In a few days, those of us living in the US will be celebrating yet another 4th of July–freedom and independence from British rule.
But while enjoying new found freedom from British rule, the US continued its inhumane enslavement of other human beings. Some would question this kind of freedom, and they would be right. No one is truly free untill all are.
The ideology to enslave other human beings is itself a form of slavery. Why? Because Creator God didn’t intend for us to enslave and mistreat other human beings. Such way of thinking must be attributed to our fallen state. There’s no other way to put it. It’s a distortion of God’s good creation and therefore both sinful and sacrilegious.
Writing to the Christians at Galatia, the Apostle Paul says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (5:1). These believers were allowing themselves to be enslaved to the distorted gospel of some–a gospel which Paul calls no gospel at all (1:6-9).
You see, the word gospel means “good news.” To be enslaved by the distorted ideas and opinions of others, claiming to be Christian, is not good news at all. Therefore, the first thing we need to understand about our freedom in Christ is that we’re been freed from the enslaving ideas and opinions of others.
And now that we’ve been freed from the enslaving ideas and opinions of others, we can now enjoy the life of freedom that Christ has called us to. Yes, we have been freed from something, but this new found freedom is for something, namely, Christ and his love. “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (5:13).
Right now, our nation is reeling from racial tensions. It seems like every week we’re address some issue that is racially motivated. Why these tensions? Are we doing enough to bring about racial healing and reconciliation? In the past, the church has been known to lead the way in breaking barriers and building bridges to further the well-being of humanity. Well, is the America church doing all that she could to address the issue of race, which continues to plague this nation?
And as we approach this 4th of July weekend, we are forever mindful and grateful of the sacrifice of those who have given their lives for freedom in this nation’s history. But let’s also be mindful of the one who gave his life for our freedom–a freedom from–sin, the distorted ideas and opinions of others–and freedom for Christ and his love.