Love and Liberty

The theme we have been developing is that self-government is the ground of all other government. Men and women who cannot govern themselves will in fact be governed by others. The less government they have at home, in the heart, the more government from the outside will necessarily be imposed.Exhort

This liberty we are speaking of—at this individual level—is the liberty to do right, which is not the same thing as the liberty to do as you please. But we must be careful here.

Augustine once said that we could love God, and then do as we please. This makes sense because when we love God first, our desires will be rightly ordered. Delight yourselves in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Ps. 37:4). This is a safe promise for the Lord to make because when you are delighting in the Lord, your desires are not demented. Seek first the kingdom, Jesus says, and a number of other things of a more pedestrian and earthly nature will be added to you (Matt. 6:33). We may obtain these other things, but only as a function of living in such a way that seeks first the kingdom. Love God all out and then do as you please.

So if you are loving God, what you please to pursue will be hard work, laughter and joy with your family, self-discipline, a decidedly uncool life, and the resultant blessings of God. This will bring you into a real collision with tyrants, with those who take away your liberty.

But if you are loving self first then you will also come into conflict with tyrants, and serves you right. If liberty makes you think of nothing but opportunities for dissolute living, then you are the slave masters’ best friend. This is why so many on the libertarian alt-right are nothing but sub-contractors making chains for the statists to use.

If it is not consumed with a love for God and His Word, then it is a political theory that is worse than useless.

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insanitybytes22
Member

“If it is not consumed with a love for God and His Word, then it is a political theory that is worse than useless.” Let’s apply the same thing to marriage, shall we? Those who teach wives submit so falsely, those who ramble on endlessly about the sins of Eve,and those who refuse to take a stand when it comes to child sexual abuse and domestic violence, are worse than useless. Like the leftist who cannot name Islamic terror for what it is, the alt right cannot name misogyny for what it is either. There are also Christians hiding under… Read more »

holmegm
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holmegm

Who are these people, exactly?

AJM
Guest
AJM

It was asked “Who are these people, exactly?”
I have never heard any “ramble on endlessly about the sins of Eve”.
Quite to the contrary- EVERY SBC preacher I have sat under since 1981 has hammered the men and suddenly ended the sermon series to begin another without one time speaking on the woman’s/women’s sin nature and sinfulness.
Did your an DW?

AJM
Guest
AJM

typo correction
Did you mean DW?

JP Stewart
Member

Exactly. Well finally a tiny minority started speaking up about this, and apparently they’re the church’s #1 problem in some people’s eyes.

I visited a church on Father’s Day and heard all about fatherless homes and homes where the father is only there physically. No gratitude to the dads who are faithful. But preach like that on Mother’s Day, and boy oh boy, Katie bar the door!

John
Guest
John

I would honestly challenge you to question the obviously tinted glasses that you see the world with. None of those things happen as mainstream right wing theology. Are there examples of it? Of course, but that’s very different than the leftist beliefs that permeate the very core of their ideology.

JohnM
Guest
JohnM

Blogjack.

insanitybytes22
Member

By blogjack I presume you mean an off topic hijack of the subject matter? Here’s what drives me nuts, marriage, families, those tiny units within the system at large are the basic foundation for freedom, liberty, and the ability to govern ourselves.

That “libertarian alt-right” really has become “nothing but sub-contractors making chains for the statists to use.” A big part of their strategy is an attack on women, marriage, and families, and it is creating a backlash.

fp
Guest
fp

John Adams would agree with you, Doug: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The more I see the moral decline of this once-great nation, the more it seems the Constitution really is inadequate — not because it’s an antiquated document out of step with modern times (which it isn’t), but because people wallowing in sin are becoming increasingly unable to comprehend the simple, plain English precepts put forth in that document. Case in point: the Second Amendment. And the First. And so on. Nature abhors… Read more »

ashv
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ashv

The problem with the US Constitution was that it was a thoroughly modern document. The belief that it was possible to capture the actual structure of governance in a document (and thereby prevent or limit conflict) is an Enlightenment innovation that has now been thoroughly discredited by experience. The American revolutionaries had fine and noble desires, but they ignored the wisdom of their ancestors in what was possible to get, or how to get it.

