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Thursday, 23 August 2018

Society, Security and Freedom


I have been thinking much about personal and national security as well as personal and national freedom.  I probably touch the tip of the iceberg with this blog.  There is so much more to consider.  The issues related to security and freedom have become relative and debatable.  Some are even discussing about security and freedom as if one has to take sides - you know, give up an iota of security for a tad more freedom and vice versa.  It's not about giving up either as both are two sides of the same coin.  Freedom and security are so close that one cannot be without the other.

I suppose the other reason these two bedfellows - Security and Freedom - provoke me is because I am a witness to deception, hate, foolishness  and pure evil more than I am a witness to dignity, humility, faith and peace.

The security of a society is related to the freedom of that society and of course, vice versa.  However one phrases it, there’s no denying that true security matches with true freedom.  Unfortunately, we see abusers of power within a nation where on the pretext of protecting one’s freedom, the military or homeland force exerts control and imposes an unnatural fear in the hearts of their own people.  Often times, political parties engage in the same and it becomes an internal psychological warfare.  Just look around you and you would be able to detect the false power, false security and false freedom.

To be secure means that one is free from fear, worry and anxiety.  There is a sense of trust, confidence in another person, an organization or government.  Do you feel secure?  Is it true that one can never be secure or free?

When a person feels anxious, threatened, harassed, worried and fearful of another or an organization, the sense of insecurity begins to control this person. Worry has a way of stripping one’s confidence.  In fact, it can be an idol as it displaces the confidence found in Christ, at least from my Christian perspective.

The current worldwide situations give people enough fodder to feel insecure.  If one believes every word spoken, written or shown through the media, people begin to feel insecure especially over negative incidents and false information.  When security is threatened, people tend to doubt the facts, retaliate with hurtful words and worse, keep on being instruments whereby they continue to spread the lies.  

You see, insecurity causes people to lose their self-control and we see, even educated people, react with great venom on their lips and hate in their hearts. 

Stay with me, do not feel discouraged.

Let me give you two examples:
Media
Firstly, the ugly and brutal ways that mainstream media handles biased information is an excellent example of the insecurity sensed by the mainstream media.  (There are enough evidences on social media, and so I will not be posting any links here).  They have always been in control over narratives that should or need to be fed to the mind of the people.  However, the sense of losing control sets in when the mainstream media realizes that they are unable to control their narratives.  Thus, the game ensues whereby they collectively play down the good report of, say, a certain administration and major on minor details or blatantly lie and twist words to cause a furor of unholy fear.  

In this case, the mainstream media has lost its courage to overcome their fear of losing control.  They have bound themselves tightly.  These lengthy brutal actions that they have chosen to carry out can only result in more anger, bitterness and unforgiveness unless they are able to crawl out of the deep, dark pit and return to fair and ethical journalism.  Ethical journalism demands for truth-sayers.

But it's not just the attack on, say, a certain administration, is it?  The failure to be fair and ethical in reporting the truths with other nations stems from a fear of losing control.  Insecurity besets the biased journalists who dare not expose the real truth, or those who speak in half-truths.  This is a sad situation.

Violent Gangs
A second example is closer to my temporary home where various gang names like MS13 or Mara Salvatrucha  and La 18, both originating from California, hit the guts of people with a great fear.   These gangs are notorious for the way they attack people.  Again, a false sense of control over the victim or a neighborhood and the lack of courage to live a decent, good life should be enough anxiety to bear.  In addition, the fear of not being able to survive due to a lack of education and/or wealth contributes to the lack of security.  A false power over others or situations is the foundation of a deceptive lifestyle.

And then there are many other forms of insecurity.  No one has ever been perfectly secure in their lives.  Yes, including me.  I have traveled to some very difficult areas that are hostile to Christians.  

A sense of being safe and secure comes only because I know who is my strong refuge, my mighty fortress and my Prince of Peace.  In the Lord Jesus Christ, I have absolute trust and freedom.  There is nothing to fear despite statistics stating that certain countries are a no-go zone.  Which weapon formed against me can prosper? (Isaiah 54: 17)  Nothing, if I truly believe God’s Word.  

And I believe Scriptural truths.

When one begins to slander, shout vulgarities, disrespect another person, react with a lack of self-control, feel victimized, lie blatantly and deceive others - that’s a huge revelation of insecurity.  Riots, roadblocks, women’s marches celebrating the spirit of death and false claims of victimization are not the ways to solve any issue.

So, when there is a sense of deep security, there is also a sense of deep courage to stand for truth and justice with decency and courtesy.  At this point, I want to state that this does not mean that I am a pacifist.  Being a former member of my country’s military force has allowed me to understand that each nation has the sovereign right to protect her borders, just like every parent would want to protect their families from unwanted attention or attacks.

Disrespecting another person is also unacceptable.  However,  Christians can be certain that if the Lord Jesus experienced disrespect, then we would likely experience the same especially in current times where more Christians are being mocked and persecuted for their faith in the God who desires for all to live in unity.  

The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3: 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 

Our confidence lies in trusting God who breathed His truths into his chosen writers.  Our study of God’s Word will reveal the mind and heart of God.  Our understanding and obedience to Scriptural truths with the help of the Holy Spirit would be the ultimate courageous act that would define our own security and freedom.  We are freed in Christ to love, live and enjoy life.  We are freed to value and respect life.  We are freed to exercise self-control and communicate intelligently, not with vulgarities.  We are freed to discern what is of God and what is not.  

Finally, as I reflect on the mainstream media, I find it amazing and yet not a surprise, that those who maliciously slander God’s anointed find themselves losing thousands of viewers and millions of dollars.  With the latter, the mainstream media members have a choice :  they can allow the loss to feed their sulk and increase their anxiety or they can repent and be blessed by God with His peace.  Blessings come when one is obedient to the Loving God.

               The sins of the people have darkened their heart
               and blinded their eyes.
               When they behold the glory of the Living God
               and see the Light
               that permeates into their hearts,
               then darkness is shattered and bows its head before the Light’s Might.

Jesus has already said, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander." (Matthew 15:19) 

If our hearts are truly good, then our thoughts and words will be good.  May we act in such a manner that we touch many lives with God's goodness and love.

Blessings of peace,
Rachel R