In freedom we stand in these United States of America. Or do we? The Declaration of Independence states that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The first amendment to the Constitution guarantees the freedom to exercise religion, the freedom of speech or of the press and the right to peaceably assemble. These freedoms were unheard of anywhere else in the world when they were ratified as part of the “Bill of Rights” in 1791.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of men have died in wars to preserve these freedoms. How are we doing? Well, the right to life has not been granted to some 65 million babies over the last fifty years; Liberty to exercise religion has been limited to the freedom to worship unless one practices secularism; Liberty of free speech has been compromised on many university campuses when conservative views were offered; and the right to peaceably assemble has been under assault by extremists.
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. … Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. … So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.” - John 8:31-32, 34 & 36. Jesus references His word, the truth as the guard rails for freedom. Without truth, you cannot be free. And freedom is not worth having if it is not grounded in truth. Jesus goes on to say that sin is an option but the result is slavery to the sin. Jesus provides the better option, freedom in Him. Freedom from a life of sin and freedom for eternity with the Lord.
In his book, Last Call for Liberty, Os Guinness defines freedom as “not permission to do what you want but power to do what you ought.” His writing draws a powerful contrast between the American Revolution of 1776 and the French Revolution of 1789. America’s founding fathers knew what they wanted freedom from – the tyranny under English rule, and what they wanted freedom for – the grand experiment of a republic of the people, by the people and for the people. As dads and Americans, our “ought” is God’s word and the Constitution - “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” And that is just the first sentence! The charge is to read the Bible and the Constitution as a family.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and for the freedom You offer. I confess that my perspective on freedom has been tied to what I want to do. Forgive me. Thanks to the freedoms previous generations have secured, I have a responsibility to step in and do what I ought. I ought to take a stand for freedom as outlined in the Bible and the Constitution. I commit to reading both regularly in the home and enjoying family discussion around each. That’s the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father stands in freedom as outlined in the Bible and the Constitution.