How Do You Spell FREEDOM? Part 3.
1) If mankind, as the Bible tells us, is the culmination of the Triune God of the universe’s creative act (Genesis 1, 2), then here is the very best definition of FREEDOM: “Jesus answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:27; Exodus 20:30—“no other gods”; Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18).
2) If, on the other hand, mankind exists apart from God and as a result of a random collocation of molecules evolving over a gazillion years, and has as the ultimate end of being nothing more than food for worms, then here is the definition of FREEDOM: “Eat, drink and be merry; for tomorrow we die” (Ecclesiastes 8:15; 2:24; 1 Corthintians15:19)!
So as to create a wider array of locations on the “worldview spectrum” for being, say… agnostic, “God-fearing but liberal”, “socially conscious but relativistic”, having integrity yet making any sort of allowances for others’ views, “non-judgmental”, “not as bad a Hitler or good as Mother Teresa”… as opposed to an ardent atheist, some folks may try and get some sort of wiggle room between the two choices I’ve offered above.
But, frankly, it’s not easy to achieve, really. After all, is there not a pretty good reason for the over 2,500 choices of “religions” or worldviews around the planet? I mean, is it possible for all of them to be equally true? Attempting to make them all equally true is either insanely irrational, or a deeply insulting proposition for every one of them!
You see, if we could take the sort of time that we will rarely take to go much deeper into the important stuff of life, we would see that all of life’s choices, the consequences of our choices, and celebration and/or forgiveness from our good and/or poor choices, exist within one or the other of the above-mentioned propositions about FREEDOM, and how it relates to all of humanity.
As an example, if I adhere to Proposition #1, I know that I am most free, most human, most joyous, and most forgiven in my poor choices, when I exist within the “restrictions” of my origins in God, my love of God, and of all people made in God’s image as well. I will embrace and celebrate the “restrictions to my freedoms” because I know it’s in concert with my very nature, my identity. Akin to the amazing whale ballet in the ocean analogy, I will exert all of myself against the God-designed restrictions of my nature… and I will feel as free and as real as my Most Marvelous Maker desires I am!
If, on the other hand, I adhere to Proposition #2, I will exert my freedoms to gain whatever advantage and power I can over the other beasts of the field that, like me, will live and die based on their ability to eat, drink, procreate, survive, and surmount all attacks that would thwart their right to superiority! Even under the most admirable goals to establish a “timely or timeless socially beneficial legacy”, if all things will simply burn up in the sun when it’s all over, sentimentality about a “timely or timeless socially beneficial legacy” is moot. After just a few hundred years my contributions will be largely forgotten. In fact, if we live life as prescribed in this worldview, we can not only not complain to God about all the chaos in the world, but we must, in fact, celebrate it! For it is simply the outgrowth of a dog-eat-dog, Darwinian demolition derby that must be cheered on with a Busch Beer and Bratwurst in paw… erhh… hand!
Sorry if I’ve burst any bubbles, but we humans were made to exist for eternity. And the choice between proposition #1 or #2… TODAY… will determine each of our destinies in eternity. Oh, please don’t forget, all 2,500+ choices I referred to include eschatology (a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind). It’s very, very important and incumbent upon each of us to find out which one is true. In which one are we FREE… FREE INDEED!
Let’s get together again soon at The Training Table to feast of some more True Truths pertaining to this very important issue of FREEDOM. Next time, we’ll take a look at how the history of ideas has had a dramatic impact of this thing called FREEDOM.
Until then, stay the course in running the good race!