Struggle To Find Freedom

I’m sure that those who came over on the Mayflower wanted desperately to find freedom from oppression and have the ability to choose on their on how they would live their lives, govern themselves, and worship God.  In a very small nutshell that’s the story of the beginning of this country.  It was a striving after freedom–a very precious commodity.  Having people treat that freedom so flippantly is a slap in the face to our fore-fathers.

Paul said, (2 Corinthians 3:16-17 NCV)  “But when a person changes and follows the Lord, that covering is taken away. {17} The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”  The “covering” that is taken away is the concept of salvation by keeping the law.  That’s the freedom we experience in Jesus Christ.  We no longer are kept “jailed up under law-keeping” (That’s the way Jim Massey would teach us young preachers about freedom in Christ in our college days). 

I wonder how Jesus must feel about our attempt to go back under law keeping and making rules where God has not made them.  It has to make Him wonder why He even went to the cross.  Not only are we guilty of trying to keep rediculous rules sometime, but we also try to bind those rules on others.  Just this week, I received an email trying to get me to write a particular church concerning an addition they had made in their worship service that this particular person disagreed with.  He wanted me to write them and tell them exactly how I felt about their addition.  This church was several states away from us. 

Why do we feel the need to “correct” churches in other places whether they be local to us or in another state or country?  What happened to church autonomy?  What’s happening to the lost while we disputed over foolish doctrines of a dying denomination?  Why do we seek to destroy and not to teach and help? 

God bless us to see the freedom of grace and mercy.  We do not need to see those as a licence to sin, but a reason to “press on the mark.”  Grace and mercy saves–not law keeping of any kind.  It’s not “God’s part” and “man’s part.”  What “part” can I possibly bring to the table of salvation except but to presume upon the grace of God and serve Him like I really believe I’m going to be with Him one day for sure?  All I can bring to the table is trust.  I have fallen and Jesus picked me up and is carrying me to be with Him one day.  “Nothing in my hand I bring,  simply to the cross I cling.”

By the way, I did write that church.  I told them that I praised them for following the leading of God on that particular issue and not letting anyone deter them from following Christ in whatever He called them to do.  We would do well to listen more to God’s calling rather than trying to carrying on traditions and ways of man. 

Folks, it’s time that we began to look at the mission God put us here for.  We are to love God, love others, and serve.  It’s that simple.  Anything that tries to complicate that goes against the advice of our Lord and Master and needs to be ignored.

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4 responses to “Struggle To Find Freedom

  • Greg England

    There is one other thing we bring to the table … our abject sinfulness … and it’s not pretty! Great thoughts, Keith! I’m glad you wrote that letter to that church. I’m saddened there is still a mentality among “us” (am I still “among us”?) that needs to make sure every one is “right” and in line with our orthodoxy … of which Jesus has little, if anything, to do.

  • Meowmix

    My first thought as I read this went to my daily Bible-reading schedule. The one I am using does not direct me to passages daily from both the OT and the NT. It will go straight through, so I’m spending a lot of time right now reading about laws! Later, there will be a lot of time in the dire prophecies because of the people’s obstinance and inability to keep all those laws, as well as assurances that, even though they didn’t deserve it, He would bless them in the end. Every time I do this, when I do get to the NT, I feel an overwhelming sense of relief………a breath of fresh air, that breath being CHRIST – and only Him!

  • cwinwc

    So true, so true. “Church autonomy” is something that we should strive for and rebuke those who would impede it. If it were not for the “Jerusalem Conference” in Acts, well, lets just say that entering the Body of Christ would come with a painful pricetag for us guys.

  • Marnie

    I 100 % agree with this. I understand your frustration over this issue and I think you did the right thing with the positive message to that church. I wish I could say their is hope for stuff like this to stop but I think it will go on until the end of time. But it is encouraging to hear your stand on this and see your positive actions. Thanks for writing this.

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