This year there has been a lot of talk about Freedom, and quite rightly so, millions of men and animals, gave their lives in the hope and desire to keep Britain and other countries free from “Tyranny” about 100 years ago. The First World War was meant to be “The War to end all Wars“, yet 100 years later we are still having a war against “Terror“! The entry of UN troops into Iraq was questionable to a lot of people, (were weapons of mass destruction ever found?) As soon as the British and American troops announced that they were slowly removing their presence from Iraqi soil. The rebels, have started taking back what they deemed rightfully theirs!
It is said “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom Fighter”, but does this translate into how we deal with our Faith and Christianity in the world? We can use our beliefs to “terrorise and annoy” but we can also try and “free” those who are Physically, Mentally, emotionally and/or Spiritually “captive“. I spent time living with a former soldier in the “Umkhonto we Sizwe“, the military wing of the ANC, they caused a big nuisance for decades in South Africa, and their cause was just, equality for all races in South Africa! The man I stayed with was like a grandad to me (and now my kids), one of the nicest men that I have ever met! He felt God call him into ministry in the 80’s, and stop being a soldier, he wanted to spread the message of freedom in Christ so much that when a church in the UK gave him money for his roof, which needed repairing, he instead paid for a church to be built in another village (could have been accused of misappropriation of funds but who seriously could argue with what he did?!)
Freedom, is a interesting concept, can you have too much Freedom?
- Freedom of speech is fine, but are we free to say what we like even if it is abusive and hurtful?
- Freedom of information is good but should we know everything about everyone? (gossip?) Do we need to know how many terrorist threats are dealt with on a daily basis?
- Freedom of movement is great but when your only reason for moving is to take advantage of your host, is it right?
- Freedom to bear arms can and does cause people to lose their “freedom of Life“
Take a baby for example (not literally, unless you have one which is your child!) They start off innocent, free to do anything, they have been already given the “freedom of life“! Then:-
- When they start crawling you have to stop them from going certain places or touching things for their safety and protection, (Freedom of movement restricted, almost literally)
- When they are older they are free to move about the house but you still have to be careful in certain areas which are dangerous, and their language may need correcting if offensive (freedom of speech and movement)
- As they get even older, their “freedom of thought, belief and religion” kicks in to play, but some parents and families do not give them this freedom!
- Then society allows them to question their identity and gives them the freedom to be whoever they want to be, even if it wasn’t how they were born!
- Hopefully during this period and after, they will not lose the freedom from Slavery. No one should be a slave but should be treated fairly!
Jesus quoted Isaiah in Luke 4:18
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
But as Jesus ascended to heaven it is down to us to continue that work!
- Promoting awareness of the slave trade,
- Helping the unfairly imprisoned get justice!
- Fighting for fairness and equality in trade and society.
The message puts it this way
What Is True Freedom?
15-18 So, since we’re out from under the old tyranny, does that mean we can live any old way we want? Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!
If we get ourselves imprisoned in sin or even “chained” to acts which are unloving to our fellow man, Jesus can and has broken the chains and set us free, but this freedom is so that we are free to share the freedom of being god’s child not so we can try another sin or go back. Being free is knowing you are better off in Christ, better with loving support of fellow sons and daughters of christ, they can and may hurt you making you feel other chains have been put on you but Jesus has the yoke which is light and will bear your burdens too, so cast them on and be free!