Someone Else’s Thoughts on Freedom

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Justin Bronson (aka Rogueminister) presented some of his thoughts on what ‘true freedom’ really is, as opposed to what the conventional wisdom of the day says it is. I though it was worth sharing with you. You can read the whole article here, on his website:

http://rogueminister.wordpress.com/2007/07/07/true-freedom

With all that said, I am becoming increasingly aware that we are called aliens and strangers in this world. My citizenship is in the Kingdom of God. I cant, with any good conscience, bring myself to buy into the idea that my rights, my salvation, my provision, or my freedom come from anywhere other than the Living God.

So here are some thoughts about what I consider to be True Freedom.

True freedom isn’t having the right to say whatever you want without consequences; its being able to say whats right regardless of the consequences.

True freedom isn’t being able to gather and worship without the threat of being arrested; its assembling with your brothers and sisters to worship God even if it means your life is at risk.

True freedom doesn’t come from an army, government, or document; it comes from the risen Christ.

True freedom isn’t living in a place where you don’t have to worry about unreasonable searches; it is living in a way that even a search of your inmost being will reveal no guilt.

True freedom isn’t the right to a speedy, public trial; its grace finding the guilty eternally innocent.

True freedom wasn’t paid for by the lives of thousands of men and women on battlefields; it was purchased by a man dying on a cross and rising to new life.

True freedom doesn’t come from having the loudest voice, it comes from quietly taking up your cross and following Jesus.

True freedom isn’t won or lost in congress, it is won on the streets when we feed the poor, clothe the naked, and give shelter to the homeless.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” -2 Cor. 3:17

Where do you find your freedom?

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  1. #1 by logiopath on July 20, 2007 - 5:46 pm

    Logiopath asks the question–What is true freedom? Christians often seem to throw out easy sayings–such as “true freedom” without an explanation.

    Is a Christian truly free? If a Christian is free from sin, why does Paul have such a dilemma, as described in Romans 7. Is a Christian free from suffering? What about Romans 8.

    We need to define our terms. It is nice to throw out sayings that make people feel good in their faith, but without definition, it can become a bondage in itself.

    Logiopath

  2. #2 by logiopath on July 20, 2007 - 6:27 pm

    I found true freedom in the study of the Philosophy of Ethics. Forever fearful of things “non-Christian” until I did an exhaustive study of Moral Philosophers in the History of Ethics.

    From Anselm to Xenophone, I read many–what I found was a tremendous freedom. I am not saying that this is the way of salvation, but for me it was the way to find the “Free-Indeed” of which Jesus spoke (maybe).

    Moral Philosophy did not save me from a fiery eternity. It did not cause me to
    become a deist in the footsteps of David Hume. I still affirm basic Christian doctrines
    such as one can find in the Apostles’ or Nicene Creeds. What it did teach me was to
    sift all information—religious or otherwise—through the filter of rational thought.
    This is actually a biblical thing to do. John said, “Test all spirits, cling to what is true.”
    That is what I have done, and why I have found peace in the Philosophy of Ethics.

    Consider these comments from an Encomium I delivered for a course in Rhetoric,

    I honor the great man of the enlightenment, Immanual Kant. You show an ethic that
    is pure and consistent. You have shown me that there are moral imperatives, and you
    apply them with a greater consistency than I have found in any church. You gave me the
    route of logic on which to travel.

    I honor you for demanding an absolute morality. You do not invent constant loopholes through which to find an escape in an ethical dilemma. You showed me that happiness lies in consistent practice of ethics through works such as Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Your work Logic showed me a basis for my own
    thinking. On the Beautiful and the Sublime gave keen insights into the nature of
    my fellow human beings. Your other works provided rich food for thought that
    transformed my thinking from mush into one of useful critiques for all I encounter.

    More to Come

    Logiopath AKA Ambrosia di Milano

  3. #3 by rogueminister on July 20, 2007 - 11:38 pm

    Logio, I recently took a biblical ethics class in which we studied Kant, Anselm and many others. I certainly enjoyed and beneifted from each person’s understanding of ethics.

    In a forum like this, I didnt define “true freedom” because it didnt seem necessary, but I meant that “true freedom” ultimately lies in being a devoted follower of Christ and looking to Him alone for our liberty of all kinds.

