Australian Commentary (32) – Afraid of Freedom

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel and the men of Judah His delightful plant. Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold a cry of distress (Isa.5:7).

When the church in a nation has absconded in its role of teaching God’s law to the nation, the national consequences will always be frightening and ugly. Why? Because the priorities of those outside of Christ are fundamentally different to those of God’s people, just as Herod’s goals were fundamentally different to the wise men who visited him, who wanted to worship the “…King of the Jews” (Mat.2:2). They wanted to worship Him, Herod wanted to kill Him.

The twentieth century examples of this are legion, and not just with the totalitarian countries. The church has refused to insist that the Ten Commandments are followed in the nations, so political leaders say “No worries. We’ll do it your way.”

Has it ever really been much different in human history? Political leaders have an agenda, generally at loggerheads with the gospel. For them, success is all about defending and extending their power, though many of them do become very cunning about concealing their real intentions, particularly in democracies.

Solzhenitsyn said it well:

At no time have governments been moralists.[1]

Truth is rarely important to political leaders, because it isn’t a concern to the church, unless it is in their own interests to promote truth. Life is much more about what they can get away with, because they are pragmatists. Whatever works is OK for them, and if truth is a casualty, so be it. It’s irrelevant to them, just as the facts about Naboth’s fate were irrelevant to Ahab: until he was visited by Elijah (I Kings 21:17-29).

Because we’ve permitted governments to dominate national affairs today (not just in Australia, but all over the world), we are like the parrot that’s been all its life in a cage. When the cage door is left opened, we don’t think to immediately fly out. We continue walking around in our own excrement looking out the cage door, wondering what we’re supposed to do.

95% of the church is utterly disinterested in having full access to the firearm of our choice, not even considering that it might be a legitimate fruit of Biblical freedom. 90% of the church has no qualms about the State controlling education, not to speak of health and welfare. “Leave it to ‘em,” we say. Yep, leave it to em, so our top tax rate is 47%.

We are as a culture largely ignorant of the full scope of what God would have us do, and a large reason for that is the failure of the establishment-pulpit complex that would prefer we stay that way. We are in a serious rut of ignorance, and fear based on ignorance based on fear—and it is all our own fault.[2]

People who are afraid of freedom remain enslaved. The responsibility of freedom is a frightening thought for them. “What? I’ll have to think for myself. For the first time!”

This was just what Moses faced with the children of Israel, when they had crossed the Red Sea. They were out of Egypt because of a miracle, but Egypt was still in their hearts. So for Moses, that was when his problems really began.

God had called them out of this static world [Egypt]. Their response was predictable for slaves: longing for the past. They lodged their bitter complaints against God, although indirectly (Ex.16:8). Moses took the brunt of the criticism. They resented the inhospitable world of the wilderness. Their familiar surroundings were gone. The wilderness was a sparse land. No taskmasters supplied them with instructions, tools, raw materials, and food. Constant wandering denied them access to a fixed piece of land. Their new environment was filled with risks. New skills were needed to survive; self-reliance and self-confidence had to be built up over time. Again and again, the Hebrews complained that God had brought them out of slavery in order to kill them (Ex.14:11; 16:3, 17:3). They had no self-confidence because they had no confidence in the God who had delivered them.1

Political leaders began defining education (or trying to) in Australia, about 150 years ago. They are still doing it, because they have the money to dictate terms, and every school is dependent on that money. That is one of the problems with the government providing money for education. Once we all become dependent, they have us where they want us.

And all the while, educational standards decline, and few seem to make the connection: the more governments are involved in education, and the more money they extract from the taxpayers and inject into it, the more educational standards decline.

This will require a complete transformation of attitude throughout the nation, beginning with the church. We must be the change-agents wanting freedom, not slavery, and we’ll need some bold leaders to do it. The problem started with us, when we permitted governments in Australia to arrogate the control of education to themselves, between 1860-1880. Our own laziness, negligence and disobedience brought this about, and it’s been our undoing.

Now, what have we to show for it? A bloated educational bureaucracy, vast amounts of our tax money burned up every year and declining standards of literacy. But the real future of education is in family independence; families deciding what they want for their children and getting it, without reference to a government department. That would be educational freedom, and we should expect that standards would improve, too.

Look at what the Bible predicts about Jesus Christ:

He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law (Isa.42:4).

Conclusion:                                                                                                                           

Better to be Moses herding sheep in Midian than anywhere in Egypt, either as a Hebrew or as a Pharoah. Better yet to be Moses confronting Pharoah. Even better, to be Moses on the other side of the Red Sea watching Pharoah drown. Better yet, to be in the Promised Land, with a copy of God’s law in your possession. But best of all, to be at work in the wilderness, progressively converting it into a garden by means of hard work, in terms of the biblical law which is in your heart, and also in the hearts of all your neighbors.1

There will be no real break from injustice in any nation, until the church turns back to God’s law. And it’s just as Gandhi predicted, when anyone sets out to challenge the Establishment:

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

[1] Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “The Gulag Archipelago,” 1974, p.243.

[2] Joel McDurmon, “Suppressed in our Own Ignorance” (American Vision.org), 7/1/2014.

1 Gary North, “Moses and Pharoah”, 1986, p.275.

1 North, ibid., p.298.