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 What is liberty?

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Sir Emeth Mimetes
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PostSubject: What is liberty?   Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:41 am

What Is Liberty?

It is the duty of government and us to defend liberty, but we must define it before we can defend it.

Liberty is the crucial gift from God to do things that are not wrong. Pornography is not freedom of speech, but a crime. Censorship of creation science is also not free speech. One is a violation of liberty and the other is an exercise of it; our culture has blurred the lines.

  • Where are the biblical boundaries for liberty?
  • What is the priority of liberty?
  • How do you defend liberty while condemning licentiousness?
  • Is liberty or comfort more important?


With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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Jonathan S.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:58 am

I'm not yet sure how to define liberty. I do have a question, however. In an unbelieving society, how could pornography be made a crime? I know that it causes huge problems, but it could be seen as a choice that people make that has huge consequences. Obviously in a perfect society or one run only by Christians, it would be outlawed, but otherwise, should it be? I just wanted to throw this out there. I don't have much opinion on this so far.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:27 am

Jonathan,

Great questions! I was really hoping that someone would bring that up. I will present my premise on the topic of the criminal nature of pornography in the What is Crime thread though, as its scope deals more with it.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:16 pm

Jonathan S. wrote:
I'm not yet sure how to define liberty. I do have a question, however. In an unbelieving society, how could pornography be made a crime? I know that it causes huge problems, but it could be seen as a choice that people make that has huge consequences. Obviously in a perfect society or one run only by Christians, it would be outlawed, but otherwise, should it be? I just wanted to throw this out there. I don't have much opinion on this so far.

Jonathon,
The government absolutely can classify porn as a crime, just as the government can list homosexuality as crime. The minute we say that it can't, because these two things are "personal choices", is the same minute in which we take away the government's ability to legalize morality. If the government cannot differentiate between right and wrong, any order in laws, as we know them, will cease to exist. Any order in this country, as we know it, will cease to exist.
And this is exactly what has been happening in recent years. People, media, politicians, have all been telling us that the government has no right sticking it's noses in moral issues. I believe this stems from the issue of moral relativity becoming so popular in our society (moral relativity just means what it says: morals are relative. Therefore what is right for me is right for me, and what is right for you is right for you. There are no absolutes. Sadly a lot of people have accepted this belief). But the truth of the matter is, the government does have a right to govern over the moral health of the people in a country. If it doesn't, then everything becomes relative. There is no middle ground. The government cannot at once say that murder and rape is wrong, and then say on the issues of porn or homosexuals "well, we don't have authority to tell you what is wrong or right". Do you see the huge contradiction?

This all reminds me of a paper I was writing earlier today on the cause of country's rise and country's falls... It all stems back to the people. When the people become corrupted, country's are ruined. I fear that America is not only moving towards a great fall, but is running towards it. Unless moral order can be established, and maintained; unless morals in legislation can become absolute (no gray, no middle ground, no nonsense), then I fear for the state of this wonderful Nation.

A word on freedom. Since this is what this thread is all about.
A modern definition of being truly free will provide us with what seems an accurate answer: to be free is to not be influenced by anyone. This, I am afraid, is impossible. However we yearn for true freedom, it will never be. For if the government isn't controlling us, then it leaves the possibility for individuals to control us (mobs, chaos, in a society with no rules), or if the government is controlling us completely, neither are we free then. We will never be truly free from authority.
But we are not promised freedom are we? It is life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (although most liberals would like you to believe that we are simply promised happiness, this is not the case). Liberty. Now that's an interesting word. You see, liberty is possible. While we are not free to do whatever we please, we have liberty in that we are not oppressed: we make speak out against the government, institutions, whatever we please. We may practice religion. We may do whatever we please with our life, so long as it stays inside our code of laws. We have liberty inside order.
This is the only true way to have liberty. If there is no order, there is no liberty, for our lives would be affected by other people's designed chaos. But with order, comes liberty. Order. Moral order. Absolutes.

My post kind of fell apart at the end. I apologize.. my screen is starting to hurt my eyes :P. Hope it was helpful.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:58 pm

Taylor, I agree with a lot of what you said. Especially that
Quote :
We have liberty inside order. This is the only true way to have liberty. If there is no order, there is no liberty, for our lives would be affected by other people's designed chaos. But with order, comes liberty. Order. Moral order. Absolutes.

