Saturday, September 3, 2022

In Context: Existential Freedom

Thursday night, without much build-up or explanation, President Biden proclaimed, "Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic."

The President first claimed, "They refuse to accept the results of a free election." Senate Republican Leader McConnell on the Senate floor has debunked claims about state election laws.

For several minutes, President Biden decried violence: "this is a nation that rejects violence as a political tool. We do not encourage violence. … We hear — you've heard it — more and more talk about violence as an acceptable political tool in this country. It's not. It could never be an acceptable tool. … There is no place for political violence in America. Period. None. Ever. … We can't allow violence to be normalized in this country."

In his conclusion, he claimed, "The soul of America is defined by the sacred proposition that all are created equal and the image of God."

Why is it, then, that one of the first and few statements President Biden made about federal policies of concern was his claim that "MAGA forces are determined to take this country backwards — backwards to an America where there is no right to choose, no right to privacy, no right to contraception, no right to marry who you love"?

There is violence in America against unborn souls, even after Roe, and instead of recognizing that and repudiating that, President Biden glossed over it as "An America where there is no right to choose" abortion. He dismissed any objections to this violence as mis-focused energy "on divisive culture wars."

Several valid criticisms of this speech have been raised: saying of others what is true of yourself, politicizing the military, doublespeak, etc. Put all that aside for a moment, and even if the Administration were right in all of its claims and denials, there's one dangerous fact that remains unmistakable: the people in power have an existential fear. If they lose, they lose everything.

No matter who is in power, no matter who wins this fall, our grounding needs to be not in the government, the Constitution, one President, one party, an election outcome, a policy outcome or any earthly thing. Our grounding needs to be in God and His Word. If our faith is in Him, then even if we lose everything, we've lost nothing.

Patrick Henry is attributed to saying, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.”

Whether or not that statement passes historical, scholarly muster, nations should be built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the freedom He promises. If you're building on the foundation of Jesus Christ, then whether you're building with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, government, policy, or any other created thing, each one's work will become clear when they Day declares it. (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Father, teach us to rest our hope in You. Teach us to lean on You for the victory. Let all people know Your Word is true and You are faithful.

"whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free." (Ephesians 6:8).

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