Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Heart of Freedom

At the heart of the issue of freedom is the assumption that the only obedience and obligation owed is to one's self.
With this in mind all fears of retaliation, remorse, resentment and retribution are nullified, at least in principle. Fear exists where the freedoms of life are lived with responsibility and accountability. 

The limitations placed upon a man's imagination are meant to be held in check by both a personal and a social conscience. Fear is an effective motivator toward compliance with those consciences. At the other end of the spectrum we find that we are enslaved to the quest for the utopia called, 'absence of fear', to be beyond the reach of our consciences. This slavery to fear is the bastion of Freudian thought and the intent of many philosophies to seek release from said fears. In reality we want to be free from the consequences, the fear of judgement and accountability for our actions.
Religious experience, perhaps life experience consists of 'sorrows ans sins, and doubts and fears, a howling wilderness'.

In this wilderness we strive to make sense of life, to have purpose and fulfilment, to achieve our goals, to feel protected and secure, to bask and rest in loving relationships, to express ourselves and our individuality. In order for these objects of life to be realized there must be parameters of interactions, boundaries and limitations on others, in essence an establishing of rules and governance for ourselves and those with whom we relate which enables the pursuit and successful acquisition of our special entity in society. We fear in our freedom being in 'harm's way'. We desire for the exemplary, to extract ourselves from a mundane  existence, short-lived and long-dead to a life lived, satisfied.

Even the wilderness is governed by a law and although the law of the 'survival of the fittest' may seem cruel and harsh its application maintains a 'staus quo' which is impossible to deviate from without external intervention. In society there are rules, some are strict, some more lax, some are tolerant, some discriminate, however within the framework of human relationship, these rules are a right of existence. We should have the freedom to determine our friendships and relationships. Therein lies the great hypocrisy and irresolute dilemma my freedoms impose restrictions and an others freedoms restrict mine.

There has existed, not only in this culture, but throughout history, those who were able to exploit from their generation and live a life of pomp and extravagance exempt from the laws and mores of the time. Perhaps only in this culture at this time has there been opportunity for man to dwell upon his condition. We can focus upon our lack of freedom, which is at the heart of a man's incessant desire and want, when we are not consumed by the need to survive, when the next meal is guaranteed.

Central to a man's incessant unhappiness is the need to be loved. Some are overtly conscious of this need, some only at a subconscious level, but underscoring all of life is this pursuit. The greatest fear of man when life and limb are not at stake, is the breaking of the heart, the destruction of the will, it is from this point, this moment, in either acceptance or rejection that a life is fulfilled. We live life because of love and we only live life fully when we are free to know we are loved and to love in like kind.

People can create and distort all of life in this earnest effort to be free to be loved. In fact, all of life, apart from living life in relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, is a distortion of that freedom or the quest and drive to be free in that context.

To fulfill
The freedom we desire is to adapt the requirements of freedom to love to our own special needs, nuances and obsessions, If there are wounds that won't heal and pains that won't go away we wish to have them erased, we want our tears wiped away, we want our fears to fought and subdued, we want our hands and our hearts to be held, but only by someone we can trust and sometimes that person is only our self.

To fulfill
We begin life with a  foreshadowing of what love is to be in our life, its shape, its substance. Built into the foreshadowing is the promise, a predilection of preference, a predicatory inference of its import and personal meaning, a prediction of life's quest for love. The foreshadows are sometimes just that, shadows, the expectations for love are shrouded in darkness, there is no freedom to love and be loved, no expectation of intimacy, friendship or family. From this wilderness a man emerges and enters adult life, shackled and bound, without promise of being free.

Freedom beckons, proclaiming the right to pursue any avenue, any venue which satisfies the needs of love. Freedom proclaims the right to be exonerated, however the need may not justify the means by which love is satisfied.

Clearly for the benefit of all, for the sanctity of community, parameters must exist, this is only just and fair. The question becomes Who will establish the rules of conduct and ensure the governance?

Some people argue that Christianity, with its rules and exclusive truth claims, is repressive to both individuals and communities because it divides communities rather than uniting them. Christianity diminished a person's humanity by robbing them of the freedom to determine their own path.

People say: "Every person or culture has to define right and wrong for themselves." But if you ask them, "Is there a person or behaviour in the world right now which you find offensive and deem to be an incorrect behaviour?you would invariably get an affirmative response.Everyone do some degree will naturally place limits on the freedoms of others as they correspond to an inherent belief in the appropriateness or incorrectness of a given behaviour. What is suggested is that these things are relevant and it can never be assumed that a behaviour unacceptable then will not be acceptable now. What has changed? The standards have not been cahnged , the testing criteria is being manipulated.

Life speaks of order through creation. Creation speaks of teh order of life, its intelligent design. There is structre and design inherent in the world. Romans 1:28, "And even as they did not like to retain God in thier knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind,..." The word debased means 'not passing the test'.

In seeking to be free man must first deny his own conscience and second, suppress the truth about God which is the 'prick to his conscience'. A preference for seeking to be free to engage in every whim of mind cannot be achieved in the light of God's revelation about Himself and man's relationship to another.

Items are tested to prove or judge their acceptability and apprpriateness whether they are fit or proper as sterling or dross.

Although Christians are to be discerning with regard to the actions of the world, the world need not fear our judgement. It is God Who will judge.

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