I often find myself biting my tongue during political and spiritual discussions, especially when they are interrelated, because I take a very non-apologetic and entirely spiritual approach to my viewpoints. Often, to avoid offending others and getting into heated discussions I simply back out of the conversations. Whether this is the right thing to do or not, I’d like to share some of my views specifically regarding America’s positions on freedom.
First off, I believe that true freedom comes only from God, and is only found through a relationship with Christ. This is freedom that no one can give you, nor take away from you. It can be found only by making a conscious decision to follow Christ.
The worldly freedoms that we are given by our country are beautiful things, yes, and I appreciate them every day. However, they will fail us. Happiness does not come from the ability to make decisions and choose for ourselves what we want to do. We will fail ourselves, and eventually seek out something more. Hopefully, we will seek out Christ instead of some other worldly endeavor.
I do believe that God would want us to live in and create countries that promote worldly freedom, but I do not believe that He would have us glorify it to the extent that we currently do. The glorification of worldly freedom that many Americans live by is dangerous; it leads to American pride and a “worship America” mindset that can blind us from accepting other countries and hinder our relationship with God.
War is murder on a massive scale. There are things that are worth fighting for, but I do not believe that worldly freedoms are always worth the murdering of thousands of people. I refuse to believe that anything other than eternal and spiritual matters are worth any kind of a death toll. And most often, I believe that there are better ways to resolve these matters than violence.
I am often presented with the argument that war is not murder. This is a sad justification that results from attempts to remove the natural guilt behind ending the lives of others. If one has the intention to kill, and proceeds to do so, it is murder, regardless of the reasons behind the decision they’ve made. Opposite arguments betray all forms of logic; the end result is the same whether the situation is war or domestic assault; the end result is death.
I do realize that there are worldly differences between murder on the battlefield and any form of government-penalized murder, but they are only worldly differences, and they are both murder. It seems much more brutal to murder someone’s mommy or daddy at home for hateful reasons than to murder them on the battlefield for some sort of governmental purpose (however pointless that purpose may be). It seems that we should not be guilty of murder for doing what we believe to be right. However, in God’s eyes, all sins are equal; all sins are the same. Murder is sin. And I believe that though we can train ourselves to ignore the guilt we have from murder on the battlefield, we cannot completely remove the God-given sense all of us have that killing others is wrong.
Venturing back to freedom, I am reminded of the false hope that justice often brings us. Many Americans (often those who believe worldly freedom is worth killing and dying for) believe that justice is the best way to handle all situations, and can sometimes end up worshiping justice in the same way some Americans tend to worship freedom. Justice fails us all in much the same way that freedom fails us; none of us are responsible or righteous enough to not make the mistakes that constitute us as guilty. We are all guilty, and we are all the same. Thus, none of us has the right to condemn others for their sins.
Jesus came to forgive us for this guilt that we have, so that we don’t have to live by justice. I am already guilty of murder; I murder Christ on the cross for every sin I commit. But it is through God’s gift of His son that we are free from the burden of our sins, and free from spiritual justice. God will judge us in the end, but we need only a relationship with His son to be pleasing to God.
It is by Christ that I am free, and I am free in a deeper way than my country can ever provide or take away. This is freedom that cannot be purchased through justice or soldiers’ lives, because it was already given through Christ’s death on the cross.