Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
You may recall from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, Linus reading the following:
“And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:10-11).
The word “Savior” means “deliverer, liberator, emancipator, rescuer”. In other words, the “Savior” is a “freedom-giver”! This is the gospel. Jesus has come to liberate us from the bondage of sin and death! Freedom is front and center with the gospel.
The famous Christmas announcement about the baby Jesus continues: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men’” (Luke 2:13-14).
What is “good will” but an intention of love. Thus, Christmas announces the love of God toward us. As in the great gospel statement of John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son …that the world through him might be saved (delivered).”
Love and freedom go together. That is why God’s provision of deliverance, of liberation, of salvation through the Savior born in Bethlehem is a work both of love and of freedom! Think about it. If you take away the capacity to choose, you destroy the capacity to love! Take away choice, and you ruin love relationships. You can program a robot to love you, but then you lose the whole meaning of love. The capacity to choose is fundamental to both freedom and love.
When He launched his public ministry from the temple in Nazareth, Jesus read from the book of Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor;…to preach deliverance to the captives…to set at liberty them that are bruised (oppressed), to preach (proclaim) the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18-19).
The statement “to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” is a reference to the Year of Jubilee – the year in which there was remission of debts, restoration of possessions, and liberty for slaves. It took place on the year following seven Sabbath years (7 x 7), on the fiftieth year. It was a foreshadowing of the gospel of the Savior! The Bible says about the Year of Jubilee that the jubilee trumpet would be blown “to proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof” (Leviticus 25:10).
This was the vision for the Liberty Bell, which still hangs at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia townsmen who commissioned the famous bell in 1751 had it inscribed with Leviticus 25:10 – hence, the name it came to bear and the role it played in the early history of the United States. It rang for freedom – a freedom based on the biblical truth of the gospel, foreshadowed by the year of Jubilee!
Jubilee is essentially the Sabbath of Sabbaths. The gospel is Jubilee and Jubilee is a Sabbath! God had set apart the Sabbath in his Ten Commandments as the special day for his people to reflect on their deliverance, the salvation from their bondage in Egypt. In setting up the Ten Commandments, God identified Himself as the freedom-giving God (Exodus 20:2). And the basis for the Sabbath is all about creation science truth: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth…and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11).
Exodus 20:11 is a very difficult verse to interpret in anything but literal days, especially as we consider how the seven-day week became ubiquitous across cultures and throughout history. Other measures of time are based on the sun, moon, and stars, but the seven-day week is based on the truth about creation. God created everything in six days through His spoken word – NOT through the terribly flawed theory of evolution!
The early American settlers at the founding of our country had a deep appreciation for freedom and for liberty as part and parcel of their Christian faith. Many were “dissenters” from the State-Churches of the Old World. They read the Bible and they applied it to life and practice, and to independence and freedom! No less than George Washington said the following about the American Christian: “The thing that sets the American Christian apart from all other people in the world is that he will die on his feet before he will live on his knees.”
Competing for many years for the official motto of the United States was the statement, “Rebellion against tyranny is obedience to God” – a paraphrase essentially of Acts 5:29, “We ought to obey God rather than men”. This favorite motto of many of the Founding Fathers is attributed originally to John Knox, the great early Protestant Reformer known for his tremendous courage in standing up for freedom under God against the corruption of church and state in Scotland. The motto conveys the spirit of “the Savior” (of which the angel spoke at Christmas), who himself in many ways stood up to and suffered on our behalf under the tyranny of men.
In our day, the persecution of Christians and suppression of freedom is seen on many fronts, including the current experience of Hong Kong and of Chinese Christians and other people of faith under the hand of Communist China. We have noted in these letters the connection of Socialism/Communism to godless totalitarian systems – and in the suppression of truth through the censoring of speech and information.
Evolution upholds tyranny by removing the freedom-giving God of Christianity. Therefore, evolution is an essential underpinning philosophy for communists, socialists and progressives. Biblical Christianity becomes a threat to them because of the freedom and moral courage it supports. We need to continue to proclaim truth, to stand firm, and even rebel when the time comes against the many forms of tyranny, including the tyranny of evolution theory. And more than ever, we need to pray!
Let us also pray for unbelievers at this time of year when they are getting an extra prompting to think about Jesus. For Christians, the Holy Spirit bids us to be thankful that the Son of God became the sinless Son of Man to redeem us. Let us rejoice in this Good News of God’s provision of love and freedom at Christmas – and labor all the more to proclaim the whole biblical truth of God to the whole world!
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