WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT WE MEAN WHEN WE TALK ABOUT FREEDOM
Lots of people talk about freedom. Lots of leaders and wannabe leaders are selling their ideas and saying that those ideas, if we follow them, will be good for us and make us more free. That’s been going on for some time, but we all seem to know, deep in our gut, that we are actually getting less and less free. So, clearly, the “freedom” that we’ve been getting sold is NOT real freedom.
That’s a simple and inescapable truth- we are being sold freedom all the time but we are less free, therefore the freedom we are being sold must be a fake freedom.
It is really important that YOU start with a good, solid definition of freedom.
That’s how bank tellers learn to identify fake money, they study real money intensely so that when they see the fake stuff they just flat out KNOW it’s fake.
Understanding freedom gets involved. If freedom was super simple we’d all agree about what it means, and there would be no debate. Freedom involves people, it involves relationships, and many complex human organizations, from the family and the community to the nation and beyond. We can’t just define freedom with a sound-bite, but, on the other hand, when you break down what I like to call its “elements”, it is much easier to really get a hold of in your mind.
Some people use the phrase, “I FEEL you”. They mean they GET you, they understand you, and they even empathize with you. You might call it slang, but I call it insight. You can’t just know what freedom means, you have to be able to look at freedom and say, “I FEEL you.”
So, who am I, and who is ANYONE, to stand up and say “this is what freedom means”?
It seems almost like a contradiction to say “THIS is what freedom means”, as if other people aren’t FREE to say something else. But, on the other hand, you’ve got to know for yourself what YOU think freedom is, and other people, when they sell you freedom, they’ve got to be up front about what THEY mean.
What you call “freedom” is going to be based on one thing- your view of the whole world. If you see a world with God, the Bible, and the working out of HIS plan for your life and the nations as the most important thing you need to know about the world, then your worldview is going to be different from someone who doesn’t believe in the SAME God or who believes in no God.
I’m not here to argue world-views. My point is that if you want to know what someone says they mean when they talk about freedom you need to start with their worldview. My worldview is what I like to call “Christ-centered and Kingdom-focused.” I make no apologies for that and I am not even TRYING to have anyone tell me there’s anything wrong with that or that I can’t base my whole way of living and acting on that.
I’m not a “this” or a “that” in the world’s sense of saying you’re a conservative or a liberal. There isn’t any political party that I would call a Freedomist Party- you’ve got one side seems like they trust big momma government to take care of everything and the other seems like all they believe in is some all-powerful and all-knowing “free market.” I am not against government or the free market, but I depend on God, on His love and truth, His grace and even His judgment as my source for everything, and as the foundation of my freedom.
The world didn’t give me my freedom, God did, and the world can’t take it away!
If you know me, you know people seem to think I am a “conservative”, but that seems to run in cycles, people who know me all my life would not agree, because I don’t “cotton” to labels and I don’t try to fit someone else’s definition of who I am. I am, in political terms, a Freedomist, and right now it seems those who trust in government are out of control, so I am opposed to much of what they do, but I have also been against those who trust only in “the market” at the expense of THE PEOPLE, it’s just that, right now, they aren’t in power.
My worldview is not really so different than most Americans, so what’s the difference? I mean, I wouldn’t be writing this if I wasn’t saying something different, right? The difference is, and let this sink in, that I propose that we define what freedom MEANS based on this Christ-centered and Kingdom-focused worldview instead of governments or markets!
I can already hear someone crying “theocracy” and “separation of church and state”. That, to me, is just ignorance. It’s like some guy who says “there is no God” or who says “God doesn’t count” thinking HIS ideas are OK but my ideas, because they are based on this worldview, don’t deserve to be heard. Who in their right mind would tell me to my face that anything I believe I have to hide or not use “in public” unless it’s godless?
If you do believe in God and Jesus and the Bible, and if you trust in God more than governments and markets, then why SHOULDN’T your definition of freedom be based on that way of seeing things?
I’ll go even further and tell you that if you say God is first but you decide to be PUNKED into keeping that belief out when it comes to your way of defining freedom then you need to ask yourself some serious questions about your faith: because with Jesus it’s always ALL or NOTHING, you can’t be saying “God is number one here and here, but not there and there’!
God doesn’t want a theocracy, that’s not how His Kingdom is set up, but let’s not act like it’s wrong for OUR worldview to help us define freedom and for our definition of freedom to show us how to relate to our friends and neighbors. and even our government and the market.
So, let me wrap this part up.
We don’t think about what freedom means. Because of that, we get sold a fake freedom: we know it’s fake because we’ve been buying it and we are less free!
We need to have our own definition of freedom, so we can spot the fake, and we need to base our definition on our worldview, which we also need to be up front about. This is all about freedom based on what I call a “Christ-centered and Kingdom-focused worldview.”
The haters want us to keep that worldview under wraps while they are free to use their godless worldviews that replace God with the government or the market, but we aren’t going to let them tell us how to define freedom and how to relate to others, including the government and the market.