Rev. Mark H. Creech
Easter: authentic life and liberty
FacebookTwitter
By Rev. Mark H. Creech
April 17, 2017

Few Americans truly understand to what degree our way of life is being challenged. We are threatened by forces from without, but worse still by forces from within. Our greatest problems are intellectual and moral. Now more than ever we need to connect with those principles that made us who we are, and one of the most important is freedom.

Too often we have consciously and unconsciously misinterpreted freedom. We seemingly have come to believe it means we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, and wherever we want. We have come to believe that it means no limitations on our thoughts, our words, our behavior, and that this lack of limitation is the essence of freedom.

Jesus spoke about freedom. The Scriptures say, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32).

Nothing speaks to the issue of liberty more than the Gospel of Christ. Central to its message is that Christ is the great Emancipator. His sacrifice on the Cross provides an internal freedom – freedom from the enslaving power of our broken inner natures – freedom from sin and its penalty, which is death and judgment.

Jesus also said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath sent me...to set at liberty them that are bruised" (Luke 4:18).

Our nation's founders were keenly aware that both the moral ethic of civil liberty and the Christian reality of spiritual liberty were interlocked. History reveals that stable democratic republics in the West were largely drawn from the wellspring of minds and hearts who had embraced the internal liberty that they had come to know in Jesus Christ. The liberty of the Gospel was essentially the spark that lit the fires of the American idea.

Constantly today it seems that a new revolution of some kind is being announced. What we really need in this country, however, is to get back to that driving force which was behind the American Revolution.

What was it? The answer comes as a surprise to many. It was the firm conviction that if Christ would die to set men free to live for him – what right did the King of England have forcing people to live and die for the British crown? Thus, one of the great cries of the American colonies was, "No King, but King Jesus!"

When Daniel Webster in 1851 was reviewing the great history of our nation, he noted this connection between the spiritual and the civil. "Let the religious element in man's nature be neglected," he wrote, "Let him be influenced by no higher motives than low self-interest, and subjected to no stronger restraints than the limits of civil authority, and he becomes the creature of selfish passions or blind fanaticism...On the other hand, the cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness...inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric, at the same time that it conducts the human soul upward to the Author of its being."

A hundred years after Webster, Charles Malik, Ambassador to the United Nations from Lebanon affirmed the same, saying, "The good in the United States would never have come into being without the blessing and the power of Jesus Christ...I know how embarrassing this matter is to politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen and cynics: but, whatever these honored men think, the irrefutable truth is that the soul of America is at its best and highest Christian."

There is an old story about a kite that wanted to be free. He was thrilled the day his master took him out, and he caught the wind and was raised high above the earth. But before long he realized he could fly only so far. His master had quit letting out the string.

"Why am I held back like this?" he fretted. "If you think I am high in the sky now, if I could only be let loose and be given my freedom, then I would show them how high I could go."

One day while the kite was fretting in this manner, the string broke. The kite wavered for a minute or two, was blown from side to side, then suddenly it turned topsy-turvy and came floating down, unable to right itself. Finally, it was swept by a strong wind against an electric light line and there it hung helplessly suspended, all tattered and torn. Its freedom was its ruin.

It is a false freedom that leaves people at liberty to do whatever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want; true freedom is being tied tightly to our moorings.

Jesus taught that there is a framework to liberty – a group of principles and laws within to which we must adhere. More importantly, Jesus said that he was the embodiment of those principles and the very fulfillment of those laws. To know him is to know the truth, and to know the truth is to be free indeed.

William R. Inge has wisely said, "Christianity promises to make men free, but it never promises to make them independent."

Our national holiday of Easter provides the solemn reminder that the sacrifice of our own wills, death to ourselves, for God's sake and that of our fellowman is what results in authentic life and liberty.

© Rev. Mark H. Creech

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Rev. Mark H. Creech

Rev. Mark H. Creech is Executive Director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc. He was a pastor for twenty years before taking this position, having served five different Southern Baptist churches in North Carolina and one Independent Baptist in upstate New York.

Rev. Creech is a prolific speaker and writer, and has served as a radio commentator for Christians In Action, a daily program featuring Rev. Creech's commentary on social issues from a Christian worldview.

In addition to RenewAmerica.com, his weekly editorials are featured on the Christian Action League website and Agape Press, a national Christian newswire.

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Rev. Mark H. Creech: Click here

More by this author

June 17, 2024
‘No other gods before me’: The first commandment’s national significance


June 8, 2024
From ancient idols to modern misconceptions: The call to worship only God


June 3, 2024
Restoring ethical foundations: The Ten Commandments in American culture


May 27, 2024
Repeating history: Medicinal whiskey’s echoes in medical marijuana policy


May 20, 2024
Billy Graham’s statue in the Capitol: What does it mean for the country?


May 10, 2024
Pillars of society: Reclaiming traditional motherhood in modern times


May 6, 2024
Navigating faith and civic responsibility: Pastor Loran Livingston’s controversial sermon


April 28, 2024
Beware the leaven of progressive clergy


April 20, 2024
Scriptural sobriety: Rethinking wine in the Lord’s Supper


April 15, 2024
Scriptural sobriety: Challenging assumptions about Jesus’ wine miracle


More articles

 

Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
FLASHBACK to 2020: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Curtis Dahlgren
Hammer & Tickle: A cultural history of Communism by Ben Lewis, 2009

Jerry Newcombe
The Bible and public policy

Frank Louis
Frank’s fair trade theory: Replacement theory for everyone

Pete Riehm
When the government is lawless, the people turn to an outlaw

Victor Sharpe
The left's lies: A warning for America's very survival

Michael Gaynor
Who Will Make the Finals and Win the Upcoming Presidential Race?

Stephen Stone
‘Teach Your Own’

James Lambert
Illegal alien entry through California border has dramatically increased of late

Rev. Mark H. Creech
‘No other gods before me’: The first commandment’s national significance

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 23: Legalizing pedophilia—The Sorensen Report

Randy Engel
A Documentary: Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus – The anatomy of a takeover bid, Part IX

Jerry Newcombe
A politically-incorrect prayer
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites