PragerU offers an excellent video on the role of religion in a free society. It notes that “government isn’t enough. A moral people is also required, that is, a people moral enough to police itself.” George Washing observed that “virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.”
The video cites the founders’ belief that “the absolute enemy of freedom was a freedom that was absolute and unrestrained.” Yet, absolute freedom is precisely what contemporary evangelicals teach. The message that God loves and accepts people unconditionally in effect offers “a freedom that is absolute and unrestrained.” The assertion that we need not “perform” to please God frees people to live as they please with God’s blessing. My book, Counterattack: Why Evangelicals are Losing the Culture War and How They Can Win, shows these concepts to be unbiblical.
Thomas Jefferson asked, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? And that they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” Evangelicals have removed that firm basis by erroneously teaching that God loves and accepts us regardless of how we “perform.” Since the wrath of God does not fit that template they eliminate it by redefining the fear of God as “reverential awe,” despite many passages requiring that the fear of God refers to actual fear.
We know we are in trouble when Thomas Jefferson is more biblical in his understanding of Scripture than evangelicals, the guardians of exegetical accuracy. This Independence Day, let’s acknowledge that Christians must live morally in order to please God and escape His chastening. Then, as Jefferson noted, our freedoms will be much better secured.