He stood on a platform in City Park and addressed a crowd of like-minded souls.
“I am a free man.
I will not let any person, or any government, tell me how to live my life.
I choose which road to take.
I decide where I’m going to live, where I’m going to work.
Nobody dictates to me what I’m supposed to believe.
My faith is my business.
I choose to be a Christian, and I choose the Christian values I live by.
Anybody or any force that seeks to deny me this freedom I regard as my enemy.
I am a free man!”
Thunderous applause came from the crowd as the man stepped down to join his proud family.
But from the world beyond, angels looked down and held their breath. They saw what this man could not see. This man was wrapped in chains. His head was covered with a hood.
He claims to be free?
This man’s only hope is for those chains of self-obsession to break… for that hood of self-idolatry to fall away. Granted, this man enjoys an outward freedom that millions across the earth are denied. But his “freedom” was an illusion.
When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they were instantly entangled in chains. Invisible chains. Now blind to the glory around them, all they could see was their nakedness.
Banished from the Garden of Freedom into the world of strife we know so well, they became their own little gods. Believing themselves to be free, they spent their years as slaves to their own vanity. As their sons and daughters, we too are slaves…to vanity. …to the compulsion to be our own gods, better known as sin.
True freedom is freedom of mind and spirit. Inner freedom. No tyrant can destroy this freedom. No government can mess with it. Inner freedom is eternal.
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin.
The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
Inner freedom comes only to those who know the truth, who know God. Who actually know God.
Know God, and you are free.
Be ignorant of God, and you are in chains, even if you own half the world.
Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
We may call ourselves Christians. We may hold to “Christian Principles”. But we are free only when we know God. …only when God reveals himself to us as we walk in the light of the Master.
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
~REB September, 2021