Let Freedom Ring

Editor's Note:

This Updated Special Focus was originally published in July 1999 entitled "Foundering Foundations?"

About 3,300 years ago God began introducing Himself to the world as the Lord and King of a nation that was born in slavery and then, after a series of violent events, delivered into new life by His mighty hand (not unlike how a baby is delivered). And some 1300 years later, when the Lamb of God was slain so that His people could be born again, the only reason given for it by those who did it was that He claimed to be King—the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings.
For we are not just individuals delivered from slavery to sin, but a holy nation set apart for God's glory (1 Peter 2:9). Although throughout the Bible there is a strong message of our individual accountability before Him, there is arguably a much stronger and more pervasive message about our political accountability before Him. How are His people behaving as a body? In particular, how are we treating each other, but also how are we treating the poor and the afflicted and those oppressed under a yoke of slavery?
Here on our nation's 232nd birthday it is entirely appropriate for the church to reflect on this and to examine again how we can better engage our society. How do we fight the good fight in this wonderful democracy?

Feature Articles:

What is Wrong with Society Today?
Dr. John Stoll
Although many show concern and offer remedies for our social problems, few realize their actual cause. "The crack in the threefold foundation [of American society] began before the turn of the last century in all three areas"--through a diluted church, the public school and its humanistic teachings and through the home.

Trial and Error: The ACLU and Religious Expression
George Grant
The author concludes that, "If we attack public expressions of the Christian faith--as the ACLU would have us to do--we actually attack our very foundations of justice and liberty."

The Eminent Tribunal
Francis Canavan
The author warns that we, as the American people, need to watch how much power we assign to the Supreme Court. In cases like Roe v. Wade, the Court overstepped its bounds and vaguely asserted liberties to ensure "unspecified substantive rights."

Special Section:

Symposium: The End of Democracy?
First Things Journal
In 1996, First Things Journal touched off a heated debate by publishing a symposium entitled, "The End of Democracy?" The participants wrestled with questions regarding the viability of our democratic regime and even debated the extreme of civil disobedience.

Related Articles:

Privacy Issues
Kerby Anderson
Syndicated radio commentator Kerby Anderson discusses various threats to personal privacy coming from the government and inherent in the Internet, suggesting an appropriate Christian attitude toward this issue.

Parental Rights
Issues Tearing Our Nation's Fabric
Chapter 16 of "Issues Tearing Our Nation's Fabric," exploring 25 key issues dividing the nation of America.

Featured Resource:

Faith and Freedom (full-length book)
by Benjamin Hart

"Religious freedom is, in largest part, a religious achievement. [In his book Faith and Freedom], Mr. Hart underscores that truth with lively narrative and forceful argument. In recent decades many Americans have been miseducated to believe that religious freedom, and most other freedoms, were historically secured against the forces of religion. Hart does not merely right the balance, he puts things back into their proper order, reminding us that, without "unalienable rights" bestowed prior to the State, all rights are imperiled by the State."

--RICHARD JOHN NEUHAUS, Editor-in-Chief, First Things Journal, Director, The Center on Religion and Society, and author of The Naked Public Square


We would love to get your feedback on this special focus. Please tell us what you think.

Go here to see our past Special Focus features.