The Bad Taste of Liberalism


Legalised pornography, "adult" industries, homosexuality, abortion, sex changes, … all come in the name of freedom; whether it be freedom of speech, freedom of expression or the right to equality. Everyone and everything has rights. But human nature and man's sinfulness simply do not seem to feature in the idealism of liberalism. For in liberalism, freedom comes to mean the freedom and right to sin. Many Christian and other moral parents bemoan this element of liberalism. They loathe the pornographic sex education of the new curriculum, the violence, sex, language and blasphemy on television and other media outlets.

In the New South Africa unfortunately, the necessary transformation from apartheid has been hijacked by liberalism rather than Biblical Christianity. South Africa today has some of the most liberal and permissive laws, legislation and policies in the world. Yet on the ground South Africa remains a primarily conservative landscape. If a referendum was held today, the death penalty would be reinstated, abortion would be abolished, pornography prohibited, sodomy disallowed… and the ruling elite know it.

In Western countries, particularly in Europe, the emotional impact of liberalism has been minimised, due to a gradual eradication of the Christian consensus and culture - the frog boiled slowly in water story. But not so in South Africa.

The swing of the pendulum has been so dramatic that few people have failed to feel it. If nothing is taboo, then the reciprocal is also true - nothing is sacred. And if nothing is sacred, then there can be little or no real meaning. With all the indulgence and opulence of liberalism, it inevitably leaves a bad taste in one's mouth. Many South Africans are disillusioned with the promises of the "rainbow nation". Liberalism is a far cry from the rainbow of God's Covenant and His promises.

God defines freedom differently to the humanist. The Word of God describes this "freedom" or "liberalism" aptly "They promise them liberty, when they themselves are slaves of depravity and defilement - for by whatever anyone is made inferior or worse or is overcome, to that [person or thing] he is enslaved." 2 Peter 2:19. Humanistic "liberalism" is slavery.

What does the Bible say about freedom? Surprisingly, quite a lot. Jesus' very first sermon was about liberty. "The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, …To proclaim liberty to the captives …To set at liberty those who are oppressed…" Luke 4:18-19. This is very significant, it was the proclamation of "liberty" that set His entire ministry in motion. But Jesus went on, declaring, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed" John 8:36. Elsewhere we are told, "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17. Clearly this applies to freedom from the power of sin. But this liberty and setting free of captives not only extends to our souls and eternal salvation but to every area of our lives - governments and nations, economics and families, religious worship and direct access to the throne room of God. However, this freedom is not absolute. It is not chaotic. The Apostle Paul commands us not to use our freedom as an opportunity to sin (Gal 5:13). How do we define what sin is, because clearly we are not freed from a lifestyle of sin, only to re-enter into a lifestyle of sin? Biblically sin is described as "lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). So we need God's Law to check the inevitable excesses and "liberalism" of our sinful natures. Biblical freedom is freedom from sin and freedom to obey God.

So while liberalism proclaims "democracy", many South Africans are being left frustrated and feeling powerless as wave after wave of "depravity" is being unleashed upon our nation. What can we do about it? Well, besides repenting of our own sins and praying for our nation (2 Chronicles 7:14), we must also prepare ourselves to vote for political parties in next year's elections that hold to God's Law and His standards for society.

by Rob McCafferty

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa - 021-689-4481 -
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