The Foundation of Freedom


Gary Ray Branscome

    True freedom, the kind of freedom that comes from God, is not the freedom to sin, but freedom from sin (John 8:32). Therefore, the kind of political freedom that comes from God, is not freedom from the law, but instead is freedom secured by law. Abolish the law, and every criminal will be a tyrant free to rape, rob, slander, imprison or kill. Abolish the law, and every honest person will be a prisoner of fear, living in constant danger. In fact, because revolution overthrows the rule of law, and by overthrowing it does away with all of the restrictions that the law places upon rulers, it can never produce freedom. On the contrary, after a revolution the new rulers are free to rape, murder, imprison or execute whomever they will, and there is nobody to stop them. Therefore, it should be clear that the kind of freedom that comes from God only exists when the system of law will not allow an abuse of power, and when rulers who commit crimes receive the swift, sure punishment that justice requires (Ecclesiastes 8:11). [Note: The American War of Independence was not a true revolution, because it was carried out by the duly constituted Colonial Governments (not revolutionaries), and sought to preserve the rule of law (not overthrow it).]

    Now it is true that laws can be used to commit crimes as well as punish them. (Matthew 23:14). Many of the problems in our own nation stem from the fact that the law is being twisted to protect criminals, while legitimizing such crimes as abortion. The enemies of Daniel tried to use the law to destroy him, and would have succeeded if God had not intervened (Daniel 6:14-16). Therefore, we need to recognize the fact that laws that constitute an abuse of political power, represent a breakdown in the rule of law not a legitimate expression of it. Moreover, the abuse of power subverts freedom, while the law that secures freedom condemns the abuse of political power, namely the moral law of God.


    Since Christ has been given a name that is “above every name,” all rulers are to acknowledge Him as Lord, and recognize the fact that any authority they have is a trust from Him, that needs to be administered according to His will (Philippians 2:10, Romans 13:1, Daniel 4:25). Furthermore, because sin has obscured our natural sense of right and wrong, rulers need to recognize the fact that the Ten Commandments were given to provide us with a reasonable basis for civil law. At the same time, it must be understood that the purpose of government is not to make us righteous, but to punish those who commit crimes (Romans 13:1-4, 12 Peter 2:14). [Romans 2:15, Isaiah 44:28 and 45:1, Genesis 9:6, Galatians 3:11, 1Timothy 1:8-10, Ecclesiastes 8:11.]

    One thing that sets the American system of government apart from all others, is its acknowledgement that our rights come from God, and that government exists to protect those rights. Yet there are forces at work today that would like nothing more than to give government the authority to decide what rights we should have, or not have. To that end, they have reinterpreted the First Amendment to take away the very freedom it was written to protect. And, they would like to take away our right to spread the gospel, by calling it “religious harassment.” Therefore, I want to make it clear that the Ten commandments not only are not an infringement on our freedom, but are the basis of our freedom and the source of our God given rights.


    By requiring us to worship Him, to the exclusion of all others, God has given us the right to worship him to the exclusion of all others. Furthermore, because that right comes from God, rulers have no God-given authority to deny it. Therefore, the First Commandment is the foundation of religious freedom, and we have every right to secure that freedom by enacting legislation that would require rulers to respect both our right to worship, and the Author of that right.
    Because we have lost sight that fact, we no longer enjoy freedom of conscience in the United States, but are instead forced (through taxation) to support things that we could never otherwise support in good conscience, including a system of education that is hostile to our religious beliefs.


    By forbidding us to take His name in vain, God has given us the right to treat His name with respect. Furthermore, because that right comes from God, no ruler has any legitimate authority to deny it (Acts 5:29). Therefore, this Commandment goes hand in hand with the First in underscoring our religious freedom, and we have every right to secure that freedom by enacting legislation that would require rulers to respect that right, (even to the point of ordering military officers not to swear in God’s name).
    Because we have lost sight of that fact, we have been forced through tax support for the “National Endowment for The Arts,” to finance (in the name of art) a crucifix dunked in urine and an actor who urinates on stage into a toilet bowl containing a picture of Jesus.


    By commanding us to remember the Sabbath Day, God has given us the right to set apart one day each week as a day of rest and worship. Furthermore, because that right comes from God, government should not interfere with it, and we have every right to secure our freedom by enacting legislation that would require both rulers and employers to respect that right. Or to put it another way, the purpose of Sunday closing laws is to guarantee our freedom to worship, not to force worship. At the same time, Jesus made it clear that certain functions necessary for the protection of life, such as police or hospitals, could be exempted (Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:7-11).


    By commanding children to honor their father and mother, God has given parents the right to control the education of their children, and children the right to be taught by their parents, live according to the standards they have been taught, and care for their parents in their old age. Furthermore, rulers have no God-given authority to deny that right, and we have every right to seek legislation that would protect that right (including the right to discipline).
    Because we have neglected our responsibility in that area, we are forced (through taxation) to support schools that teach evolution, sex education courses that encourage immorality, death education courses that deny the afterlife, and values education courses that teach children to view themselves, rather than God's Word, as the final authority.


