Liberty is spiritual, but man-made government is the root of all evil ... true or false?
Before you dismiss such a question as far-fetched, stop to ponder the full meaning of the words of Jesus: "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:21) Think about what it would mean if man-made government was able to seriously block you from acting upon guidance from your Holy Spirit.
Dwell on the words of Ezra Taft Bensen, former President of the Mormon Church, talking to BYU students. But as you do so, pretend he is talking to you as a student of the 21st Century revelation from Jesus Christ: A Course in Miracles.
The gospel of Jesus Christ can prosper only in an atmosphere of freedom. As members of his Church, we have a major responsibility to do all in our power to see that freedom is preserved and safeguarded. I pray that God will bless you to see communism for what it really is: the greatest system of human slavery that the world has ever known.
Another notable counterfeit system to the Lord's plan is collectivized socialism. Socialism derives its philosophy from the founders of communism, Marx and Engels. Communism in practice is socialism. Its purpose is world socialism, which the communists seek to achieve by revolution, and which the socialists seek to achieve by evolution. Both communism and socialism have the same effect upon the individual--a loss of personal liberty.
Why is socialism incompatible with man's liberty? Socialism cannot work except through an all-powerful state. The state has to be supreme in everything. When individuals begin to exert their God-given rights, the state has to suppress that freedom.
Of course a phrase like "God-given rights" needs some clarification. If you listen inside and hear the Voice for God as taught in A Course in Miracles, then it is right for you to follow the instruction you hear. In fact, if you are a 100% dedicated student of Jesus, then the only thing that is right for you is to listen inside and do as told.
But a nearly omnipresent, omnipotent man-made government waving laws, rules and regulations in your face every direction you turn hardly even gives you a chance to quiet your mind and hear spiritual guidance, never mind carry out instructions heard inside. In fact, a man-made government run by egoistic politicians and keeping you in slavery by means of oppressive taxation makes it a painful struggle to even keep your head above water, never mind learn what the Holy Spirit would really have you learn and create what the Holy Spirit would really have you create.
"But doesn't socialism take from the rich and give to the poor? And isn't that what Jesus practiced?"
No, it's not what Jesus practiced! Consider again the words of Ezra Taft Bensen:
Americans have always been committed to taking care of the poor, aged, and unemployed. We have done this on the basis of Judaic-Christian beliefs and humanitarian principles. It has been fundamental to our way of life that charity must be voluntary if it is to be charity. Compulsory benevolence is not charity. Today's socialists--who call themselves egalitarians--are using the federal government to redistribute wealth in our society, not as a matter of voluntary charity, but as a so-called matter of right.
Let's look at a "matter of right." If what is right is listening inside and doing as told, then voluntary charity certainly would be a matter of right, since such giving is an extension of spiritual impulses. But there can be no spiritual benefit to either giver or receiver from people being forced by a man-made government to give to the poor. In fact, that would be not right, but wrong.
In this respect, President Bensen quotes the great social commentator Edmund Burke warning of the threat of any political attempt to create economic equality:
A perfect equality will indeed be produced--that is to say, equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of the petitioners, a woeful, helpless, and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsory equalizations. They pull down what is above; they never raise what is below; and they depress high and low together beneath the level of what was originally the lowest.
You might wonder if politicians like Barack Obama or John McCain would even let go of their arrogance long enough to read Edmund Burke.
But then the arrogance starts with us, doesn't it? Politicians only carry to extreme the laws of chaos we have made up. Here are the words of Jesus Christ from A Course in Miracles:
Chaotic laws are hardly meaningful, and therefore out of reason's sphere. Yet they appear to constitute an obstacle to reason and to truth. Let us, then, look upon them calmly, that we may look beyond them, understanding what they are, not what they would maintain. It is essential it be understood what they are for, because it is their purpose to make meaningless, and to attack the truth. Here are the laws that rule the world you made. And yet they govern nothing, and need not be broken; merely looked upon and gone beyond. (ACIM Text Chap. 23)
You might say man-made government as we see it out there in our society is merely a reflection of an attempt to have man-made government inside ourselves.
The solution, of course, is simple. Dedicate ourselves to God, to listening for God, to experiencing God, to being God's teacher. Here's what Jesus tells us about those who are willing to be God's teachers:
Perception is the result of learning. In fact, perception is learning, because cause and effect are never separated. The teachers of God have trust in the world, because they have learned it is not governed by the laws the world made up. It is governed by a Power That is in them but not of them. It is this Power That keeps all things safe. It is through this Power that the teachers of God look on a forgiven world.
When this Power has once been experienced, it is impossible to trust one's own petty strength again. Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him? And who would place his faith in the shabby offerings of the ego when the gifts of God are laid before him? (ACIM Manual for Teachers)
Certainly the American Revolution was a spiritually guided attempt to put an end to (or at least severely limit) man-made government and replace it with "in God we Trust." Another of the revolutionary mottos, still on American currency, was Novus ordo seculorum: "A new order of the ages."
As we feel the revolutionary spirit this month of July, let us repeat often the following statement from A Course in Miracles and ask God to help us make real in our world it's truth:
"I am under no laws but God’s.
Here is the perfect statement of my freedom.
I am under no laws but God’s.
I am constantly tempted to make up other laws,
and give them power over me.
I suffer only because of my belief in them.
They have no real effect on me at all.
I am perfectly free of the effects of all laws,
And His are the laws of freedom.”
"...nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." (Luke 17:21)
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