February 01 05
Let me quote to you from President Bush's inaugural speech of January 20, 2005:
"There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment and expose the pretensions of tyrants and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant. And that is the force of human freedom... The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world... [America's] goal...is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom and make their own way... [O]ne day this untamed fire of freedom will reach the darkest corners of our world."
Our President is speaking of political freedom. He references, throughout his speech, the need for America to assist world governments in the construction of democracy. Democracy, he contends, is the way to freedom. Freedom is the goal because freedom brings peace. If men are free to vote and voice their opinion and move about as they wish, peace will reign.
But that is not what the Bible says. The Bible says that men, in any environment, are evil and peace will not reign under the will of man. Adam and Eve were as free as any people ever to have walked on earth, but they sinned against God. The people of Israel were free to have the best land on the earth, to build and reap and sow, but they sinned against God. Americans today have the freedom to vote and voice their opinion and move about as they wish as the most free people currently on earth, but they still sin against God.
Political freedom and self-government, the two ideals that Bush continues to promote as the only way to world peace, are nothing more than self-imposed prisons masquerading as liberty. Freedom does not come from man, even the noblest of men. Freedom comes only from God and, even then, only from a right relationship with God. Jesus said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free" (John 8:31-32). Freedom comes to those who abide in Christ.
President Bush has set forth an agenda of nation-building as a means to democratize the world and usher in peace, but Jesus says to His disciples, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you" (John 14:27a).
So, if freedom and peace only come through a relationship with Jesus, how can the President say that he will bring freedom and peace to the world? The President proposes to usher in peace through a policy of war and nation-building, through democracy and the ballot box. It would seem that he is creating his own religion called Freedom and he has many, many followers in the Church.
But the Church is called to speak the truth and follow the Truth. Jesus calls Himself the Truth. His words are truth and they are recorded for us in the Bible. The President, in his inaugural speech, spoke of truth and where to find it. He said, "[C]haracter is built in families, supported by communities with standards, and sustained in our national life by the truths of Sinai, the Sermon on the Mount, the words of the Koran and the varied faiths of our people." There can only be one truth and this one truth leads to character that is pleasing to God, yet our President stated that character is sustained by the Koran and by faiths other than Christianity. It would seem that our President, like Pontius Pilate, does not know what truth is. Mr. Bush may be a likeable man and he may have good intentions. I am not speaking against him personally, but merely on his policy that is shaped by his beliefs.
We must be sober and vigilant in these last days not to be deceived by those people, policies, and ideals that seem right but are merely decoys to lure us away from the Truth. This past Saturday, January 29th, in the President's weekly radio address, he said, "Over the past year, the world has seen successful elections in Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Palestinian territories." What we need to recognize is that most of these countries are Muslim and the elections served to strengthen Muslim rule. For example, in Malaysia, the Christian missionaries have been forced to leave. In Indonesia, Christians are killed and churches are burned. In the Palestinian territories, children are taught that Jews are to be destroyed. In Afghanistan, America has overseen the construction of a new constitution that outlines Muslim Sharia law. Should the President be happy about these "accomplishments?" Islam is not freedom. Freedom comes only to a soul surrendered to Jesus.
You may recall that not long after U.S. troops went into Iraq in 2003, an Air Force General spoke out as a Christian, saying American policy should include the spreading of the Gospel in these Muslim countries. In essence, the General was saying that if the President wants to see real change in the world, he should do it by bringing the Good News of Jesus not the rumble of tanks and artillery. The President replied by saying that the General's remarks did not reflect the feelings nor the policy of the current administration.
May God give us wisdom and discernment in the Church. May He grant us the opportunity to tell the truth and warn our brothers and sisters in these last days. Be careful who you follow and what you chase after. There is only one truth and truth compromised is no longer truth.