The difference between trusting in Christ and trusting in man for the success of freedom…Submitted by andysavestheday on Mon, 01/14/2013 - 12:10
This subject is near and dear to my heart and is one of, if not my FAVORITE, things to discuss: a melding of politics and religion/spirituality.
I have set out to define my beliefs so that we can have clarity about what exactly it is we disagree with spiritually and how it will directly impact the Liberty movement and the Freedom of all individuals.
What is it that separates the ‘Liberty Christian’ and the ‘Liberty Atheist?’
1. Origin (of Freedom and life)
2. Value (of life and to a small degree Freedom [potential agreement!])
3. Purpose (of life but not of Freedom [agreement!])
4. Destiny (of life and Freedom)
What unites them?
1. The Individual (value of individual and the individual’s rights)
2. (Partial) Purpose of this physical life and of Freedom itself
*And what about everyone else whose beliefs aren’t so easily pigeonholed? For the sake of this discussion I have lumped all non-Christians with the Atheist (if you’re a Muslim or Buddhist or whatever and this upsets you, write a response piece and post it please – I love other viewpoints).
First I want to say that I don’t think there is anything else that could so fiercely unite an Atheist and a Christian except Freedom and Liberty; and I believe that Freedom and Liberty could only exist and thrive in America, and I believe that America could only create an environment of Freedom and Liberty because of its foundation partially molded by Christian beliefs.
That’s a mouthful I could (and will) parse out in a different post but I just wanted to throw it out because I believe that it is critically important to understanding where I come from.
I, the Christian, believe that America, Freedom and Liberty would not be possible, meaningful or lasting without the example of Christ and the Christian faith. I fully believe that and I always will. As the true Christian faith dwindles so also will Freedom and Liberty because the foundation will crumble. To trust in GOD allows for the probable existence of Freedom and Liberty everlasting, while to trust in man guarantees the loss of Freedom and Liberty. Do not misunderstand me: Freedom and Liberty did not originate with man, it originated with GOD. Man alone cannot sustain Freedom and Liberty; man alone can only sustain tyranny.
I think that most Atheists and non-Christians would say something very different about the origin of this country and the Freedom and Liberty that is unique to it, either by talking around the strong influence of Christianity on the formation of this country or pointing out a few prominent non-Christian founders like Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson. The fact that American ideas of Freedom and Liberty were derived from and cemented in the existence of GOD would be passed over. In an argument they may point to something like the Natural Law and find a way to separate it from the goodness and righteousness of GOD’s Law which helped shape the rule of law designed to govern this American Republic.
Whatever the argument may be the point is to say that the Christian and the Atheist disagree upon the Origin of Liberty, Freedom and to some degree America itself.
I, the Christian, believe that all individual humans have an intrinsic value that cannot be altered, disappeared, or denied; this intrinsic value is imprinted upon the individual soul by the imagination, creativity, hope and love of the Almighty Creator GOD. When Genesis mentions that humanity was created in the image of GOD, I believe that this image (not physical but spiritual) is a part of every human individual and gives every human individual a distinct value that is greater than all the gold and silver in the world.
I do not understand how the Atheist can find any kind of value for an individual human life that is not their own; obviously an individual would value his or her own life, because it is their own to protect and enjoy, but I see no reason for an individual to see any kind of value in the life of a stranger. I do not mean to patronize, I’ve heard various explanations involving herd mentality and how a group is more likely to survive and thrive than an individual, but if we are all accidents I personally don’t see any reason for another individual life to have any sort of intrinsic value when viewing it through an Atheistic lens.
Whatever the argument may be the point is to say that the Christian and the Atheist also disagree upon the value of an individual life, or at least upon what gives an individual life value. This will affect the level of value each group will assess to the individual as well as the Freedom and Liberty of said individual.
I, the Christian, believe that all human individuals share a common purpose: to be reborn and forgiven, to submit to and follow the example of Christ, to be remade into exactly what it was GOD intended us to be separate from the corruption of sin, and to share that Truth in this temporary life with others so that they also may find meaningful life eternal. All this defending of Liberty and Freedom we speak of is vastly important, mostly because I believe it allows Christians to perform the former without fear of radical persecution or death (like others face in different countries), but it is the former purpose of knowing, following and exemplifying Christ that should be of utmost importance to the Christian.
