Dr James Dobson

Without a doubt, faith and freedom are inseparable. They are two sides of the same coin. On one side is freedom, and on the other is responsibility, which is itself derived from an individual's internal moral standards. In the absence of these principles of responsible behavior, freedom will, over time, degenerate into anarchy and chaos. Given a choice between chaos and tyranny, people will always choose tyranny.

Stated another way, the only way to combat chaos is to limit personal freedoms through tougher, more intrusive laws, expanded police presence, and bigger prisons. Dictators emerge from that circumstance.

Nevertheless, we support a pluralistic culture, wherein people are free to believe in very different ways. The Bill of Rights supports those and other freedoms. We can, however, certainly hope that the people will see the wisdom of embracing Judeo-Christian values. The real question is whether our moral tradition-which stems from, but is not limited to-our biblical faith, is good for the country as a whole. In America, important elements of the Judeo-Christian belief system have become foundational principles of secular law. "Thou shalt not murder" and "thou shalt not steal" were direct edicts from God long before they were embodied in our federal and state laws. But both the religious and the irreligious can agree that such principles are good for society. Similarly, our Founding Fathers instituted a system of government that is built on three separate but equal branches, because they had an understanding of man's sinfulness, which naturally leads to corruption and tyranny. But even those who don't believe in the biblical teaching of man's sinful nature will agree that our system of checks and balances is beneficial.

As for the concept of revival, I believe that it is essential-not only in terms of changing the hearts and lives of individuals, but in terms of improving our society on a broad scale. Looking back over history, it is remarkable to consider the positive changes that were brought about by the growth of Christianity. Our entire "Western" way of life, which is built upon the principles of freedom, democracy, and morality, came about because Judeo-Christian principles replaced the ideologies of the Greco-Roman world that celebrated immorality and cheapened human life. Unfortunately, the influence of Christianity is weakening in the West at the dawn of the twenty-

first century, and many of the evil practices of those ancient civilizations are creeping back into our culture. If we are to effectively halt the advance of these immoral ideals, a sweeping spiritual revival must take place. I pray that it might happen in our lifetime.

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