In response to my post The Essential Rules of Liberty, Bruce Gordon (author of Self Evident Truth) wrote a rebuttal. Since it was too long to fit into the comments, I invited him to submit it as a guest post.
So without further ado...
The essay written by Brandon Smith entitled The Essential Rules of Liberty was, in part, well written. I have to say, though, that as a whole his essay really bothered me. The essay bothered me because it was incomplete and a very large portion of it--the central premise of his argument, in fact--was factually incorrect. I'll explain.
Mr. Smith said:
“The desire for freedom is as inborn and natural as our own heartbeat, as our own breath. It is instinct. It cannot be erased from within, only oppressed from without. The tide has always been against tyranny, always, though we may find that hard to believe. If liberty was not ingrained into our very DNA, humanity would have succumbed to bondage and self destructed long ago.”
That just isn’t true. Ever since Adam and Eve committed the original sin and broke God’s perfect creation, men have always “succumbed to bondage and self destruction” as the path of least resistance. Read the Book of Exodus to see a very clear illustration of this indisputable fact. The Israelites were constantly carping at Moses about how this long march to freedom was just too hard and too dangerous. They continually cried about how they were much safer and more secure as slaves in Egypt. This pattern has continued over and over again throughout history. Men have always traded liberty for “security.”
The truth is that, until 1776, no nation in all of human history had ever been founded upon principles of true, God-given individual liberty. It’s also true that those Founding Fathers who fought so hard for liberty were actually in the minority. Most colonists would have been content to remain under the boot of the King! That sad fact makes the birth of America all the more remarkable.
But America was born as a free and independent nation, and the truth is that no nation in the history of the world has ever fought so hard for so long, or has ever sacrificed as much blood and treasure, for the advancement of liberty than has the United States of America. This has been necessary because the natural impulse of men is to trade true liberty for the false promise of “security” offered by tyrants.
So….what makes the United States different? Why did we become a “shining city on a hill” for the advancement of liberty? The answer to this question goes to the heart of what Mr. Smith left out of his essay. America was founded upon the Biblical principles of Christianity by men and women who were devout Christians. The Declaration of Independence stated very clearly that men and nations are subject to God’s Law, with God over men and men over government. The Declaration stated that liberty is a gift from God, not from government, and that God gives liberty to each of us, individually and equally. Government’s ONLY role is to preserve and protect our God-given individual liberty. The key to preserving liberty is found in God and in His saving grace through His Son Jesus Christ, but Mr. Smith never mentioned God in his article.
The Bible says:
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17; KJV).
The Bible also says:
“If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people; If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14; KJV).
Having said all that, I would offer the following as a truer (and shorter) set of guidelines for restoring individual liberty in America:
1. Individually, if we haven’t already done so, we must accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:5-13).
2. We must humble ourselves before God, repent of our sins (both individually and as a nation), pray for forgiveness, and seek to do God’s will.
3. We must pray continually and regularly study God’s Word so that He may guide and direct us as we seek to do His will, follow His commands, advance His Kingdom, and restore liberty in America.
4. We must study America’s founding charters—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights—as well as the other writings of the Founders so as to become more educated about what it takes to limit government and preserve liberty.
5. We must spread our knowledge to our families and friends. We must follow Jesus’ command to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16).
We must be the change we want to see here in America, but it will not happen without God.