Christmas will be here in just a few hours! And it holds a very special place in my heart. I have been a Christian now for almost 6 years. For most of my life I was agnostic and had no relationship with God. I made massive assumptions about the Bible and Jesus Christ without doing any real research or reading. I used to judge Christianity by its followers (a grave mistake), who of course made mistakes because hello! They were human.
It was a huge, massive coincidence that at the same time that I was reading and learning about liberty, economics, the founding of America, economic freedom and the greatest prosperity that ever existed I was also exploring Christianity on a more personal level.
Little did I know that the two different tracks of explorations would merge into my greatest discovery of Western Civilization's history. Little did I know that Western Civilization and the freedoms and rights we're blessed with was born on the back of Christianity's values. Little did I know that Christianity and Jesus Christ encouraged reasoning, questioning, and discovery of truth.
Christianity was the only religion in the world that encouraged its followers to question and reason before following God. As opposed to other religions that stated that a person had to either choose their God or die (That's a big reason other religions grew! Because people would join just to save their lives and the lives of their families.)
During this Christmas season I want to celebrate the freedoms in the U.S. and the birth of Jesus Christ who taught that everyone has a choice and freedom to do what they want. You can choose to follow Jesus or you can choose not to. God in Christianity desires free will for people and allows you to make a choice without the threat of murder or torture over your head if you don't. If you don't choose God, you are choosing to live a life without Him, but again, it's always your choice.
Our schools and media no longer teach us the incredible positive influence of Christianity in our country and modern society. They don't teach us how Christian-Judeo principles were the foundation for America's Constitution and culture. Many of us today would be shocked and might even deny that Western Civilization's rich history and culture is because of Christianity because that information has been buried.
Below are some great resources to start with to re-introduce the real history behind our freedoms and rights into mainstream thinking.
Why did freedom happen?
For those of us living in the United States, a nation that has experienced more than two hundred years of unparalleled liberty, it is easy to take for granted the extraordinary gifts we have been given...
The majority of human beings have never even thought about the possibility of living under the protection of a government that would honor their individual rights or grant them freedom...
The modern day we live in, with the unimaginable blessings of freedom and liberty, is the aberration, not the norm. Further, simply because freedom exists today does not guarantee this gift will survive for future generations...
How are we so lucky? To what do we owe this great blessing? Many scholars confidently assert that it was the Greeks who gave birth to these beliefs, which were then nourished by Christianity in such a way as to make possible modern-day concepts of freedom and democracy.
Christianity embraces reason and logic.
While the other world religions emphasized mystery and intuition, Christianity alone embraced reason and logic as the primary guide to religious truth. Christian faith in reason was influenced by Greek philosophy...But from the early days, the church fathers taught that reason was the supreme gift from God...Faith in the power of reason infused Western culture, stimulating the pursuit of science and the evolution of democratic theory and practice. The rise of capitalism was also a victory for church-inspired reason...
Christianity supports free will and human rights.
Christians taught that there was such a thing as agency, or free will; that we are responsible for our own conduct; that God rewards and punishes based upon the exercise of our free will, not on fate or luck or whim. This distinctive belief - extraordinarily rare in other world religions - is one of the most fundamental of all Christian beliefs.
The early Christian Jews were the first champions of human rights. For example, even among the most civilized cultures, they were the first - and many times the only - defenders of infants and children. (Infanticide was rampant throughout the world.)
The church offered major contributions in the development of civilization, science, and free governments:
It was the Catholic church that was responsible for what has become known as the scientific revolution through its creation of the university system.
Catholic priests were pioneers in the fields of geology, Egyptology, astronomy, and atomic theory.
Medieval monasteries were responsible for either preserving from classical times (generally accepted as the era of the Greeks and Romans), or initiating on their own, significant advances in agriculture.
Medieval monasteries pioneered the use of water power, factories, and metallurgy.
The church was pivotal in the preservation of the written words of the ancients - perhaps even literacy itself.
Early Christian theology was the foundation of the Western legal system (the rule of law) as well as international law.
Christian philosophy led to challenges to slavery in both the Old and New Worlds.
And, of great import, the moral code of the West, including belief in the sanctity of human life and marriage, derived from Christian teachings.
The rise of Western thought in Europe, based upon reason, faith in progress, personal freedom, and capitalism, was the direct result of Christian theology. Without doubt, the greatest achievement of Western thought was the birth of the United States of America. The United States is the cradle of self-government, freedom, and liberty. From its inception, it has provided the best evidence that democracy and freedom can not only work but prosper...
Belief in the equality of the individual is also a uniquely Christian concept. The message of Jesus Christ was simple: whether male or female, bond or free, Jew, Greek, or Roman, all were equal before God.
Read the rest of the book >>
our founding fathers chose the message 'in god we trust' for a very good reason
The Founders (of America) considered the whole foundation of a just society to be structured on the basis of God's revealed law. These laws constituted a moral code clearly distinguishing right from wrong...
The Constitution is based on Natural Law which is God's Law.
The laws for human nature had been revealed by God, whereas the laws of the universe (natural law) must be learned through scientific investigation...the attitude of the Founders toward God's law (both natural and revealed) gave early Americans a very high regard for the "law" as a social institution. They respected the sanctity of the law in the same way that it was honored among theAnglo-Saxons and by ancient Israel...
