We have been considering the importance of self-control, and how it is the key to responsible governance in every larger societal grouping. Slaves to vice individually do not deserve liberty on a larger scale, and whether they deserve it or not, they do not know how to defend it, or how to fight for it with a clean conscience. This is why the forms of libertarianism that have abandoned social conservatism are such a snare and delusion. Here is how Bunyan voiced this kind of snare in The Pilgrim’s Progress: “Then it came burning hot into my mind, whatever he said, and however he flattered, when he got me home to his House, he would sell me for a Slave.”
The trees of liberty can only grow in the soil of personal governance, responsibility, and self-control. But self-control is something that we cannot generate on our own. It is among the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), and the Spirit never operates independently of the gospel. It follows that political liberty cannot be sustained where the gospel does not have significant influence. The fact that our society is now declaring its open hostility to that gospel, and to any who openly embrace it, means that our society has opened up hostilities on the very idea of liberty. And by this I do not mean simply religious liberty—I mean every form of liberty.
Put another way, the reason we are being led back into Egypt, back to the house of bondage, is because for a number of generations now we have allowed Egypt to be led back into us. When the tyrannies of Egypt have sway within us, it will not be long before they have sway over us.
“He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Prov. 25:28). If the idols of Egypt are casting shadows in your heart, it will not be long before you are living in the shadows of the pyramids.