and in his log. The first thing the English did upon landing at Jamestown was set up a cross to dedicate their endeavor to Jesus their Savior. Were these early explorers and colonists always true to their faith? Did they always operate under principles derived from God’s Word? Sadly they did not. However, to say that the Christian faith was not an integral part of their motivation and worldview is simply not true.
In the latter part of the twentieth century Progressive leaders pushing a collectivist agenda decided to declare us a pluralistic society. They sought to detach the heavily Bible influenced Constitution into the dustbin of History by substituting what they call a living constitution for the rock-solid one the Framers bequeathed us. Mr. Obama, the quintessential Progressive in his speech to the Muslims of Egypt, Turkey, and many places spices up his apology tours by asserting that America is not a Christian country. This statement of his belief and goal does not make it true.
All of these recent changes aside, most Americans still believe in God and the majority consider themselves Christians. As a Christian, an Historian, and a Political Scientist in response to numerous questions I would like to share my beliefs concerning government, economies, and the rights of man.
As far as a government goes the only Biblically correct one is that God is God and we are His people. He is the King and we are the sheep of His pasture. As concerning an economic system God’s economy knows no lack and is exceedingly abundantly provisioned by the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills.
This being true I do not believe that God mandates any type of human government or economic system as pre-ordained, sanctified, or holy. However, I do believe that humanity as God has created it does require certain governmental and economic conditions to develop and thrive as God intended.
God created us in His own image. He gave us the power to create and to choose. He gave us a mind open to learning and ever eager to improvise. He also gave us what I believe is the most crucial aspect of our make-up: our free will or the power to choose. We can choose to follow Him and do what He desires, or we can choose to follow the leadings not only of our thoughts but of our emotions also. In other words we can dwell within the Kingdom of God wherein He is our King and we are His people or we can choose to live in the Kingdom of man and become the subjects of either our own designs or of whoever manages to gain control of the physical world around us.
If God wanted slaves or robots He could have created slaves or robots.
Instead He created us and gave us a mind to think and a will to choose because He wanted us to decide to love Him and follow Him freely without compulsion. Therefore I believe that since free thought and free choice are the foundation of man’s nature freedom is necessary if man is to live as God designed. This being the case I believe that any governmental or economic system that denies man’s freedom interferes with and attempts to supplant God’s plan, which is the definition of evil.
There are of course limits to freedom as expressed in the Ten Commandments. Beyond this we should be free to choose our own way. Will we follow God or will we follow man. Within these limits and building on the moral framework the Bible provides I believe that a republic based upon the commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness using democratic principles is the governmental structure which most closely matches man’s God-given nature. I also believe that free market capitalism is the economic system which best allows man to develop and live as God intended. Conversely, when man rejects God and seeks to create his own utopia he builds some sort of centrally-planned command economy and the intrusive government needed to impose it upon others.
A free economy and the free government it requires allows the independent choices of many to produce the greatest prosperity for all as everyone seeks to do the best they can because they reap the rewards. In a socialist or any type of hybrid economy between capitalism and socialism bureaucrats make the decisions and stagnation is the inevitable result. As Gary North, a Christian economist expresses it, “The essence of democratic socialism is this re-written version of God’s commandment: ‘Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote.’” Or as Winston Churchill observed, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” And that is not life as God intended.
In the beginning God created the world including man and it was all good.
If we look at History it is an outworking of the initial fall of man. In the beginning God created the world including man and it was all good. Then at the dawn of our existence we choose to go our own way instead of following God. We chose to follow the siren song of “You shall be like God” and ever since we have attempted to create heaven on earth. All we have succeeded in doing is to open the gates of Hell instead. A case in point would be the age-old question, if God is good why is there evil in the world followed by the age-old answer God gave us free choice and we chose evil.
With the help and guidance of those who seek to play god themselves humanity has often been convinced to surrender their freedom for security, to bargain away their God-given nature and assume the subservient nature of slaves.
In America the purveyors of socialism cloak their designs in the language of populism. They loudly proclaim that they seek a fair deal for everyone, except of course for the people they intend to loot. They want fair elections as long as nothing is done to stop fraudulent voting. They want equality enforced by unequal treatment. In other words they seek to build the kingdom of man where they can be king.
We have a mind to think and the capacity to make a free choice. As the day of reckoning draws near all I can recommend is, think and choose. We can choose to follow the path of redistribution, class warfare, and collectivist dependency or we can choose to at least attempt a return to limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom. Don’t be fooled by the progressive media and their obvious bias. To be free is God’s design. For us to be a slave to dependency is man’s.
“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls”
One of America’s most beloved troubadours told us, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls” and one of those secular prophets he was referring to reminded us “You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody, Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
Or as my favorite book says it, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Religion, and Leadership for Southside Virginia Community College.