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Individual Liberty Versus National Security

Updated: Jan 5, 2023

This selection was given under the heading of "The Political Aspects of the Historical Kingdom," found in the book "The Greatness of the Kingdom" by Alva J. McClain. This particular section provides a description of the manifestation of the Mediatorial Kingdom in Old Testament History in the national life of Israel.

After 3000 years, there is still a great philosophical (and political / practical) battle over this very matter of Individual Liberty and National Security.

I found this selection in my readings, that I thought was helpful. Hope you find it helpful as well.

"In this important respect the government of Israel was absolutely unique (Exod. 33:16). Nowhere else in the history of government do we find any comparable solution to the difficult problem of striking a proper balance between national strength on the one hand and political liberty on the other. Always men have been caught between the sharp horns of the historic dilemma: either to sacrifice individual freedom in the interest of national security or to risk the loss of the latter for the sake of preserving the rights of the individual.

"It has been suggested by some that the unifying principle should be found in religion, but the question immediately arises, What religion? And since modern political freedom means also religious freedom, this carries with it the idea of freedom for all religions without preference or discrimination. Thus, it should be clear that, if there is one true God, religion, in general, cannot be substituted for God; for this is to put man in the place of God and leaves us exactly where we started, with no final solution to the political dilemma. This humanly irreconcilable conflict need not plunge men into the paralysis of despair, for the sincere efforts of good men are always worthwhile; but it should guard them realistically from the snare of all human panaceas which may be proposed as cure-alls for the world's political ills.

"In the meantime, the people of God will not forget that until the true God breaks supernaturally once more into the stream of history to establish some effective theocratic controls, as He will at the second coming of His Son as the true mediatorial King, the reconciliation of national security and personal liberty must continue to be a matter of political compromise.

Mcclain, Alva J. 1959. The Greatness of the Kingdom : An Inductive Study of the Kingdom of God. Winona Lake, Indiana: Bmh Books, 69.

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