You ever have one of those conversations where all of a sudden someone says something so simple, and then you get one of those aha moments. In the course of conversing about the ills and perils of America with a very nice young man from Africa, he said something profound; Americans have too much freedom.
Now I know some patriotic folk are going into convulsions and epileptic seizures reading this; “thur aint no such thing as too much freedom, I gots the rights to carry this here musket anywhere; who knows i might just meet a terrorist on a way to the grocery store buyin one of dem, what you call it fa laugh fulls.”
Some of my liberal folk on the other extreme are somewhere parading and protesting down some street or on some media outlets, about their freedom to be able to live with, have sex with, or marry anyone they choose, and though they have the freedom to do these things; you do not have the freedom to disagree. I guess this is the home of the brave, and the land of the free only for some. In a related point, although not in the United States, but in our older brother state the UK, did you hear about the couple who was denied the right to adopt because they stated that they did not agree with the practice of homosexuality? I fear America is not too far behind, after all in only a couple of years I can imagine churches and pastors who refuse to marry same sex couples losing their tax exempt status.
Then there are those who have forgotten that the act of sex though pleasurable was biologically created for the act of reproduction. So in the course of sleeping with eight, five or in reality one too many guys, find themselves with another fatherless child, or an infant who’s life will be snuffed out by a vacuum, forceps or some other metallic prong before he’s ever able to see the light of day; after all a woman has the right to choose what happens to her baby, and you little embryo have no rights at all, not until your able to wear a onesie.
Speaking of choices, what about those who speak about legalizing drugs, and I’m not just talking about marijuana, but cocaine, meth, PCP; I’m sure they had their kids in mind when they thought of that. Billy here’s some money why don’t you buy yourself some candy, and while you’re at it get dad 10 grams of crack. While you’re at it if you feel like becoming a man today, there will be a prostitute around the corner, don’t worry about the cops; it’s all legal now so the prices should all be cheaper. Wow what a wonderful world we live in.
Heh brother, I believe you are getting to political.
Well lets talk about some basic things like dating.
So I guess its okay for me to date six girls in three months, kiss, rub on and touch them in places that only their husband should touch them, tell them I love them, and then break up with them, because they were just crazy and had issues; and heh I didn’t have sex with them, but I sure did lie to them, and heh she wanted to make out just as much as me.
Then for the married folk who are fortunate to get married, after a couple of months of arguments find out you didn’t marry “the one”, divorce him, marry someone else who again turns out to be only about money, divorce him, and then find out I’m just not into marriage, I’ll just live with my boyfriend, who happens to change every 6 months. People marry and divorce like it’s a game of checkers; but heh we have the freedom to, so let’s do it.
What about the movies and songs we listen too. Lets listen to 2 hours full of profanity,blasphemy, and slandering of the name of God, for a couple of cheap laughs or thrills. Then when we’re finished let’s go online, illegally download some songs we didn’t buy, because after all that is what technology was made for. Who needs to go to the movies when I can burn or stream it from a million different websites.
One of the passages that never ceases to amaze me is the passage in Exodus 32. The Israelites lived as slaves for over 400 years, during such time they were forced to hard labor, whippings, marginalization, and psychological oppression. They were forced to believe they were less than the Egyptians, had no history, and even worse that their God was just a myth. In one the greatest displays of power and love, their God sends them a prophet Moses, who with his guidance and assistance , performs a series of miracles, that reveal He is the only true God, and that he has chosen the Israelites as his holy people to worship him, all while breaking the back of the most powerful empire in the world. The people literally walk through the sea, with 50 feet walls of water on the side. They are delivered from slavery, and then only a short time later they are in distress because their prophet has been gone for a couple of weeks. Freshly delivered from their chains, they wallow in their freedom, their prophet is gone, their God who saved them is absent, or not dependable, so they say heh, lets do what we want to do.
So they decide to throw the biggest party ever. They get the drummers, get the dancers, the singers, and lets not forget the lovely ladies,they pool all of their money together and with assistance of the religious leaders, form a marvelous golden idol. This party is so off the chain, that when Moses hears them coming down from the mountain he pauses while Joshua and himself try to figure out what kind of noise is emanating from below. Its so crazy, that they compare it to it sound of people getting ready for war, with all the drums beating, and the people screaming, and howling. Some scholars point to the fact that there were literally orgies going on. After all 400 years of oppression, means that there will be one hell of a liberation. Literally. This is the picture of freedom. Or let me clarify, a freedom without God. Romans 1 paints the picture like this
What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
24-25So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
What we end up with is a sad mess, where people who are left to their own devices without God end up destroying themselves.
As Christians the bible tells us we have freedom; but to use it cautiously. Here’s Paul in Galatians.
13-15It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom. If you bite and ravage each other, watch out—in no time at all you will be annihilating each other, and where will your precious freedom be then?
In conclusion, we have to be responsible with what we are given. When we recognize our limits, or weaknesses we need to continue to seek out help. Think of yourself as a millionaire with a gambling problem in Vegas. You have the money, but left to your own devices you will be broke, homeless, and in jail. God has given us freedom, but let’s not live selfishly, lets live selflessly, and help those still bound in sin. Remember freedom ain’t free, because we were bought with the precious blood of the Lamb.