Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Author of Liberty

Galatians 5:1
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled with the yoke of bondage.

Okay so I here I go again talking about God. Why did God grant us freedom? Why did He allow for mistakes? It’s because He allows us to grow individually to, dare I say, progress. He would have us become our greatest selves. That cannot be accomplished by force, it can only be accomplished by choice. Will we make mistakes? Of course. Each one of our lives gives insurmountable evidence of that. History is replete with examples, which have included terrible consequences. But, we can make good choices too.

God plays an active role in providing grace, an enabling power, to those who acknowledge His hand and seek His help. Grace is real. It is also necessary to acknowledge the reality of evil. For me the summation of evil is anything that turns us away from God. I think the term “evil” gets thrown around too much and directed inappropriately. So, understand that I do not write this lightly, I believe that Progressivism is evil. It has turned people away from God and towards man. There are Progressives who invoke the name of God, but do so with their own agenda and ends in mind. Progressivism attempts to take a moral mantel. But, believing that evil can be controlled or altered by another form of evil (turning from God towards man for solutions) is nonsensical in the extreme.

Progressivism has caused damage in our nation for a century. To undo that damage, to truly seek a restoration is going to take a mighty miracle indeed. In order to have God active in the miracle of restoration we are going to have to be on His side. In times of crisis in this country we have sought Him, and He has been there. Great leaders have humbled themselves before Him. We need the Author of Liberty. He blessed us with it, He will sustain those who seek to preserve it. We need leaders who will kneel before the Almighty with a firm reliance on Him, and His direction. We each need to be leaders in our own right.

So great is our need now, it rivals any previous crisis. The attacks have been deep and sustained. Covered in cloaks of our welfare, the reality is that Progressives have laden us with chains of debt, of immorality, of oaths broken.

I’ve thought recently of an incident in the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Missouri Executive Order 44 was issued in October 1838 by Governor Lilburn Boggs. Boggs stated " ... the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace" Artist Andrew Knapp depicted an incident commonly referred to as “Majesty in Chains” The Artist describes the scene:

"Majesty in Chains" takes place in Richmond, Missouri, sometime in November of 1838. The Prophet and his associates had been taken prisoner at Far West, Missouri, and were awaiting trial at Richmond in some rough log houses situated near the courthouse. Six men at a time were chained around the ankles with a long chain that was held to each ankle by a lock. Parley poignantly recounts:"In one of those tedious nights [imprisoned in Richmond in a rough log house] we had lain as if in sleep till the hour of midnight had passed, and our ears and hearts had been pained, while we had listened for hours to the obscene jests, the horrid oaths, the dreadful blasphemies and filthy language of our guards, Colonel Price at their head, as they recounted to each other their deeds of rapine, murder, robbery, etc., which they had committed among the "Mormons" while at Far West and vicinity. They even boasted of defiling by force wives, daughters and virgins, and of shooting or dashing out the brains of men, women and children.

I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards; but had said nothing to Joseph, or any one else, although I lay next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, as the roaring lion, uttering, as near as I can recollect, the following words:

'SILENCE, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and bear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die THIS INSTANT!'

He ceased to speak. He stood erect in terrible majesty. Chained, and without a weapon; calm, unruffled and dignified as an angel, he looked upon the quailing guards, whose weapons were lowered or dropped to the ground; whose knees smote together, and who, shrinking into a corner, or crouching at his feet, begged his pardon, and remained quiet till a change of guards.

I have seen the ministers of justice, clothed in magisterial robes, and criminals arraigned before them, while life was suspended on a breath, in the courts of England; I have witnessed a Congress in solemn session to give laws to nations; I have tried to conceive of kings, of royal courts, of thrones and crowns; and of emperors assembled to decide the fate of kingdoms; but dignity and majesty have I seen but once, as it stood in chains, at midnight, in a dungeon in an obscure village of Missouri."Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, pp. 209-211.

Majesty in chains moments have occurred throughout history, often as terrible evil attempts to overcome goodness. It feels as if we are in such a crossroads now. It is our duty to stand, shackled as we may be. We stand, mocked though we have been and will most certainly continue to be. We stand knowing the God who authored our liberty will sustain those who seek to uphold this marvelous gift. It is His majesty.

Our fathers' 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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