When I think of what freedom is, John 8:31-36 comes to mind. Let me quote one verse for now, and we will look at the others in due course.
36 …if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
The Biblical Basis of Freedom
This verse sums up the theme of this passage where Jesus teaches us—
Freedom, at its primary level, is liberation from sin, so that a person can do the will of God.
It is obvious that many today do not understand the Biblical concept of freedom as Christ explained it to the Jews. The tragedy is that we once knew and accepted the Biblical concept of freedom as Christ explains it, but we have, as a society, now lost that Biblical conception. We all need to hear the Biblical basis of freedom once again.
Inscribed on the “Liberty Bell” is Leviticus 25:10—“Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof.” The foundering fathers recognized the Judeo-Christian religious tradition under-girds the freedom we enjoy in the Western World!
John 8:31-36 presents the necessary spiritual dimension which underpins our freedom. Despite the fact that the founders of our country understood this so clearly, we no longer believe that Christianity is necessary to maintaining freedom in any country. However, without this spiritual dimension, freedom cannot exist for long among any people.
Our Real Immigration Problem
At some point in the past, we failed to educate immigrants in the Biblical basis of our freedom. As a result, America has a huge immigration problem today. What has caused this? The late Judge Robert H. Bork reminds us that the immigrants to our nation in each generation are always of two kinds.
(1) There are foreign immigrants who come from other countries to our shores and are in need of instruction about the Biblical basis of freedom.
However, we are not sufficiently aware of a second group of immigrants who are in need of instruction, as well.
(2) They are biological immigrants—our own children.
Our country since WWII has failed to initiate its own children in the true meaning of freedom. Bork reminds us—
Every new generation constitutes a wave of savages who must be civilized by their families, schools, and churches. An exceptionally large generation can swamp the institutions responsible for teaching traditions and standards. …[since World War II] heap after heap of human beings have been dumped on to the historic scene at such an accelerated rate, that it has been difficult to saturate them with traditional culture. This is what Rathenau called “the vertical invasion of the barbarians.” (“Robert Bork,” p. 21, see below.)
What I want us to see in future posts is—
Freedom is a God-given privilege which carries with it certain Biblical underpinnings necessary to its maintenance.
Each new generation must be instructed in the Biblical basis of freedom. If all people, young and old alike, do not learn what Biblical freedom is, their own sinful human natures will infuse a meaning into freedom which will lead our society into further ruin.
If mature adults seek to change their views to please the next generation, they will become a part of the problem and not provide that needed solution.
When I visited central Europe shortly after the Berlin Wall fell, I remember hearing Eastern Europeans tell what escapees to West Berlin expected when they first arrived. They said they came to the West expecting to get a Bible. Instead they got 50 DM (money). They would have rather had a Bible!
We do not free our children by giving them a credit card and a car. We wrongly think since we didn’t have them growing up, they need them to be free. They like us need God and God’s Word first and foremost.
We cannot Follow the Trends of the Times and Remain Free
Our society needs for mature adults to step up to the plate! Live free, in the Biblical sense; teach others how to be free, also. This is our task! It may not be popular, but G. K. Chesterton reminds us:
He who marries the spirit of the times will soon find himself a widower.
I John 2:17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (emphasis mine)
“Lust” is epithymia in Greek—desire, craving, longing—especially for what is forbidden, lust. This fallen world infuses into its followers a desire for that which God has forbidden to human beings. At issue is whether we get our conception of freedom from the fallen world of humanity or from God’s infallible Word.
Bork, Robert H. (1996). Slouching Toward Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.
© 2018 C. Richard Barbare All Rights Reserved