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Choose This Day Who You Will Serve October 25, 2012

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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In our current confrontation with Radical Islam the battle lines are portrayed as those between a secular society, us and a religious society, them.  I reject this portrayal as a betrayal of the faith of our Founders and of those patriotic Americans who still hold fast to Jesus as God and Savior, we too are a religious people.

America was founded as a Christian country.  Anyone who denies that has not studied enough History or has been sadly misled.  Columbus accentuated his desire to spread the Christian faith to his patrons the King and Queen of Spain and in his log.  The first thing the English did upon landing at Jamestown was set up a cross to dedicate their endeavor to Jesus their Savior.  Were these early explorers and colonists always true to their faith?  Did they always operate under principles derived from God’s Word?  Sadly they did not.  However, to say that the Christian faith was not an integral part of their motivation and worldview is simply not true.

In the latter part of the twentieth century Progressive leaders pushing a collectivist agenda decided to declare us a pluralistic society.  They sought to detach the heavily Bible influenced Constitution into the dustbin of History by substituting what they call a living constitution for the rock-solid one the Framers bequeathed us.   Mr. Obama, the quintessential Progressive in his speech to the Muslims of Egypt, Turkey, and many places spices up his apology tours by asserting that America is not a Christian country.  This statement of his belief and goal does not make it true.

All of these recent changes aside, most Americans still believe in God and the majority consider themselves Christians.   As a Christian, an Historian, and a Political Scientist in response to numerous questions I would like to share my beliefs concerning government, economies, and the rights of man.

As far as a government goes the only Biblically correct one is that God is God and we are His people.  He is the King and we are the sheep of His pasture.  As concerning an economic system God’s economy knows no lack and is exceedingly abundantly provisioned by the owner of the cattle on a thousand hills.

This being true I do not believe that God mandates any type of human government or economic system as pre-ordained, sanctified, or holy.  However, I do believe that humanity as God has created it does require certain governmental and economic conditions to develop and thrive as God intended.

God created us in His own image.  He gave us the power to create and to choose.  He gave us a mind open to learning and ever eager to improvise.  He also gave us what I believe is the most crucial aspect of our make-up: our free will or the power to choose.  We can choose to follow Him and do what He desires, or we can choose to follow the leadings not only of our thoughts but of our emotions also.  In other words we can dwell within the Kingdom of God wherein He is our King and we are His people or we can choose to live in the Kingdom of man and become the subjects of either our own designs or of whoever manages to gain control of the physical world around us.

If God wanted slaves or robots He could have created slaves or robots.  Instead He created us and gave us a mind to think and a will to choose because He wanted us to decide to love Him and follow Him freely without compulsion.  Therefore I believe that since free thought and free choice are the foundation of man’s nature freedom is necessary if man is to live as God designed.  This being the case I believe that any governmental or economic system that denies man’s freedom interferes with and attempts to supplant God’s plan, which is the definition of evil.

There are of course limits to freedom as expressed in the Ten Commandments.  Beyond this we should be free to choose our own way.   Will we follow God or will we follow man.  Within these limits and building on the moral framework the Bible provides I believe that a republic based upon the commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness using democratic principles is the governmental structure which most closely matches man’s God-given nature.  I also believe that free market capitalism is the economic system which best allows man to develop and live as God intended.  Conversely, when man rejects God and seeks to create his own utopia he builds some sort of centrally-planned command economy and the intrusive government needed to impose it upon others.

A free economy and the free government it requires allows the independent choices of many to produce the greatest prosperity for all as everyone seeks to do the best they can because they reap the rewards.  In a socialist or any type of hybrid economy between capitalism and socialism bureaucrats make the decisions and stagnation is the inevitable result.  As Gary North, a Christian economist expresses it, “The essence of democratic socialism is this re-written version of God’s commandment: ‘Thou shalt not steal, except by majority vote.’”  Or as Winston Churchill observed, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”  And that is not life as God intended.

If we look at History it is an outworking of the initial fall of man.  In the beginning God created the world including man and it was all good.  Then at the dawn of our existence we choose to go our own way instead of following God.  We chose to follow the siren song of “You shall be like God” and ever since we have attempted to create heaven on earth.  All we have succeeded in doing is to open the gates of Hell instead.  A case in point would be the age-old question, if God is good why is there evil in the world followed by the age-old answer God gave us free choice and we chose evil.

With the help and guidance of those who seek to play god themselves humanity has often been convinced to surrender their freedom for security, to bargain away their God-given nature and assume the subservient nature of slaves.

In America the purveyors of socialism cloak their designs in the language of populism.  They loudly proclaim that they seek a fair deal for everyone, except of course for the people they intend to loot.  They want fair elections as long as nothing is done to stop fraudulent voting.  They want equality enforced by unequal treatment.  In other words they seek to build the kingdom of man where they can be king.

We have a mind to think and the capacity to make a free choice.  As the day of reckoning draws near all I can recommend is, think and choose.  We can choose to follow the path of redistribution, class warfare, and collectivist dependency or we can choose to at least attempt a return to limited government, personal liberty, and economic freedom.   Don’t be fooled by the progressive media and their obvious bias.  To be free is God’s design.  For us to be a slave to dependency is man’s.

One of America’s most beloved troubadours told us, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls” and one of those secular prophets he was referring to reminded us “You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody, Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”

Or as my favorite book says it, “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion.  He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2012 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens

 

 

Freedom is as Freedom Does August 26, 2011

Posted by Dr. Robert Owens in Uncategorized.
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Is there any one political or economic system that God wants everyone to follow?  I do not believe God has ordained any one type of government or economy as the divinely ordained path.

