Freedom from Past and Prejudice: A Special Anniversary Statement

Two Year Anniversary

It is two years since Freedom Matters Today began. Freedom Matters Today would not have been possible without the loving support of my family. I want to give thanks to God for enabling me to hold the line and keep on target, which has been to talk about true freedom, which comes from God, revealed in the identity, the actions, and the words of Jesus Christ. I have not hesitated to declare the full counsel of God.  I have run a podcast and written a blog, and then wrote and published eight books, four about various aspects of Christian freedom, then 3 novels, and one academic text. 2021 was the year for conceptualization, 2022 was the year I started the podcast and the blog and 2022-2023 has been a busy time for editing, and publishing through Hidden Road Publishing, the imprint of Freedom Matters Today.

True Freedom is from God

There are hundreds of ways that Jesus the Christ or Messiah brings us freedom, and I have listed a few as part of my brief for Freedom Matters Today. They are not exhaustive. I have as part of our goal, to investigate freedom from fascism and tyranny, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from fear and despair, freedom from sin and death, freedom from past and prejudice, and freedom from war and conflict.

The point is simply that we don’t need political freedom, or democratic freedom, or Christian schools, or a Christian culture, or Christian politics, or churches, to faithfully follow Jesus Christ. True freedom is something that God gives and cannot be shaped, moulded, taken away or removed, by anyone, because the only one who can confer freedom is God, the only one who can grant freedom is God and the only one who can sustain freedom is God.

You can be entirely free in an oppressive society and live in complete freedom, in the only freedom that matters. This is not the message that we hear from many Christian today. Instead, when they are not condemning each other, or taking each other to court, or making money, their emphasis is on what God can give us, on what God can enable us to do, what God can provide for us, as we live out what we want to do. This is not Christianity.

The Christian faith is a done faith not a doing faith

The Christian faith is a done faith, not a doing faith, the doing is because of what was done. What was done was enough, sufficient, and complete. As I have said in my podcast and books, Christian fascists will say ‘what would Jesus do,’ but a Christian would say ‘what did Jesus do.’

Jesus died in our place, he stood for us when we could not stand, he fought for us when we were too weak, he finished what we could not even start, he accomplished what we could not even begin, he took our place, he took our sins upon himself and died for us, so we might live and enjoy a relationship with God, one shaped by freedom. When Christians give up on the good news, they become fascists, in other words, the answer is the government, not God. We don’t need the government to advance the kingdom of God.

Christians love to criticize the government or so-called ‘woke’ culture, whatever that means, but they then turn around and want the state to become Christian, they want a Christian society, a Christian nation, and a Christian government. They want to capture the state in one breath and then condemn others for seeking to do the same thing. The goal is power, money, and eventually the sword.

The fascists like to blame the government, but do they not realize that to manage an increasingly complex world, and to manage the economy, and respond to the power of global corporations, that states respond in kind, and that it is not as simple as ‘big government’ or ‘small government’ unless we address ‘big business,’ but that won’t happen any time soon.

What happens when Christians give up on God?

When Christians decide that their faith is external, that being a Christian is about upholding moral standards, and being a ‘good person,’ is the day that faith dies, for it leaves grace and ends up in the law, which is not our friend, it will condemn us in the end. Most faith communities die for the same reason, they justify to themselves that they need to be legally structured, they need a creed, a catechism, a set of rules for worship, rules for leadership, and before they know it, they are well, and truly, dead. So many have gone this way over the years, and no doubt, I can say with absolute confidence that yours will too, if you are a member in anything God has not made, nor has he ordained.

 I saw a church building with the sign ‘We are a Bible-Believing Church,’ and laughed to myself. How can the building believe in God, or in the Bible? There is no church in the Bible, there never has been. The word ‘church’ means a place, a building, and Christians are not a place, nor are they buildings, they are flesh and blood people. Christians gather and whenever they meet, they gather and if they meet locally, in a group, the temptation is the same: they will just adopt the same old rules, use the same old methods, and die the same old death.

If the good news is good, why are Christians silent?

