America is built around the idea of freedom. Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are concepts we hang our hats on. We are a free people. But how free are we really?
Sure we can walk into any store we want and purchase our favorite gadget. Of course we can live our lives on our terms (hopefully within the confines of state and federal laws) without feeling like we’re forced to conform to a standard. That’s real freedom, right? I think not.
Early in the Psalms, we’re told about this perceived freedom in the eyes of those in leadership in the Ancient Near East. Kings and rulers. In our context, we’re talking Capitol Hill types. The decision makers in the Psalm began to plot against the Lord and His Anointed and come to a conclusion: “Let us burst (His) bonds apart and cast away (His) cords from us.” They wanted freedom. Committing themselves to God and His Anointed wasn’t on their agenda.
Thousands of years later, things haven’t changed. Mention commitment to God to our country’s leadership and good luck getting any kind of response.
The fiscal cliff is of greater importance than the spiritual cliff our culture seems to be driving toward at a breakneck speed.
I sat through this commercial during the Super Bowl and couldn’t imagine allowing my son (who is now 2 and gratefully preoccupied with harmless kid stuff) to watch something like that. It was repulsive and degrading. But, according to our culture, it was freedom.
And freedom isn’t just a word that our nation’s leadership throws around in the District of Columbia. Free living is now a cultural concept. And it’s made its way into the way we live our lives in the church context. Want a way to make someone uncomfortable really fast in a conversation? Ask them if they’re connected to a church community. Americans have commitment problems.
While it’s easy for us to commit ourselves to years of loans or service contracts, commitment when it comes to our spiritual growth and development somehow “hinders our freedom”.
That’s precisely how folks treat Christ. Lip service, but in their hearts aren’t committed to Him. Their relationship status when it comes to Christ, at least practically, reflects a Facebook drop-down option: It’s complicated.
I read about, hear about, and encounter hurting people a lot. Many of them consider themselves free spirits, unable to fit into any box or carved out paradigm. They failed to realize that the “freedom” they experience really subjects them to a greater amount of bondage. Bondage that they don’t even realize they are caught up in. So on we plod through this cultural revolution. And folks are still out here trying to find fulfilling, “free” lives apart from our Creator. All in the name of freedom. We need to be careful what we ask for.