photogrid_1474580474016What Side of Liberty Are YOU On?

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3:17 NKJV

When it comes to liberty, there’s a right side and a wrong side. My question to you is – Are you on the right or the wrong side?

In 1892, our country’s Pledge of Allegiance was written by a Baptist minister by the name of Francis Bellamy. The pledge read… “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Bellamy penned……

“It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution … with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people…”

The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the ‘republic for which it stands’. …And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?

Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity’. No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all.” ~ Francis Bellamy

Sixty two years and three revisions later, we include God in the pledge. It wasn’t until June 14, 1954, that President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill into law incorporating the words UNDER GOD.  “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Looking at this from a historical context, freedom and liberty for some was not freedom and liberty for all. Neither The Declaration of Independence or the first twelve amendments to the Constitution gave African American slaves their freedom. This freedom was not actualized until after the Civil War, when slavery was abolished and acknowledged as a constitutional right to men and women of color. Hence for many years after the bill was passed, racial prejudice, profiling and discrimination have continued to haunt our culture; a distant cry from being truly indivisible. The liberties that some experience personally, professionally, legally and educationally are still not at all equal; not even close to representing “One Nation UNDER GOD or liberty.”

Liberty is defined as, “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s behaviour or political views.” ~ Oxford Dictionary

For far too long, those that weren’t enslaved and oppressed considered their thoughts and actions to be on the right side of liberty. Don’t for a moment misinterpret the actions taken in the name of liberty for being in the spirit of God.

The question remains the same: What side of liberty are you on? We were a country founded on the principles of God and profess to be a nation under liberty, but we’ve never been “one” nation under God. The fact of the matter is we’ve excluded God. God was excluded from the original pledge and removed from our prayer in our school rooms.

However, what seems to be conflicting is that we continue to recite the pledge in stadiums and venues all across the country. We solicit prayer and ask God to intervene in the midst of crisis, but we exclude Him any other time. We’ve reduced God to a “god” of convenience for the purpose of entertainment and controversy. We’ve become a prideful nation, a divided country separated by laws that protect some, but violate others. Too many people have given in and become enticed by corporate greed, bought into institutional racism and have succumb to political corruption.

Pt. 1 Liberty will give you HOPE.

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well? ~ John 5:6

As we look at the text (2 Corinthians 3:7-17) leading up to verse seventeen, the Apostle Paul is giving us a purview of the coming attraction. We can see a change is coming, a shift is happening and hope is present. What we can glean from the text is that the old government has to go in order for the new government to experience the fullness of liberty.

God’s spirit is liberty. God is HOPE in the midst of chaos and controversy. Only in Him can we rest assured that we are not hopeless. Because where the spirit of the Lord is, there is HOPE.

We see Moses wearing a veil in this particular passage. It was not customary in those days, for men to wear veils however, it was expected of woman. For a woman not to wear a veil or have a covering on her head, she was considered a prostitute.

  • Why would Moses wear a veil? Was he trying to hide something from the people or from God? People may be fooled by your veil, but God sees your truth even in darkness.
  • Some might raise the question: Was it God’s way of giving us a sign of HOPE in a desperate situation? God has a funny sense of humor, however, if it involves sin, it has nothing to do with God and everything to do with man’s flesh. God’s spirit will not drive you to sin therefore, stop blaming God for your sinful choices.

    Pt. 2 Liberty will give you COURAGE.  

    Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

    On September 19, 2016 another innocent unarmed black male by the name of Terence Crutcher was gunned down by the hands of the police. Sadly, this tragedy is not new to America, particularly, Black America. This incident is by no means the first of its kind this year. In July of 2016, we lost two other innocent unarmed black men, just one day apart by the hands of law enforcement – Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

    At the start of the 2016 NFL opening game the San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick took a stand for “Black Lives Matter” by kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance. Many ridiculed, chastised and even threatened his life for having the courage to stand for racial inequality and police brutality. Kaepernick said, “There’s a lot of racism disguised as patriotism this country and people don’t like to address that and they don’t like to address what the root of this protest is.”

