WE ARE ON A COLLISION COURSE
Chr Christian faith has existed since the time of Christ in the first century AD. You could say that it has existed before that also in its pre-fulfilled Old Testament form. Jesus Christ came to earth as the Messiah who would give His life as a ransom for men and women. He was born of a virgin, lived among humanity and entered into His ministry. He healed the sick, raised the dead, taught the kingdom of God and, at thirty-three years of age, laid down His life as a sacrifice for us. In fulfillment of ancient prophecy, He rose from the dead. After a short while He ascended into heaven. Before He did so, He gave instructions to His followers;
“ And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [a]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [b]always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
This was not any easy commission. Jesus knew that and so did His disciples. The reason that it is not easy is because the message of Christ and the Bible offends many people. Actually it offends every person who disagrees with it. That is because Christ claims to be the only way to God. The Bible claims that humanity is fallen, lost and sinful and is in need of salvation through Christ. Christ lays claim to all of our lives and commands us to follow Him.
This is actually good news, the very best good news that could ever come to us because if we respond to Christ, surrendering our lives to Him and putting our faith in Him, repenting of our old ways and choosing His Lordship, we are forgiven and set free in the most incredible way that even words cannot convey. Christ's followers knew this and began carrying out His commission. We today who follow Christ are trying to carry out this commission too and see it as our right to do so.
Ironically, this good news offends a lot of people. Actually every person who does not want to change their life and follow Christ is offended at this message at some level. Even if they say “That's good for you but it is not for me.” The truth is that Christ's call and claim is towards every man, woman and child. There are only two possible responses; surrender to Christ and His kingdom or rejection of Christ and His Kingdom. All those who reject will feel offense. It is an inevitability.
What do we do with offense? What should we do with offense? In a free society there is true freedom of conscience whereby people of opposing viewpoints can live together in society and still hold to their different viewpoints. They can disagree. They can debate. They can try to persuade. They can even argue and at the end of the day they can go their separate ways and continue following their consciences and their beliefs. That is what a free society looks like. Those in free societies may be uncomfortable over differences of opinions, but they are free.
Freedom is worth more than bondage even if freedom leads us into uncomfortable situations. Freedom is something that you never realize its value, until it is taken away from you. I would rather have freedom.
Those early followers of Christ did not live in a free society. The ancient world as well as the dark ages and the medieval world that followed it, was ruled by Caesars, despots, and monarchs. Under their system of government there was zero freedom and zero rights for the common man. Followers of Jesus struggled to live out their faith and obey their commission under these conditions, often being persecuted to the death.
History moved on. The 17th and 18th centuries saw incredible upheaval as new movements such as the Enlightenment and the French Revolution overturned much of the thinking of the previous age and even saw the overturning of governments. People were now scrutinizing everything and challenging old structures. At the centre of all the upheaval was one overriding heart-cry and that was “freedom.” Freedom and rights were longed for, sought after, and perhaps through revolution, might be just within reach.
The Enlightenment and the French Revolution were also the birth cradle for Liberalism, a new idea in the earth. Liberals, drawing from the Enlightenment, were demanding a secular society based on humanism. I don't see this aspect as positive but below the surface among the mix of negative ideas, was one golden good idea, “Freedom.” It was there in the mix, a golden nugget amongst the mire, a diamond in the mud. It became a central tenet for first- generation Liberalism and Libertarianism.
Consider one of the historical documents that was drafted during that time. “The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen” was one of the giants, calling for individual rights and democracy. The United States Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776 and their Constitution in 1789. Their Constitution was amended to forever protect the rights of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition. These should not be just American rights but basic human rights.
Societies changed, governments toppled, empires rose and fell. Through it all, the followers of Jesus persevered, continuing to learn, live and share Jesus' teaching in obedience to our great commission. The goal was, and is, faithfulness to Jesus' message. When what you have is good news, you don't need to change it. In fact, we aren't allowed to change it. Our Jesus told us to be “... teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; ...” That means no change in the message.
