As our country continues to consider how to confront racism, it seems there are many responses needed. One may be found in government action. Another is found in our own hearts – and in the work of the Church.
John Winthrop, the first Governor of Massachusetts, thought about liberty in two ways: natural and civil. Civil liberty is vertical and found in the relationship of God and man: it is the freedom to do what is good. Natural liberty is horizontal, it is man in relation to man: it is a liberty to do evil as well as good. Winthrop said that natural liberty sets itself against God’s authority. The Latin phrase he used to elaborate was “omnes sumus licentia deteriores,” or, “too much freedom makes us all worse.” That has become very evident in our day.
Thus, there are both positive and negative liberties. What is the key to keeping our liberties in balance? Alexis de Tocqueville called this “The Great Paradox in America.” While religion has no direct established powers over her citizens, nothing has influenced American morals and ethics more than the Christian religion. Devotion to God and to His laws were once so central to the American mind and heart that love of country was considered an expression of devotion to God. The church is so “essential” that Russel Kirk, one of the fathers of modern conservatism wrote that American society might have completely disintegrated in the middle of the 19th century had it not been held together by the cement of Christianity.
Today, though, instead of care for the church and the greater society, we are faced with Democratic despotism: a hyper-individualism in which people are concerned only about themselves and no longer consider the public good or their responsibility to contribute to it.
How far we have fallen!
The Church is the place to root our nation’s healing. “Healing” will mean loving our neighbors as ourselves, which is something Jesus clearly calls us to:
“Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:37-39)
Legislation to end racism in America is important! But, racism is a heart issue and laws alone won’t do it. Racism is sin and consequently needs a spiritual solution. Consider the spiritual solution found in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will 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.”
God will do his part – will you do yours?
Symbols are loud. Silent, but not unheard. For example, LGBT agenda flags celebrating sexual pride flying over a business or local town hall, communicate that Biblical beliefs are unwelcomed and unaccepted inside those doors. Post-modern sexuality has taken that battle hill in this eternal war for truth.
The confederate flag in similar fashion is a symbol of cultural southern pride to some, and a message to others of being unwelcomed and unaccepted. If the Mason-Dixon line were to have been extended directly due east, it would run near Penns Grove, NJ on the Western part of our state and Barnegat, NJ on the East. Despite racial tensions in south Jersey in the early 20th century and in Newark in the 1960’s, we now live in the most diverse state in the union. I am Jersey Proud!
Today, America is at odds not over symbols but over statues. It is a struggle over history. American Exceptionalism or American Fatalism? Who will win the war for the soul of our nation? If Garden State Equality lessons are used, middle school students may not know if they are a boy or a girl after sitting through Health class, but they know America is an evil oppressive nation after sitting through History class.
NJ is not absent from the conflict. Woodrow Wilson’s name is being removed from Monmouth University’s marquee building, and in Trenton, Governor Murphy has now abandoned the desk of President Wilson in his office.
Let’s remember history, President Woodrow Wilson (D) is the father of progressivism – holding fast to a globalist, elitist, racist view of the world. Margret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was his contemporary and held identical racist ideologies. She founded the largest most powerful abortion provider in the world to systematically target people of color. Will the radical left demand the dismantling of Planned Parenthood? In NJ, our legislature awards them with 20 million dollars per year! Woodrow Wilson most assuredly would be proud.
Presidents and founding fathers who built our nation on the foundation of religion and morality will forever be tainted for their possession of slaves. Should their relative experience of a global widespread historic wrong that predated their existence, sweep away their contributions to the concepts of individualism and religious liberty? If yes, does this same standard of collective condemnation apply to modern progressive Presidents who support the destruction of tens of millions of human lives in the womb through abortion?
I am proud to be an American. Some surveys rank NJ as the least patriotic state in America, but this is not the NJ I know. This independence weekend be intentional about your patriotism. Vote in the primaries by July 7, display an American flag, serve in your church, love your neighbor, pray for your leaders.
Enjoy this Independence Weekend!
Director of Advocacy
What do we say about Charlottesville?
Racism, protests, murder. This is clearly not what God desires for our nation. But it’s definitely what everyone is talking about this week.
Eric Teetsel, president of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, says a person can be a follower of Jesus Christ or a white supremacist – but not both. He offers a biblical perspective connecting the dots from your pro-life beliefs to what should be preached in your church.