    By forbidding murder God has granted us the right to life. Furthermore, because that right comes from God, governments exist to protect it, and we are authorized by God to seek and enact legislation that would require rulers to respect it (Romans 13:1-4). Moreover, that right automatically takes precedence over any made-made “right,” such as the “right to choose (murder)” that is often used to justify the cold blooded butchering of unborn infants.
    Although the Bible allows rulers to provide for national defense and execute criminals, they are not allowed to abuse their authority, as David did when he ordered the death of Uriah. On the contrary, every precaution is to be taken to insure that only the guilty are put to death (1 King 2:23, 24,31, Ecclesiastes 3:8, Romans 13:4, 1 Peter 2:14, Genesis 9:6, Exodus 23:7, Genesis 14:14, Deuteronomy 19:10, Proverbs 28:16, Psalm 72:14, Ecclesiastes 8:11).
    Because we have neglected our responsibility in this area, over forty million babies have now been butchered in the United States alone, and the advocates of murder are pushing for laws that would allow them to kill the elderly and the handicapped.


    By condemning adultery God has given us the right to lead moral lives, be faithful to our spouse, and have a spouse that is faithful to us. Furthermore, rulers have no legitimate authority to deny that right or to pass laws that encourage its denial, while we have every right to seek legislation that would protect that right (Romans 13:1, Exodus 20:14). In fact, because God instituted government to protect that right, laws that make the marriage commitment a legally binding contract are in full accord with His will.
    Because we have neglected this right, adultery, rape, illegitimate births, and divorce are reaching epidemic proportions, while educators and pornographers are subverting morality. [Matthew 19:7,8, 1 Timothy 2:2, Exodus 22:16-19, Leviticus 20:10-16, Matthew 5:28,32, 2 Samuel 11:2-4,27, Deuteronomy 22:33-39.]

    I might also add, that by condemning adultery God has given every child the right to be conceived and born in the normal way to parents who are man and wife. That right, stands in unbending opposition to those who would “clone” people just to harvest their organs, or deliberately deform them via “genetic engineering.”


    By condemning theft God has given every one of us the right to property. Furthermore, because that right comes from God (not from government) government not only does not have any God-given authority to deny it, but government exists to protect it (Romans 13:1, 1Peter 2:14). Therefore, no ruler is ever justified in using his authority to confiscate or steal our property, or to allow others to steal it, either outright or by allowing them to steal someone’s labor [slavery] (Exodus 21:16).
    While rulers deserve a salary and have legitimate expenses that must be met, God never intended for them to use the power to tax either to make themselves rich or to appear as benefactors at our expense. Therefore, while we should never refuse to pay our taxes we should work through the system to see that the power to tax is not abused (Romans 13:6, Luke 22:25,26, Nehemiah 5:15, 1 Kings 12:12- 24).

[Note: While God (out of compassion for the lost) allowed the children of Israel to purchase slaves from the heathen, believers who were in bondage were to be treated as indentured servants (Exodus 21:1-167, Leviticus 25:10 and 39-55). At the same time, the law of Moses did not place any tax on real property (such taxes oppress the poor), but did provide certain safeguards against those who would use the misfortune of others to amass huge tax-free land holdings (Leviticus 25).]


    Because the law of God condemns false witness, no ruler is ever justified in falsifying evidence in order to get a conviction in a court of law. That being the case, we are authorized by God to enact any legislation necessary to insure that our government does not allow the falsification or withholding of evidence (Romans 13:1). At the same time, because government exists to protect our God-given rights, the law of the land should condemn those who are guilty of slander, perjury, or fraud.
    The requirement that we be regarded as innocent until proven guilty, is actually a safeguard against slander as well as false imprisonment, and the Magna Carta, which is basic to our free system of government, was adopted to end such crimes on the part of King John. [See 1Kings 21:9,10.]

[Note: Those who prophesy falsely in God’s name are guilty, not only of taking His name in vain, but also of fraud (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 and 13:1-5).]


    By condemning covetousness, the law of God condemns criminal conspiracy. For that reason, those who have been involved in planning a crime are just as guilty as those who actually do the dirty work. In fact, even if criminals are caught before they able to carry out a crime, they can still be prosecuted. And, that holds true for those inside of government as well.


    Because king Alfred incorporated the Ten Commandments into the English system of law, they are fundamental to our entire system of government, and most of our other laws simply apply those commandments to specific situations. Moreover, those commandments are basic to freedom, and history has taught us that freedom can only prevail when rulers are subject to the moral law of God, and a division of power makes it possible to hold them accountable for their crimes.