Thursday, March 15, 2012

freedom comes from a cross, not a flag

Freedom is a desirable state of being free or at liberty as opposed to confinement or restraint. Freedom is the mantra of the United States. We pride ourselves in our revolutionary beginnings where we threw off the yoke of state religion, and taxation without representation. We boast of our constitutional liberties that guarantee our freedom to worship, our freedom to speak our mind, and our freedom to choose our leaders. While many conversations and debates are had about our present state of freedom and rights, few Americans would argue that they do not have the luxury of enjoying the unalienable right of freedom.

Freedom, however, does come with cost. We must sacrifice our sons and daughters to be sent to strange lands to kill and be killed for the protection of our freedom. We are taxed with representation, but our representatives are wealthy individuals who have gained their wealth by following the minimal safety and environmental guidelines and paying employees minimal wages. We are allowed to worship, as long as it is a private non-public place. Our televisions have the freedom to indoctrinate our children with sex, violence, drugs, and hate in the name of entertainment, but “God is love” is an offensive term striped from public discussion. We are free to make money, but companies do so by monopolizing markets, employing children overseas, filling politicians’ pockets, and undercutting any competition with whatever means possible. We have the freedom to be safe at the cost of making guns accessible even to children who shoot each other in schools. We have the freedom to eat what we want, at the risk of animal abuse and extinction; we have the freedom to wear what we want at the cost of sexualizing our daughters. We also have the freedom to education if you were born in a place that had good schools funded by rich land owners through property taxes. Our freedom is wrapped up in the “almighty buck.” We can do what we want, when we want, as long as someone is getting money for it. We cannot even die without having to pay a tax for the coffin, for the dirt, and for the inheritance left to our family. We celebrate freedom, but at what cost?

Is our freedom worth the lives of our families? Is our freedom worth the lives of those who die in our wars? Is our freedom worth being the largest arms dealer in the world, equipping our enemies, and children with deadly weapons? Are we even truly free?

We cannot buy our freedom through taxes, we cannot gain freedom through the promises of the most noble of politicians, and we cannot violently gain freedom through the bloody battlefields. To gain any freedom we must surrender, either to taxes, to leaders, or to ammunitions. This freedom is a lie, and we have all bought in to it.

Jesus came to directly oppose this kind of freedom that lets one gets rich off another who goes hungry. Jesus claims that true freedom does not come from submitting to taxes, military, or leaders, but freedom comes from submitting to our maker. The Bible is full of themes of freedom. We are not free by following the rules made by humanity. Every leader, every country, every institution that has promised freedom does so at the cost of enslaving us to something else. Jesus promises to set us free not to give us a heavy burden, but a light burden. Jesus sets us free not to make money or fame from us, but to make us his brothers and sisters. Jesus does not give us freedom without cost, but he lays down his life in the face of all the powers and principalities and defined the most permanent obstacle to freedom ever, death! He rose from the grave and defeated the greatest form of slavery and paved the way for eternal life.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery – Paul (a follower of Jesus).

The world looks to enslave us today. They want us to be enslaved to their values, their goals, and their dreams. Jesus releases us from this destructive way of life, transforms us to a new way of thinking, one that does not enslave, but one that liberates.

No comments:

Post a Comment