 Sooner or later, Jesus is pushed to the background, people are no longer free, and it becomes all about who is in and who is out, and lists start getting written about who the enemies are, and who is going to Hell. We don’t need a list. The Bible is clear: all who reject Christ. The Bible is clear on salvation, all who believe, or trust in Jesus Christ. This, most Christians can agree upon, but they do not dwell on Christ, he is a footnote to their Culture War, he is an obstacle in their crusade, he is an irritation in their eyes which see what they want to see. Sooner or later, faith is replaced by religion, and the crusades begin, the pogroms, the inquisitions, the wars, the banners are unfurled, and Jesus Christ is left far, far, behind.

I went to a secular state school, and I am completely committed to a genuine separation of religion and state. God save us from fascists. The fascists who tell you that public schools are evil, that the only hope is a Christian school where your child will be safe, where they will be taught the truth, where they will be given true Christian values are wrong. It is your responsibility, if you have children to raise them.

This is the century when everything changes

Church schools have replaced churches as the avenue for social formation. Church schools are today’s version of the monastery, places where Christians ran to take refuge from society. This reflects the abandonment of the good news of Jesus Christ, and it is one of the signs of rapid, terminal decline. The more church schools you build, the more certain I am that the end is nigh. The nineteenth century was a time of spiritual growth across the West. The twentieth century was a time of spiritual decline. The die is now cast. The current century is the century of church schools, and the use of religion to prop up what’s left of the West. In the East, Christianity was persecuted. In the West, Christianity was captured. In the East, the end of faith was the execution, in the West, it was tax exemption with strings attached.

Oh, how the churches supported the Great War, then the Second World War, which was in fact just the Great War Part II, then the churches supported whatever they were told to support and along the way did their best to molest as many children as they could. And your kids are allegedly safe within a religious culture that supports a paedophile culture today by taking to court the victims, harassing the families of the victims and will make sure that the sexual sanctity of your child will not damage their profit margins.

It is curious to me how the state has moved in to support churches post-Covid in the minimization of financial damage stemming from child abuse claims. Curious. It is also curious that many churches who loved the vaccine policies are now lining up to support the government on a number of other issues. Without government support, your church will go bankrupt tomorrow. So much for the sustaining power of God, so much for this alleged independence in which so many place their trust and a great deal of their money. I write about this in Freedom from Fascism.

We need to be responsible Christians

That is why I wrote, Following Jesus when the church has lost its way. It is my firm conviction that we need to take responsibility for our own faith, and not offload it to someone else. Most Christians today define their faith entirely in terms of church membership, and say very little about God, or they just use all the old cliches and phrases. Most Christians believe that it is the church that is the most important thing God wants us to do.

It is not. It is following Jesus. Going to church is not following Jesus, it is entering a building. As the crazy Christian fascist Billy Sunday used to say – yes, he did get it right a few times – entering a church does not make you a Christian any more than entering a garage makes you a car.

Freedom from Fascism

Covid Hysteria is now over, and I did battle with it, as did many, but I part company from most of the anti-Covid Hysteria warriors because they are so unbelievably naïve. As I wrote in my first book, Freedom from Fascism, propaganda is essential for the functioning of a democracy. Covid Hysteria was not the first time the state lied to us, and it wasn’t an aberration, it wasn’t an exception, and no, we didn’t get our democracy back, and yes, it will happen again, and yes, it already has.

Governments lie to us all the time, sometimes to protect us, sometimes because they are out to deceive and sometimes because they don’t know. Most of those upset by Covid Hysteria are now settling back into the myth of democracy, the illusion that we are free people, that our political freedom is all that matters. We can go back to church, pay our tithes, vote in our elections and all is in the past.

It is and has always been a lie. Beyond the normal deceit of government, Covid Hysteria is the continuation of a saga that began with the election of Trump in 2016, or even further back to 9/11 and it is the unveiling of Western fascism, or the flowering of fascism out of the sterile buds of democracy. The new Covid is the propaganda and indoctrination over our support in the West for Ukrainian fascism and the ‘New Vietnam,’ the worst land war we have seen since Bosnia, which most people today have forgotten. That conflict was also shrouded in deceit and propaganda.

Is God on America’s Side?/ Is Russia Our Enemy?

