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The War against Freedom

Whatís really going on in the world? And what is this "War on Terror" really about. When you get to the basics, what people call "terrorism" is actually a war against the spread of Freedom.

The war is being waged by the enemies of freedom. Their motive? They are mortally afraid. What are they afraid of? Well, freedom of course. They think we are the problem, and thatís why they struck the World Trade Center. They want us to stop the invasion of what they call western values into their world. But we canít stop it. We arenít the cause of it, merely the harbinger.

We are no more the cause of freedom than the first robin on your lawn is the cause of spring. We arenít the cause of Freedom. God is. And their own people are beginning to demand freedom and the enemies of freedom are deathly afraid.

The criminals who are behind all the death and destruction in the name of Allah are afraid of liberty in the same way and for the same reason that the Jewish Establishment feared Jesus. Here was a man who could step up to a man born blind and make him see. A man who could heal a withered arm. Could heal a woman of a flow of blood that no one else could stop. Could even bring back to life a man who had lain dead for four days. A gentle man, soft spoken, harmless. And the Jerusalem establishment wanted to kill him. Why? (John 11:47-48)

The answer is very clear. He posed a clear and present danger to the political establishment. They feared he would lead a revolution, the Romans would put it down, and they would be out of power at best, perhaps dead.

And then there is one of the most famous of all the sayings of Jesus: "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) Evil men have fought this idea from time immemorial. Tyrants have feared it. And so, they have gone to war to put an end to freedom. And one more time, we have gone to war to protect it.

It seems to be the destiny of the American people to fight for freedom. Our country was born in a fight for freedom. Again and again since our birth as a nation, we have gone to war to save and restore freedom to oppressed peoples. And it may have been the destiny of an American President to stand next to the Berlin wall and make the most remembered demand of his presidency, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall." That wall was an affront to freedom that no free man could tolerate.

Now the enemies of freedom may be right that we started this war. But the first troops to hit the beach were not armed with rifles. They were armed with blue jeans and hamburgers. Yes, we could put an end to this war. How? We could put McDonald's out of business. We could stop wearing Leviís, stop making movies and television, take over all TV outletsĖonly one channel owned by the government, we could make women wear burkhas. In other words, we could put an end to freedom.

You see, whatís causing the war is the people in the developing countries gaining access to the commerce of freedom. What the war on terror is all about, what the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq is all about, what the patriot act is all about, is to buy time. To try to prevent some terrible thing happening while we wait for freedom to do its work, until the people who are oppressed and downtrodden rise up and demand their freedom.

Do you know where this idea of freedom originated? We didnít just dream it up one day, you know. Thomas Jefferson penned these words in the declaration of independence:

We do hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.

Our rights are our freedoms, and they come from the creator, not from man. When God created man, he also planted a garden. A garden full of trees of every type of fruit imaginable. And he created man and put him in the garden, and he commanded the man thus: " Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Without arguing the literal meaning of the passage, consider the underlying truth. Man was free. He was warned about the one dangerous tree in the garden, but he was still free to eat of it. When God brought Israel out of Egypt and into the promised land at long last, he did something very strange. He put no one in charge. There was no king. There was an administration of sorts comprised of the elders and priests, but there was no one figure in charge of them. God was their king.

They kept losing their freedom because they werenít willing to pay the cost of it in moral behavior, faithfulness to God alone. And finally, they laid their freedom down and asked for a king, and set the cause of freedom back by thousands of years.

It seems that freedom is frightening, not only to tyrants, but to the people as well. It has taken us a long time to realize that the cost of tyranny is greater than the cost of freedom, and we are still apt to forget unless someone reminds us.

Jesus was a great advocate of freedom, and not only in his "Ye shall know the truth" statement. Right at the beginning of his ministry he said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:16-19)

The acceptable year of the lord is that year when all debts were forgiven and all captives set free. Jesus was here to announce liberty. On yet another occasion, the mother of James and John asked Jesus to place her two sons in positions of power in the Kingdom, (Matthew 20:20-28)

It was a raw power play, but what follows is the Magna Carta of the church:

"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant."

Jesus did not leave much in the way of instructions in church government. In fact, this seems to be the whole thing. The one thing they were not permitted to do was set up a prince who would lord it over his brethren. The church was to be free of the Gentile form of top down rule. In a word, the church was to be free.

And anyone who knows much about the Bible knows that freedom is the theme of the Bible from Genesis, when Adam was free in the Garden, to Abraham, who went to war to liberate the citizens of Sodom, to the exodus from Egypt, to the liberation of the promised land, to the time of the judges, to the teachings of Jesus, and finally to the teachings of the Apostle Paul. (Romans 8:18-21)(2 Corinthians 3:17)

And to the teachings of James. (James 1:23-25)(James 2:10-12)

And even Peter. (1 Peter 2:13-17)

But the war on terror will go on, although we need to stop calling it that. It implies that we declared a war on something. In fact, the enemies of freedom declared war on us and on free men everywhere. The war is a war against freedom. The battle we fight is the battle against the enemies of freedom and the God given rights of man. It is a battle worth fighting and even dying for.

Once again history has given the free nations of the world the responsibility to fight for the freedom of the rest of the world. But we cannot win this war. Not in the conventional sense. We canít conquer the territory. There is too much of it. We canít kill all of the enemy. There are too many of them. We fight a delaying action. If the war is to be won, freedom will win it.

And in the end, if men will not fight for their freedoms, they will lose them. But not forever. Just as God came down into Egypt to liberate a people oppressed. So he will come again to liberate a world oppressed.

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. {12} His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. {13} And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. {14} And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. {15} And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. {16} And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. (Revelation 19:11-16)

I wish that our people might remember the vision of the fathers of our country. And the kind of spirit that caused Samuel Francis Smith to write these lyrics.

My country tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrim's pride!
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring!

My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free,
Thy name I love.
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture fills
Like that above.

Let music swell the breeze,
And ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song.
Let mortal tongues awake;
Let all that breathe partake;
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.

Our father's God to, Thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King!

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