Friday, March 02, 2007

More Free

Freedom should not be that hard to understand, but trying to explain the spiritual concept sometimes seems harder than trying to describe the doctrine of the Trinity. Freedom is freedom. Period. It means you have permission to do whatever you desire. If you’re not free to do wrong as well as right, then it’s not freedom. When the Law was given to the Israelites, it was just like any other law; it provided civil and social order. It served as means to direct cultural life and set apart those who kept it from the rest of the world. It kept the people distinct. But Jesus died to free us from that restriction. No longer does the person of faith need a set of rules to make him or her look and act different. A new conscience coupled with a new relationship is sufficient. Love is now to be the distinguishing factor. But somewhere along the line, the Church As We Know It has looked to morality as the badge of honor. If the Spirit is here now to help us determine right and wrong and how to judge between the two, why are we so quick to run to a set of guidelines, or six easy steps, or seven promises to govern our behavior? In most ChristianMan gatherings I’ve been in, the common answer to overcoming sexual temptation has often been behavioral. The way we were taught to avoid it was to be in an accountability group, memorize Romans 6, 7 and 8, avoid tempting situations and now a current one, unplug your computer. It may have temporarily adjusted the behavior, but did it really address the real question of the man’s heart? Freedom does not mean just avoiding certain actions. I believe it means those actions no longer hold any power. Is the alcoholic really free if he can’t be around alcohol? Is the guy addicted to porn walking in liberty if he needs to have someone check his history file? So why does the Church As We Know It give men behavioral answers and tell us we can’t really expect to be free? Morality is an important thing, but morality is not the starting point of the life of faith. Look at the first family of faith; Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were a bunch of liars, cheats, polygamists. Study their behavior sometime and try and explain their morality to your kids. What they did possess is faith, which is something the Son of Man is very interested in.

5 comments:

Ty Lee Wung said...

Watchman,

I came across a great story that shares what you are talking about...

"9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'
13"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14"I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Luke 18 9-14

It seems to apply to what you said about morality being misused as some sort of badge of honor? Your thoughts?

Watchman said...

Mr Wung,

A good story to represent our reliance on moral behavior.

Take the behaviors of the Pharisee; doesn't steal, doesn't do evil, stays sexually pure, fasts as a regular part of his quiet time, gives money regularly. Sounds very similar to today's church goer.

These are all good things, but they must be kept in perspective. The other man showed faith, which is the greater quality.

Ty Lee Wung said...

On an encouraging note, this was a basis for today’s message at New Cov ☺

There are some whom God has placed in The Church As We Know It that are changing it for the better.

The Church As We Know It is always learning from the ways it has failed

Your desire to see this movement makes sense in many ways. Because I know you I understand why you desire to see a movement reflecting what you’ve written, but I believe another movement is happening from the inside out as well. I have chosen to be a Watchman within The Church As We Know It and I see God raising up leaders who likewise choose to say yes to God’s greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37) the same as you and I do. They are choosing to point to Faith, Hope, and Love to give people the way to freedom.
I’m convinced this is where I need to be.

Your fellow Watchman,

Mr. Wung

Meena said...

hello!
I was very drawn by ur arguements
but can a person be really free??
As long as he lives in society he will always be bound by rules of society.. n widout rulz society can never exist dont u think?

I know my arguement is 180 degree apart from urs.. but i cant speak in ur context not being familiar wid the biblic stories...

Watchman said...

mr wung,

i was always told, "bloom where you are planted; flourish where you grow." sounds like you are doing just that.

meena,

as I see it, freedom begins within. when a person is free in spirit, this transcends any kind of rules, religous, social or otherwise. quoting braveheart, wallace said, "they may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom."

I agree that we will always be bound by some kind of legal restriction while on this earth. but as dr m l king showed us, love will prevail, and love can lead us to live freely despite those restrictions.