during a sermon today, in which the pastor asked openly for responses from the congregation regarding things they praised the Lord for, someone yelled out the word freedom.
now in my head i began thinking about what that meant. freedom as an answer in that instance can mean a few different things. first is freedom from a life of no hope. we could literally be enslaved by our sin and face an eternity in hell. fortunately we have freedom from sin through Christ Jesus, halleluia.
second is freedom of religion, something that gets walked all over in this country. something that does not mean what it used to. now a days we have individuals who express their freedom, in order to squash others’ freedom, especially that of religion.
next is freedom of speech, which thanks to some in the media and a few over paid lawyers who do nothing but work to find loopholes, is becoming more of a circus side show. freedom of speech is reserved for those who have enough money to fight the litany of thousands who feel you have no right to say or write what you want because it offends them. anymore if you are smart you say things or write them privately, so as not to cause a stir, or worse yet to be persecuted, or prosecuted. therefore, your freedom of speech is not what you think it is.
many in the united states brag about their freedoms, in fact they justify murder just to have this so called freedom. the funny thing is however that those precious freedoms are becoming as scarce as the humanity for which they stood in their primitive beginnings.
once upon a time, in a land far, far away (haha), ‘we the people’ meant something completely different than it does today. back then, our ancestors fought against those that would captivate us under their rule. there were those who did not want us to express our thoughts, share our religions or live the way we wanted to. it was their way or no way. the only freedom of choice was whether to live their way or die their way.
the united states was founded on that premise, that those who lived here could escape the tyranny of britain. soon, others came from other countries outside europe that also faced oppresions and persecutions in their homelands. getting to ‘america’ meant getting to the promised land of sorts.
soon, the usa became known as the ‘great melting pot’, where unlike any other country or place in the world, people from all walks and ethnic backgrounds and religious upbringings, could call home. at the same time, all these people were supposedly ‘free’ to express themeselves in a way they had never done before.
in the early 20th century, new forms of transportation made coming to ‘the new world’ easier than ever. america was the great melting pot like never before, as people arrived from all over the world by the thousands. new influences were beginning to take hold as big industry and world wide trade became commonplace.
throughout the last 300 years america has seen many changes, including what we consider to be our rights and freedoms as americans. most of us have taken these freedoms and rights for granted for so long, we no longer understand what our rights are nor what we are free to do. today, 'we the people' is the header for the class-action lawsuit you are joining in order to express yourself.
as i sat there this morning pondering all of this, it occurred to me to ask God for some light in this situation. it all came down to one simple fact; free country or not, i would be nowhere if not for the blood of Jesus. that is the only freedom i need in this place.
i fear that most people would deny Christ like peter did if faced with imprisonment. their so called freedom means that much to them. if terrorists walk down their street and demanded all the Christians come out with their hands up, what would they do?
freedom of expression needs to start with your faith and not your right to bear arms. freedom of speech needs to be a public announcement of who your savior is and not a denouncement of some book because it offends you. freedom of religion is your unique opportunity to share the good news with everyone and not an opportunity to bash someone else's beliefs.
more than anything else, be thankful for your freedom of choice. our God chooses to love you as you are, and for someone like me that seems hard to believe. i am free to praise Him. i am free to follow Him. i am free to sing to Him. regardless of my circumstances in this life, no matter where God puts me, i am free to be His child and free to accept His gracious gift of grace through His son.
and that's all the freedom i need.
my life is not mine, and yet it is mine to live for Him. Peace to you all.