How do you finish the title statement? When you complete the statement, is your idea of freedom centered on yourself? To most, freedoms are about what I can do and what I can have. But is that really true? Is there something more?
July 4 – Reflections On Freedoms
As I write, I am in the Dominican Republic. To be precise, we are in the town of Samana. The celebrations going on at home are ones I will greatly miss. Yet, thoughts of freedom seem more pressing than ever before. Freedom was at the center of comments I made to our host church congregation in worship services this morning! Why do that here? What’s the ‘freedom connection’ to Dominicans, July 4th celebrations, and this blog?
Freedom & Politics
Many people see freedom in political terms. That was true of those who formed and founded the United States of America. To be honest, they also had other things in mind. I’ll get to those as well. But is freedom’s greatest purpose seen in the political arena? An answer will follow.
Finances & the Free
Many people see freedom in terms of financial security. Money provides the freedom to buy, relax, and be comfortable. So life should be about the freedom to accumulate wealth. Seen from this vantage point, freedom really is all about me and what I can have, do, or buy. But is freedom’s greatest purpose a monetary issue? An answer will follow!
Freedoms & the Free
Scripture addresses the issue of freedom. Paul wrote in Galatians 5 that Christians have been set free for freedom’s purposes. So my question is a good one. It is a healthy exercise to define and understand real freedom. And why do I say real?
Since the days of Nimrod there has been a desire to enslave other people. When Scripture speaks of Nimrod as a hunter, know he hunted other men. He was an evildoer whose name means let’s rebel. His rebellion was against God. From Nimrod to the present day, history is repleat with those who would take away the freedoms of others. How did they do it?
Some fought wars and physically enslaved the conquered. Others invented ways to keep people in financial bondage and/or servitude. Others have succeeded in taking away freedoms by withholding information or rewriting history. Why would those things happen?
The short answer is found in Jeremiah:
The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
Human history is an account of conquerors and the conquered. So this experiment in freedom called the United States goes very much against the grain of human nature and history. And that is why there are people eager to have an ignorant society. The ignorant are easier to manage and enslave. Under the guise of fairness and equality they will deprive others of financial freedoms. And all of that will take away political freedoms. Those who founded our nation saw political freedoms as necessary tools to serve Godly purposes. I point it out as a citizen because we must defend and protect our freedoms if they are to continue. But there is something much more important than that ir ao site!
As I stood before a Dominican congregation this morning I mentioned Paul’s words in Galatians. We were not gathered in that church building as Americans or Dominicans. We were gathered there as citizens of the Kingdom. We are those who serve the King! And that is exactly what Paul wrote later in Galatians 5:
Political freedoms have come and gone. Financial freedoms has come and gone. But the freedoms we know in Christ can never be taken away. We are free from sin. We are not to use our freedom for sin’s purposes (see a list in the later verses in chapter 6). We are free from… That means we are free to…serve the King and reach the world with His message of love and forgiveness.
Our mission team will work in the freedoms of love and forgiveness this week. We will work side by side with our Dominican brothers and sisters. You can (and should) work in those same freedoms right where you are. Why? Because what matters to the King is faith working through love!
Soli Deo Gloria!