Vol. 8, No. 7
~ Page 17 ~
In America we are a nation that cherishes the concept of freedom. We sing about it, celebrate it and argue over it. But what constitutes true freedom is not understood by most. True freedom is not being without boundaries of behavior and morals. True freedom is not without demands and obligations. We need to seek after true freedom. I submit to you that the only true freedom is that which is found when we submit ourselves to God. Paul puts it this way in his letter to the Romans: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness. But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" (Romans 6:16-18).
True freedom is based on allowing ourselves to be in submission to the God of heaven. Then we are free from the practice, grief and consequences of sin. We are not bound by the things of this earth, and we can foresee a wonderful eternity promised to those who serve God.
Brother Robert Waggoner recently sent out an essay on God as a Jealous God (see note at end of article about brother Waggoner's essays). The following paragraph is from his essay. While he is not emphasizing true freedom, he does list and deal with several philosophies that are attempting to overwhelm us and make us slaves. These "isms" are actually "gods" that are trying to replace the true freedom that belief in and obedience to God brings:
The Israelites provoked God to jealousy whenever they turned to false gods who were in the land. What about us? Do we not also provoke God to jealousy whenever we turn to false gods in our culture? Many contemporary false gods are known by their philosophical terms, such as naturalism, materialism, secularism, statism, feminism, hedonism, relativism, etc. Whenever we turn to evolutionism, we have surely replaced the God of creation with the god of naturalism. Whenever we trust in material possessions, we turn away from God, just as did the rich young ruler (Matthew 19:16-24; Mark 10:17-25), and the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21). When in the name of secularism, we fail to apply God's word to education and politics, or any other segment of life, we make secularism our god and thereby turn away from God. Whenever we think and act like civil governments have final authority in determining behavioral standards, we turn away from God to the god of statism. When in the name of feminism, we substitute gender equality for God's desire that man be head over woman (Genesis 2:18; 21-23; 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 Timothy 2:8-14), we turn away from God. Whenever our goals are personal pleasures rather than service to God and fellow men, we turn away from God (Luke 8:14). When in the name of relativism, we act like there are no absolute values and that everyone's behavior must be tolerated as equally valid, we deny God's word as the law that must be obeyed.
It is remarkable how many ways Satan attempts to take away our freedom. It is amazing the philosophies of humanity that are all too often swallowed hook, line and sinker by even some among us. We must stand with the God of heaven and with his ways and his will. The Almighty Creator of all that is, the Powerful Potentate over all of existence, the Loving God of all kindness, that God has offered us freedom in the truest sense. It is an eternal freedom that removes from us the need to worry about what tomorrow holds. It is a freedom of heart and mind that no one can take from us, no matter what they do to us. We can, like Paul, declare, "I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:6-8). If we will reject the foolishness of this world and listen to God--then (and only then) can we truly be free.
[Brother Robert Waggoner sends out email articles periodically on the general theme of THEISM. These articles are excellent, faith-building, encouraging pieces of research. Brother Waggoner spends many hours in preparation of each one, and each is carefully crafted and produced. I recommend them to you. You can email him at [email protected] if you would like to receive them. I have known Brother Waggoner for several years, and have a deep respect for him and his work. Dean]