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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Restrictions on freedom

Does the Bible Restrict Our Freedom?
           Ah yes, good 'ol freedom.  What a highly discussed and debated subject this can be.  Our country is all about freedom, but it seems like people always want to define how far they think this freedom should extend.  More often than not, people try to expand freedom so incredibly far that it crosses the line of freedom and becomes pure wickedness. 

People say they should have the "freedom" to choose to have an abortion or not.  People say they should have the "freedom" to choose a male or female partner to marry despite their own gender.  People say they should have the "freedom" to enter into either gender's bathroom, even a 45-year-old man into an elementary school's bathroom.  There are many other sinful types of "freedom" people want to have.  What makes this subject even more interesting is the fact that people claim that the Bible is actually restricting and taking away certain freedoms, which they obviously believe the Bible has no right to do.  Sadly, people who claim the Bible is taking away their freedom are the same people who only want to follow God's word on their terms.  They want to be able to sin to their heart's content and still believe they have salvation from God.

In a recent CNN article, I read about how the Pope is trying to battle homosexuality with the government.  While I certainly do not agree with the Pope on many points, nor do I believe many of the associations of the Pope with God, he made a great statement.  He said, "Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others -- on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth" (Click Here for Full Article).  I completely agree with this statement.  Having loyalty to the Bible does not restrict us, it empowers us, and it actually provides our freedom in the form of truth.  It is giving us freedom from the only thing none of us are
able to separate from without God, our sins.  Jesus said that if we continue in his word then we will know the truth, and in turn this truth will make us free (John 8:31-32).
Now, the question still remains, "does the Bible restrict our freedom?"  Absolutely not.  However, the Bible does restrict the living of a sinful, corrupt, and wicked life (Romans 8:2).  No matter what the Bible says, people will always have the freedom to follow it or not.  However, if people want to have the salvation offered from God, then yes, certain activities which may be "approved" of by our government are certainly restricted by the Bible.  But this still does not change the fact that people have the freedom to engage in sinful activities.  It just means the creator, ruler, and supreme God of all things disapproves of it.  Freedom is a priceless treasure that Americans are able to enjoy, but let's not use this freedom to participate in sin.  I would say that any freedom we have that allows us to sin against God is not really freedom at all; it is slavery to sin.  If we truly want to have freedom then let's heed the words of Peter, "Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bond-slaves of God" (1 Peter 2:16).

-Brett Petrillo

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