God’s Forgotten Libertarian | Foundation for Economic Education

Machen saw liberty as God’s intention for humanity and would not abide the presumptuous claims of earthly governments to diminish it “for our own good.”

Source: God’s Forgotten Libertarian | Foundation for Economic Education

Hope in the midst of Sorrow

As Christians, we sometimes face trials – moments when God seems distant and trouble or grief clouds our souls. It could be the death of a loved one, a perplexing illness, loss of one’s job. It could even be hostile attack or opposition from humans. At such times, we cry out to God for help, comfort and deliverance. And such are times when our faith in God is both threatened and strengthened.

Consider the chilling description of sorrow in Job 30:16,17. In his anguish, Job even saw God as the one tormenting him (vv. 18-22). Similar sorrow is related by the author of Psalm 43, who sees himself rejected by God and oppressed by the enemy (v.2). His torments lead him to cry out in prayer:

Send forth your light and your truth,

Let them guide me. (v. 3)

Although he was in torment for his disobedience to God, the prophet Jonah also cried from the hope in sorrow
belly of the whale:

The engulfing waters threatened me,

The deep surrounded me (2:5)

In the end, he sees a shimmer of hope by recalling that the same God who has brought the affliction is his Saviour,

When my life was ebbing away,

I remembered you, Lord,

And my prayer rose to you,

to your holy temple  (Jonah 2:7)

Indeed, for the covenant that God has established with His people so binds Him to them that they can always count on his help (Isaiah 41:10). In the midst of emotional storms and physical pain, we have His love guaranteed. So the Christian believer can respond with both Jonah and the psalmist:

Salvation comes from the Lord (Jonah 2:9)

 

Why are you downcast, O my soul?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

For I will yet praise him,

My Saviour and my God. (Psalm 43:5)

Searching for Dignity

My culture is on a perpetual quest for dignity. We want to be regarded, respected and valued. We teach children to respect their elders (and rightly so).Unfortunately, we often tie a person’s dignity to his or her wealth, possessions, or position. Our culture worships wealth and  gives honour to those who have it.

To this end, we pursue wealth and status. We are proud of our connections with the rich and powerful. All these make us valuable and respected by other members of society. Because our significance and value are built on these, a slight change to them scares us. Our greatest fear is to lose the possessions or the position, and we will fight and kill in order to retain these advantages. Political office holders will loot and embezzle funds out of fear of losing society’s esteem. We must amass as much as we can, for without them, we are nothing.

The irony is that what we seek we already possess. Both significance and status are already ours; our sinful state has just  blinded us to it. The fact that I am created in God’s own image already confers value, honour and prestige upon me. I do not need to seek these by acquiring possessions, position or fame. I am already valuable, for I was formed in the likeness of the King of Heaven. I do not need to be wealthy in order to be important; I already am. I do not care to know the President; I am connected to the King who appointed him.

This truth is so liberating. Think about it for a moment. The great, powerful and awesome Creator made us like Himself (of course, God is still infinitely greater than humans). What could be greater than this! Talk about amazing! Among the diverse works of creation, only humans had the incredible privilege of being made in the Creator’s own image. In addition, He gave them oversight over the rest of creation.

What other point of significance can I seek? What can possessions give me? What prestige can fame give me? These all are ephemeral – unreliable at best. Political change and death can wipe away our relationships. Economic instability can diminish our assets. What about our positions? They are transitory. Therefore, to build our significance on these is like erecting a mansion of sand.

God invites us to recover our worth and dignity through a restored  relationship with Him. He calls us to receive and trust in the Saviour He has given to humanity – Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus, we receive even greater honour: we become God’s own children!

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! (1 John 3:1 NIV)

What is a Christian Mind?

A Christian mind is a mind that has been convinced of the truth about God, the world, and *himself.

He is convinced of the truth of salvation through faith in Jesus and has trusted in Him for forgiveness and acceptance before God.

He has submitted himself to the authority of God and resolved to live in obedience to His word. Following from this submission to God’s word, he understands that history is a grand narrative in 3 parts of Creation, Fall, and Redemption.

Creation implies that the entire universe, both material and immaterial, the world of nature and human society, is a product of God. Because God is good, his creation is good – every part of it. We should love it, rejoice in it, and develop it according to His command (Gen. 1:28).

The Fall explains the present sad state of the universe. Though created good, the universe has been corrupted. Things are no longer the way they were meant to be. Everything has been affected – the physical universe and human relationships. The world is not evil, it has just been distorted.

Redemption is the light of hope beamed into this narrative by the Creator himself. For His own glory, He has undertaken to correct this global distortion of things. His plan involves drawing all the nations of the earth to Himself through a Saviour and renewing all creation through the same Person. This is no other than Jesus Christ. Thus, there is hope in the midst of the darkness of our world.

This understanding guides the Christian mind as he seeks to glorify and enjoy God in all he does.

 

*Masculine terms are used in a generic sense and refer to both the male and female genders.

The Church’s Mission

A major reason for the church’s ineffectiveness in the world is her eagerness to follow the world’s agenda.

Our agenda was set by our Lord years ago when He taught us to pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be your name,

Your Kingdom come,

The pursuit of God’s kingdom on earth is her agenda. We become ineffective when we allow our church - people
government or international organizations like the UN to define for us what is pressing for humanity. We have a prophetic role in society and prophets receive their orders from God, not from the state. No matter how much our commission resembles the UN charter, we dare not take it as our manifesto. The Church answers the question of human origin differently, she describes the human situation differently, and she offers an entirely different prescription.

This desire to receive honour from men was rebuked by our Lord ages ago. He said to the Pharisees: “How will you believe who receive honour from men?”. We play to the world’s tune because we seek prestige. We seek to be respected and recognized as educated, progressive, and ‘modern’. To put it bluntly, we dread the world’s disapproval. Alas, our fathers in earlier ages gladly accepted the scorn of the world, for they knew it made them more precious to Christ. Even the very name ‘Christian’ was a term of scorn. They were content to be ground like grain so they could become bread for the Lord. They knew the world’s smile was a snare; the world had murdered her Saviour because He told them the truth. Will they treat His followers differently?

There is an ongoing battle between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman. The Church has proclaimed allegiance to Satan’s enemy, and should we expect him to aid our cause? The church is on a spiritual mission, and her power can come only from God.

Our faith should rest in the power of God to accomplish his purpose and not in the charm of human wisdom.