Wednesday, June 16, 2010
In America we are said to live in the land of freedom. So we might ask, how are we free? We are supposedly free to worship any god we so choose; the government will not dictate to us who we will worship (if we even worship any god, since there are many who don’t believe there is a god). We also have the freedom to live where we want, as long as we can afford it. We have freedom of speech, meaning that we can give our opinions in a public forum without fear of being arrested or silenced (so long as we do it in an orderly manner). We have the freedom to seek out any career we want. I could go on, but I think you get the sense that we seem to have many freedoms.
Many think that freedom means that you can and should choose for yourself without anyone else telling you what you should do. And yet, is this really the best way? Choosing what we want without any other input? Think about children for a moment: if they were allowed to make choices, without the input of their parents or a responsible adult, then they would make choices that would hurt themselves or have a negative impact on their lives many times over. As children get older, there needs to be a balance between child and parent to help them learn how to make good decisions. There still is an aspect of control and guidance.
I mention this, because so often people talk about how Christians, children of God, are not free, because they are bound by the rules of the Bible; the rules that God imposes upon us. How can you be free if you have to abide by the 10 commandments? How can you be free if you are told that so many things in life shouldn’t be done because they are sinful? There is no freedom in all these rules and regulations.
The truth is, freedom is actually being able to make choices within a controlled environment. Any environment that doesn’t have boundaries and rules would be so chaotic that you could not live in freedom. It would be a free for all, and probably controlled by the strongest, the meanest, and the person with the greatest desire to control. You would not be free, but would ultimately become the slave of those who came to power.
God is a God of love; a God who has our best in mind. God is a God who seeks to lead us into loving relationships, and into a world where we serve others, and others serve us. God is a God who desires for people to be governed in a way that is not oppressive, but offers many freedoms. But God does establish rules and laws, and calls on the people to establish rules and laws for the good of all; for the sake of allowing freedom to exist. We are free as God’s children, because we can live in the way God has designed, and established for a world that allow us to love God, and love each other. What do you think?