Monday, January 7, 2013

Absolute Freedom, Part III

So here's what we know from parts one and two: 

Part One: Freedom must be based on absolute truth. (Choosing from unlabeled or mislabeled choices is not true freedom.)

Part Two: If freedom is a God-given right, we must have a God-given Absolute Truth. 

Up to this point we have been talking about basic everyday material freedom--such as the freedom to buy a can of corn and not open it up to find a can of beans or an ability to get on a cruise to Rome and not end up in the Bahamas--our everyday right to choose to purchase or do something. 

Assuming that I have made a convincing argument up to now, I will expand the argument from material freedom to freedom of ideas. Not any ideas, but specifically religious ideas.

Our country promises us that God's self-evident right of liberty is fundamental to humans.  U.S. law protects both our freedom of religion and speech. Therein lies the problem.

We can speak error and it is given the same legal dignity and honor and protection as the truth. Often people grasp their chest, looking upward and hearing the "His Truth is Marching On" sung by a choir in the background proclaim, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Okay, that means that person will defend to the death another's right to say things that are not true (with the caveat that they are being sincere and what the person says does not put anyone in immanent danger.) People can sincerely say stupid, dangerous things and people will believe them. 

And ideas are more potent than swords, so what may seem like a asinine idea today, may be trending on twitter tomorrow and taught to our kids in school in a generation.

We think it a great and noble idea to legally defend ignorant and false ideas.  

However, protecting the freedom to speak lies also implodes the right of freedom of religion. America is fundamentally enslaved when we protect error on the same level as truth. 

Can religion survive a free-market system? 

Think of a carnival, where spiritual barkers are out there with  all religious opinions hawking their denomination--all claiming their truth is the right one. This is basically what we have in America today. And they all can't be right. One says God wants babies to be baptized and another says God doesn't. One says baptism is a necessity for salvation, another says not. One says you must believe in sola fide or you are not a Christian, others say you don't.  Some say you must believe in the Trinity, some say you don't. 

If all of these claims are true then none of them are true. You can't be pregnant and not pregnant at the same time. It is the law of non-contradiction. There is absolute truth about God, then there is an exact answer about whether He made certain things a sin and certain things not sins. He is Truth and He is not a lie. 

America has enshrined in her Constitution the Providential right for all religious lies to have the same protection as truth and then in the same document enshrining the right to liberty. Those two ideas are in a direct collision course with each other. 

The assumption is that we are all intelligent enough to be able to discern spiritual lies from spiritual truths as if spiritual truths were as trivial and obvious as the silliness of Diet Coke's recent slogans, "open happiness" or "life begins here." 

We can assume as Bible-believing Christians that:
1. Spirituality matters.
2. There is something called truth.
3. There is something called deception.

And if these things be true, then we can also assume that truth may not be simple and obvious to everyone reading the Bible. That is self-evident. 

And if God meant there to be no way to definitely understand truth, it is the exact same thing as telling us we have the freedom of choice and then place before us (like in the game show example in part one) blank doors to choose from without knowing what is behind them. 

God does not give us blank doors to choose truth. He gives us a real choice, a real freedom to choose between good and evil, between the Devil and Himself. The choice isn't a trick, it isn't vague, it isn't confusing. Confusion is the mark of Babylon, not the mark of Christianity. Truth was meant to be clear so that our freedom may be a real freedom.  

When someone is sincerely looking for truth, he is met with hundreds of books labelled "Bible" with translations that all teach different nuances of truth, if not within the wording itself, at the very least within the notes. And he is met with church after church, often on the same block, with the same crosses and the same claim that they use the Bible as their authority.  

Without an absolute Truth given by God, one is left with the most personal of biblical interpretive guesses, an ever-shifting understanding based on age, gender, education, spiritual maturity and culture. This is not freedom of religion, but thinly disguised shell game of the Devil.

America's freedom that everyone has the right to spiritually lie basically takes away our freedom to spiritually choose.

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