Friday, December 15, 2006

Christian Freedom

True freedom is found in Christ. To be a little less specific and (incidentally) a little more... politically correct; for anyone but a theist, freedom is an illusion at best.

I recently had the displeasure of stumbling across a blog (which I wont link to) entitled "Debunking Christianity". One of the prominent authors (and I think one of the founders) named John Loftus is apparently a former Christian. To make matters worse, not only is he a former Christian but he actually studied under reknowned protestant apologist, William Laine Craig. (I am a fan of Mr. Craig's work) If you want more of a background for the issues I'm going to discuss here, you may want to visit this dialogue between him and Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong.

As I thumbed through the anti-Christian site I couldn't help but feel pity for those writing it. Their arguments aren't at all convincing (and obviously ours aren't to them either) but the most striking statements I read were in the conversion story of Mr. Loftus.

He plainly admitted that the main reason he fell away was because he had a major crisis in his life during which the Christian community he was involved with at the time was unsupportive (I'm sure I'm putting it lightly).

But what really got me was when he started talking about his new "freedoms" such as the freedom to look at a woman lustfully without remorse. He spoke about the freedom to be angry, to hate and to use violence if necessary. He spoke about the freedom to drop the whole 'meek facade'.

You call that freedom? This is one of Satan's greatest lies: that by losing the 'baggage' of morality, you enjoy freedom.

Without God you cannot experience freedom.

This statement is true on more than one level. First, speaking logically and deductively, without God, it is false to assume free will (hence freedom). For a detailed discussion on that topic, this debate on "Knowledge and the Existence of God" by G. Brady Lenardos and Francois Tremblay should prove to be an excellent resource. In a nut shell, if matter is all that exists and we are the product of the Big Bang or other such phenomenon, everything in life is determined. In fact, in such a case you may think you are choosing to read this, but really chemicals in your brain and atoms bouncing around have dictacted that you do so. You could not possibly be doing anything else in the world at this point in time other than reading my blog. Free will doesn't make any sense in a naturalistic universe.

Conslusion1: Without God, we are slaves to our genetics and to our enviornment. Free will is merely an illusion.

Now on a spiritual level, we cannot experience freedom without God because true freedom is found only in Christ. The beauty of our religion is that most of it's truths are built on paradoxes. God entered the world in the lowliest of states, achieved the greatest victory over death by dying Himself, He taught us that "The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."(1) and so on... And here lies yet another great paradoxial truth: "freedom" to do whatever you want isn't freedom at all. In fact, it's slavery in the worst form!

Without Christ, it's a deception to say, 'I'm free to do whatever I want', because you should be saying "I am only free to do what I want". In that state, you have become a slave to your own lusts. And the lusts of mankind are perversion, hatred, anger, sexual immorality, drunkenness etc...

Any parent already understands this truth. A child thinks he would be free if he could do whatever he wants and not listen to his parents. He is greatly deceived yet not old enough to realize this. His parents know that to leave him to his own devices would be his destruction and the worst thing that could possibly happen to him. Mr. Loftus should know this. He has been exposed and well trained in Christian doctrine.

Conclusion2: Without Christ, we are slaves to our own sinful desires.

On the contrary, the Holy Spirit gives us the freedom we so desperately long for. You will truly experience that freedom and power of the Holy Spirit once you receive the seal. And of course Christ Himself said "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free"(2). Therefore, do not fear the truth and do not fear complete submission to God. We are mistakenly afraid that we will give up some of our "freedom" by submitting to God and yet the truth is (as any devout priest, monk or nun I'm sure will tell you) that the freedom found by submitting to Christ dwarfs the pseudo-"freedom" you experience apart from Him.

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