Dangerous Freedom

If you’ve been watching the news from the Middle East of late, and especially the political upheaval in Egypt, you can catch a glimpse of what revolution looks like. Of course, we saw similar events in several nations in last year’s “Arab Spring,” as so many people who had lived their entire lives under the tyranny of despots and dictators tasted liberty for the first time. But as we have seen over the past year, freedom can be dangerous in the hands of the wrong people.
Many were excited fourteen months ago at the revolutions in those Arab nations, when corrupt governments were overturned and new hope was raised for those who had been harshly burdened by their so-called leaders for generations. However, some of the nations moved from one oppressive regime to another, and in many cases it got worse. For them, freedom and democracy didn’t exactly cure what ailed them. So, as Yogi Berra once said, it’s “deja vu all over again.”
Likewise, even here in these United States, we have seen that freedom can be easily abused, even has we have discovered assaults on our own liberties from every side the past few years. Yet, we are still among the most free people on the planet. But where there is the privilege of freedom, there is also responsibility. We must live lives worthy of the freedom that has been bought and paid for by the blood of those who have gone before us. The best way to celebrate our freedom is to live freely.
It’s interesting to watch how the yearning for freedom so naturally rises up in all humanity, all over the world and throughout history. It’s not just an American thing, even though our own Declaration of Independence reminds us that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights, namely the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In other words, God gave us the right to live liberated lives.
That means more than political liberty. We are called to live in personal and spiritual freedom, emancipated from the bondage of sin and death. That’s why Jesus said He came, “to proclaim liberty to the captives…and to set free those who are oppressed.” (Luke 4:18) And yet for some, even that freedom can be dangerous.
But be assured, as we sang last Sunday, “it was for freedom that we have been set free.” So do not set aside your liberty in Christ, but live it to its fullest. Your pardon has been bought with a price, the precious blood of Jesus Christ. By His grace, live freely today.
May God bless you as you serve Him this week, and may God bless America this Independence Day weekend. I am praying for you, and I hope to see youon Sunday.
–Pastor Ken