While followers of Jesus were not changing, just faithfully obeying, the world around was changing at a furious pace. Yes furious is a good word. It was changing quickly but also it was changing aggressively. The French Revolution was followed by more revolutions. There was the Industrial Revolution, the American Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution,the Suffrage revolution, the Feminist Revolution, the Sexual Revolution, the Civil Rights Revolution, the stop-all-guns revolution, the environmental revolution, the postmodern revolution and the silent revolution.
While the world has been cycling through a never-ending succession of angry revolutions, the followers of Jesus have been persevering, just wanting to obey our commission. We are actually quite content to do just that, live out our faith, speak it freely and live out our days on the Earth.
What have Liberals been doing amidst all of the revolutions? They have been in metamorphosis, that is, morfing. The politics of liberalism never stands still. It is always juggling one more ball trying to change with culture, influence culture, mould culture and then enforce culture. It is a chameleon of sorts that is following special interests, following trends but then adopting trends and special interests into itself making them policy and platform. It is morfing.
While juggling all the balls and bandwagoning, Liberals have looked over the fence at another twentieth century phenomenon, socialism and communism. Socialism and communism did not develop out of western civilization. As the world revolutioned, most monarchies fell and became democratic or at least adopted some form of democratic rule at some level. However, there was a big exception to this, socialism and communism.
Socialism and Communism, crafted by Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and others was in reaction to inequality in society and a desire to see the working class rise into a better standard of living and to not be exploited by the ruling class. It was built on the idea of using revolution to establish the working class to a place of power themselves which could never be taken away because a communist revolution would be the last revolution. This meant that democracy could not be allowed because the process of democracy might undermine and even remove the communist government and put an end to the utopia.
What actually happened? Well, a large swath of the world signed up for socialism/communism but the utopia had some problems with it. Standards of living did not rise very high, at least not in comparison to those of the democratic world. Consequently, people began leaving. To stop people from leaving, communist/socialist countries created a police state. Up went iron curtains, bamboo curtains, guard towers, mine fields, barbed wire, attack dogs, firing squads, etc. A communist/socialist government meant a police state and a police state meant zero freedom for the common man.
Communism/socialism was not Liberalism, but Liberals were looking over the fence and watching and learning. How do you stop a society that is in a constant state of ongoing new revolutions to quite down? How do you ride the wave of every social revolution and then embrace the social revolution, and then impose the values of the revolutions on the larger population? How do you ride the wave of the social revolutions, internalize the revolutions and then project the revolution on others without crashing under the surf of the wave?
Liberals were looking over the fence and admiring elements of the police state. Of course, not the whole thing, because Liberalism is not communism/socialism, but just elements of it. They dreamed, wouldn't it be great if the Liberal revolution was the last revolution because no more revolutions were allowed.
What else was going on on the other side of the fence? In any multiparty system like Canada and many other nations, the political left is divided between more than one party. Liberals prided themselves as being center-left. So, who were the other guys? New Democrats, Green, Block, etc, were all other left wing parties that started out being left of Liberal. I am not sure where the Rhinoceros Party fitted into this picture. Being farther left of centre meant identifying a little more closely with communism/socialism than if you were right of Liberal. Left-of-liberal left wing parties certainly did not want the stigma of “Communism,” so they tried to separate socialism from communism. This is no easy task. Really, socialism and communism are two sides of the same coin. Do you disagree? If Lenin were here he would agree with the last statement. But left-of-liberal leftists were determined to split the coin into two halves. New language would be adopted and left-of-liberal leftists would be social-democrats or even New Democrats. Socialism would be adopted into a more democratic framework for this new creature.
Liberals were not New Democrats. In fact, once upon a time, before most of the revolutions, Liberals and Conservatives were more closely aligned. Imagine if we were living in the days of Conservative Prime Minister John A. MacDonald or if we were living in the time of Liberal Prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier. What would be the difference between those parties at that time? Would those differences make any real change to your life if your side lost or won? Probably not, we would just go on as Conservatives and Liberals living in our free society.
