By Quin Hillyer at PJ Media.
Herewith, my two most recent faith reflections, both with a theme appropriate for this time when we fortunate Americans celebrate Independence Day, and our freedom.
From June 26, Christians Were Meant for Freedom:
In this Sunday’s readings from the Revised Common Lectionary, the one that most enthuses me is the one from Galatians, which begins thusly:
For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.’
When you think about it closely, this is an interesting and, to the modern ears, unusual melding of what the postmodern world, in its libertine way, thinks are very disconnected concepts. The first concept: Freedom. The second: A commandment to serve others.
To the uninitiated, the question immediately arises: How can it be freedom if it involves a commandment? How can freedom lead to servitude?….. [Again, the full column, here.]
From July 3, God Has Granted Us a Happy Fourth of July:
Allow, on this eve of U.S. Independence Day, just a very short reflection on what freedom owes to the Judeo-Christian tradition.
For a book-length, erudite, eminently readable and enjoyable discussion of this, please read The Theme Is Freedom by the late, great M. Stanton Evans. It well explains that only through the Judeo-Christian insistence on the worth of every individual, and on the grace of God, did the West develop the idea that individual men derive rights not from earthly rulers but from God — and that earthly rulers themselves ought subject themselves to God and to a recognition of the God-given rights of others.
I’ve paid homage to the ideas in Evans’ book a number of times. Evans explained how our faith heritage is the only one that emphasizes “the intrinsic worth of the individual, the respect that is owing to all human beings, the need to limit the compulsions that can be used by one person against another.”
And that tradition is quite evident in the Declaration we celebrate on Monday. We are entitled to rights not just by nature but by “nature’s God.” We know that “all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” Americans were “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” And they pledged lives, fortunes, and sacred honor only “with the firm reliance on the protection of divine providence.”….
[Finish the essay here.]