Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Liberty--"We Don't Have Them No More"

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The other day I stopped by the Post Office and asked for some Forever Liberty stamps.

The postal clerk replied, and I quote, "We don't have them no more."

Which started me thinking.

Four hundred years ago the conflict between tyranny and liberty blazed brightly. The kings of England were faced with something they had not faced before.

People had begun to read the Bible and were being impacted by the Truth.

The Bible had previously been written in Latin. For a thousand years people had been told what it said, but had not personally read what it said. Then came the Geneva Bible and later the King James version.

As the people read the Bible, they began to discover the eternal principles of civil and religious liberty.

Following the death of King James, Charles I ascended the throne and history tells us he ruled "with the arrogance of a Roman emperor."

He declared marshal law, arbitrarily suspended the rights of the individual, took away the right of Parliament to set tax rates, imprisoned people without cause or trial and consistently violated the Magna Carta---the English charter of liberty.

His armed agents were sent throughout England, demanding outrageous taxes that gutted the estates of the wealthy, and if they refused to cooperate or to pay, they were taken to the dungeons of London where the king's men tortured them until they could discover the true value of their assets.

Charles I violently persecuted all those who disagreed with his unbiblical beliefs. His "truth."

Often in public he would cut off the ears and slit the nostrils of liberty loving preachers and writers who held different views than his---would impose fines they could never repay, and they would remain in a rat infested dungeon the rest of their lives.

However, there was a turning point.

Perhaps it was what happened on January 30, 1657.

Three prisoners were being held in London. A large crowd watched.

The three were a Puritan minister, a Christian writer and Dr. John Bastwick, a physician.

The crime?

They had written and distributed pamphlets disagreeing with the king's religious views.

The men were branded with a searing hot iron. The letters SL were burned into their foreheads marking them for "seditious libel."

They were mutilated---their ears were cut off, their nostrils slit---their faces disfigured. All in public view. Then they were sentenced to life in the dungeon.

Before they were dragged away, Dr. Bastwick's wife approached him. Standing on a stool, she kissed his disfigured face and placed his shredded ears in her handkerchief.

The king and his men demanded that the crowd mock the prisoners as they dragged them off to the dungeons, but instead the crowd began to throw flowers at their feet and to treat them like martyrs.

The people were awakening.

The attack on liberty---the tyranny of the king had sparked the sensibilities of people who had been reading the Bible for themselves.

They could no longer tolerate burnings or mutilations for matter of conscience or religious beliefs.

Their actions based on their biblical beliefs led to changing the world forever. Their actions led to the birth of the "City On A Hill."

While not to the degree I've described, our liberties, none the less, are being eroded and diminished.

At some point, it will occur to us, "We don't have them no more."

At what point will we become awakened to action?

I'm talking more about this on my radio program today. If it is on in your area please listen in at 9 AM and again at 7:30 PM on your local station. Or, click here to listen on your computer or get your free phone app and listen anywhere.

Some years later, the French historian Alexis de Tocqueville recognized and wrote that one of the keys to American liberty was the development of the independent town as opposed to the top down model of Europe.

He wrote, "The township was organized before the county, the county before the state and the state before the union."

America's restoration of liberty and freedom is first and foremost a spiritual one. Secondly, it is a cultural and political one.

And it begins in your town. With you.

Support your church or find one you can support. Share the transforming love and power of Jesus Christ. Grow your faith.

But remember, faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

Get involved in your community. There are a thousand ways---school board, city committees, volunteerism, city council, etc. Get involved politically. Organize others. Share the importance of the work you are asking them to join in doing.

America's "city on a hill" can only be restored one family, one town at a time, from the bottom up.

I have personally been awakened to this call and have pledged myself to do all I can do to help bring light into this present darkness---to help restore liberty and freedom for the glory of God and the liberty of the next generation.

How about you? If so, let me know.

God bless you.

Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Active. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed. Be Free.