So what is the real definition of the word “Freedom” that Americans cherish so much. Is it being able to do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it? Janis Joplin once sang that "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose!" Or is that a perverted view of the word? This little epistle will examine the biblical aspects of this wonderful sounding word, and hopefully it will help us all to appreciate its true meaning.
The Bible talks about 2 basic kinds of freedom – the freedom from physical bondage known as slavery, and the freedom from the spiritual bondage of sin. These two definitions differ quite radically from the everyday American’s understanding of the word “freedom.” Most Americans think that freedom means that we can do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it, and however many times we choose to. But is that right? No, it isn’t. No one has the right to do whatever he or she wants to do on the freeway in a car, such as driving 150 miles an hour, stopping in the middle of the freeway to check your cell phone texts, or running other cars off of the road who irritate us with their driving habits. No one has the right to do whatever they want to do in a public place, like shouting profanity, stripping naked, or beating up on someone at the table next to you. No one has the right to physically abuse their spouse, their children, or their parents. No, in America, there are laws that limit our freedom to do things which society has deemed inappropriate.
However, certain segments in our society are constantly clamoring to do whatever, whenever, with no limits. Pornographers understand this, and pour out hellish porn by the ton, in order to hook minds and souls on their eye candy. Late night comics are always pushing the envelope on their “freedom” to tell dirty jokes, badmouth the Catholic Church, and demean conservative Christians. And the homosexuals with their partners in the media and the democrat party are always pushing the envelope on what is acceptable in society.
However, just as the Old Testament talked so much about freedom from slavery by the Egyptians, the New Testament talks about being free from the slavery of sin. And the slavery of sin is what has captivated so many people today, who really believe that abortion is wonderful, fornication and adultery are OK, and looking at porn all of the time is really no big deal. These mortal sins do two basic things to a human – they weaken our will to do the right thing, and they dim our intellect, so that we cannot even discern between right and wrong. And therein lies the cultural divide in the US and around the world. There are people who regularly give in to mortal sins, and then there are people who occasionally do, but who are constantly fighting back through the grace of the confessional and the Eucharist. And never, never, never, the twain shall meet.
All great athletes deny themselves a lot of food and other pleasures so that they can be free to perform at their peak on their field of endeavor. No great athlete trains by eating twinkies, staying up all night, drinking alcohol, etc. Rather, they deny themselves these things to strengthen themselves for the forthcoming competition. Similarly, we Christians need to also deny ourselves. If we think that we can be filthy rich, eat luxuriously every day, and never help the poor with our money, then we will be in for a rude awakening at our judgment. If only Christians would train for their final judgment like Olympic stars train for the Olympics!
So what’s the answer? Unfortunately, the die is cast in our society. A lot of people are in awe of satan’s false light of the pleasure of sin. Satan has made sin seem normal, right, and wonderful in America by using the media, Hollywood, Academia, and Madison Avenue. Only by following the teachings of the magisterium (which are in the catechism and which are freely available to all) can we hope to be ready when the trumpets blow. Free yourself from the sticky spider webs of money, sex, pleasure, atheism, etc., and meditate on the Passion Of Christ. Then and only then will you be truly free.
Let Freedom Ring!
2 Corinthians 3:17: Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
Galatians 5: 1: For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:13: For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.
1 Peter 2:16: Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God.
2 Peter 2:19: They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for whatever overcomes a man, to that he is enslaved.