The Law of Liberty and Society Today
November 17, 2020 Blogs by: Tim Jennings, M.D.

My first book, Could It Be This Simple? A Biblical Model for Healing the Mind, was published in 2007. In it, I described for the first time the law of liberty, the principle of freedom upon which God created reality to operate. I described how this law is, like gravity, a constant that works whether one believes in it or not and that just like gravity, it is testable – there are reproducible and unavoidable consequences when we violate liberty.

From the book:

The first two predictable consequences of violating the law of liberty are the destruction of love and the incitement of rebellion. But if rebellion fails to restore freedom, then the third predictable consequence of violating the law of liberty occurs…

Shirley’s family physician had sent her to see me because he was worried she might be suffering from depression. Getting a history from the 46-year-old woman was quite difficult. She sat with her hands between her legs, avoided all eye contact, and spoke in quiet tones with essentially no modulation to her voice.

If she responded at all, she tended to answer most questions with, “I don’t know” or “I guess.” After long minutes of silence and patient questioning, this modestly obese woman who dressed rather plainly began to disclose her painful history of physical abuse by her husband.

Hesitantly she described one incident in which her husband told her he wanted dinner ready at 5:00 p.m., and how she had worked diligently preparing the meal, but served it at 5:02 p.m. She cried as she told how her husband began to beat her, breaking her nose and blackening her eye. And while he was punching her, he stated, “I hate it when you make me do this. Why do you make me do this? If you would only serve dinner when you’re supposed to, I wouldn’t have to hit you. Don’t you know I only do this for your own good, because I love you.”

As Shirley recounted her ordeal, I made a comment criticizing her husband for his behavior. It was then that she looked up and made eye contact with me for the first time and said, “Oh no! It wasn’t his fault. If I would have had dinner ready on time, he wouldn’t have had to hit me.”

The third predictable consequence when one surrenders to the violation of the law of liberty is that it will destroy individuality. When a person submits to the control of another for a sufficient period of time, it slowly erodes both his or her unique identity and the ability to think and reason for oneself. The submissive individual begins to think through the eyes of the controlling person rather than with his or her own mind.

Shirley was not an unusual case. No longer thinking for herself, she had surrendered her identity to her abusive husband and accepted his version of reality as her own. She had become little more than a shadow of her husband. The violation of freedom not only destroys love, but if rebellion doesn’t restore freedom, then individuality itself vanishes and only shadows remain (p. 50-52).

Victims of abuse, of domination, of coercion either rebel and reclaim their freedom, or they surrender, identify with their captors, and become shadow people who eventually end up defending and supporting those who enslave them. This is a well-known phenomenon in children of abusive parents, in women of abusive husbands, and the infamous Stockholm syndrome, when hostages stop trying to rebel and instead align themselves with their captors and even attack their rescuers in support of those who have enslaved them.

We see the same result in societies in which the government takes away liberty. The initial response is always less love and a desire to rebel, but if freedom isn’t reclaimed, if people surrender to the control of government, individuality is eventually eroded and people become passive, non-thinking shadows defending the controlling state.

Freedom is a principle of God’s government. Coercion, the undermining of liberty, is a principle of Satan’s government.

Do we see these two forces at war in the world today? What about in America? Do we see forces seeking to undermine individual liberty, suppressing freedom of speech, restricting freedom of assembly, hindering freedom of worship? Do we see groups that are seeking to diminish autonomy, that are working to disempower the citizenry and are using fear, threats, mobs, violence, or government to inflict punishment (citations, fines, jail, revoking of business licenses, etc.) to coerce? Are we seeing society fracturing into those who are calling for the protection of individual liberty and those who are using coercion, force, and intimidation to restrict freedoms? Are we seeing millions who are surrendering their individuality and are now identifying with the parties who hold power and are defending the erosion of individual liberties?

What method did God use when Lucifer rebelled? Did God use power to force Lucifer into line? Or did God leave Lucifer free to speak, to assemble, to promote false worship, and to seek to convert others to his lies? Why did God leave Lucifer free, and rather than use power to force Lucifer into line, He instead set about the long and painful process of revealing truth to refute the lies with evidence and win His universe back to trust?