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote:

The belief that it was possible to capture the actual structure of governance in a document (and thereby prevent or limit conflict) is an Enlightenment innovation that has now been thoroughly discredited by experience.

What is ashv proposing as an alternative? Is ashv suggesting that we be governed without documentation, without structure, and without written laws? That seems like an unwritten recipe for folly and abuse and tyranny.

What does ashv suppose that Deuteronomy is if not a written, documented structure of governance to prevent or limit conflict? It seems to predate the Enlightenment by quite a bit.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I find it hard to believe you’re arguing in good faith when you try to set up a dichotomy between complete lawlessness and the US Constitution.

Katecho
Member

If someone set up a dichotomy, I would suggest it was ashv when he wrote: The belief that it was possible to capture the actual structure of governance in a document (and thereby prevent or limit conflict) is an Enlightenment innovation that has now been thoroughly discredited by experience. What is ashv proposing as an alternative to the dichotomy he set up? Is ashv suggesting that we be governed without documentation, without structure, and without written laws? That seems like an unwritten recipe for folly and abuse and tyranny. What does ashv suppose that Deuteronomy is if not a written,… Read more »

ashv
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ashv

Are you being wilfully obtuse? No, I am not arguing against the concept of written law.

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote: No, I am not arguing against the concept of written law. Great, let’s have some written laws that “capture the structure of governance in a document (and thereby prevent or limit conflict)”. Ashv is all in favor of such written laws now, right? Or does he still claim that such a thing is an Enlightenment innovation that has been thoroughly discredited by experience? Ashv can’t have it both ways (that would be obtuse). If it is valid that the structure of governance can be documented and captured in the form of written law, then what does ashv think… Read more »

ashv
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ashv

I’m not going to waste my time on this further.

John
Guest
John

Just so you know, your argument is perfectly sensible. Ashv isn’t an honest debater in any of these comment sections.

Katecho
Member

Regarding some of his outrageous claims, I’m concerned that ashv is drinking from some other well that isn’t in submission to Scripture.

John
Guest
John

His vehemence in trying to defend clear foolishness certainly makes one wonder.

ashv
Guest
ashv

I’m deeply suspicious of making liberty a moral good. More liberty is certainly desirable, just as more money is — but they produce more opportunities for sin and folly. Just as the Psalmist prayed that he would neither be too rich nor too poor, should we not seek a society where everyone has as much liberty as he needs to live in a way that honours God?

bethyada
Member

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious,…

1 Timothy

Wendell Dávila Helms
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Wendell Dávila Helms

Was Wilson not arguing just 4 days ago that our market choices should be free and untrammeled by any attempted applications of scripture? Didn’t he basically say that the significance of our market choices is all too complicated and unforeseeable to even begin to judge anyway?

Katecho
Member

Could ourdemascam provide a quote?

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

Wilson describes the value of “when market choices are left free and untrammeled” by any attempts to question technology or market choices, deriding such choices (for example, considering zippers as a replacement for buttons) as not “trust[ing] God for the future.” He apparently prefers that as consumers and producers (i.e. as those making “market choices”) we proceed into the future without any real critical thought about our choices.

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

Thank you for the reply, and I look forward to reading more. I’ll say a couple things in the meantime, though. First, I think it’s far from an “of course” that market choices should be limited. There is a huge amount of faith in humanistic progressivism in the church (particularly in reformed circles) that seeks to stifle any questioning of zippers, as C.S. Lewis did, or any of the other millions of such potential questions of our economic lives. An elder in my own church made the standard argument for GMO’s recently, for example, that all breeding is “genetic modification,”… Read more »

John
Guest
John

A clear distinction of market decisions might be as follows:
– A higher savings rate.
– A lower amount of carried debt.
– A lower rate of spending on clearly immoral items like pornography or illegal drugs
– A lower rate of buying superfluously luxurious items like Ferraris, mansions, pleasure yachts, etc.

