Friday, March 02, 2007
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.