Saturday, April 7, 2012

Speaking of Freedom:Liberty Evangelism

Happy Easter Patriots,
This is the season when we celebrate true freedom becoming available to all. By Jesus death on our behalf, resurrection and ascension into heaven, where perfect freedom will be enjoyed by all, he secured our ticket to paradise. All we have to do is accept it. America, the earthly land of freedom, would never have been possible had not Christ done what He did that first Easter.

Today, we as stewards of the blessings of Liberty passed down from Christ to our forefathers, have an awesome responsibility. If freedom is to remain on the earth, we must pass it along to our descendants. If this is going to happen, we must make converts. We must be Liberty Evangelists. Following is an attempt to explain my approach to "Liberty Evangelism. Although the term is not one I originated, I have co-opted it because I really like the way it so succinctly describes what I believe true patriots need to be engaged in.

One reason I like this term is that, as in Christian evangelism, the goal is to make converts. And not to a particular party or person, but rather converts from those kinds of loyalties and prejudices to those of allegiance to constitutional authority, the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence, and the true history of the United States. People and parties come and go, but these are things we can hang our hats on. They are what made America great and they will always be around, whether we abide by them or not. So, in order to try to help us all in our efforts to evangelize, I am going to share here a few experiences.

As I'm sure you do, I sometimes have occasion to talk to friends, neighbors, family and co-workers about these matters, especially in an election year, and here is somewhat of a journal of some lessons I have learned and am learning.

Co-worker A: I have talked with this guy several times and we do not see eye to eye to say the least. Even so, he always brings the subject up and wants to talk about politics. On one such occasion we did come to agree on something: that the tax code is a mess and needs to be fixed. But where we differed was, I think, very illustrative. He said that if we would fix the tax code everything else would take care of itself. I said that the tax issue, like all others, is just a symptom of the root problem, which is that we have strayed from the Constitution. In a subsequent discussion he asked me what I thought was the main issue facing America. I said it was that we have strayed from the Constitution. He said, "No. I mean an issue." I said, "That is an issue. It is the issue."

I mention this to show what I believe to be the difference between maybe winning a debate and maybe making a convert and that is to always bring it back to principles rather than to persons or policies. To the Constitution, Declaration, and true history. Here's why.

If we get into a discussion about persons or policies, these are always changing and one can always find something to like or dislike about any of them. So, if one is not looking for truth but for a way to rationalize what they've already made up their mind they're going to do, there is no way to win that argument or to make a convert. But, if we can base our arguments on principles, we don't get personal and emotional, and reason and truth have a chance to prevail.

With regard to Co-worker A, I have come to the conclusion that this kind of rationalizing is what he is engaging in. As such, I don't hold much hope that he will ever become a convert. Even so, as long as he wants to engage, I will do so, if for no other reason than because it requires me to better think through the issues. And, hey, you never know! He may come around. Truth is a powerful thing!

By contrast there is Co-worker B: While he and I don't necessarily agree on everything, he is malleable. He does not have an agenda that he wants to bend the truth to conform to. So, while I couldn't as yet count him as a convert, I am quite optimistic that he will eventually come around.

As I said, you never know what might be the result of speaking the truth. That's what I tried to do with both of these guys. I want to encourage you to do this as well. I think it can make a big and lasting difference.

May you and yours have a blessed and joyous celebration of the true freedom we have in Christ this Easter and always.

Richard Cochran, President
Macon County Patriots
April 7, 2012
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