mituns: (freiheit)
One of the themes that Paul expounds on in the Bible is of freedom in Christ; that Christians, despite whatever situation they may find themselves in, are free people.

This flies in the face of today's conventional wisdom, which would have everyone believe that religion - and in particular, Christianity - is a bunch of rules that are put together to infringe on a person's freedom (and fun). Furthermore, even among political "conservatives" there is a wide breach between those who view freedom more in the sense of a Biblical standard, and those more libertarian-leaning friends who view freedom as just being able to do what one wants.

I am old enough now to have watched friends of mine get into train-wreck situations in large part due to making one bad decision after another. Yes, that is their right to do. However, as a result, they are not happier people, and they now are subject to a lot less freedom (due to bankruptcies, divorces, emotional baggage and the like) than they would have been had they followed the path toward Christ. Would it have been an easy road? No, certainly not. However, especially in the long run, striving toward virtue, particularly Christian virtue, pays off.

It seems that most sin is like addiction; one cannot just sin and be done with it, but that sins get repeated over and over again. In this life of sin, the choices that are open to us narrow, and we are left, picking between the "lesser" of evils, barring that we don't go the path of complete repentance. (And even in repentance, there are times when we still must live with the consequences of what was done forever.)

A life lived in Christ, on the other hand, is one that sets out a framework for the individual as well as a society to live in harmony. In the course of history, I do not believe that there is any other type of society other than those based on Christian ideals that allows all members - Christians or not - to be able to reap such bountiful rewards of citizenship. However, as Christians, we cannot be fooled into thinking that this is merely the result of happenstance, and we must be ready to defend this framework not only because of our own faith, but because we want to see as many people as possible be able to fulfill their potential. When this system is attacked, it is not because this system is not "inclusive" enough, but rather because there are so many who are more interested in trying to amass power among a people who are enslaved. The easiest way to get there, though, is first to make a person slave to his own vices. To do that, Christian virtue must be done away with. (Again, with mind to our libertarian friends, Ayn Rand was wrong, and excellence does not necessarily beget virtue.)

In the case of Hans and Sophie Scholl, whose Christian faith was the key motivation behind standing up against, both of them left this earthly realm with the word "freedom" on their lips. Yes, they were standing up for the freedom of Germany, but in so doing, found a freedom that is much deeper and which lasts forever. This is the freedom of which Paul writes: freedom of the individual, freedom of spirit, freedom in Christ.


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September 2013

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