As a Christian and student of the Bible, I can tell you that the Scriptures have no shortage of teachings on the importance of fellowship and mutual support and encouragement. Hebrews 10:25 says Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. I am once again reminded of the importance of fellowship here at the Right Online Conference being held by American’s for Prosperity (AFP). I had the opportunity to speak to Tim Phillips, president of AFP about this issue.
Conservatives do not believe in collectivism, we are individualists by nature. I, for one, have to work hard at being “social”. We are often entrepreneurs, self-motivators, and believe strongly in personal responsibility. So, it is easy for us to forget that we were created to fellowship with one another. That is a dangerous position to be in. When we become isolated, we can become weakened and discouraged.
Anyone who knows even a little about American’s for Prosperity knows that they are a group dedicated to the economic health of our nation. Who hasn’t heard or seen the slogan, “It’s the Spending Stupid?” But for me, the most valuable aspect of these conferences is the networking and bonding that occurs between like-minded activists. I was surprised to discover that particular benefit was not an unintended consequence. Mr. Phillips explained that the initial goal of AFP in having these conferences was to connect activists together and in turn connect them to the movement as a whole. Mr. Phillips explained:
“People perform better when they discover they are working for something bigger than themselves. Teams make people stronger. Even though we are individualists, we need to bond together.”
The scripture I quoted also gives a timely directive, it says “so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” We are bonding together for a reason, for a bigger purpose and that purpose is approaching. We are not happy with the path this nation is on and we are angry at the destruction of Liberty perpetrated by our own government. As the days of destruction are upon us, we must not become isolated and discouraged. As the days become overwhelming the natural instinct is to run away and go “Galt”. Believe me, I know, I have fought those feelings to just stop fighting and search for that “blue pill” and reinsert into the Matrix! But we literally cannot afford to become overwhelmed – our children will suffer the worst. Sam Adams wrote in the Boston Gazette in 1771:
“Let us remember that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom!” It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers in the event!”
We refuse to suffer tamely these assaults upon our Liberty and to succeed we must remain encouraged. Interestingly enough, that word encouraged literally means “to infuse with courage.” The fellowship of like minds works to infuse the patriot in the home and the soldier on the field with a courage that cannot be maintained when isolated and alone. As proof of this principle, AFP tracks the activists who come to their training events. They found that activists who have bonded through the Right Online experience are three times as likely to take action locally.
We have to be a team, an army of activists with the focus of our founders had – putting Liberty First to secure its “Blessings for our posterity.” Mercy Otis Warren said,
“I have my fears. Yet, notwithstanding the complicated difficulties that rise before us, there is no receding…May nothing ever check that glorious spirit of freedom which inspires the patriot in the cabinet, and the hero in the field, with courage to maintain their righteous cause, and to endeavor to transmit the claim to posterity…”
We are building an army of patriots in the cabinet and heroes in the field. Anyone who has attended military basic training knows that the most important aspect of any military corps is the loyalty to your brother in arms. Let us not be discouraged or isolated. Let us learn from each other and build each other up in mind and spirit. We are in this foxhole together, if you become discouraged and retreat, I will be left to defend this hill alone. We need to spend just as much time “infusing each other with courage” as we do battling with the enemy.
In spite of our disappointments and frustrations, we must remain resolute. Let’s stay connected with one another, so that we can be infused with the courage to go forward each day. Let’s stand together a strong and formidable force in the name of Liberty, for the sake of our children.