Absolutes are necessary, and a vital part of a civilized society. Without them, any attempt at order or liberty is hopeless. Our freedom as Christians comes from following God. We are free from a guilty conscience and free from death. We are "slaves to Christ." However, how can a people who are not slaves to Christ be told that they have to act as though they are?
I think that maybe I am coming at this from the wrong standpoint (or maybe getting into the "act" or "adjust" stage from the Communication Catalyst). But the way I am looking at this and similar questions is to ask, "how would a secular society view this, and how does it fit in the Constitution?" Maybe we are trying to start farther back from that and ask simply, "What would an ideal society do?"
I think it is important to figure out what our main question is, which is, I assume, what we'll do in the "Allign" room. So, to conclude, are we trying to work within the bounds of the United States Constitution? Or from a purely Biblical standpoint? Are we just theorizing, or are we looking to find ways to act?
~Jonathan
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:28 am

Hello,

Awesome posts guys! I am really encouraged by the quality and perceptiveness that you have displayed.

In answer to Jonathan's questions:
Jonathan wrote:
I think that maybe I am coming at this from the wrong standpoint (or maybe getting into the "act" or "adjust" stage from the Communication Catalyst). But the way I am looking at this and similar questions is to ask, "how would a secular society view this, and how does it fit in the Constitution?" Maybe we are trying to start farther back from that and ask simply, "What would an ideal society do?"
I think it is important to figure out what our main question is, which is, I assume, what we'll do in the "Align" room. So, to conclude, are we trying to work within the bounds of the United States Constitution? Or from a purely Biblical standpoint?

Thank you for bringing the Communication Catalyst into it, I am glad that someone is reading it. I think that your question: "What would an ideal society do?" is the right one for this forum. We are trying to improve on the tremendous accomplishment of our founding fathers. we will try to learn from the American Constitution, but will not limit ourselves to it. Our premise is that the Bible is our sole authority.

Jonathan wrote:
Are we just theorizing, or are we looking to find ways to act?

We are theorizing, but we are doing so to prepare ourselves to act. I have a vision of us starting a nation that will shine as America once did for the truth of Scripture and the value of liberty.

Jonathan wrote:
Absolutes are necessary, and a vital part of a civilized society. Without them, any attempt at order or liberty is hopeless. Our freedom as Christians comes from following God. We are free from a guilty conscience and free from death. We are "slaves to Christ." However, how can a people who are not slaves to Christ be told that they have to act as though they are?

I think that the basic principle that we all agree on that would answer this question is simply: God is God, His Law is Law. As Creator, God has the right to authority over any part of His creation whether or not it acquiesces to it. The Law is binding on all (the Law being understood to mean criminal law and not ceremonial and etc.). God ordained government to enforce His Law (again, His criminal Law, not all of the moral law, else government then would have jurisdiction over our thought lives). The very reason why we need to be Christians is that the Law is binding on us when we are not (no reading of anti- or pro-Calvinism into that please). I hope that I was clear and understandable, I can sometimes accidentally greatly obfuscate my meaning without intending to.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.


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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:33 am

Hello again,

After responding to questions, I felt it appropriate to post a word of clarification and encouragement. Taylor made an excellent point about the difference between freedom and liberty. If I can paraphrase, he pointed out that freedom is being able to do what you want to do, while liberty is being free to do right. If I misunderstood, please correct me. I wanted to point that out because I think that that would be a great working definition for the two terms in this forum. If you agree, I could post them in a prominent place so that we could avoid confusion about it later.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

_________________
I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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TaylorSandbek
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:28 am

Yes, that is what I meant, although you said it much simpler and better then I.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:10 pm

Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
It is the duty of government and us to defend liberty, but we must define it before we can defend it.

Is it? Not saying that its not, but first we should bring up the duties of the government. Oh, where do I put new thread ideas? I forgot. Sorry. Embarassed

Where are the biblical boundaries for liberty?

Pretty much anything that doesn't contradict the ten commandments. Or at least that's what it should be.

What is the priority of liberty?

To be able to give one the most freedoms possible, without contradicting the Bible

How do you defend liberty while condemning licentiousness?

I know I should know better but what's licentiousness? Embarassed

Is liberty or comfort more important

Depends on what the liberty or the comfort is. Care to elaborate?


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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:01 am

Peter G. wrote:
Sir Emeth Mimetes wrote:
It is the duty of government and us to defend liberty, but we must define it before we can defend it.

Is it? Not saying that its not, but first we should bring up the duties of the government. Oh, where do I put new thread ideas? I forgot. Sorry. Embarassed

The duties of government are discussed in the Purpose of Government thread, if you have any ideas on that go ahead and post them over there.

New topics for discussion are posted in the Queue.

Peter G. wrote:
Where are the biblical boundaries for liberty?

Pretty much anything that doesn't contradict the ten commandments. Or at least that's what it should be.

I agree with you, but it might be better stated as I did above: liberty is the freedom to do right. If the government impedes someone from doing something that is biblically and morally right, it has overstepped its bounds in my belief. What do you think?

Peter G. wrote:
What is the priority of liberty?

