Bruce A. Little

Morality and Freedom

Written by Bruce A. Little |
Thursday, November 25, 2021
Though some may argue strenuously against any connection between virtue and freedom, all of history is against them. When personal responsibility is divorced from virtue, it is deprived of its guiding principles and moral foundation. Without moral foundations, the freedom to choose will present an opportunity for the selfish one to pursue personal ambition in disregard for the freedoms of others. Where virtue is ignored, rejected, or redefined in pragmatic terms selfish pursuits of power and gain prevail, leaving little to stand between anarchy and totalitarianism.

The concept of freedom is not something that is learned; rather it is bound up in the essence of humanity itself. Although it may not always prevail in every human situation, it is the condition humanity desires from the core of its being. The sense of choice and the desire to choose flow from our being very early on in life. It is why man prefers to be free as opposed to being chained. It is why we think that restricting one’s freedom is severe punishment. This reflects the fact that freedom is not to be understood as a privilege of a few, but is the innate impulse of all humanity. One might say that freedom is a yearning of the soul as hunger and thirst are a longing of the body. One can live with less than desired, but one cannot survive on less than is needed. Freedom is to humanity as breath is to life. When freedom prevails, humanity rejoices.
Freedom, however, is not freestanding or self-sustaining. It requires moral responsibility from all who enjoy the benefits of freedom. Unless men act morally responsible in freedom, freedom will be the occasion for license which will in turn destroy freedom. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, in an interview in July 1989 with Time, captured the relationship between freedom and responsibility when he said: “During these 300 years of Western civilization, there has been a sweeping away of duties and expansion of rights. But we have two lungs. You can’t breathe with just one lung and not the other. We must avail ourselves of rights and duties in equal measure. And if this is not established by the law, if the law does not oblige us to do that, then we have to control ourselves.” That is, external law increases where personal responsibility decreases.
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Relativism in the Church

Written by Bruce A. Little |
Monday, November 15, 2021
The assumption is that if good outweighs wrong, then there should be no criticism. However, the economy of God’s Kingdom does not operate by weighing the amount of right against the amount of wrong as a way of justifying the wrong. It is not as if the right counterweighs the wrong then all is well.  The economy of God’s Kingdom operates on the foundation of absolutes—His Truth.

It is interesting how many Christens and/or Christian organizations think God forms approval judgments based on relative righteousness.
Notice how often it happens when a Christian group is cited for bad judgment either theologically or culturally. That is, when criticized for supporting questionable cultural fads or theological aberrations, rather than answer the charge the discussion is deflected. The response points to how many people were baptized last year, how much good has been done for the Kingdom, or the response is ambiguous at best and untruthful at worst.
For example, consider those who jump on the cultural bandwagon promoting Critical Race Theory, or join the chorus of those pronouncing systemic racism or white privilege as the social evils of all evils. When confronted, there is little to no discussion of the facts, an examination of terminology or a consideration of the implications for Christian theology and witness. In fact, too often the truth issue fades into the background as if it is not the key issue.
The default position is to boast of the commitment to missions, evangelistic efforts, or how keen they to change the world. To the last point, it is absurd. It is as if God has called His people to change the world. Jesus said the world is our enemy, it is against both God and His people. This is not to suggest that all that is being done, at least in the name of Christ if not always in the nature of Christ, is of no value. It is commendable and should not and must not be denied or minimized.
However, that is not the problem. The problem is that the typical response is off point with the criticism.
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Why The World Does Not Care

Written by Bruce A. Little |
Monday, September 27, 2021
While evangelical Christians nervously were wringing their hands, most did little to rise to the spiritual challenge. In fact, their naivete fueled intellectual laziness and biblical illiteracy. Pulpits continued to preach weightless sermons, musicians started writing meaningless feel-good choruses, while business model programs were developed in an attempt to breathe life back into the church. However, little to no time was dedicated to developing the Christian mind in the lives of the faithful to prepare them for the onslaught against truth that was to come.

There was a time in America when Christianity had the presumption, that is to say, Christianity was considered true, and all other religions were measured against it. During that time Christians were happy with religious freedom because they were majority voice. It was assumed that Christianity was the unofficial religion of America and so it would ever be. Arguments for that conclusion were made by claiming those who came to the new country were Christians seeking freedom to practice their religion. It is true that a case can be made that that was at least in part right.
Furthermore, it is also true that America’s primary political documents were heavily influenced by Christian principles. Undoubtedly this explains the presence of the Decalogue on the Supreme Court building.
Furthermore, in reading primary documents of the Founding Fathers the truth of Christianity was clearly on their minds even if all did not subscribe to a personal faith in Christ. So, I think it fair to give the argument that Christianity had a strong presence in the life of America its due.
The question is, however, how did that give Christianity a permanent status as more people immigrated to this country or how could it guarantee that children born of Christian parents would necessarily choose the Christian way?
Unfortunately, over the last 70 years, there has been a thinning out of the Christian voice in American culture and today many young people growing up in the church are choosing to walk away when they become of age. This has led to frantic attempts by evangelicals to court the younger generation by making the church worldly friendly, that is to make the church look and sound much like the world. This is done in spite of courting theological treason. I suppose many Christians who belonged to the greatest generation (Tom Brokaw’s term) evangelical Christians in America thought it would always be religiously as it had been. Even in face of seismic cultural changes signaling the loss of many traditional beliefs, evangelicals held out hope that it was only a cultural ‘phase.’
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