Thursday, May 24, 2007



Everybody wants freedom – freedom from debt, freedom from responsibilities, freedom from bad relationships, freedom to do as you please. But freedom is a paradox. To be truly free, you have to submit to something. To be free to play beautiful music, you have to submit to the rules of music. To be free to love someone, you have to submit to their desires. To have social freedom, everybody has to submit to the just laws of the society they live in.
Another way of saying this, is that you cannot have freedom without form. There must be limits and controls on freedom or else it degenerates into chaos. God has established these limits with an absolute standard of right and wrong, which is represented in the Ten Commandments. The laws of New Zealand were originally based on this standard, as they were in other countries with a Christian heritage. It is this that has given us social freedoms – freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of choice. The problem is that our society has pretty much abandoned the divine standard that these freedoms were built on, yet we expect the freedoms to remain. We are dreaming.
As we abandon God's moral standard, it is reflected in our society. We scratch our heads and wonder why we have all the social problems that now afflict us, when the answer is staring us in the face. But we refuse to submit to the forms that would prevent this chaos. Instead we abandon them in the name of freedom!
The end result will inevitably be the same as we have seen throughout history and throughout the world when God's ways have been abandoned – either anarchy or tyranny. For instance, how many Communist countries can you name that haven't governed by tyranny! Some would say that our present government is already subtly taking us down this path.
What does this have to do with faith? We can only save our country if we as individuals are saved. The Bible says about Jesus Christ that "there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved". Jesus Christ came into this world and died on the cross to set people free – free from the penalty and guilt of sin, free to love and serve God and others. Belief in Jesus as the Lord of the universe and as your personal saviour brings freedom.

By Lloyd McGarvey, Hokitika

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