Written by Dean Hellekeson
Liberty is a word that is thrown around like an over used Frisbee. Everyone in America is using it, and everyone in America is defining it, yet very few understand it. And why is this? Because we now live in the age where you can make up definitions as you go. There is not a “right” answer, only “your” answer. So, with everyone allowed to define, we now live in a wonderful world of polytheism.
According to God, who alone defines the world, a liberty that is not attached to a love for him and a love for others is a liberty from hell. Because if a man is free to do with his limbs as he wants, without restriction, we no longer have liberty, we have anarchy. He might swing those limbs at anyone in his way and destroy all in his path, yet he is enjoying his freedom because no one can tell him what to do. And besides, it is the way “he likes” to deal with his anger. After all (he reasons in his prideful brain), isn’t that what matters?
There is nothing worse than a liberty that destroys liberty. It is a liberty that uses the language, but has no clue of its definition. A person who is liberated, according to God, is one who is set free from their own flesh, passions and lusts, and is willing to die for God and others (Gal.5:13). When we have communities that live in true liberty, we have communities that know the sacrifice of peace, joy and love.
To have and maintain this liberty requires that we be at war with everything that would harm this liberty. To have liberty from sin, we must war against sin. To have liberty from lies, we must fight for the truth. To have liberty from death, it must be destroyed. Liberty requires war, and without which, we will have no liberty. If I am at liberty to murder, then I am at war with life. If I am at liberty to commit adultery, then I am at war with marriage and family. Now, I may cry “liberty” in order to have my way, but my liberty then declares war on anybody else’s who might disagree—we cannot have both. Porn companies cry liberty against any legislation that might outlaw it, and they do this because they define freedom and liberty according to their own wicked lusts and passions. Liberty to them is being free to do what their every lust and passion desires. They want a society where everyone sleeps with everyone, and there is no such thing as faithfulness—yet they scream bloody murder when someone is unfaithful to them. They want a community where unbridled lust reigns and rules, yet they don’t like it when someone else’s lust infringes theirs. Their so-called liberty is a disguised bondage.
Nothing is so hideous as a freedom from what is good. One can advocate a freedom that means everyone gets to do what they want, whenever they want, and yet, what he gets is the absence of every good virtue that holds societies together. That would be the most unloving and ugly society to ever be a part of. You couldn’t even trust those closest to you because you couldn’t be sure they wouldn’t lust after your wife and then kill you for her. You wouldn’t want to posses anything because you would be in constant fear of losing it to your neighbor who might lust after it, and express his freedom to have it. In order to survive in such a society, you would have to start stealing and pillaging, and then you could be certain to maintain your liberty. It wouldn’t be long and Mr. Freedom would live in a society that resembled that of the movie Mad Max.
Whenever we have a nice American word like liberty that is defined by man instead of God, all we end up with is a nice word for death. And when we live in a world where words matter, but not their true meaning, we need to be careful that we are not taking a bite of liberty only to discover we have swallowed the poison of death.
True liberty is only found in the cross of Christ. This is a liberty that says,
“My life for yours!”