we are led to believe we are free – in fact, we celebrate this as a huge accomplishment
some of the major powers around today feel fully justified in invading and sometimes destroying other sovereign states and cultures because they think, or believe, or simply declare that these states are not free … and in doing this they seem to be declaring that they themselves are free and live in freedom
most even seem to feel that it is their duty to do as much – custodians of freedom
but what is freedom?
many believe they know what freedom is, that they are free, but are we free?
free from what?
free to move towards … what?
free to be free in order to…. ?
… and if we found freedom would we be able to recognise it as freedom? i mean, if we don’t really know what we are looking for how will we know when we find it?
we in the christian church believe that it is our god given task to preach and proclaim freedom to those who are not free, those who are in captivity. we believe that we have the ‘good news’ and that all others need to hear it. we travel far and wide and at great expense to do just this
there are many who take strong exception to this as they too believe they are free
so perhaps freedom is a state of mind, a personal perspective? … or is it?
perhaps some questions need to be asked?
questions like: are we as the church (or any other belief system for that matter) merely helping ourselves and the people we are trying to help simply to adjust to a system that is corrupt and profoundly sick? are we not speaking about and against ‘babylon’ yet simultaneously enjoying her benefits?
has the church become a tool of the world system it was meant to overcome and hand over to god?
are we even able to ask ourselves these questions?
perhaps that is an even bigger question?
and if we can are we able to also ask ourselves if it is possible that what is actually happening is that we might merely be setting ourselves and others free merely to serve a system of slavery to isolation and self indulgent pleasures? … to be happy consumers – no more and no less? …. consumers of commodities, yes, but also of doctrine, values, culture, etc
could it be that we sincerely believe that we are free but the only freedom we really have is to participate (perhaps unwittingly might i add), in the enslavement of ourselves and others to the very systems that control people, locking them in to that which subjugates all to being merely consumers … selling each other non-essentials as if they were essential … has marketing become the new evangelism, the new ‘gospel’? … are we unwittingly selling toxic non-essentials as if they were essentials and believing it all ourselves at the same time? … the blind leading the blind?
history seems to reveal that in the days of legislated slavery slaves, in their great distress wrote and sung songs that expressed a cry and a hope for a freedom not in or of this world but in and of the next, a hope in an ‘after-life’ wherein there was deliverance and freedom from the sufferings of the present songs were filled with telling metaphors like ‘crossing the jordan’ ‘going through the pearly gates’ and ‘meeting in the clouds’ or ‘going home’ and these images were used to convey that for them the only tangible release from the bondage in this life was death in and to the present
but perhaps herein the definition of freedom, instead of being a clear understanding of another reality, needs to be revalued as it could perhaps be based on not much more than a desperate cry to simply be released from the present suffering and indignity
and if so, is this freedom? is freedom merely an escape?
one cannot speak flippantly on these matters but maybe we can honour those who suffered so severely by learning something from their plight?
… maybe we haven’t come to that point of desperation in our own thinking yet maybe we should?
one needs to be desperate first but it’s not easy when life is good for us in our private little enclaves, and let’s face it, we seem to be very content consumers, don’t we?
nevertheless, freedom remains a huge concept and a treasured possession … but what are our songs of freedom?
do we have any?
and what would our metaphors be?
or perhaps we are too comfortable?