Liberals have continued looking over the fence. Liberals have been admiring New Democrat-left-of-liberal social democratness. Liberals have been morfing. Today there is a stark, pointed, pungent difference between Social Conservatives and Liberals. We now need to clarify the term Conservative into Social Conservatives and Progressive Conservatives because Progressive Conservatives have also morfed to the left. Today, there are Social Conservatives who operate among Progressive Conservatives as caucuses of true Conservatism and are trying to influence and trying to regain a purer form of Conservatism. Social Conservatives try to prevent traditional values from slipping away, try to keep budgets balanced, try to keep government small and taxes low. Liberals are much more like the other guys on the socialist left side of the fence. Actually, is there a fence anymore? What fence? Liberals have been surfing, looking, admiring and morfing to the left and then trying to force their beliefs on us by making those beliefs into law.
Just look at the process of getting a bill passed in the house. Liberals get ready for the fight. Put forward the bill. The Canadian Liberal Party operates from the top down. Get the party whip doing his job, no matter what the constituents want. What matters is that the leadership controls the outcome. Then when they are a few votes short they they always seem to find those votes among New Democrat MPs or Green Party, or perhaps Block party. The left can count on the left to control the outcome. Why? Because on many matters of policy, they are now clones. When it comes to economic policy, national policy or foreign policy, they may not be exact clones but they are not very far apart and it is not too hard to come up with a few votes from their friends.
How did this happen? It was those attractive elements of socialism. They liked the look of it when people work for the government. This makes people more dependent on the government. They liked being the providers of support for the people. This of course makes the people more dependent on the government. Dependency is something that grows rapidly. Rapid growth of dependency requires rapid growth of government. Rapid growth of government means rapid increase in taxes. Rapid increase of taxes and of government means more and more laws, rules and controls to manage the dependency. Liberals have been morfing as they go down this road and with each step, it becomes harder to return.
That's not the worst of it, with this morfing to the left something crucial has been lost. Something that was at one time core and central to Liberalism. It is that beautiful nugget in the mire, that diamond in the mud, “Freedom.” It's been lost. I tell you it has been lost in the morf!
What freedoms have been lost as Liberalism has been changing? Just go back to the beginning. The beginning is not Canadian Confederation. Freedom has been around much longer than that. I spoke earlier of the great liberal reforms of the 18th century. These reforms brought forth democracy itself and freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of press. These freedoms have been compromised.
We are on a collision course. Very seriously. Followers of Jesus Christ want to continue learning, living and speaking our faith in fulfillment of the commission we have been given. We must be about “... teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;...”
Think for a moment about the timeless Jesus Christ. He is the antithesis of most of your revolutions. He would not fit at all in the ball-juggling-politics, the control, the Sexual Revolution, the Postmodern Revolution, the Liberal Revolution. He would not fit in the Enlightenment morfing, the humanism morfing, the secular morfing. He is actually the antithesis of all of these things. He doesn't morf. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. We follow Him.
We have been put on a collision course. We could have co-existed just fine with Sir Wilfred Laurier's Liberals in a free society. However, Postmodern Canadian Liberalism has become very radical. It is promoting globalism, radical environmentalism, radical feminism, sexual revolution, LGBT activism, abortion, pseudo-socialism, special interests, foreign interests, cultural and counter-cultural trends. Sometimes it is surfing the culture, sometimes it is trying to shape the culture. All of this flys in the face of a very different Jesus Christ. To say that Jesus Christ and Postmodern Canadian liberalism clash is an understatement.
What about the diamond in the mud? Freedom? Postmodern Liberal Canada is not free. What if a follower of Jesus Christ wants to speak what the Bible says about sexual purity, family values, the sanctity of life, or the exclusiveness of salvation found only in Jesus Christ. Postmodern Canadian Liberalism censures him, bans him, fires him, sues him.
Freedom is gone. Liberal listener, the timeless Jesus Christ is so different from your worldview and value system. However, He is the Son of God. He has ascended into heaven and left us, His followers to be “... teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;...”.
We are on a collision course. We only want the right to learn, live and speak our faith. In most generations we have been able to co-exist. Twenty-first century Canadian Postmodern Liberalism has morfed into something very opposite, very different, very contrary to our Lord Jesus Christ. Twenty-first century Canadian Postmodern Liberalism is bearing down on us denying us the freedoms that we consider to be human rights. We are on a collision course.