Framing Freedom

by Elouise

Here’s an Independence Day (July 4) post from two years ago. My small contribution to what it means and doesn’t mean to be a ‘true patriot’ in this country. Today’s inflated rhetoric about freedom pushes the envelope when it comes to the meaning of freedom, much less free speech. What does it mean and not mean to live in freedom?

Telling the Truth

re-framing freedom, seedquote

I’m writing this on July 4, Independence Day in the USA. A day that’s all about freedom. That intangible, inalienable ‘right’ highly valued in our national rhetoric.

When I was teaching theology I couldn’t help noticing how many seminarians defined Christian freedom as free will. The kind that makes choices—yes or no. As some said with fervor, ‘You can take away my house, and even my life, but don’t you dare try to take away my free will!’

I understand what they want to protect—their own freedom of choice, as a kind of inalienable right. Something God gave them that needs to be protected at all costs. The freedom to choose right or wrong, this church or that church, to believe and live this way or that way.

The ability for human beings to makes choices of any kind comes from our Creator. Yet I wonder. Do we understand the meaning of Christian freedom?


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