Walls work both ways. Some keep enemies out, guarding the freedom and safety of the citizens, while others make captives out of free men. The difference is in the purpose. One wall protects, the other enslaves, and the contrast between a fortress and a prison is a mighty big one.
So it was with real joy that we celebrated, three days ago, the 30th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s demise. Erected in 1961 and intact until 1989, it prevented East Germans from leaving their Communist society, while claiming to protect the very people it imprisoned.
None of which prevented escape attempts. For 28 years, more than 5000 tried getting over the wall, with 150 to 200 dying in the process. The pursuit of freedom is basic and innate.
So when President Reagan famously called the Party’s General Secretary out by thundering, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” he was voicing the pent up frustration of countless people over an unwanted and
“It’s All For Your Own Good”
In that sense, Communist leadership lied very much like Satan does, when it claimed the wall was put up to keep Fascists from interfering with Communist rule, which the people “really wanted.” (Never mind that so many of them were trying, at the risk of their very lives, to escape.)
It’s so often true that the oppressor won’t admit his oppression, making himself out to be a Benefactor when he’s really a Dictator.
I, and plenty of other men I’ve known, have fallen for that one. Tyranny is a sneaky coward, masquerading as a friend while poising himself to strike whichever fool falls for his line.
It works something like this: a temptation enters the brain, and the Tempter says, “It won’t hurt – in fact, it’ll help. You’ll feel better, you’ll find relief, you’ll be loved, and since you know it’s what you really want, what are you waiting for?”
That’s not unlike his first lies to the first woman which led to the first sin, proving that over the centuries his game hasn’t changed much.
Then comes the decision to indulge, followed by a way-too-brief period of satisfaction, followed by a restless hunger for a repeat of the experience. After repetition comes dependency; with dependency comes a wall keeping you from healthier options and locking you into the sin of your choice.
By that point, the very thing you thought would bring freedom has become your captor.
Love That Bully?
If you were ever bullied in school, you don’t remember the bully with fondness, or hope for another bullying session. You learned to either confront him or avoid him, but I’ll bet the farm you never sought him out and said “Hey, that was fun when you took my money, kicked my books out of my hand, and beat me senseless. Can we do it again?”
Why, then, would you return to the Bully who’s kept you, for so long and in so many ways, from what you really want in life? He lied to you when he said what he offered was good, then he built walls around you to keep you from escaping when you decided you’d had enough.
This is no friend to go back to. He’s an enemy to reject once and for all.
Blood was shed over the Berlin Wall, as people saw it for what it was and tried to escape it. Today, it makes little sense to celebrate its death, while continuing to participate in anything which can only lead to your own.
So please don’t buy it when the Tyrant calls himself your Liberator. You’ve been down this road enough times to know where it leads, and it never ends with you being grateful for giving in, or feeling more free and strong as
Let’s love our freedom today by celebrating it, thanking Him for it, and fighting for it as needed. Because Reagan, in his simple and profound way, gave us a pretty good cue to keep repeating when the going gets rough and the flesh craves a repetition of what can only enslave you: “Tear down
Because whatever you get from it will never be worth what it’s getting