We are going to take a look at the word Liberty as discussed in the book Liberty by Glenn Tinder. He does not present his work as a scholarly over overly religious work which is fine. We will look at his ideas only and address those not him or his qualifications.
Qualifications are a tenuous criterion as no matter how many degrees or years of experience you may have, someone will always find fault with it and dismiss your point of view simply because you claim to be a Christian. One of the things that unbelievers can attack, for they can do nothing against the truth, is a believer’s qualifications because dismissing those means they have allowed themselves to ignore the truths a believer brings.
We are not going to do that here. Mr. Tinder probably is qualified to speak on the topic of Liberty and we are not concerned with his qualifications because all people have the right to develop their own point of view ion any given issue they are interested in talking about.
But at the same time, this fact does not mean that the person developing their own point of view is in line with scripture or giving an accurate picture of the topic discussed. We are going to address those points not Mr. Tinder or his qualifications, though we may and will bring into the discussion some points that may look like we are doing exactly that.
We are not but include those points because they are pointing out facts that need to be considered. Also, we are limiting this study to just Mr. Tinder’s prologue and first chapter. Scholars say that to get the full view of the author all you have to do is read the introduction and the conclusion and this is quite true as the author usually puts their personal views in both sections and everything in between is merely a discussion and explanation of how they came to those conclusions.
#1. I submit that we need to look not only at the trees (which scholars examine) but also at the forest (which is the province of the philosophers) and to do that we need to run the heavy risk of generalizing broadly. (pg. xi)
To say the least here he is being consistent with his views and use of ‘liberty’ as he draws from many walks of life information that help develop his views. But this is also a problem for this type of ‘liberty’ means that we must ignore God’s rules on whom we are to listen to and follow and consider a lot of false teaching on the issue. This course of action leads us to allowing wrong ideas to influence our perspective on ‘liberty’ an dhow it applies to our lives and to society in general.
#2.If human beings often behave badly, liberty must often have unhappy consequences. (pg. xii)
Our question in response to this is ‘why?’ Why should unhappy consequences be allowed if one is in pursuit of liberty? In true liberty this is the case but if we are to have true liberty then we are also free to regulate people’s behavior.
Creating laws to inhibit unhappy consequences is a part of true liberty just as having no laws to govern people’s behavior is. if you cannot create laws to govern society then true liberty does not exist. True liberty does not restrict the options available to the people thus if people advocate the removal of certain laws in order to achieve ‘true liberty’ they are not reaching true liberty but liberty as they want it to be. True liberty cannot be defined as the removal of all rules and laws.
#3. I consider myself a Socratic and Kantian Christian. (pg. xii-xiii)
This is the key point in this study on liberty. If someone identifies themselves as a Socratic and Kantian Christian, or if they say that they are a homosexual or progressive Christian then they are not a biblical Christian.
They have ignored the warnings God gave in both Deut. and Rev
Dt 4:1 Hear now, O Israel, the decrees and laws I am about to teach you. Follow them so that you may live and may go in and take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Dt 4:2 Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.
Rev 22:18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.
Rev 22:19 And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
They are adding in those views that come from human sources who do not preach the biblical truth but place their own ideas on the level of God’s word. While Socrates, Kant and others are allowed to describe different religious ideas, those descriptions must be in line with what God has taught us in the Bible or they are not of God and cannot be considered biblical or even Christian.
So by Mr. Tinder’s quoted words we know exactly the position he is coming from. He is not coming from a position of truth but a position that he favors an done that is not in line with God’s word. Thus we must take what he says with a very large grain of salt knowing that his words do not agree with God’s.
He may make some good points to ponder but in the end we must ignore those points and search out God’s instruction on the issue.
#4. Truth is not something we create, nor do we simply summon it when we wish to do so. it is given to us, perhaps as an idea that unexpectedly strikes us… (pg. xiii)
Truth is given to us and it is done so via God’s word and the aid of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14 & 16). And the truth of the issue of liberty is that true liberty as defined by most as ‘doing what one wants when they want’ has never existed on this planet.
The moment God said:
Ge 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; n
Ge 2:17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.?
Then the definition of the word liberty was established and that definition includes rules, laws, commandments and instruction. At no time in human history has the definition of the word ‘liberty’ included freedom from rules.
People have never been allowed to do as they please or to do it whenever they felt like it. The moment you outlaw murder or some other crime, you have placed restriction on liberty and define it as God has defined it in the beginning.
Anarchy and chaos which are the result of the mindset which dictates that freedom means one can do as they please but the moment you make laws you are telling people that they cannot do as they please or when they want. Anarchy and chaos ruin society and endanger innocent people just because someone wants to do their own thing instead of obeying the rules and having true freedom.
The issues of rights interferes with freedom as God defines the word as the term ‘rights’ contradicts what true freedom is just as much as a totalitarian and dictatorship do. People use the term ‘rights’ today as a way to avoid obeying the rules of God and society in hopes of being able to do what they please whenever they please.
This attitude is not restricted to LGBT issues only but permeates all of society including when and where women breastfeed. Rights do not define liberty but are submissive to it. Rights do not get to alter the standards of good and evil but are defined by that standard as well as the standard of morality and immorality and God’s standard of right and wrong.