Posts Tagged ‘liberty’

The Stand: Our Declaration

October 30th, 2014 3 comments

IPA Stand

“The foundations of law and order have collapsed. What can the righteous do?”

Psalm 11:3, NLT

In the face of a growing list of governmental usurpations of authority, resulting in the trampling of our most treasured liberties, we stand together, as shepherds of Christ’s Church, to defend and proclaim the God-given, unalienable truths necessary for freedom to flourish. We join together across historically diverse lines of theological differences to embrace our obligation to speak and act on these truths for the glory of God and the good of all people. In firm conviction of Christ’s Lordship over all the created realm and in full confidence in His promise to bring us life in all its fullness, we speak with unyielding conviction on the following non-negotiable truths:

The Sanctity of Life
We declare the sacredness of human life. As people made in the image and likeness of God, life is precious because God is most precious. We reject our current “culture of death” and call on our leaders, both elected and appointed, to protect life in all of its stages, especially the lives of the most defenseless and vulnerable among us. We commit to working together until the unalienable right to life is restored to all unborn children.

The Dignity of Marriage
We declare our commitment to the dignity of marriage as an institution established by God and given to us as the cornerstone of healthy societies. God defined marriage between one man and one woman. We reject recent attempts by activist judges to re-define this sacred institution and call upon our leaders, both elected and appointed, to honor and uphold this sacred union. We commit to preaching and teaching the historic marital components as revealed in the Scriptures; namely monogamy, exclusivity and permanence. We will work toward the building of healthy marriages and families while encouraging our parishioners to elect leaders who share these values.

The Gift of Religious Liberty
We declare our firm resolve to protect religious liberty and the freedom of conscience from the intrusion of government. Our Founding Fathers referred to religious liberty as our “first freedom” and the free exercise clause of the First amendment to the Constitution forever enshrined this unalienable right. Because we recognize Jesus’ Lordship over all of life, we affirm the rights of citizens to express their faith publically and to conduct their business according to biblical principles. Today we see pastors being told to turn over their sermons to the government. Teenagers are ordered by public school officials to take Jesus out of their graduation speeches. Christian business owners are told to keep their religious beliefs out of the marketplace. We stridently reject these current attempts by our government to privatize our faith or to coerce people, through fines and/or imprisonment, to violate their consciences as the “price” for public engagement. Our founders had a word for this – tyranny. We call upon our leaders, both elected and appointed, to honor the God-given gift of religious liberty and to return to our long standing American tradition of protecting the individual’s right to conscience.

Because we love justice and are committed to the common good, we will not comply with any act of government that seeks to compel us, or the institutions we represent, to violate the clear commandments of God and the moral guidelines He has established for human flourishing. We honor government, as an institution created by God. However, when civil leaders rebel against God and legislate in direct opposition to Divine Law, we affirm our duty to obey God and to disobey tyrannical governments. While we remain committed to “rendering to Caesar” what rightfully belongs to him, we will not render to Caesar that which alone is reserved for God.


1] Make sure your church knows about this event! Encourage them to attend.

2] Share this Declaration with your pastor and ask him to sign on in support. We are compiling a master list. He can message me on facebook: or via email @

Why Freedom is not Doing What You Want

July 2nd, 2014 3 comments

freedomFreedom for most Americans has dissolved into a license to do whatever you want to do. We often try to make it more noble and palatable by adding the rejoinder, “as long as it is between consenting adults” or “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

When it comes to legislation, especially legislation dealing with those thorny “social issues,” we are told to “stop legislating morality.” For a growing number of Americans, freedom means “stay out of my life and don’t try to tell me what to do” [That is, unless you are going to give me free stuff or pay for my abortions].

Of course this modern conception of freedom is light years away from the understanding held by those who formed our great nation. Freedom was understood as the ability to make virtuous choices. Choice, in and of itself, is not virtuous. We  are capable of choosing  a host of hideous and shameful behaviors [e.g. abortion, adultery, and addiction etc.) in the name of personal liberty. It’s what we choose, and not the act of choosing, that matters.

Of course the only way to “not legislate morality” is to give up legislating altogether. Someone’s morality guides the formation of each and every statute. The question we should be asking is what system of morals leads to maximum human flourishing?

Our Founders recognized that is was God who determined the proper bounds of our liberty. Liberty without responsibility is merely a license for licentiousness. The foolish disregard of God’s clear commands was not a demonstration of personal freedom. Rather, it was, and is,  a fast track to becoming  a slave to your own selfish passions. This is why founding father, John Witherspoon said, “Whoever is an avowed enemy to God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country.”

James Madison, the architect of our Constitution, affirmed, “the belief in a God All Powerful, wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the World and the happiness of man…”

Thomas Jefferson, the inspiration behind our Declaration of Independence reminded us that God was the source of our liberties. He wrote, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people, that these liberties are a gift from God? that they are violated but with his wrath?”

John Quincy Adams, our sixth president and an ardent champion of liberty, reminds us of the unbreakable tie between God’s law and human freedom. He writes,

“This principle, that a whole nation has the right to do whatever it pleases, cannot in any sense whatever be admitted as true. The eternal and immutable laws of justice and morality are paramount to all human legislation. The violation of those laws is certainly within the power of a nation, but it is not among the rights of nations.”

For America to be great, Americans must be good. For Americans to be good, we must joyfully submit to God and to His Truth. Even as the whole can be no greater than the sum of its parts, America will only be free when her citizens reject the failed ethic of irresponsible individualism and embrace the responsibilities, both God and others, incumbent upon a free people.

The Priority of Public Virtue

April 26th, 2010 No comments

The leaders we elect in a democratic republic are merely the reflections of the corporate character and culture of the people. We can actually “see” the moral core of our nation by the type of people representing us. When the news is filled with stories of greed, corruption and immorality in the lives of our leaders, there’s good reason to believe the same behaviors are rampant in the citizenry.

Perhaps this is why we should be greatly alarmed over the current state of our nation. The Founding Fathers understood the necessary bond between liberty and virtue and feared for the future of our nation if this indissoluble bond was threatened by widespread perversion among the electorate.

James Madison warned of the threat of immorality and its impact upon the strength and vitality of our Constitution and our nation:

“Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation. No theoretical checks, no form of government, can render us secure. To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea. If there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men; so that we do not depend upon their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.”

Government is not responsible for the character of the people. This responsibility rests squarely on the shoulders of the Church. Only Christ can transform human nature and only the Word of God can provide the guidelines for living a life of virtue and freedom. Let’s commit ourselves anew to both living the gospel and sharing the good news of Jesus wherever we go. The message is simple. There can be no liberty without virtue and nor virtue apart from Jesus!

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