Frank Maguire
Reflecting upon "Independence Day"
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By Frank Maguire
July 7, 2010

America, what good is commemorating "independence day" if you deny Dependence Day? fm July 4, 2010

"A country, or even a culture, cannot be Christian; only individuals can be Christians." Dr. Michael Youseff

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." "Me and Bobby McGee," by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (a cautionary song popularized by Janis Joplin, a pathetic victim of such "freedom")

I get articles sent to me from the One News Now web-site now and then. This article by Dr. Michael Youseff, entitled "Can There Be a Christian Nation?" caught my attention. It's is a topic of interest to me on which I have written in the past.

I believe that it is a precarious notion to label anything "Christian" — nations, schools, agencies/foundations, etc., etc. I've chosen to not do it. I agree with Michael Youssef, here, but I think he treats the matter a bit lightly in his article.

Laws and ordinances produced in a nation that calls itself "Christian" are no guarantee that they reflect the laws of G-d and His Word. A "democratic" miss is as good as a mile, and in a democracy the goal is to accommodate the multi-culture of the entire population, Christian or not.

Christians who want to live in a democracy have to give up any idea that orthodox Christianity will dominate. It is more likely to weaken as it becomes more "democratic," multicultural, and tolerantly "libertine" — the root is the same as "liberal" but, as you know far different in connotation from "liberal."

Sodom and Gomorrah were cities that contained Jews who maintained a semblance of their faith. Clearly, if one holds to the entirety of Scripture, as I do, there were few to none who were sufficiently righteous. The cities became tolerant (for commercial reasons?) and accommodating in the way that all places that accommodate a relativist-pluralist morality become. Recent history abounds with examples of moralizing despots inheriting the friable residue of nations that recede into moral decay.

Fidel Castro "saved" Cuba from the exported, hedonistic decadence of the Roaring criminality rampant in the United States that was exported into Cuba; the Ayatollah ascended after the liberalization allowed by the Shah; Hitler came after the Bismarkian welfare-state and the"Cabaret"-hedonist Weimar Republic set the stage; and the Bolsheviks were victorious after the Tsar began to soften-up and liberalize.

"Liberalization" is not, per se, wrong. The allowance of liberties, granted by G-d, that a political system has been denying, is desirable. If! A big "If.!" If it is not merely the surrendering to a sort of existential- relativist, "do your own thing" idea of liberty. There must be sufficient leadership that a distinction between "liberty" and "libertine" is understood. America is a Liberal nation. The a-liberal Left has co-opted Liberal and resulted in our seeing the word pejoratively. But "liberal" means personal liberty. And, ironically, it is personal liberty that conservatives claim to conserve. I do think that this point should be made over and over until we retake "liberal" from the enemy.

America's moral deterioration has come about in the manner of those nations that have disintegrated into despotism. In the matter of personal life styles and choices, how different is today's "pew sitting" professed believer from his non-believer neighbor and co-worker? This is what happens when "tolerance" becomes acceptable as equivalent to charity — that charity and love which is defined by a Holy and Just G-d?

Our seminaries no longer seem to care about the difference, being more interested in critical interpretation of Scripture and syncretistic reconciliation. Our "churches" no longer preach the difference, fearful that they might offend and reduce their numbers. Our universities no longer teach the difference; largely because they don't even understand the difference.

We have, in America, an "almost Christianity," and that is accepted by many who should certainly know better. But they take the "well, some is better than none" attitude. But this is the Devil's message. It is exactly false, and deadly dangerous. And, as we see, when it is discovered to be failing, we don't move away from it, back to a Holy G-d and His Holy Word, we surrender even more. "We must not have been tolerant enough."

One more point! Youseff says that G-d might abandon us, but He won't drop the fire and brimstone upon us. Why not? He is capable! He is justified! We would be deserving of His wrath. But if it is accepted that a "loving G-d" would never do this, then when it happens, we must ask "Who has done it? Mother nature? Global warming?"

The answer is — though we must be careful when we assert it — that we have done it to ourselves. Let's say by actionable passivity? We get what we deserve. G-d is Holy and Just, and fear of G-d is the beginning of wisdom, but G-d is also merciful. He has provided all we need to know Him and to give ourselves to Him. The choice is ours — the choice to "live" or "die."

One closing point! There is a nepenthian (Nepenthe: a drug capable of making one able to bury bad memories [from Homer's Odyssey]) notion that is so very popular, and is used to assuage the guilty conscience. It goes, "G-d hates sin but He doesn't hate sinners." Some go even further: "G-d hates sin, but loves sinners."

This has the deceptive appearance of truth. Any Christian who agrees with this sorrowful notion becomes a stumbling-block accomplice to those who want to believe that G-d loves the unrepentant sinner sufficiently to accept him/her as "holy" unto salvation. We who are called by His name can never claim to be fulfilling our obligation to "love your neighbor" while being complaisant accomplices in the "fall" of our "neighbor."

G-d is merciful. But G-d is quintessentially Holy. G-d is all Holy. Can a G-d who is all Holy be, also, all merciful? Only "If!" Perhaps the most important word in Scripture: "If!" If one confesses with his mouth and believes with his heart that which G-d requires for salvation, and If one confesses his/her sinfulness, makes restitution when possible, and in the spirit of repentance refuses to continue to practice sin, then G-d is merciful, cleansing us of the punishment deserved by unrepentant sinners who convict themselves.

Satan is the salesman of slick salvation. Our obligation includes being wary, and to neither buy nor sell Beelzebub's fly-specked wares.

© Frank Maguire

 

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Frank Maguire

Frank Maguire was born in Dorchester, MA, 1938, attended schools in Massachusetts, California, and Arizona, where he completed degrees in music and English writing/Journalism. Frank has been married to Helen Isabel Maguire née Estevez of Culver City, California, since 1957. They have six children, 14 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren.

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