Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Declaration of Independence: Finding True Freedom in a Lost World

Well, folks…another 4th of July has officially arrived…

…a day when millions of barbecuin’ Americans raise a flag, fire up a grill, set off some fireworks…and actually make an effort to talk to their neighbors.

After all, ‘tis the season for celebrating freedom…
                                       …as one nation…
under God.

But perhaps you’re sitting there like me wondering why the liberty bells seem to be ringing a more bittersweet tune this year, at the same time, searching a solve for that same ol' question that surfaces every Fourth…

What the shrek am I celebrating today anyway?

‘Cause while there’s certainly much to celebrate as one nation under God1, truth is, it’s no secret we’re [significantly] less indivisible than ever before. And while I’m not here to rehash the major headlines of the past five weeks2, these events have, no doubt, underscored our country’s lack of moral compass.

Granted, we may think we’re free in the sense we have individual rights. We may think we’re a nation pursuing justice for all based on recent “civil”3 breakthroughs.

But when it comes to understanding what true freedom is all about, we, the people, (#Merica), don’t have a stinkin’ clue.

How can that be?

Well, for starters, we’ve made our ‘self’ the god of the age and idolatry the expression of worship by which we find satisfaction4; hence, why everything (every issue, question, and decision) is filtered through the question: How does this apply to me?

In addition, we've culturally compartmentalized and redefined our country's founding principles into bite-sized pieces relative to the individual. As a result, freedom now is more a celebration of self-autonomy, justice...a heartcry for equality, and love...an avenue for tolerance5

Yet, perhaps what’s even more alarming than the latest crumbles in our country’s “integrity cookie”, is the fact, we, the body of Christ, aren’t fully representing what we claim to stand for.

For example, we say we stand for freedom in Christ, but abide by the same freedom philosophy as everyone else (i.e. what ultimately matters in life is having the free will to do whatever I want…as long as it’s “culturally/socially acceptable”). We say we’ve found the answer, but act as if it doesn’t apply…as if head knowledge is enough. We say we’ve been declared innocent, but neglect both the cost (i.e. Jesus died for all) and the call (i.e. we’re created to partner in his work of restoring life to the broken).

Surely what we’re seeing in this time is, in large part, a result of such passivity and lenience, right6?

And please hear me: I’m not trying to judge the world here, neither am I excluding myself from the blame. Trust me…the good Lord knows I’m far from perfect when it comes to speaking the truth in love, granted, I’m actively trying to grow in this.

All I’m saying is there’s much going on in the world today opposing God’s definition of true freedom.

What is true freedom, you might ask?

Well, when we take a synoptic look at the Scriptures, we find…
So in fairness to the question, when it comes to celebrating our independence, we should not only be thankful for living in the land of the free, the home of the brave...but also for the opportunity we have to live in true freedom according to God's original intent.

Thus, my encouragement to you, friends, is to not let the troubles of this age shake your faith, to compromise your belief in what true freedom is. For it is "for [true] freedom Christ has set us free; stand and firm therefore, and do not summit again to a yoke of bondage" (Galatians 5:1). 
Many blessings to you as you bask in joy and freedom this Independence Day weekend.
~ Cameron
Footnotes

1) Whether you believe in Him or not
2) Mainly Caitlyn Jenner, the Charleston church shooting, and the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling
3)  Sarcasm alert; basically, a soft-served nudge at anyone equating homosexual issues to segregation issues of the 1950’s & 1960’s
4) Satisfaction, that is, in compliance with our self-centered desires; a mere mirage of the everlasting joy we find in Christ
5) Thus, it should be no surprise why our society keeps stressing the idea that freedom is equal to free-will; don’t be surprised if I unpack this later in a future post
6) I’d submit the church’s share of passivity and lenience is doing more damage to our nation’s spiritual fiber than any other corrupt agenda


Photo credits: www.linsondaniel.com

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