Liberalism

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John Locke (29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704)

Liberalists campaign for a fairer and more tolerant society and hold to a philosophy based upon 7 fundamental principles:

 Individual Rights
Protecting the rights of the individual must be the highest value of society, to foster mutual tolerance and respect towards the cultivation of the dignity of every person.

Democracy
Constitutional democracy is the best way for a free citizenry to maintain a state and resist tyranny.

Economic Freedom
Property rights that begin with personal self-ownership and private property create the most productive societies.

Freedom of speech
Freedom of expression is a necessary and fundamental pillar of a free society.

Self-reliance
People possess agency and should be treated as such because treating people like victims becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Blind Justice
Each individual should be governed by the same laws as their peers without arbitrary discrimination and be presumed innocent until proven guilty by a fair trial.

Secularism
Everybody is free to practice their religion, or not, as long as it does not interfere with the rights of others.

On the surface they appear trustworthy and, as Bible-believing Christians, we can agree with much of the sentiments held by Liberalists.

Liberalism as a coherent philosophical belief

British philosopher John Locke developed Liberalism in the 18th century. Locke is often described as the “Father of Modern Liberalism”. Locke lived at a time of great social upheavals in England. Events that happened during Locke’s lifetime include the English Restoration (1660), the Great Plague of London (1665-1666) and the Great Fire of London (2-6 September, 1666).

Although Locke was an advocate of tolerance, he urged the authorities not to tolerate atheism, because he thought the denial of God’s existence would undermine the social order and lead to chaos. That excluded all atheistic varieties of philosophy and all attempts to deduce ethics and natural law from purely secular premises. In Locke’s opinion the cosmological argument (that is; the fact that all things in nature exist are down to a singular cause) was valid and proved God’s existence. His political thought was based on Protestant Christian views.

Whilst we would agree with the Liberalists on some of their principles we, as Bible believers, have serious concerns with the idea of secularism. It is our belief that our lives are to be in submission to the principles laid down in the Bible and, in particular, the New Testament.

We are taught to submit to civil authorities and the principle of law. Of course where civil law legislates us to act against the commandments of Christ then we are to submit to Christ as echoed in the words of the apostles to the Temple Authorities:

And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. (Acts 4:18-20)

We cannot, and will not, promote the principle of secularism as secularism is opposed to the furtherance of the Gospel. Secularism, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the “indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations.” In different contexts the word can refer to anticlericalism, atheism, desire to exclude religion from social activities or civic affairs, banishment of religious symbols from the public sphere, state neutrality toward religion, the separation of religion from state, or disestablishment (separation of church and state).

We agree that church and state should be separate from each other. The idea of a theocratic system is anathema to us as this is contrary to the teaching of Christ, that His kingdom is NOT of this world.

The churches should not be governed by the State and, in turn, the State should not be governed by the churches (ie: ecclesiastical authorities). The problem with Secularism is that it too often leads to the secularisation of society.

In our times we have registered a rise in militant atheism that seeks to impose an atheistic secularisation of all levels of society to the point where all churches are to be combatted and controlled. Even legislation is enacted to prevent and outlaw the Christian education of children by their parents.

It is this prospect that John Locke foresaw and was so insistent that Atheism should not be tolerated in society. In his publication A Letter Concerning Tolerance Locke states:

Lastly, those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of a God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. 

In conclusion, though we applaud any, and every, group that would uphold the ability of believers to pursue their religious freedom we shall always remain vigilant when it comes to secularism, and (in particular) any and all groups that would seek to pursue the Neo-Atheistic policy of secularisation.

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