Published on April 22nd, 2017 | by John Locke0
CHRISTIANITY: FREEDOM’S GLOBAL SPARK
CHRISTIANITY: FREEDOM’S GLOBAL SPARK
Democracy or Republicanism first appeared somewhat similar to its modern form in Ancient Greece, specifically in the city-state Athens. However, for a variety of reasons, but mainly due to the inherent failings of a secular (or pagan) democracy, it could never survive.
Today, modern “democracy” continues to be much heralded, but poorly practiced. The only truly effective cases where it has survived, even thrived, has been under the “wing” of Christianity.
The 18th Century Christian preacher, Charles Spurgeon, stated: “There is not a land beneath the sun where there is an open Bible and a preached gospel, where a tyrant long can hold his place… Let the Bible be opened to be read by all men, and no tyrant can long rule in peace. England owes her freedom to the Bible.”
The story of Western Civilization cannot be told without including the power and influence of Christianity. In fact, contained in the foundation of Western Civilization is the very cornerstone of Christian thought, ideals, and practical application. The Divine Right of Kings was challenged by Reformist Christians. And the Magna Carta was, in essence, authored by a powerful Christian leader. The Magna Carta was not yet democracy, but it was an essential transition point.
The words of freedom, of human liberty, are contained in the Bible, in the words of Moses, Isaiah and the Prophets, and Jesus and his Apostles. Christianity taught that God made all men equal, and that it was an abomination to teach that “some men were more equal than others.” Jesus befriended, taught, and worked closely with women in a time when women were purely the property of males, to work as slaves and keep their mouths shut. He taught that they should be respected, honored, and included within the Christian faith. True, the development of Western Democracy was a relatively slow, methodical process which in the end demonstrated through logic (William Wilberforce, Thomas Paine, and others), and through reference to Holy Scripture, how (and why) to transfer political and economic power from the crown or state to the people. This hard-fought process was helped along throughout by the supporters and adherents of Christianity. In fact, the world today would be unrecognizable without that “Christianizing” process that we’ve experienced, often subtly, over the past two millennia.
THE NON-CONFORMIST CHRISTIANS
This process was carried almost exclusively on the backs of European and American Christian leaders, such as the reverends John Ball, John Calvin, John Knox, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Harriot Beecher Stowe, and other non-conformist Christians, willingly risking their lives to create a Theology of Liberty, which led to the Abolition of Slavery. They confronted the political powers of the time and helped shape the larger public’s perception of what freedom meant and why it was essential to the improvement and well-being of mankind.
In England such Christian leaders as Cromwell and his Puritan Christian allies fought to limit the power of the King and the State, setting the format for future democracies and launched the Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights. It was essential for liberty to spread that such concepts as Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly be fashioned and given to the people. Again, it was Christians who put it all on the line to push these hard-fought ideals to fruition. Such political concepts were taken up by William Wilberforce, and Reverend Gladstone, ensuring that the Common Man would be heard and that the seeds of liberty be planted in all men, including those held in bondage. It was, as everyone is aware, these same Christian leaders who were able to swing the British Government over to the abolitionist movement and the eventual outlawing of slavery.
The oldest and most tragic and brutal institution on earth (slavery) was made illegal and eliminated (at least in Christian lands) by the power of Christian activists, movers and shakers.
Horace Greeley, the American journalist, wrote: “It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible-reading people. The principles found in the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.”
When America was colonized, those Christian Europeans first practiced democracy in their churches. Then, as individual freedom, the key component of the culture of America, spread, the kind of freedom and democracy practiced in America’s churches was increasingly demanded by all Americans. However, England’s King George, supported by his elites who profited by oppressing the American masses, fought to limit Christian-motivated liberty and self-government and self-determination.
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION AND CHRISTIANITY
In response to such tyranny, the American Revolution swept America and the world, again the seeds of that rebellion found in America’s churches. American Christian preachers tied spiritual redemption to individual (and national) self-determination. The sacred Declaration of Independence, issued July 4, 1776, birthed American democracy and stated that it was God, not men, who gifted freedom and liberty to all. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.”
Christianity taught that Freedom is a gift directly from God (without middlemen!); it is an inherent gift, even a right. Freedom can never be “bequeathed” by man upon another man, or woman. Such, in fact, is an affront to God.
Alexis de Tocqueville, a French political commentator who traveled extensively in post-Revolution America, wrote: ‘The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other; and with them this conviction does not spring from that barren traditional faith which seems to vegetate in the soul rather than to live.”
De Tocqueville could see (and we see this in many of his other writings) that America not only held Christianity in foundational esteem, but that Americans are who they are in large part because of their Christian roots and character.
Finally, Noah Webster wrote, “Our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the Bible, particularly the New Testament, or the Christian religion.”
THE LEFT’S LOVE OF REWRITING AMERICA’S HISTORY
It has long amazed me how the Desolators among us have for many years, and so capably, rewritten America’s and Europe’s history to the point that Christianity has been nearly entirely written out, or more shamefully, recorded only in a negative way, as a harmful force or movement of history. Of course, as we’ve proved over and over in these many Posts on www.desolators.com, Christianity and Christian doctrine is the Left’s public enemy numero uno, and the only force remaining on earth that can prevent the Left from accomplishing its totalitarian, statist, despotic desires. As it’s been from the beginning, true and original Christianity (not the modern counterfeit version called “Liberation Theology” or “Social Justice Christianity”) will always be the perfect inoculation against Nanny State Tyranny and Leftist, secular, utopian calamity.
Always has been, always will.