Shadows of the Pyramids

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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.”Exhort

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.

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Wendell Dávila Helmskatechoashvjillybeantimothy Recent comment authors

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bethyada
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Exactly, we have libertines who wish to force others to approve of them practicing their vices calling themselves libertarians.

ashv
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ashv

Amen. A political system built around the idea of liberty as a fundamental right is at odds with this sort of understanding of its proper place.

Katecho
Member

ashv wrote: A political system built around the idea of liberty as a fundamental right is at odds with this sort of understanding of its proper place. Does ashv intend that we should build a political system around the idea of destruction of liberty? I suppose that is one way to avoid the risk of falling into slavery… simply build slavery into the political system from the start. Why risk letting Egypt take hold of a people by stages when you can have Egypt built-in as a design feature? I think what ashv is missing is that no one here… Read more »

ashv
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ashv

Liberty is normative.

Do you believe that wealth is normative? Deuteronomy 15:4 suggests that it is.

Katecho
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No, I don’t take Deuteronomy 15:4 to suggest that wealth is normative. Rather it is described there as a blessing of obedience. Notice how this is different from civic liberty, which does not have to be earned or merited, nor does it have to be actively generated by others. It merely has to be respected as one respects the image of God in others. Think of civic liberty as related to civic innocence. Civic innocence is not something that has to be actively generated by man, like wealth, but is something that can be forfeited or taken away, but it… Read more »

timothy
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timothy

Excellent post. My (repeated) objection is on your use of the word “we” .

God: “I came not to unite but to divide”
Wilson: “We shall…”
Timothy: “?”

Wendell Dávila Helms
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Wendell Dávila Helms

Mr. Wilson, I’m definitely bringing up a tangent here, but I wonder how you think the necessity of self-control to liberty relates to our heavily corporate economy. How do you see self-control operating in an economy directed so much by corporations? Is there an inherent tension between the corporate economy and self-control and therefore liberty?