By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
April 8, 2022
“The true nature of freedom is not that we can do anything we want to do, but that we are liberated within to do what we ought to do,” the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, told attendees of the monthly meeting of the Eastern North Carolina Tea Party on Tuesday.
His speech, titled “Back Onto the Course of True Liberty,” earned a standing ovation from the crowd at Parker’s Barbecue in Greenville. Diane Rufino, president of the group said that many told her that it was “the best Tea Party Meeting they had attended.”
Beginning with a look at the condition of the nation in the early 19th century, Creech connected the dots to today’s America, warning the crowd that “tyranny not only robs people of their God-given rights, but the fight against it can result in an unreasonable revolt against even the shadow of government.”
Quoting from Daniel Dorchester’s Christianity in the United States, Creech said that shortly after the end of the Revolutionary War, there grew in the young nation “a spirit of misrule and injustice, accompanied by a general relaxation of moral principle [and] discontent.” He led his audience to consider how history is repeating itself today and why the quest for freedom is never truly about throwing off the restraints of religion and its moral obligations.
He said resistance to authority, which was necessary for the colonists to break away from a corrupt and abusive form of government, was shortly thereafter taken to the extreme similar to the way it is today in our culture in which, sadly, a growing number of Americans are embracing the relativist notion that there is no truth in spiritual or moral matters.
“You see, some people today, as they did then, see freedom as that state or condition in which the individual is released from all restraints, free from any suggestions of moral guilt or an absolute moral standard. There should be no obligations mandated, no discipline – just freedom to do one’s own thing – regardless of the fact that we are all interrelated, interconnected, and what we choose to do almost always affects someone else,” he said.
The result of such misguided thinking, Creech asserted, is “a tragically fractured society with innumerable value systems competing with each other for dominance.”
When, as Dorchester put it in his 1888 treatise, “Licentiousness followed directly in the footsteps of liberty,” it was Christianity that worked to save the country from moral collapse, Creech contended.
“The churches vigorously engaged the culture with various great missionary movements and revivals that spread across the country. The great spiritual awakenings that happened redirected the nation back onto the course of true liberty,” he said as he shifted his focus to more fully define true freedom, which he said is both internal and external.
Quoting from Paul’s epistles to the churches at Galatia and Corinth, Creech reminded his audience that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,” and that they had been “called to live in freedom,” and to use that freedom “to serve one another in love.”
Creech defined external freedom as “the absence of force, the absence of coercion, the absence of restraint and constraint,” but he said internal freedom can only come through one’s relationship to his Creator.
“This internal freedom is indispensable for breaking the bonds inside of each of us that enslave us to our carnal and destructive passions and appetites, and our lack of consideration for others,” he asserted.
“Internal freedom is what God does in our hearts through Christ to fix inside us a love for him and his ways, which causes us to willingly constrain ourselves, to live by right thoughts, right ideas, right motives, right convictions, and right desires.”
Creech quoted from Stephen McDowell and Mark Beliles’ book, Liberating the Nations: “Effective government begins by an individual learning to govern himself. The more internal self-government a person possesses, the less external government is needed. Consequently, the more rules and laws required to keep people acting rightly is a revelation of a diminishing amount of self-government.”
He lifted up the authors’ contention that since self-government cannot be imposed from the outside and even man’s ability to control himself is limited, there must be another source for internal control and that source is the Creator and the standards of conduct outlined in His word.
Creech used the words of the nation’s fourth president, James Madison, to show that the framers of the Constitution also held this belief: “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
Further fleshing out what he termed “bedrock laws of liberty,” Creech pointed to Jesus’ command in Matthew to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind,” to Proverbs 3:6, which urges man to look to God for direction, and to other Scriptures, all acknowledging God’s sovereignty and the wisdom of living in harmony with Him.
He told the crowd that when society strays from this path and begins to embrace laws that have no respect for the sacredness of human life, that celebrate sexual immorality and that legalize, normalize, memorialize and increase access to vice, that’s when true liberty will be lost.
“Public policy always imposes someone’s value system on all of us whether we like or not,” Creech said, leaving his audience with the final question: “Whose morality are we legislating?”
“Will it be the morality of licentiousness, the morality of license, the morality of humanism, the morality of relativism? Or will we use the absolute standards of our Creator as revealed to us in his Son, Jesus Christ, and the written Word of God, to be our guide and compass?” he asked. “The Judeo- Christian standard has always worked best for human flourishing and it’s what made America the freest people in the history of mankind.”
“May God awaken us again and redirect this nation back onto the course of true liberty,” Creech concluded. “I hope you will join in the effort to make it so.”
Rev. Creech gave the same speech to the Eastern Wake Republican Club on Thursday and the audience there was also thrilled by what they heard. After both meetings Creech said he was thankful to God the speech resonated with so many. “I think we are living in a time when there is much confusion about the true nature of liberty. This is especially the case in our younger generations. But the message I’m privileged to share strikes at the heart of people because it deals with the current situation in our country honestly, calling on us to individually take moral responsibility for ourselves, and embrace a power and an absolute standard above our own making – to rely on a compass that equally provides a true north for everyone,” said Creech.