Americans Losing Their Freedoms

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Americans Losing Their Freedoms

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The infamous Berlin Wall "fell" 20 years ago on Nov. 9, 1989.

Actually the entire "iron curtain" dividing Europe was falling in 1989. Until then, the Soviet-controlled nations enforced severe restrictions on their citizens, preventing most emigration and even travel to the West. The iron curtain served to keep people in and information out.

Many factors contributed to the opening of the borders, but a key element was the result of growing pressure from millions of subjugated people yearning to be free. Through the "curtain" they managed to get glimpses of life in free countries. They were especially inspired by the sweet land of liberty, the United States.

On Nov. 11, the United States and many other nations honor their veterans who fought and died defending freedom. How tragic if we are giving away what they sought to save.

Based on freedom

The United States was founded as a republic based on a constitution designed to protect individual freedom. The preamble of the U.S. Constitution states its purpose as "to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity."

Most founders believed in the combination of individual liberty plus responsible self-governance based on the Bible. For example, James Madison, a primary framer of the U.S. Constitution and fourth president, said: "We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

The authors of the Constitution would be shocked to see how far our country has departed from our founding charter and from the morals taught by the Bible.

Repeating the mistakes of history?

The survival of a democracy depends on a well-informed and moral electorate. Today, the average American neglects the Bible and its teachings. Public school teachers are not allowed to include the biblical perspective, and the subjects of history, civics and economics are often seriously neglected.

Without knowledge of the past, people are doomed to repeat the tragic mistakes. Voters are seduced by promises of short-range benefits, not realizing how their votes will harm future generations. They sacrifice liberties for "pork barrel" promises.

They fail to see that government has nothing to give that it doesn't first take away from taxpayers (or future taxpayers). And once a government program is instituted, it's almost impossible to eliminate it. God warned that when men set up a government rejecting Him, there is a price to pay (1 Samuel 8:6-18).

Americans losing freedom for over a century

For the first 100 years, the U.S. government did little to expand its powers beyond what was clearly allowed by the Constitution. Then a change in thinking began about 1900. It was the growing belief that the federal government should step in and try to "fix" any problem that its leaders saw.

Since 1900, almost every U.S. administration (of both political parties) has expanded the role of the government. Some historians make the point that virtually all government-run programs mean more bureaucracy, more taxes, more complex regulations, less freedom and fewer incentives. The Bible explains that going into debt means giving up future freedoms (Proverbs 22:7).

We are in danger of losing personal and religious liberties needed to peacefully lead a godly life, earn a living and preach the gospel. That's why Paul urged God's people to be praying for "all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence" (1 Timothy 2:2).

The ultimate lesson

America has enjoyed unprecedented freedoms and prosperity, although many people fear we are losing both. Few recognize the real source of those blessings. The Bible reveals that they are not a result of any superiority of Americans, but are because of the blessing of God. No political ideology has fully followed the ways of God. And the growing sins of America are wearing thin the patience of the One who blessed us. America has not been the "shining city on a hill" we were called to be. Storm clouds of national punishment are on the horizon.

Thankfully, the Bible reveals good news on beyond the prophesied times of trouble. The true last best hope for man is the return of Christ. His perfect government will provide true freedom for all the world!