So I went out with a friend and we saw Sherlock Holmes- A Game of Shadows the other day. Now, I could immediatley launch into a debate about its strengths and weaknesses (the final scene by the waterfall was not only stunning- it was profoundly stunning!) but one very insignificant scene that no one will probably remember happened in the wine cellar between Holmes and a troubled anarchist whose name I never really picked up on.
The anarchist spoke of freedom- freedom from rule. Not freedom from tyranny, but total and absolute freedom from rule. As if there is such a thing? They wanted to rule themselves, these anarchists. They wanted to be their own kings. There is, in all of this, a myth about freedom.
There are two types of freedom in this life. I'm going to come to the point quickly, if bluntly, and state:
1) freedom from God, or
2) freedom in God.
Here's what you need to know about God and our relationship with him. We were created to obey him and that takes all of our attention, all of our time, and all of our lives. At the fall, we rebelled against obeying God and we wanted to be god. When Eve took of the fruit of the knowlege of good and evil, she was not ingesting a magic apple that "opened her eyes." It was the action that she performed. It was the disobeying of God.
God declared that it was not good for Eve to eat of that tree, but Eve declared that it was good. That is, she was replacing God's law with her own- she was being God and declaring what is right and what is wrong.
The curious thing about life is that God does not wipe out all the humans he has created whenever they replace his authority with their own. Of course, we all experiance a spiritual death and all of us will experiance a physical death one day and then there is, of course, the ultimate death which is eternal seperation from God.
Death is seperation from God because it is God who creates and sustains life. When we reject God, we seperate ourselves from life itself and become dead because to not have life is to have death. That is, death is only the opposite of life. Anything that is the opposite of life is death.
Tell me of your passion for "freedom" and I must ask you, freedom from what? Freedom is an illusive term. There are only two types of freedom, period. There is freedom from God or freedom in God. I am always extremely skeptical of those who wildly declare freedom from EVERYTHING! Freedom from all laws (but their own), freedom from all monarchies (but their own), and freedom to do whatever they want. Freedom to declare good or not good whatever they deem is good or not good.
To me, this sounds dangerously like replacing God with one's own law- being god one's self.
The truth is that we were originally created to obey, to be submitted to the law of God. We were not created to think outside of God, or reason with Him about right and wrong. We were created to obey him and live freely glorifying him. I am ready to join your band of revolutionaries if you say to me, "I want the freedom to obey God and glorify him!"
However, when you tell me you want freedom to rule yourself, to determin what is right and wrong, I must disagree with you here. But, I commend you for being truthful and honest with me! Believe me, I want to see your point of view far more then I want you to agree with mine.
The world is full of people who don't understand their own point of view. Much of this is due to the fact that it is very, very rebellious to say, "I want freedom from God." We are very often cautious with going that far because it is very extreme. But, way deep down inside, there is what we really believe.
It really is quite as simple as the genuine desire to be free from God or the genuine desire to be free in God.
Most of the problems with the world can be summed up with former condition: the desire to be free from God. It's really, really hard to see this, though, especially when the person has "good" intentions.
I want to give the best to my family. I want to cure cancer. I want to save the world from poverty. I want to discover the origin of life. I want to make people fell better, make them happy, take away their suffering.It is extremely difficult to see how someone with all these good intentions could deep down desire to be free from God. Even someone who desires to be free IN God, to glorify him, can have these desires. The difficulty lies in being honest about which side we fall on is very hard to do.
It's hard because to be one way or the other has severe implications. Rebellion against God means eternal damnation. Submitting to God means accepting ALL of what He says. We have to take the whole package. We can't leave any part of it out. We have to obey God all of the way.
What if God said, "Therefore he [God] shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth." Micah 5:3. That means that we have to accept that God allows people to suffer. Not only that, he gives them up! To what? To sin, to misery, to darkness, to seperation fron him until the time when he sends Christ to save his people.
People have issues with this, don't they? God has provided a way for his people. He has saved whom he shall save. He has already made the way for salvation. Yet, we desire to save the world as well, don't we? We want to do good things. We want to cure cancer and sickness, poverty and affliction. And yet, what is our motivation?
Doing these good things will bring great glory to God. If faithful Christians were to forge ahead in these areas, I believe God's name would be greatly honored. However, the motivation for doing these things must be correct. Christians must do these things out of a foundational desire to be free in God.
Those who have rejected the way of God desire freedom from God. They want to be god and fashion their own moral law. Even if their moral law is very similar to God's moral law and the desire is to serve other people and make life better, it is still seperate from God. It is self centered.