America Cannot Remain Free Unless Her Citizens Are Governed by Virtue
is LIBERTY? A three-part series
Part 1 - Archived Part 2 - This
month's featured article below
Part 3 - Coming Early 2014
reference has been made to define liberty in terms of what it is not. A
proper understanding of liberty should begin in an exclusive sense,
that is to say, we approach the definition by initially ruling out
imperfect notions of what it might be, so that we can focus more
intently upon what it truly is. To sum up Part 1 in a single sentence,
I would say that liberty is not license in a Libertarian sense,
governed merely by the will of the heart, because true freedom requires
an active conscience which self-governs behavior. In an earlier era,
the concept of “Let your conscience be your guide” comes to mind, as my
father was fond of saying.
the concept of liberty resides in the human heart, it also resides
primarily in the human soul. And it is in the pure human soul that we
find the clearest expression of liberty, where license is governed by
conscience. In other words, a soul which is truly free, has achieved
maximum freedom (from sin) by exercising perfect self-control over the
human will. The practice of virtue is the means of achieving this
degree of self-control. Virtue simply means using our conscience to do
what is right, and to avoid what is wrong. This can also be called
“ordered liberty.” Our practice of any good behavior will begin
incrementally, progressing from “imperfect” to “more perfect” during
our lifetime, if we desire to orient our will according to God’s will.
In the end, He will be our judge.
humanity out of his love and desire to share His immortality with us.
God in his perfect wisdom, has given us free-will out of his infinite
generosity and love; it is up to us to use it wisely. We are “free” in
a Libertarian sense to reject God’s counsel and to engage in thoughts
and behavior which suit our own fancy during our short lifespan on
earth. But if it is true freedom we seek, we should be compelled to
seek perfect voluntary governance over our human will. We should desire
to conform our will to the Creator, thus to become like Him, because we
desire to be free for eternity, not merely a short human lifetime. God
is perfectly free. He is, always was, and always will be perfectly
free. This of course is a difficult concept for humans to grasp,
because we are still creatures of His creation, being mere mortals, and
certainly not immortal – yet.
States of America was created by the signers of the Declaration of
Independence, and the Framers of the Constitution, men who sought to
institute on the earth a new nation, a Republic founded upon the idea
of individual liberty, in a more perfect union of men, resting on the
principles of self-government. The mortal men who gave birth to our
country were primarily men of Christian virtue, who understood full
well that any Republic can only stand and prosper as long as it’s
citizens are men of conscience, so as to permit self-government. For
without virtue in a society, human freedom in a Libertarian sense
cannot exist for long without becoming anarchy, leading to tyranny. The
Republican form of government was therefore designed to be a crucible
in which citizens learn to govern themselves by the practice of virtue.
question of liberty is before each of us. Are we interested in being
free for a lifetime on earth, or are we seeking the infinite liberty of
eternal life, which will be truly free of death and human suffering?
How we personally answer this question will determine our eternal
destiny. How we collectively answer this question will determine the
fate of our Republic.
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