None of the Covid Warriors are talking about Ukraine, there might be a few here and there, but the loyalty tests continue: we must hate Russia and stand with Ukraine. That is why I wrote Is God on America’s Side and Is Russia Our Enemy? Sadly, most Christians in the West today have imbibed the worst of American spiritual garbage and the notion that God is on America’s side. My book is based on the scriptures and shows very clearly the politics of God. I talk about free speech, and citizenship for those who seek to follow Jesus. It is the contest between faith and flag that is the last battle for a dead Christian culture. God calls us back to Christ, while the church calls us to vote. God calls us to follow Jesus, while the church calls us to transform our culture. God calls us to turn back to him, while the church tells us what a sin is and what is not.

It is amazing how quickly the anti-Russian sentiment sank in. Less than a week most of the population was enlisted and people say: Russia is our enemy, and many Christians do. They behave as if this is the first war in history. It is why I wrote Is Russia Our Enemy, to challenge the conventional wisdom in society over the nature of enmity. I call it the old regime and I investigate the geography, the monarch, the fruit and the end of the old regime and I can assure you that most Christians today would not list diabolos as their enemy, for they say he was defeated at the cross and now our enemies are all people. It is not surprising that Is Russia Our Enemy is the book that has sold the least in English.

It is my belief that fascism is the natural consequence of a democratic politics encased in a capitalist or market-based society. The rise of the free market is a myth, it was in fact the split in economy between large corporations and other businesses and the rapid capture of the state by these corporate interests. Underneath this, there has always been a close, symbiotic relationship between capital and the state, in some ways inseparable.

The Covid warriors lament the WHO – of course they do – anything to do with the UN is a popular enemy of America and the Right – but they ignore the regulatory capture across all other business sectors. It is the nature of capitalism – all government departments reflect a variety of economic interests, including the people they represent. It is not nefarious or evil, it just is, it is the way bureaucracy is formed. In any event, I can number on one hand the number of Covid warriors who know anything about the American war machine beyond the prophetic nonsense of the rise of Israel and Russia and Gog and Magog and all that foolishness.

Follow Jesus

There are many who say, ‘Ah, we go to church and follow Jesus too.’ I say in return ‘well done, good for you.’ Then they will tell you that all you need to do is ‘read your Bible, and pray,’ and that’s the full duty of a Christian. Once again, it is a set of duties, a set of rules, a set of laws. These are all doing things, they are all decided by someone else, and they are all implying that the Christian faith is entirely the performance of a set of duties. They will not be the only rules though, there are many more to follow, some esoteric, some mundane, but every Christian has them and churchgoers have more than most.

This emphasis on externals, on doing, on performance means that the Christian faith is just like all others except that we believe in Jesus and not in one of the others, since they all perform precisely the same acts: they pray, they gather, they love others, they help the community, in fact they do exactly what Christians at church do, and they also believe that they are right, that they are true, and that they are faithful to God. Many of them, indeed most of them are fine people, their insights into faith and life can be inspirational, their devotion to their prayers admirable, their commitment to their community commendable. We are blessed in our communities by such people who seek after truth, who crave goodness in life and society, and who will stand up for truth.

The difference for me is my conviction that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is everything. For me, it is Jesus who changes everything, and for me it is the good news that the arrival of Jesus signaled a restoration to freedom that ended with his terrible death on the cross and his rising to new life that makes all the difference for me. That is why I keep talking about the identity, the actions, the words, and the life of Jesus. For me, it is the person of Jesus Christ who changes everything and who is the answer to the world’s problems.

Just look at the world around us and you will see that humanity, that people, that men and women have not only ruined the world, but they have ruined each other, and they have given God their middle finger especially in what is left of the old Anglo-Saxon sub-culture in the West, my people, my tribe, most of whom are decent, hardworking people, but people for whom Christianity is part of their heritage, not their life, where many view the church as the custodians of an inhospitable, angry, bitter, racist, backward-looking, sectarian culture. In some ways, Paul and I, and anyone who has been called to follow Jesus has the same experience. After encountering Jesus Christ, your worldview is different, your expectations are different, your lifestyle is different, and for the first time in life the struggle truly begins, which never ends until we die.