To be able to give one the most freedoms possible, without contradicting the Bible

Is its priority above or below perceived safety? In other words, would it be justifiable in your view for a government to remove liberty as a means to provide "help" in a crisis? This has been the means by which almost every government has justified the stealing the liberty of its people over the years. Can we avoid that?

Peter G. wrote:
How do you defend liberty while condemning licentiousness?

I know I should know better but what's licentiousness? Embarassed

The concept of giving "license" is to allow somebody a privilege to do something that he was not permitted to have without the license (i.e. driver's license). Licentiousness is someone making himself an exception to the rule and sinning without restraint. It is the overruling of law by personal desire. People use "liberty" as an excuse to practice licentiousness quite often, pornography and abortion being good examples.

Peter G. wrote:
Is liberty or comfort more important

Depends on what the liberty or the comfort is. Care to elaborate?

Would it be justifiable to gain comfort at the cost of liberty? Main case in point being getting welfare, but at the cost of greater taxes visible and invisible.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.


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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Fri Jan 16, 2009 11:28 am

Where are the biblical boundaries for liberty?

Liberty is given to anything that is not commanded against in the Bible.

What is the priority of liberty?

To give the people the freedom to do what is right and just.

How do you defend liberty while condemning licentiousness?

Everyone is held to the same set of laws stated in the Bible, there are no exceptions. Liberty is the freedom to do right and what is right is commanded and stated in the Bible. Licentiousness is therefore wrong because it puts someone above the law, declaring him as not held to the standards God has set in the Bible for our own safety.

Is liberty or comfort more important?

Liberty is more important then comfort. If we rule comfort more important, we are giving the government head-way to start controlling our lives. Liberty is given to the people but comfort is what the people must work for themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:03 am

Greetings,

Again, as in the other threads, can we think up a working definition for liberty? We will need to take into account the context of our discussions and where we will use it. Based on the current definition of crime, crime involves a violation of someone else's liberty. Here we must decide what and how we are going to define liberty in that context. Any thoughts?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:32 am

Liberty is the freedom to do what is good, right, and true. And what is right, good and true is determined by God's law and word.

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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:13 am

Hannah Marie wrote:
Liberty is the freedom to do what is good, right, and true. And what is right, good and true is determined by God's law and word.

That sounds good to me. Does anybody see any possible conflict with that definition and how we use it in our definition of crime? Will it be applicable to later discussions?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Mon Jan 26, 2009 6:45 pm

Great definition. I concur.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Tue Feb 03, 2009 8:06 am

Does anybody have any objections?

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:02 pm

Hmm...I may have some thoughts to add. :-) I can't type them up at the moment, but I'll try to get back soon.

Sorry!
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:23 pm

Liberty is the freedom to do what is good, right, and true. And what is right, good and true is determined by God's law and word.

Something I thought of is that it might be good to wordsmith the "good, right, and true" part to simply read "righteous." That might be clearer and less prone to manipulation, since righteousness is very clearly defined by Scripture (though practically any Scriptural teaching has been attacked by sophists). What do you think?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:38 pm

I have no objection to the definition given here.

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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:06 pm

Hi, personally, or in general, I have nothing against the definition of Liberty: Liberty is the freedom to do what is good, right, and true. And what is right, good and true is determined by God's law and word. But, is there a better way of wording it? Besides, (Now I can't back this up, but I believe it.) something can always be worded better, agreed? Although that doesn't count God's word, because He is perfect and His Word is perfect, but that is a whole other issue... However, is there another way of saying good, right, and true in not so many words? What do you guys think?
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Fri Feb 13, 2009 2:09 am

Peter,

That is just what I was thinking, and I thought that we could aptly sum it all up in the one word "righteous." That seems like it would work for me, what do you think?

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:02 am

so liberty is someone who is righteous? that could work, now we just need a long definition...
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:47 am

Peter,

Here is what I am envisaging. What we do in these definitions is concisely and precisely define important terms for our later use and use in our constitution. As for "longer definitions," what we will probably end up doing is writing dissertations defending our definitions scripturally and logically. These articles will provide added context for our official definitions in here, and thus clarify the definitions. We will start writing these articles in the near future, but not super near.

With joy and peace in Christ,
Jay Lauser

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I am Sir Emeth Mimetes (knighted to the warfare of truth by the calling of Christ, the Master of my order), and thus, though poorly is it ever met by my feeble abilities, is my mission: to combat those ideas that are rooted in mindsets that are contrary to my Master.
May I never forsake abiding in Him, and may His ways never cease to thrive within my heart, for He only is my strength and hope.
note: emeth is Hebrew for truth, right, faithful;
mimetes is Greek for an imitator or follower.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:00 pm

Ah, that makes more sense. However, since we have pretty much defined some of the words, we could start on them.
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PostSubject: Re: What is liberty?   Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:33 pm

Perhaps liberty could be defined as being a slave to Christ instead of a slave to sin?
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