Updated: Oct 12, 2021
I have been reading IF YOU CAN KEEP IT, The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty by Eric Metaxas. As I was reading, I came to a chapter titled “The Golden Triangle of Freedom”. I eagerly began to delve into the pages. The chapter was laying out a concept from another book, A Free People's Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future.
“Guinness’s book describes what he calls “The Golden Triangle of Freedom.” The reason the American experiment in self-government worked is because of three interworking elements - freedom, virtue, and faith. Freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith and faith requires freedom.
Our founding fathers realized that for freedom to work in a society, it could not devolve into a license for individuals to do whatever they wanted. Freedom for individuals requires a moral conviction and commitment by the people to serve the common good and not merely their own self-interests. This moral conviction informs their EXPRESSION of freedom - Guinness calls that moral conviction virtue.
But where does this virtue come from? Our founders recognized that the American people were a people of faith. The Great Awakening of the early eighteenth century, led by the preaching of George Whitfield, had seen most of the American colonists embrace the Christian faith. It wasn't a faith dictated by the government, forced on the people. It was a faith freely expressed. So faith requires freedom, freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, and the circle around the triangle continues”.
I continued my reading, as I prayed and chewed on every word when a passage from 2 Peter came to mind. I recalled this passage clearly because I had used it to teach a business class a couple of years ago. The verses were packed deeply into my belief system.
Our faith is not a private matter, it is publicly relevant. We freely live out our faith as we impact the world around us with love and goodness. We have a Spirit of liberty in Christ. We share truth, we lead, we educate, we uphold values, we pray, we share our burdens, we sharpen one another and the list goes on. We influence the world, the world does not influence us. We stand on Truth. We worship in Spirit and Truth.
Let’s read and pray through these verses this week. Peter wanted this concept to be REMEMBERED AND STIRRED UP because if we practice these qualities we will never fall.
Father, as we read your Truth, give us supernatural understanding through your Holy Spirit. Let the mind of Christ form our thinking and guide our behavior. In Jesus' name amen.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of a reminder since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.”
2 Peter 1:5-15 ESV
I have included a video where Os Guinness explains The Golden Triangle of Freedom. It's really informative.