    It takes courage to stand for what is wrong. It takes courage to stand for liberty. It takes courage to stand for truth. God is truth and His truth will prevail. If we are ever going to be “ONE NATION” we must agree that all lives matter. We can no longer sit back and glare at our television sets or peruse through our social media accounts watching injustice after injustice. Sadly, we have witnessed too many graphic scenes and many have become desensitized, become enraged and have lost hope. We have stared at the elephant of racial inequality and injustice and now the elephant is staring back looking for answers.

    This is not just a one race problem, this is a SIN problem. Unfortunately, it keeps happening to one race making it a magnified problem. We can only experience liberty when we can all be free without oppressive restrictions from color, class and religion. Justice is realized when black lives matter to all and there are consequences for killing innocent people regardless of whether you wear a badge or not.

    What side of liberty are you on? Are you on the right side or the wrong side? Some may say, “We aren’t where we use to be.” Others might say, “Racial injustice doesn’t exist.” Let me throw caution to the wind, God is not pleased with the sins of our culture today. Liberty has been prostituted for far too long. It’s time that we “let freedom ring.”

    It’s time that we have the conversation regarding race relations in America. It’s time that African Americans all across this country are no longer stripped of their civil liberties simply for being black. No race, or any parent should ever have to have a courageous conversation with their children on how to interact with the police. Conversely on the right side of liberty, no individual race should ever feel like an endangered species or a target simply because of the color of their skin.

    Our law enforcement departments must declassify the black male as a threat. They must be trained and certified on cultural proficiency all across America. Just because someone is black, doesn’t make him a “big bad dude.” Instead we should learn how to de-escalate situations by talking instead of tasing or shooting individuals?

    Our country needs peace! Our people need answers and justice must be served to all who commit injustice. We need the peace that only God can supply. Peace is a state of mind that we can truly experience in God.

    3 Pt. Liberty will give you PEACE.

    “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 4:7

    In the words of Jimi Hendrix ~ “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

    Imagine how great our country could truly be without greed, power, racism, classism, sexism and so much more. Visualize how much peace we could experience if others didn’t try to make their agenda our priority. We have learned a behavior and adopted a model that is on auto-pilot and headed for self-destruction.

    I am thoroughly convinced that like Moses, God can use any situation for His plan. He is the director and we are the cast. What’s next will not only give you peace, but blow your mind.

    Even in the midst of oppression, there were three things that ran consistently through the veins of the majority of slaves.

    1. They found HOPE in God. They put their problems in God’s hands.
    2. God gave them COURAGE to face their problems. Their courage allowed them to face their problems and remain relentless in their pursuit of God and liberty.
    3. They found PEACE in their hearts by trusting the spirit of God.

    Like the slaves, there are three things that we know about being on the right side of liberty. Liberty will give you hope, courage and peace. God is liberty. One thing that I have come to learn about His character, He will not be mocked. I am certain that He is and will do something to remove the veil of police brutality, social injustice and racism. Regardless of what I see on the ten o’clock news, I can rest confidently in Him. Furthermore, because I have a relationship with God and have accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, my salvation is not in question. Not only can I have a “piece” of the promise, I can have the PEACE that He promised.  

    Have you reached a verdict? What side of liberty are you on? Are you on the right or wrong side of liberty? If you died today, are you sure of your salvation?

    If you could not emphatically answer “yes” in your heart to my last question, the choice is yours today. Read and accept Jesus Christ into your heart today, tomorrow is not promised.

    The Roman Road of Salvation

1. The PROBLEM is sin.  Romans 3:10 & Romans 3:23
2. The PENALTY (or consequence) of sin is death. Romans 5:12 & Romans 6:23a
3. The PROVISION is Jesus Christ who died for our sins. He paid the price for our death on the cross. Romans 5:8 & Romans 6:23b
4. The PROMISE is we receive salvation and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9-10 & Romans 10:13

That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ~Romans 10:9-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

Sinners Prayer

Dear God

I admit I am a sinner and need your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ died in my play paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord.  I commit myself to you and ask you to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person you want me to be.  Thank you Father for loving me.  In Jesus’ name. AMEN

If you prayed this prayer in faith and believe in your heart that Jesus is the Son of God, died for your sins and was resurrected from the dead, then you are now SAVED!