The only government He ever instituted was a kingdom with Himself as the king and that was rejected by His own people when they instead wanted to be like the people who surrounded them.  And even though God had His prophets warn them that this earthly king would take their lands, their children, their goods and their freedom they persisted in rejecting a divine King for kings who would claim divine rights.

The only economy God has instituted is the divine economy where there is never a lack and always abundance.  With cattle on a thousand hills God does not participate in recessions and He has promised many times that those in His hands cannot be plucked out.  He promises that though a thousand fall on one side and ten thousand on the other destruction shall not consume those who trust in Him.  And though in the eyes of this world it may appear that the evil often triumphs and the good are forsaken He tells us, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Free choice is a major part of God’s plan.  As a matter of fact that is His plan.  He could have just as easily created humans who had no free choice, could not disobey, never fall and always remain just as He designed them.  But instead He desired the loving family that can only come about from love freely given and freely received.

Individually God has given each of us free choice.  Therefore, I believe freedom to make choices unencumbered by outside interference is a fundamental building block of human nature and thus a required element of any society which matches the reality of the human condition.  Each of us gets to decide which we are going to believe, our eyes of flesh or our eyes of faith.  Is the world true or is God true?  As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  That is my free choice and you are free to make yours.

I believe that God desires us to make free choices with regard to faith and lifestyle.  Therefore, personal freedom is necessary for life as God intended.  And this has a great impact upon the first half of our question, is there any one political system that God wants everyone to follow?

It is apparent that the only form of government ever devised by man that requires personal free choice as a prime component is democracy.  All other forms of government are some variation of the divine right of somebody to tell everybody else what to do.  By the way, that’s democracy as in one-citizen-one-vote not as in Democratic People’s Republic.  And since all forms of direct democracy eventually devolve into a tyranny of the majority the only thing that works over time is a representative republic which operates on democratic principles.  Meaning a system wherein the people have the opportunity to select their own representatives as long as those representatives actually represent the people and do not become the pawns of powerful special interests.

Also based upon the fact that personal freedom is a fundamental component of life as God desires for humanity which brings us to the second half of our question: is there any one economic system that God wants everyone to follow?  It is apparent to even a casual observer that free market capitalism is the only economic system ever devised by man that requires personal freedom to operate.  All other economic systems ultimately translate into some variation of a command economy. Some bureaucrat somewhere decides how many widgets to make and that’s how many widgets are produced regardless of need or demand.  Command economies foster disequilibrium and maladjustments.   There are always either too many widgets or not enough.  In a fee market capitalist system demand always dictates production and inherently guides supply.

America was originally launched as a representative republic based upon democratic principles with a free economy which based upon the above exemplifies the ideal for a nation-state.  This is what we have known.  If the Progressives continue to succeed in their efforts to fundamentally transform America what can we expect?

Look at the areas of American life so far transformed, massive government take-overs either through outright purchase or indirectly through regulation of industry, insurance, and finance. Taking this as a guide we should expect further intrusion of the central government into the economy thus transforming America into a command economy with all the problems inherent in that type of system.

The health care take-over which is scheduled to phase in like boiling water phases in for a frog, feeling so comforting until it’s too late to jump out.  Using the need to modify our behavior to cut health care costs we should expect the central planners to inch-by-inch transform our daily routines of eating and exercise until they are telling us when to jump and how high.  It is often the unintended consequences which have the greatest effects as a result of the Progressive impulse to create a Utopia.

The only way Utopians ever try to create a heaven on earth is to build nanny-states to protect us from ourselves with no thought of how the unintended consequences actually harm the people the intention was to help.  Eventually there is also no limit to the amount of force it takes to compel compliance once the bureaucracy has decreed something is good for the collective. An example from Obamacare is the provision forcing insurance companies to accept pre-existing conditions for all children insured.  This sounds great.  And it will surely protect the Kids.  But what it really does is prompt many insurance companies to quit insuring children because they realize this government mandated provision will cause them to lose money, and despite the progressive belief that people should open and maintain private businesses as non-tax supported social agencies people who own businesses do so to make money.

Another example is businesses either dropping insurance for their employees because the fines imposed will be cheaper than the insurance or seeking an exemption.  It is projected that 30% of employers will drop their employee healthcare once Obamacare is fully instituted.  So much for “If you have your plan and you like it,… or you have a doctor and you like your doctor, that you don’t have to change plans.”

The Financial take-over through regulation has not been unwrapped yet and even the politicians most involved in writing it say they don’t know what’s in it so its long term impact can only be imagined.  Does anyone imagine it will be good for free-enterprise, competition, and capitalism?  As the Progressives continue to experiment looking for some way to accomplish the impossible, heaven on earth, the uncertainty keeps people from investing, businesses from growing and the economy from recovering.  After two and a half years it should be apparent the current administration has successfully turned a recession into a new normal of lower expectations and a loss of hope.

But then again my hope was never in the government to begin with, and since they didn’t give it to me they can’t take it away.  My hope is in Jesus and He never fails.

Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, and Religion for Southside Virginia Community College.  He is the author of the History of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com View the trailer for Dr. Owens’ latest book @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ypkoS0gGn8 © 2011 Robert R. Owens drrobertowens@hotmail.com  Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens.

 

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