Sunday, September 17, 2023

Freedom Love and Morality

           Love cannot be love unless it has a choice. Choice requires freedom to choose, which can be very scary, especially in the face of so much potential for ‘wrong choices’. In our contemporary western culture we have turned this freedom inward-“I have the right to”-as opposed to upward (to God) and outward (to our brothers and sisters, particularly those less well off). 

          Contemporary Republicans, while claiming the moral high ground, have been systematically eliminating true freedom to choose; freedom ‘to choose’ has been replaced by freedom ‘from choice’, which isn’t freedom at all. Behavior control has become the ‘new freedom’ which, on the surface, may look like saving us from our own bad choices but, in reality, is nothing more than a platform for scoring political points.  

(Cf. Isaiah 30:21”And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it;  Psalm 32:8,9 “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.”)

        True morality, like true love, also requires freedom to choose (Cf. Colossians 2:8; 23: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ..…These [regulations] have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.”

      Jesus taught ‘checking self-indulgence’; Jesus also required personal choice from all his followers “…does this offend you…do you wish also to go away?” (John 6:61; 67); to which the answer must always be “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.”(vs.68).

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