Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day!

It's the ideal American holiday, isn't it--July 4th? We celebrate liberty and freedom from the English crown, and further go on to party as if we are free from any other sort of authority in our existence. How dare anyone tell me, American Bob, that I can't do something! This is a free country! I am a free person! The Bill of Rights says I can say or do anything I want, right? Just so long as I don't step on the freedom of anyone else? Might want to check those documents again. This would be an appropriate day to do that.

Freedom is never really no-strings-attached. In order to preserve our "rights" and "freedoms," and those of our fellow citizens, certain laws must be in place. "Freedom" does not mean anarchy. Freedom does not mean, Bob, that you can do whatever you please and expect to never feel the consequences of your actions! Implicit in the rights provided to us by our Constitution is the assumption that our Creator instilled us with brains and expected that we would use them!

Because I'm a preacher, I'm also reminded of our freedom that we have in Christ. While we may be free of the confines of righteousness by keeping the Law, and are provided grace and mercy through Christ, this doesn't mean, Christian Bob, that we ought to use that as an excuse to go around breaking all God's laws! Implicit in the freedoms we have received from God is the assumption that we are under the lordship of Christ! (Rom 6, et al) The Apostle Paul tells the Galatian church that our liberty is for the purpose of serving one another, and that, even though we are free, we remain under the commandment, "Love your neighbor as yourself." (Gal 5) He tells the Corinthian Christians that their freedom to eat meat offered to idols does not mean they should throw it in the face of their brothers and sisters who are still susceptible to the old idolatrous ways of life. (1Cor 8)

And of course, when we celebrate our independence, we must certainly acknowledge our dependence upon God, the Aauthor of true liberty and freedom, no matter what your political situation may be!

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