Equality before the law...means that every man's case is tried by the same law governing any particular case. It means that there are no different laws for different classes and orders of men [as there were in ancient times] (and Obama's administration today). The definition of premeditated murder is the same for the millionaire (or politician) as for the tramp.
It may be surprising, even to Americans, to discover how much of their Constitution and their lifestyle is based on principles of Natural Law...Natural Law is the foundation and encompassing framework for everything we have come to call "People's Law." This is precisely what Thomas Jefferson was talking about when he wrote in the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."
America's Declaration of Independence and free-enterprise economics had produced phenomenal results...
Two hundred years after the Constitution was signed, the great "noble experiment" of America's Declaration of Independence and free-enterprise economics had produced phenomenal results...
The United States started accumulating a fantastic list of achievements in technology, politics, and economics never before witnessed in the history of humankind. The spirit of freedom infected people all around the globe, and free-market economics unleashed creativity and brilliance in nations everywhere.
A literal explosion of progress crackled wherever freedom could reach. Electricity, the internal combustion engine, nuclear energy, aircraft, electronics, communications, travel to the moon or the bottom of the sea, suddenly, nearly anything seemed possible. People started living longer - double the average lifespan of a few centuries before. Our homes, quality of food and clothing, the luxuries of central air and heat, running water and flushing toilets, common-day travel around the globe, tens of millions of books, increased capacity to invent and understand, educational advances for the average student, cures, entertainment, and non-stop movies on TV or your iPod - all came about not just in America but to benefit the entire world. In just 200 years, the human race made a 5,000-year leap!
Read the rest of the book >>
the smell of freedom, the scent of christianity
This idea of the preciousness and equal worth of every human being is largely rooted in Christianity. Christians believe that God places infinite value on every human life. Christian salvation does not attach itself to a person’s family or tribe or city. It is an individual matter. And not only are Christians judged at the end of their lives as individuals, but throughout their lives they relate to God on that basis. This aspect of Christianity had momentous consequences.
In ancient Greece and Rome, individual human life had no particular value in and of itself. The Spartans left weak children to die on the hillside. Infanticide was common, as it is common even today in many parts of the world. Fathers who wanted sons had few qualms about drowning their newborn daughters. Human beings were routinely bludgeoned to death or mauled by wild animals in the Roman gladiatorial arena. Many of the great classical thinkers saw nothing wrong with these practices. Christianity, on the other hand, contributed to their demise by fostering moral outrage at the mistreatment of innocent human life.
Likewise, women had a very low status in ancient Greece and Rome, as they do today in many cultures, notably in the Muslim world. Such views are common in patriarchal cultures. And they were prevalent as well in the Jewish society in which Jesus lived. But Jesus broke the traditional taboos of his time when he scandalously permitted women of low social status to travel with him and be part of his circle of friends and confidantes.
The modern idea of freedom is rooted in a respect for the individual. It means the right to express our opinion, the right to choose a career, the right to buy and sell property, the right to travel where we want, the right to our own personal space, and the right to live our own life. In return, we are responsible only to respect the rights of others. This is the freedom we are ready to fight for, and we become indignant when it is challenged or taken away.
Read Dinesh D'Souza's entire article >> Created Equal: How Christianity Shaped the West
You might also like his bestselling book >>>
western civilization was built with biblical truth as its foundation
In his well-documented book, How Christianity Changed the World, Alvin Schmidt shows how the moral, biblical worldview of Christianity has had such a powerful and positive influence on the world. Through the historical record, he demonstrates the following:
The idea of human rights came straight from the Bible, as God places a high view of human life and its sanctity.
Christianity greatly elevated and exalted the value of women. Christ raised the dignity, freedom, and rights of women to a level previously unknown in all other cultures in history.
Where did the idea of philanthropy come from? European historian Carlton Hayes said, "From the wellsprings of Christian compassion our Western civilization has drawn its inspiration and its sense of duty for feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, looking after the homeless, clothing the naked, tending the sick, and visiting the prisoner."
Biblical teaching was behind establishing hospitals, creating mental institutions, professionalizing medical nursing, and founding the Red Cross.
Slavery was accepted by virtually every culture in history, as far back as anyone can remember. It never occurred to anyone that it is wrong. But the abolition of slavery and the rejection of racial segregation go back to the earliest teachings of Christianity. The great historian Will Durant made it clear that Christianity was not a segregated religion, "It offered itself without restriction to all individuals, classes, and nations; it was not limited to one people..."
Read the rest of the book >>
Or you can also read Alvin Schmidt's book >>
The Freedom Friend uses the standard of freedom to measure if policies, laws, or arguments are right and fair for everyone. Our Founding Fathers created a document unlike any other in history. The United States Constitution. It gave American citizens - ALL citizens - protection of their freedoms and natural rights by limiting the power of the government. In all of human history, government has always oppressed the masses. Not companies. Not corporations. But tyrants. Dictators. Monarchs. Autocrats. Royal families. Governments. The people in charge of our laws, money creation, and military. Our goal is to help people recognize politicians' truth, or hidden agendas, by using the measurement of universal freedom for everyone to make better life decisions.
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