The Price of Liberty, Part 1: Achieving a Right Perspective

Michael Youssef

8/12/2012 12:01:00 AM - Michael Youssef

Is America still the land of the free and the home of the brave? Or is our nation dangerously adrift on a sea of complacency and immorality? Too often we are content to think only of our families and ourselves, and ignore the world around us. We pay little attention to the continual changes taking place in governmental policies.

Like the frog in lukewarm water—unaware that the water is boiling until it is too late for him to leap—we, too, may be in more danger than we realize. When more than 3,000 babies are aborted every day, the Bible and the Ten Commandments are removed from the classroom, and prayer in the school is forbidden, it is time to assess where we are as a nation.

Psalm 33:12 states: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.”

We should ask ourselves, however, whether the Lord is still America’s God—or, like the children of Israel, are we now pursuing other gods? Although our Founding Fathers based America’s important documents—such as the Declaration of Independence—on Christianity and the Bible, through indifference, ignorance, and neglect of biblical principles, we are in danger of losing our precious freedoms. However, it is yet possible to reclaim what we’ve already lost if God’s people will awake and rise up.

As an immigrant—now a naturalized citizen—to this great country, I would like to share some of my concerns for America. I have come to love America and its rich heritage. This country means so much to me because of the persecution I experienced in my birth country of Egypt. I know firsthand what it is like to be persecuted for one’s faith, and I understand the process that takes place in a country to get to that point. When I observe these telltale signs rising everywhere in our country, it causes me great alarm.

Imagine with me the following scenario. Due to my kindness and hospitality, I decide one day to bring a young man into our house. He needs food, shelter, and a job—all of which we gladly provide for him. He also needs an identity, so we let him use our family name—giving him all the privileges and responsibilities of being in our family.

After a few years, the young man decides he doesn’t like the arrangement of the furniture, so he rearranges it without regard to the rest of the family. Then, over our vigorous protests, he decides that family devotions are offensive to him, so he insists that our family must stop praying together. Moreover, he decides that having too many Bibles in the home is offensive to him, so he takes the Bibles away.

Finally, he tells me, “If you ever talk about your religious views publicly, I will have to take you to court because I find your views offensive.” His attitude is reflected as follows, “You brought me into your family, you gave me all of the privileges and legal rights of being a member of the family. Therefore, you have lost your rights to continue living your biblical and moral lifestyle because I don’t like it.”

He continues by saying, “I may be one of seven in this house, but because I believe that your belief system is out of date, I demand that you be silenced while I pillage and reinterpret your faith for you. I demand that you accept my new understanding of the foundational principles of your life.”

You are probably thinking, I can’t imagine a worse nightmare for my life and for my family’s life than that.

But something much like that has been happening in our own country of late. From my past, I know what it is to grow up in a family that has been subjected to socialism. I know, too, what it is like to lose family property. In fact, overnight, family, and friends lost the company that had belonged to their families for years. In the 1960s, they lost everything they had worked for because the government seized their property and possessions. The argument, of course, was that the government knew how to handle these businesses better. We were told that it was only getting the rich “to pay their fair share.”

Let me caution you that these same things have been happening in America for the past several years. It is time for us to become fully aware of the path our beloved country is following. There are reasons why we are experiencing so many problems as a nation.

For the next several weeks, I’ll be exploring those reasons and how we have turned away from God’s protection and blessing. Only by first becoming aware of the significance of our flawed path can we take the necessary steps to reverse course.