Love only exists in freedom – it is Satan’s methods that coerce, that take liberty, that force people to comply.

It is the beast of Revelation that threatens, forces, and controls. All recognize the beastly coercion of the Dark Ages church, which burned people at the stake for not conforming to the church’s orthodoxy, but far too many fail to see the same beastly methods used today by mobs, governments, or corporations that use power to intimidate people into silence, threatening livelihoods, burning down businesses, shouting down opposing voices, cancelling events, forcing name or logo changes, tearing down statues, censoring information, restricting speech, hindering freedom of assembly, obstructing worship, and any other infringement of liberty.

Those who have truth on their side never fear greater scrutiny, never fear greater investigation, never fear greater revelation of evidence and facts. It is only those whose positions rest upon lies, falsehood, distortion that must use the tactics of the beast. Yes – it is beastly to restrict freedom of speech, but the beast of Revelation does more than restrict speech, it also interferes with freedom of worship, criminalizing church attendance whether handing out citations and fines for those who attend church or imprisoning people who speak about Jesus. These are the methods of the enemy of God, even when he presents as an angel of light, claiming that he only wants to protect your health!

We see these beastly methods in every communist government. Communism always seeks to eliminate Christianity because the principles of Christianity are truth, love, and freedom and communism will fail when people have freedom. In America today, there are forces at work seeking to turn this nation, founded with the lamblike principles of liberty – freedom of worship and freedom of self-governance by the people. These principles are the principles that have made this nation great and are the principles that the forces of evil must remove in order for the beast of Revelation to form.

One Christian author describes it this way:

“And he had two horns like a lamb.” The lamblike horns indicate youth, innocence, and gentleness, fitly representing the character of the United States when presented to the prophet as “coming up” in 1798. Among the Christian exiles who first fled to America and sought an asylum from royal oppression and priestly intolerance were many who determined to establish a government upon the broad foundation of civil and religious liberty. Their views found place in the Declaration of Independence, which sets forth the great truth that “all men are created equal” and endowed with the inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And the Constitution guarantees to the people the right of self-government, providing that representatives elected by the popular vote shall enact and administer the laws. Freedom of religious faith was also granted, every man being permitted to worship God according to the dictates of his conscience. Republicanism and Protestantism became the fundamental principles of the nation. These principles are the secret of its power and prosperity. The oppressed and downtrodden throughout Christendom have turned to this land with interest and hope. Millions have sought its shores, and the United States has risen to a place among the most powerful nations of the earth (The Great Controversy, p. 441).

Today, the United States of America is under attack by those who would destroy these principles, by those who would take away religious and civil liberty, by those who will use the power of the state to force their moral views upon us. And those who seek to do this do so under the guise of helping the less fortunate, under the lie of bringing in a better system, of improving the country.

I implore you, don’t be a victim, don’t surrender your individuality in the face of threat, don’t embrace the coercive methods of the agents of darkness, don’t be deceived by the rhetoric, the promises, the claims of seeking to uplift the poor, the disadvantaged, the marginalized – it is all a trick, a lie, a scam designed by the father of lies to bring in a totalitarian beastly system of control through the promise of socialism – which ultimately leads to communism. Only in freedom is there love, only in freedom does truth shine forth, only in freedom do people thrive, only in freedom does the gospel of Jesus advance. So embrace and promote the principles of Republicanism (civil liberty) and Protestantism (religious liberty) and resist the enemies of freedom! Then, as the principles of God advance, love for others increases and the poor, disadvantaged, and marginalized are uplifted. This is the only way to truly uplift others: through the advancement of the kingdom of God.

Embrace liberty, for only in freedom does love advance!


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Tim Jennings, M.D. Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., is a board-certified psychiatrist, master psychopharmacologist, Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, and an international speaker. He served as president of the Southern and Tennessee Psychiatric Associations and is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries. Dr. Jennings has authored many books, including The God-Shaped Brain, The God-Shaped Heart, and The Aging Brain.
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