Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity

Extremeism In Defense Of Liberty

H. L. Bruce

The elements of wisdom contained in the above expressed bit of practical philosophy did not originate with the present GOP presidential candidate. Nor did such philosophy originate with any of his contemporaries. When President Kennedy authorized the Cuban blockade extremism in defense of liberty was in practice but was not originated. An American statesman by the name of Patrick Henry practiced such philosophy as indicated in the well known phrase "Give me liberty or give me death." Even though Henry, Kennedy and others of America have both advocated and practiced this principle, such did not originate with them. As early as 1400 B. C. "Extremism in Defense of Liberty" was in practice in ancient Egypt.

As a result of seventy-five migrates coming into Egypt from the northeast, a vast multitude of their progeny had formed in Egypt. Out of fear of the multitude and in order to expedite their economy, the Egyptians made slaves of these foreigners who had grown up in their midst, and caused them to serve with rigor and oppression. The task was burdensome and hard but slavery persisted with rule executed without mercy. If ever a group existed who were in need of physical liberation these slaves were that group. Their male children were being put to death. Men and women were being oppressed with unbearable demands being made of them. While liberty was pursued in the emancipation of these Hebrew slaves, extremism was not avoided.

As a liberator and deliverer of the Hebrews in Egyptian bondage, Moses was raised up. Through persistence in plagues and multiple importunities, the Hebrews were still in bondage. Finally the extreme was the practical, but hurtful resort. In spite of the extremism employed and the apparent cruelty which it wrought, results were forthcoming, when God, through death visited every Egyptian home, destroying the first born. As a result, the Jews were freed.

After the Jews had been delivered from the Egyptian bondage and made their journey into the land of Canaan the principle of extremism was not laid aside. The story of the Jews is a story of oppression and deliverance. Flavius Josephus, in his work on the history of the Jews has a part dedicated to the Wars of The Jews. Their oppressions and deliverances are set forth. In their defense of liberty, extremes were employed. A consideration of a few examples from Jewish history will be sufficient to sustain this point even though many could be given.

What could be more extreme than a shepherd boy with a sling and stones going against a mature giant who had been a man of war from his youth? The story of David and Goliath has been told to our children and all know it. The youthful David was one extreme of the scene. The mature, robust Goliath was the other. These extremes are obvious. The Philistines were oppressing Israel. David was in defense of liberty of Israel. The story of David and Goliath is the story of extremism in defense of liberty.

If Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three Hebrew children, had not practiced extremism in defense of liberty they would not have been cast into the furnace of fire. However, they being extremist, and appreciative of the one God and the liberty to serve him exclusively, would receive the extreme Persecution of the fiery furnace rather than surrender the liberty to serve one God exclusively.

The story of Jesus Christ as conveyed in the New Testament is in application of extremism in defense of liberty. To what extreme did God go to bring about and sustain salvation for man? Man was in spiritual bondage and in need of a liberator. Man could not save himself. No man could produce spiritual salvation for him. The story of the depths to which God went in order to save man are expressed in these words: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (Jno. 3:16). The extreme love that God had for man caused him to go to the depths of giving his son in order to deliver man and thus make him free from sin — to retain his spiritual liberty and enjoy eternal bliss in heaven after this life is over.

I don't think that the principle Extremism in The Defense of Liberty is of recent origin. It has been practiced for thousands of years both with divine sanction and by God Himself. While it is true that a grave application can be made and abuses can no doubt spring forth, I can't conscientiously conclude that Extremism In Defense of Liberty is a vice.

— 209 South Street Baytown, Texas