Thursday, September 20, 2012

Freedom: A Double Edge Sword

Freedom. You here it so much in the news. You've heard present and past Presidents say that countries need to be democratic and free like the USA. You here about how freedom is better for everyone, but I would like to offer another perspective on freedom.

First let's get a working definition of freedom. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary says that freedom is the "liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE". Let's look at some things from a Biblical point of view. First of all, freedom means free to an extent, but you still have to answer to somebody. Look at 1 Corinthians 7:20-22:
"(20) Each person should remain in the situation they were in when God called them. (21) Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. (22) For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave." (NIV)
If you are a Christian, then you are still a slave to Christ. So you must answer to Him!

When the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, what did they want? To be free. But, despite being slaves they stuck together. They took care of one another. Families stayed together. Then, Moses stepped up on behalf of the slaves.  He was called by the Lord to lead his people out of Egypt and it started by Moses approaching Pharaoh.
Exodus 5:1  Afterward Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Let my people go, so that they may hold a festival to me in the wilderness.’” (NIV)
Then what did Pharaoh do? He told the slave drivers to make the slaves find their own straw, but they still had to fill the same number of brick quota per day. Hey, they upset Pharaoh and that's a price you pay for wanting to be free. We know that the Pharaoh's heart was harden and after a couple of times he finally let the Hebrews go to Moses. However, let's look at the turn of events.

With their freedom, they became unruly. People began to buck against Moses and what God had planned for them. False idols began to become their God's instead of the Lord (see Exodus32:7-14, Numbers 32:1-13). Even during Moses' time, we see how freedom is a good thing and bad thing. It was great to no longer be in bondage to the Pharaoh. However, it was a bad thing because the people felt free to do whatever they wanted; free to go against the Lord and his commands.

As an example, let us fast-forward from Moses' time and look at the US slavery of black people. During that time, black people stuck together. They prayed together. They raised their children together. The Lord was the head of their households. All the while being controlled, morals remained in tact. Men went to work and supported the family. You didn't leave your family when the chips were down. However, as the late 1950's & early 1960's arrived (The Civil Right's Movement) there was the desire for more freedom. Of course blacks deserved to have equal rights just as much as any other US citizen, correct? Schools were later integrated and an entire series of events happened that gave blacks freedom  (or the appearance of being free).

Now, look at the black community from then to now. You will notice how morals and the sense of urgency to protect family values have gone out the window. This freedom that was desired has helped to become the downfall of the black community. More black men are selling drugs and leaving their families. Now, it's the norm to have a single parent home. Women support their husbands while the men sit at home and watch TV or run the streets. I speak from the perspective of a black man living in America, but the statements above don't just represent the black community. Look at the United States as a whole. This whole ideology of being free has actually opened Pandora's box. Look at the definition of marriage. Now it is now longer man and woman. It's man and man or woman and woman.  Is this ok in the site of the Lord? NO! Quick reminder, look at Sodom and Gomorrah!

The whole freedom movement is seems great for a sense of not having to answer someone. But it is bad because we do not have to answer to someone (so at least some think). When you get to the point where the US is as a country, you have television showing cursing, sex, and anything else not good for us? Why? Well, we have freedom of speech of course. We have freedom of privacy. We have freedom of ________ (you fill in the blank). We are becoming more and more desensitized to what's morally right and wrong with all the freedom we have to express ourselves.  Not that it is a bad thing because the Lord made us as beings with free-will.  The drawback is that He gives us the ability to choose to live according to His Word.   Yes, freedom is good but so is the side of the sword being swung away from the swinger.  It is the other side of the doubled side sword that cuts and separates when you are not paying attention.

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