Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Christian Freedom - Let Loose or Dig Deeper

Following up on yesterday's post about Christian freedom, I want to quote Francis Schaeffer. It took me a while to dig through his books to find tthe quotation stuck in my head - I hope you'll benefit from it!

Schaeffer is describing a group of young people who were tired of the "dos and don'ts" kind of religion that we sometimes call "fundamentalist" or "legalistic."

The Christian life, or true spirituality, is more than refraining from a certain external list of taboos in a mechanical way. Because this is true, almost always there is a reaction: another group of Christians begins to work against such a list of taboos; thus there is a tendency toward a struggle in Christian circles between those who set up a certain list of taboos and those who, feeling there is something wrong with this, say, "Away with all taboos, away with lists." Both of these groups can be right and both can be wrong, depending on how they approach the matter. I was impressed by this one Saturday night at L'Abri... On that particular night everybody present was a Christian, many of them from groups in countries where "lists" had been very much accentuated. They began to talk against the use of taboos, and at first, as I listened to them, I rather agreed with the direction they were going. But as I listened further to this conversation, and as they spoke against the taboos in their own countries, it became quite clear to me that what they really wanted was merely to be able to do the things which the taboos were against. What they really wanted was a more lax Christian life. But we must see that in giving up such lists, in feeling the limitation of the "list" mentality, we must not do this in order to be able to live a looser life: it must be for something deeper.

(From "True Spirituality" by Francis Schaeffer)

This illustrates yesterday's main point. We must understand Christian freedom, but also utilize our freedom in a noble way. Our freedom in Christ should be used to draw us nearer to him, not to push him away.

It seems this is much like the history of our country. At first, liberty was seen as freedom to worship according to conscience. Freedom was accompanied by a certain nobility and desire to see the nation flourish. Now, however, freedom is frequently a foil to tear down society: we demand freedom from religion, freedom from standards of morality, and so forth.

May it not be said among us, as believers in Jesus Christ, that our freedom is used in order to resist Christ - but to better serve him!

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