Know your enemy

The great sadness of Covid Hysteria is that few turned to Christ, few turned back to God, few rethought their lives. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and this will ruin their lives for decades. Many have already moved on with a disturbing callousness and indifference, eager to make money and climb the ladder. Others are sitting back down to the old routine, enjoying the old normal of democracy, church, and the Culture War, oblivious to their capture, their surrender, and their eternal compromise.

The evil never stopped, the wickedness just changed its form, the monsters still lurk in the dark, and it is not, I am sorry, it is not the World Economic Forum, it is not Joe Biden, or Anthony Albanese, or woke culture, but it is diabolos, his schemes and methods, his allies and friends, and there isn’t an ally of diabolos more powerful than the church and its Western culture who longer believe in him. Poor Klaus Schwab, or Geroge Soros, if the church was even a little bit alive, no Western Christian would even know their names.

Freedom from Past and Prejudice

It was only a few days ago when I realised that it is time to move on. It is time for a new focus. It is time for a new journey. I have written a lot about ecclesiology, which is the nature of how we gather, or ‘of the ekklesia,’ as well as politics, especially as it relates to the Culture War, and Christian nationalism or fascism, or the confusion between faith and flag. It seemed to me that there needed to be more discussion about how politics and gathering relate to the Christian ideas of freedom that come from the Bible, though not from the church. You will find that most things the church talks about are completely different from how the Bible talks about things and vice versa. Freedom from Fascism and Fear were both central to these discussions and they were the heart of the four books I published through Hidden Road Publishing.

The new focus will be freedom from past and prejudice for it seems to me that our hatred of each other, and our hatred of the past, our own, and others, is at the heart of so many of our problems today. Covid Hysteria, the Yes Vote (in Australia), American domestic politics, migration, racism, and citizenship, are only a few examples, but they all involve hatred of ourselves and others. In medieval Japan, during a violent war, one general gave his enemy salt during a time of financial difficulty as he said it was unrelated to the reason for war and he didn’t want needless suffering.

These days, Christians will ignore each other on the street or walk on the other side of the road because they attend a different church. In the West, those on the Left who follow Jesus despise those on the Right and those on the Right hate those on the Left. I have heard it said many times that only people who are ‘on the Right’ can follow Jesus. If that is what you believe, then I am sorry, very truly sorry, for there is not much I can do for you. You are lost and you don’t know the slightest thing about God, and you wouldn’t want to know anyway. In many ways, my three novels have confronted past and prejudice head on, especially ‘The Curse of Crooked River,’ set in 1870s Australia.

New Podcast Series beginning October

Moving forward, I will begin a new weekly podcast, looking both at the world today and trying to look at things from a Christian perspective. I will also be turning my books into e-books and hardback, and this will take some time. As a result, I will be writing and extending some reflections on ‘With Christ in the Wilderness,’ which is my upcoming Freedom Matters Today book. For those of you who have read my novels, and my academic book, there will be sequels so stay tuned.

What I have discovered is that we now live in the Dumb Culture, the culture where reading is out the window, where short videos and binge watching have replaced intelligent conversation, with Instagram videos and reels and a deadening of everything so we are unable to speak in words of more than one syllable.

This is not the evolution of society, but the weaponization of society, the goal being to turn us into mindless fools so we will do as we are told when we are told to do it. We all know this. Everyone talks about it and then turns on the TV or tablet, or YouTube, and we waste hours and days and months of our life going around like a rerun of an old sitcom.

I am not sure how to deal with this cultural degradation it may well be too late, but I will not compromise the message of the good news. 6 second Instagram reels are increasingly seen as part of the answer, but not all technology is benign and not all technology is good for us. Take drones for example, they are good for Google Earth but not as weapons of war.

True freedom comes from God

For me, the answer is freedom, and true freedom comes from God. As we will see in the coming series, the message is done and it is not a work in progress, it concerns the identity, the actions, and the words of Jesus and this outdates and outlives all that we know and love, including America, which many Christians seem to think is eternal, like God. If you want to see the future of America, go to a museum and you will find it as an exhibit. If many of us suspect and we are living at the edge of the rapid decline of America and the West, and a coming war with China, then it doesn’t matter either way, because we will be too busy burying the dead. God brings freedom to us, and this is freedom from past and prejudice.

Remember, freedom matters today because you matter to God.

Michael J. Sutton

CEO, Freedom Matters Today

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