Posterity — you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.
–John Quincy Adams
Nothing of any real value in this life is free; everything of value comes at a price. Even the gift of God’s grace, which is given freely to those who will believe on Him and His Son, was bought at a price – a great price. Christ paid that price for us, and now God offers the reward to whosoever will believe. And yet, many chose to reject it. Well, the same is true of our individual rights and liberty. They were bought at a price by our founders and then preserved at a price by those who came after them. Now we have freely inherited these gifts, and again we reject them.
So, why is it that we reject the most precious gifts we could possibly be given? I would suggest it is precisely because though given freely, they still come with a cost. If one accepts God’s Grace, then one is obliged to obey and walk in submission to His laws. And, if we accept the gifts of freedom and self-governance, then we have to accept the personal responsibility for ourselves and the duty to others that comes with liberty and self-government. Sadly, the truth is that the majority of us in this society are no better than the people in Herod’s time. Because he fed them, and thus, the people of Tyre and Sidon were dependent on him, when Herod spoke, the people declared “The voice of a god and not a man!” (Acts 12:20-23). And so it is they were willing to risk both their salvation and their freedom for a few scraps of bread.
This leaves me to wonder: if we will so easily refuse such a great gift as eternal salvation, then how can we ever expect to be able to deserve our rights and liberty? If we are not willing to submit to He who made us in return for eternal life, then how can we think we even deserve our freedom? For our freedom does not come from our own hand, or even that of a king, but from God. It is part of the many gifts He gives us when we submit and accept His grace and it comes only when we submit to His law. Liberty does not exist outside of God’s Grace.
Our founders knew and understood this. They said so – boldly. This is why, if we would but bother to actually read what they wrote, we will find our founders constantly beseeching God for His help and guidance; calling for fasting and prayer and giving thanks to God every time He blessed them and their efforts. Until we remember this, and repent for having turned away from Him, God will not bless this nation and we will lose our liberty. God will not bless a rebellious land because He cannot: it is not in His nature because He is just and we are doing wrong. How it is a nation whose forefathers so clearly showed it the way to liberty and self-government could or would so readily forsake their inheritance for some free bread and cheap entertainment is beyond me, but it is apparent that such a nation neither deserves to be nor is capable of being free. If the people will not submit to God, then God will send rulers to lord over them.
“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”
–Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the House