Monday, June 6, 2011

The Illusion of Freedom

Today is the first real day of my vacation with real day being defined as a day I should be at work, but I am not.  In that, just like my last vacation, this will be a series of shorter posts.  Today I want to talk about this thing called freedom.

We live in America, the supposed leader of the free world.  We love our freedom and honor those who fight for that freedom.  We call ourselves the land of the free and the home of the brave.  The sad reality is that by and large, we are neither.  I mean today my wife and I drove to Ocean City in the so-called land of the free where we had to go through a police checkpoint to make sure we had our seat belts on.  Is a free land one where police stop EVERY car on a major road to make sure its occupants are protecting themselves?  In reality, it is just a ploy to make money off the freedom loving sheep who drive along.  In a couple of days my wife and I leave for Arizona.  We have a freedom to travel, as long as we subject ourselves to having naked pictures taken of us and an invasive groping should the TSA agents deem it to be necessary.  And, once again, we are so brave that we allow ourselves and our children to suffer the indignity because some bureaucrat somewhere uses bad logic to tell us it makes us safer.  These are but two examples in an otherwise highly regulated life.  Freedom is an illusion that we have all bought into. 

I am not getting political here, but this reminded me of just how the world sees freedom.  So many in the world consider the lives of Christians to be repressive.  They claim we have given up our freedom. They claim they are the free ones.  They are terribly wrong.  If you are someone who needs chemical enhancements to better enjoy yourself, are you free?  Or is the one who does not need any outside "help" to have a good time the one who us truly free?  What about being promiscuous?  Is your worth based on how fun or attractive others see you?  Can you be free if your entire worth is determined by others or are you truly free when your worth is determined by the Lord who chose to die for you?  You claim you are free to sin, I say you are a slave to it.  Even if you could stop, you would not want to because you would not be happy without it.  You are a slave to the whims of your flesh and no matter what you do, it is never satisfied. It only wants more.  Even if you know it is wrong, you can not put down that insatiable hunger.  You are a slave.  Freedom is just an illusion. 

For those of us in Christ, we have denied the flesh.  We now see the flesh for the troublemaker that it was and not being bound to its lusts anymore we are free to become that which we were truly created for and that is a relationship with our Lord.  I do not "have" to live a "good" life to be saved, but being saved has freed me to desire to live that life unto the Lord filled with Spiritual blessings that one living in the flesh could not even begin to understand. 

In the end, true freedom is not the freedom to sin, but freedom from sin.  In the end,  freedom is not being able to do whatever you flesh determines you want to do, but freedom is being able to say no to the flesh.  The world thinks it has freedom, sadly it does not even really understand what freedom is.
But God be thanked that [though] you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18 NKJV

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