There is no freedom.
October 31, 2019
To be sure, this seems like an audacious claim. Therefore, it deserves some explanation.
Galatians 5:1 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free.” But what is freedom?
In our highly politicized world, everything is filtered through a political lens. Freedom is no different. However, when it comes to understanding what God says about freedom, we must be sure not to confuse freedom with anarchy and lawlessness. Law establishes and defines right and wrong, but without law, the definition of right and wrong evaporates and society falls into chaos and everyone “does what is right in their own eyes” (Judges 17:6).
2Peter 2:19 explains this. “They promise (the context includes the promise of freedom to pursue sensual passions) them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.” Anarchy and lawlessness is not freedom.
Several studies have been done with children and the necessity of boundaries for comfort and confidence. On playgrounds without boundaries, children will congregate in specific areas in close proximity to other children. The amount of “spreading out” will be nominal. However, if the playground has a fence, the children will fill the entire playground. The existence of the fence allows the children to explore and engage with their surroundings.
It is the same within society. Where there are laws, people thrive. They engage with their surroundings and relationships grow and become distinguished. However, in cities and regions where law (or the enforcement of laws) is lacking, the community does not expand and thrive, but rather shrinks and closes in.
Therefore, a truly free people, must be a people governed by laws.
But which laws are sufficient? I believe only God’s laws can regulate humanity so as to create an environment where freedom can exist. There is a two-fold reason for this. When the Bible speaks of Christian Freedom, it does so in two ways.
First, the Christian is free FROM sin, its power, its control, and its corruption (though a remnant remains). John 8:34, 36 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. . . . So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Second, the Christian is free TO live as God intended, to “fill the earth and subdue it,” which is the original creation mandate. 1Peter 2:16, “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.”