Self Governance

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Self Governance

Founding-Fathers

Our Founding Fathers talked about “Self Governance” often. If you haven’t read this, you should. Our freedoms are based on this principle. It refers to our ability to govern ourselves, respect each other, respect the law and authority, and yes, respect God too. One of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5 is “self control.” Unfortunately it’s also the most often overlooked.

Every single person is born with a predilection for some sort of aberrant behavior. The Bible calls it a “sinful nature.” It seems today that we as a society have elevated what we “feel is right” and what we “want to be right” above what the Bible says. It’s not surprising since our society has become increasingly hostile towards the Bible and Christianity. I don’t believe one sin is worse than another; however, I do see those in the community of Christians choosing to excuse and ignore their own pet sins in the name of what they “feel” must be right. And those feelings are based on nothing more than what society is dictating to them. Self governance has not only become lost in the world, but it has now becoming lost in the church. Leaders are scared into silence by fear of being “labeled” and “attacked” and we as a society continue its downward spiral into moral decay. The church is ceasing to be the church and is now going to the world and begging them, “Tell us what you want us to be so you will like us.” Actions that just 20 years ago would have been criticized as patently wrong are now justified based on an individual’s feelings.

Our Founding Fathers’ idea of freedom was based on our ability to govern ourselves. Without it, the rest of the system eventually falls. Why? Because when we operate by what we “feel” is right and there is no longer a standard of right and wrong, anything truly goes. Society operates selfishly according to what it wants and not for the greater good of everyone. Instead of people governing their own actions, they become dependent on someone else or the government to govern it for them. Instead of right and wrong being the standard, what is acceptable is reduced to what one can get away with.

On a different but related subject, in a capitalistic society (each person can provide for themselves according to their own work and ingenuity and enterprise) increasingly turning towards socialism (where a portion of society works to provide for those who either cannot or will not provide for themselves), the motivation to succeed is penalized and therefore society ceases to move forward. When people refuse to govern their own actions and lives in favor of what they want (i.e. “I don’t want to work. I’d rather stay home and live off the government”) then the choice becomes much easier to sacrifice freedoms in favor of having someone else provide for them. We slip into a state of dependence on others to provide for us because we no longer will do it for ourselves. Why socialism is still touted by a few is beyond me, because in the history of the world there has yet to be one society that has embraced this philosophy that has flourished. In fact, all who have embraced it have collapsed. I am watching, with incredible grief, the America I love slip into a state of disarray and decadence. And with this moral slide, we are giving away our freedoms… Freedoms that cannot be returned.

How do we correct this course (IF it can still be corrected)? It starts with the individual. It starts with you and me. If we will individually turn to God and repent, then there is still hope. Through surrendering to Him, He can empower each of us to govern ourselves. If we will become the church we’re supposed to be, there is hope. If we will stand in the face of intimidation, bullying, compromise, and are willing for others to “hate us for His sake” then there is hope.

Perhaps that is why our Founding Fathers spoke so prominently of “Providence” and our “Creator” from Whom all our rights are derived. Our freedom is directly tied to our self governance which is directly tied to our Creator.

“If MY people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

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