  4. #4 by logiopath on July 21, 2007 - 1:38 am

    Pardon my spelling mistakes! Something must kick out when changing from Word format.

  5. #5 by logiopath on July 21, 2007 - 8:56 am

    I was also thinking how thinly veiled are the ideas of freedom that we Western Christians harbor. We really have no concept of bondage–even when we think we are bound by sin. Everything we know is in the context of freedom.

    Do you want a comparison of freedom and bondage? Read about prisoners of the Soviet Union. Books by Alexander Solzhenitsyn provide a true picture of what more than 60,000,000 people suffered under Lenin, Stalin, and their successors (Alex. Sol. places the number at over 86,000,000–another source sets the figure at around 56,000,000) as prisoners, forced laborers, and exiled.

    Yes, it is true that the Scriptures proclaim “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” I am not trying to subtract the reality of freedom or ruin someone’s joy. What I am saying is that we really have it good when it comes to freedom. I wonder how we would react if our freedom was suddenly taken away.

    Logiopath writing as Ambrosia

  6. #6 by Christian Beyer on July 21, 2007 - 9:16 am

    Logiopath, listen to what Rogueminister is really saying: “true freedom ultimately lies in being a devoted follower of Christ and looking to Him alone for our liberty of all kinds”.

    Solzhenitsyn and his account of the Gulag is a good example of what he is talking about. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people suffering at the hands of their brutal Soviet masters, Solzhenitsyn is one of the few that found “freedom” through God. Although I have not read the entire “Gulag”, I have read excerpts and his accounting of this transformation, while working in the infirmary, makes it clear that he was somehow freed to be much more than what his captors said he was.

  7. #7 by logiopath on July 21, 2007 - 11:08 pm

    To rogueminister–What impresses me most about Kant is his consistency. The brief, hardly more than a pamphlet, “Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals” includes an essay called “On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns.” This looks forward to the situation ethics questions about lying.

    Kant does not look for loopholes in his means. One thing I learned in 25+ years in evangelical and fundementalist churches is that Christians frequently looked for loopholes when ethical dilemmas arose. Kant looks that kind of thinking square in the face and gives a resounding No!

    I also find great strength in the works of Bonhoeffer–although it is not that which frees. He is tough, especially on Christians who are in sin. He does not look for ways out, and he does not offer what he calls “Cheap Grace.” He goes so far as to say that a person in sin is out of fellowship with the church and therefore is putting his or her soul in jeopardy (I disagree, but a topic for another day).

    logiopath writing as Ambrosia

  8. #8 by logiopath on July 21, 2007 - 11:18 pm

    I wouldn’t say A. Sol. was one of a few who found freedom through God–in fact one point he makes is that many peopleof faith suffered at the hands of the Soviets. Monestaries seem to have been a pet target of Stalin and his cronies.

    I think true freedom in those cases, whether one points to faith or not, is the addage “You can hold my body but not my soul.” True death, even in those who were kept marginally alive by the prison system, was when body and soul were under lock and key. At that point; at the point of despair (which I believe few of us can imagine)
    is when the captors win and the soul is truly lost.

    This is the tragedy Elie Wiesel points out in Night–Despair–it is worse to be forgotten by God than to be punished. Wiesel writes, “Better an unjust God than an indifferent one. For us to be ignored by God was a harsher punishment than to be a victim of His anger.”

    Wiesel also writes, “. . . we felt abandoned, forgotten. All of us did.”

    logiopath writing as Ambrosia

  9. #9 by logiopath on July 21, 2007 - 11:31 pm

    To rogueminister–

    It is difficult not to compartmentalize “faith talk” from reason. It is not necessary. It is sort of a strange paradox. On the one hand we are willing to separate Heilgischiste (Holy History) from secular. On the other hand, we want to do the same with Thought. While it may be possible with the former, to admit the latter causes us to succumb to intellectual ease.

    People like to say there is a separation between philosophy and faith. I have concluded that this is an artificial cavity. Nothing scares a church more than people who think. It is the duty of Christians, I believe, to seek truth and wisdom–it is true that the Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom–but I do not think this precludes throwing intellect away for the sake of creed.

    Bruce writing as himself.

  10. #10 by logiopath on July 21, 2007 - 11:44 pm

    Eep! The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge (I said wisdom)

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