Obviously the Atheist will view this as rubbish because the Atheist does not believe in the resurrection of Christ or the existence of his heavenly Father. So what purpose has the Atheist in this life? When separated from the promise of eternal life I see no legitimate purpose to this life –an individual may struggle all his life to secure Freedom for future generations only to have the next generation fall into the chains of a violent and powerful dictator. An individual may work to attain vast amounts of wealth and power but when they die, what power and what wealth can they still claim as their own? Again this is not patronizing, I’m just calling it like I see it – apart from GOD and eternity all things are ultimately meaningless, because they are temporary at best, which leaves an individual with a life of purposelessness.
Whatever the argument may be the point is to say that the Christian and the Atheist also disagree upon the ultimate purpose of an individual life, and though the eternal purpose of a Christian’s life may seem ludicrous to an Atheist, it is in the temporal purpose of defending and preserving Liberty and Freedom for all individuals that the Christian and the Atheist can find total agreement.
Let me restate: both the Liberty Christian and the Liberty Atheist can wholly agree that defending Liberty and Freedom for the individual is vastly important. This is THE point of agreement that we MUST all latch onto and unite around no matter what our personal spiritual beliefs may be.
I, the Christian, believe that all individual humans were created with the same destiny in mind: to bask in the glory of the Almighty GOD and enjoy the love, life, relationship, freedom, mercy, holiness, liberty, righteousness and perfection that only He can offer us for all of eternity. This is only attainable through faith and devotion to Christ for reasons I will gladly explain if you want to know – just ask.
Again the atheist believes that this is all a bunch of hooey. I can respect an individual’s right to believe that way. The Atheist has a vastly different idea of destiny. Best I can tell, each individual Atheist defines their own personal destiny – mostly I hear about living a good life (whatever that means) and ending corruption and belief in superstitions (good luck) and making the world a better place (why?), but I also see such goals as making a lot of money, laying a lot of strangers, and being recognized for success. I am only being a little patronizing and I must admit that many self-proclaimed ‘Christians’ (heavy quotes) live similar vacuous lives of selfish ambition. But I digress…
Whatever the argument may be, the point is to say that the Christian and the Atheist also disagree upon the destiny of an individual life and thus Freedom and Liberty during that individual life. For the Christian, Freedom and Liberty are not dependent upon government or gold or guns – my Freedom and Liberty is solely dependent upon the Almighty GOD who reigns forever and ever (amen) and if I live out the rest of my earthly days in a FEMA camp I will (spiritually) be eternally free and liberated and I will strive to live my physical life in a way that reflects the guarantee of victory that is eternally mine in Christ (amen).
So let us recap the differences:
1. Origin of Freedom and Liberty (from GOD vs. from ??)
2. Value of Freedom and Liberty (applies equally to everyone because it is from GOD vs. applies equally to everyone because…we say so?)
3. Purpose of Freedom and Liberty (to be 100% free and liberated for eternity vs. to be partially free and liberated for a century if you’re lucky)
4. Destiny of Freedom and Liberty (everlasting vs. temporary at best)
And more importantly the similarities:
1. We can agree that the individual is most valuable, despite our different reasons for arriving at that conclusion.
2. We can agree that the value of Freedom and Liberty is indescribable, despite our difference of reasoning as to why it is valuable.
3. We can agree that living a life defending Freedom and Liberty for all individuals is worthwhile.
4. We can agree that we want Freedom and Liberty for ourselves and for future generations.
Please feel free to respond – I would love for someone, particularly an Atheist, to write up something in response and post so readers could see both sides; I am admittedly bias and as a result I cannot adequately defend the Atheist position on most arguments simply because I believe that they are nothing more than fallacious rubbish, which is probably the same feeling most feel about what I wrote. I would never expect an Atheist to write something defending the vital role of Christ and Christianity in the history and future of Freedom and Liberty, so please don’t expect me to give Atheism a fair shake due to my bias and partial ignorance of the belief system of non-belief.
Thanks and let’s keep this (mostly) civil and focused. Forgive me for the few jabs (perceived or actual) littered throughout this piece; the temptation was too great and I am a weak man.