May 25, 2022

Securing Freedom for Generations to Come

By
Scott Blakeman
Legal

A Vision for Freedom Series (Part 2):

Securing Freedom for Generations to Come

In Psalm 145:4, the psalmist states that “one generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts.” As Christians, we long to see God’s mighty acts in our lives as He makes us more like Christ. But our desire shouldn’t stop there. We should also have a longing to be His instruments, or “vessels of honorable use,” as 2 Timothy 2:20 puts it (ESV), helping advance the Kingdom of God and changing the world around us. The Gospel is central to this transformation because it is the ultimate catalyst for meaningful long-term change at both individual and societal levels.  

At Alliance Defending Freedom, we believe God calls us to be a part of His vibrant activity in this world through the work we undertake within our legal system to keep the doors open for the Gospel. With God’s help, we’re committed to achieving  Generational Wins. Generational Wins are significant victories rooted in the truth of Scripture that can change the trajectory of law and culture for decades.  

But our work doesn’t end there.  

We strive to sustain these victories by deliberate action so that they endure for generations to come because each generation has the responsibility to steward freedom for the next.

The truth and trustworthiness of God’s Word ultimately inspire and ground our strategy. While culture may change, God’s Word does not. And we know that following biblical truth leads to true freedom and human flourishing – for the believer and non-believer alike.

What are these Generational Wins? There are five, and they are at the heart of much of what we do at ADF:  

  • Religious Freedom Prevails: Restoring religious freedom as a fundamental right.
  • Life is Safeguarded: Guaranteeing the right to life from conception to natural death.
  • All Can Speak Freely: Securing free speech for all.
  • Marriage and Family Are Protected: Ensuring the law respects God’s creative order for marriage, the family, and human sexuality.
  • Parental Rights are Guaranteed: Guaranteeing the fundamental rights of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

Religious Freedom Prevails  

God created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, including making human beings in His image. This means that we are inherently religious creatures who, like God, also possess liberty, dignity, and moral responsibility.

We see this unfold in the Garden of Eden, where God gave Adam and Eve freedom through a choice: “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

God will not coerce belief or obedience. As with Adam and Eve, we are called to freely choose to follow God and His ways. And governments should respect this choice. They are established by God to help ensure order and justice are carried out (Romans 13). Part of a government’s essential duties is to help secure religious freedom, a fundamental, inalienable, and pre-political right that’s worthy of protection.  

The heart and soul of mankind belong to God, not the government. Coercing or prohibiting belief constitutes a governmental invasion into the exclusive jurisdiction of God.

We are also called to oppose efforts to limit this fundamental freedom. Because humans are free and equal before God, the State must protect and respect their liberty, not restrict it.

Life is Safeguarded

Our beliefs about life and why society should preserve and protect it flow from the fact that God is its Author. Scripture tells us He breathed into us the breath of life during creation (Genesis 2:7). The Psalms also testify to how He ‘knitted” us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-14). And, He ultimately sent His Son to rescue and redeem our lives. (Colossians 1:13-14). The breadth of God’s redemption story paints a vivid picture of the high value He places on human life.

Since God created life, it belongs to Him, so the killing of humans created in His image is not only offensive but unjust. We see in Proverbs 6:17 that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood,” and the book of Deuteronomy implores us to “choose life that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days.”

Innocent life is not ours to take, whether at the beginning, end, or somewhere in between. Scripture teaches that even amidst suffering, no one is justified in taking or ending life; rather, there is grace in suffering. So, the State, as God’s instrument, is tasked with carrying out justice to uphold and protect life.

All Can Speak Freely

As humans made in the image of God, we must exercise wise stewardship over creation. This stewardship encompasses both physical creation and our relationships with other people. Since we live in a broken and sinful world, our interactions are flawed, but we are told to “speak the truth in love” to one another. Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God initiated the rescue and redemption of His creation and is making all things new. This is the Good News that Jesus commissions His followers to share with everyone, to the ends of the earth.

The Apostle Paul asks in Romans 10:14, “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Speech is clearly central to this mission. Protecting the right to speak freely is not only necessary for the flourishing of society, it’s essential to proclaiming the Gospel.

Marriage and Family are Protected

One of God’s first acts in our world was to institute marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman. Marriage is a divinely inspired societal good that serves as God’s method and ideal to fulfill his command to be fruitful and multiply humanity. It is the basic building block of the family and society, and is also a picture of Christ’s love for His Church.  

Today’s discussions about marriage inevitably lead to the topic of human sexuality. Our culture actively promotes unbiblical views of this vital matter. But, regardless of what our culture says, we must stand on God’s truth about humanity and sexuality. Scripture makes clear that sex is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. Further, God created humanity in two – and only two – equal, complementary, and immutable sexes in His image, male and female. All humanity shares this common nature across all time and all cultures. God ordains maleness and femaleness. They are not socially constructed or merely a product of human desire, nor are they variable or fluid.

Parental Rights are Guaranteed

Parents have a God-given duty to care for, raise, and educate their children without undue interference from the State. Scripture contains many commands to parents – but none to the State – about properly raising and training their children. Proverbs 22:6 instructs parents to “[t]rain up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

This speaks directly to the need of educating and guiding children so that they are raised to know, revere, and follow God their entire lives. God has intentionally delegated authority over children to their parents. This authority must be stewarded wisely.

Apart from Christ, We can do Nothing

At ADF, we’re excited to work toward these Generational Wins, and we’re eager to engage churches and ministries in the process. However, we know that, as Christ tells us in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  With God’s help, the faithful stewardship and service of His people, and utter dependence on prayer, we’re confident that we can change the culture, spark a revival of freedom, and continue to help keep the doors open for the Gospel for generations to come.  

Read more from the "A Vision for Freedom" series:

Part One: The Roots of Alliance Defending Freedom

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