In the end, there’s a huge difference between government control of the market and individual control of their market decisions.

Katecho
Member

Not much of a quote. Anyway, when Wilson speaks for a free market, unfettered by government economic/moralistic meddling, how is that, in any way, the same as suggesting that Scripture cannot be applied to our market choices?

Does ourdemascam suppose that if the government is restricted to addressing market crimes (fraud, safety, etc) that this somehow means that Scripture’s moral instruction can’t be applied by anyone else? Has God given us no other authority that can speak to the market besides the civil government?

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

If the quote isn’t “much of a quote,” read the whole post. Or I can quote the whole post for you.

As for your red herring of government policy, Wilson was objecting specifically to a C.S. Lewis quote that had nothing to do with government whatsoever, and Wilson even further clarified: “I do not say this because Lewis was a socialist — he was far from it…”

Katecho
Member

I think if ourdemascam actually took each of the three questions in my previous post and answered them, it would clear up much of his objection.

If ourdemascam has provided his most relevant quote of Wilson, then we have established that Wilson never suggested that “market choices should be free and untrammeled by any attempted applications of scripture”. That seems to be a conclusion that ourdemascam supplied independent of what Wilson actually said.

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

Katecho, each of your three questions contains the word “government,” which I take as a strong indication that your questions are really just red herrings. If they’re not red herrings, why don’t you begin by explaining their relevance to understanding the C.S. Lewis quotes, particularly to the zipper quote (which had nothing to do with government)? And if Wilson’s post on the Lewis quotes can have any other reasonable meaning other than what I summarized, tell me what you think that is.

Katecho
Member

ourdemascam wrote: Wilson was objecting specifically to a C.S. Lewis quote that had nothing to do with government whatsoever… This is simply false. The fact that Wilson recognizes that Lewis was not a socialist is because the Lewis quote had to do with government market making (even though Lewis was not a socialist). So ourdemascam is simply wrong. Government is not a red herring at all. As proof, here is the rest of the paragraph from Lewis that Wilson didn’t include in the quote: That such a state of affairs cannot be permanent is easily foreseen. But unfortunately it is… Read more »

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

Still ignoring the zipper quote, even after I said “particularly the zipper quote.” Of course, the early space programs were governmental. Everyone knows that, but the fact that the space program was governmental was only incidental to the principle Wilson considered in Lewis’ second quote (and you’re still completely ignoring the quote that I’ve focused on and asked you to particularly respond to if your questions aren’t red herrings.) And, yes, your red herring to a lesser degree is also Wilson’s red herring, as I pointed out already in my first comment to that post. As for “the obvious governmental… Read more »

Wendell Dávila Helms
Guest
Wendell Dávila Helms

I’ll note, also, that you seem to be grossly distorting even the space program quote. That same paragraph continues: “The main practical task for most of us is not to give the Big Men advice about how to end our fatal economy–we have none to give and they wouldn’t listen–BUT TO CONSIDER HOW WE CAN LIVE WITHIN IT..” (my emphasis) There Lewis precisely lays out your red herring and the real question.

christian
Guest
christian

Pastor Wilson- speaking of freedom from tyrants, a kindred spirit may be Sheriff Richard Mack, head of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, who advocates for lesser magistrates to interpose against unconstitutional federal actions. Heard him interviewed on the radio here:
http://media.wwl.com/a/115666105/think-tank-1210pm-federal-law-enforcement.htm

Their association’s link is here: http://cspoa.org/

christian
Guest
christian

P.S. The Southern Poverty Law Center has targeted them so they probably are doing something right.