Christianity 201

November 14, 2016

The Perils of Faux-Freedom

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:34 pm
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Today we are paying a return visit to Mike Leake at the blog Borrowed Light. Click the title below to read at source.

The False Freedom Which Leads to Bondage

There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death. Proverbs 16:25

There is a path that I see more and more people in my generation going down. It’s an appealing path in our post-Christian context. It allows us to capitulate and take the posture of humble question-askers—all the while, denying thousands of years of orthodoxy. Such a posture will keep us from the label of ‘bigot’ and will allow us—at least in the eyes of the world—to continue down the path of love.

It doesn’t really matter what doctrine is denied this path has the same trail-head. I suppose you could call it the man-centeredness. But what it really is, is that instead of the heralding the biblical gospel of a holy God redeeming unworthy sinners the church has tried to Christianize our cultural narcissism. In our culture the good news of Jesus is that God primarily exists to make me happy. God has a wonderful and prosperous plan for my life, every thing He does is aimed at accomplishing this goal.(See here and here). Our culture is radically obsessed with self. Preach a “gospel” which affirms the self at the center and you won’t have a problem getting an ear.

I understand the appeal to this path. Everything we read in our Bibles tells us that people saw Jesus as loving. Love—whatever that might mean—seems to be the ultimate ethic. As the apostle said, if we don’t have love we “have nothing and “are nothing”. As near as I can tell few in the New Testament accused Jesus of being bigoted. (Though, I’ve often wondered if the rich young ruler muttered a few choice words as he walked away from the narrow gospel of Jesus). As followers of Jesus we know we are to be loving, so it throws us for a loop when the world views us as narrow, bigoted, and supremely unloving. Combine this with the fact that many in my generation have been absolutely burned by church people who actually are unloving, and it makes the path of “affirming our inherent goodness” and “affirming gay marriage” a rather attractive option.

But I’m convinced it is a path void of the gospel.

false-freedomImagine with me a styrofoam buoy anchored somewhere out in the sea. We all know that the only way the styrofoam is able to stand firm in one position is because it is attached to an anchor far stronger than the waves. Now what if this little piece of styrofoam desires to pursue freedom and detaches himself from the anchor. What’s going to happen to that piece of styrofoam? Is it going to be free?

What feels like freedom at first will inevitably lead to bondage. At first that little piece of styrofoam would have felt quiet free. No longer anchored to the buoy, no longer confined by the anchors desires and demands, it rejoices in its new found freedom. But after awhile, when the waves toss it to and fro that freedom won’t feel so free. That little piece of styrofoam is a slave to the purposeless will of the waves. The waves of freedom will take it wherever they want to go and not ultimately where the detached styrofoam was hoping to land.

Of course it isn’t of much consequence if a piece of styrofoam detaches while on the safety of the shore. If there aren’t waves then I suppose detaching from the anchor might be a bit safer. But buoys aren’t meant for land. They are meant for the sea. And detaching from the anchor is deadly.

In the same way the humble question-asker and the guy who is perpetually “on a journey” might be able to get away with such things if he wasn’t out to sea and in the midst of a torrent of waves. But such question asking is never neutral. There is a real spiritual enemy who wants to shipwreck our souls. Detach from the anchor of biblical truth and you are at his mercy. The freedom that you so desire won’t end in freedom.

What is needed in this day and age…when scores of people are tossed to and fro by the waves…and beaten to death by the mock freedom of our hyper-sexualized and humanity destroying culture…are men and women bold enough and brave enough to believe God has already spoken. There are some questions that don’t need to be asked and some conversations that really don’t need to take place. As Spurgeon so aptly said, “We do not deliberate, for we have decided. To be for ever holding the truth of God, as though it might yet turn out to be a lie, were to lose all the comfort of it.”

God saves sinners.

When you place yourself in that statement it is the most glorious and offensive statement of all. And though it doesn’t appear to be so, those who are walking down any of the uber appealing man-centered paths of our culture are robbing people of this hope. They are promoting a freedom which is slavery, a life which is death, and a pleasure which is only temporary.

The narrow path is so much sweeter.