Questions about becoming and being a Christian: 2. Doesn’t Christianity take away my freedom?

Doesn’t Christianity take away my freedom?

I saw a tee shirt with the words ‘Freedom from the future’. It is an interesting thought but, of course, total nonsense! We each have commitments and responsibilities which mean that we can never be completely free. Freedom to choose and to act as we wish is not always good. For example, is it acceptable and fair that a paedophile has freedom to act as he or she wishes, even at the expense of another? Of course that could never be right. Or again, consider the drug dealers? Should they be free to supply no matter what the cost is to others? Nobody but a hardened criminal would think so.

Liberty is a great thing. I have worked in areas of the world where freedom of conscience is not permitted, so that religion or dissent is suppressed. It is a very oppressive atmosphere in which to live.  What is true in nations is true for individuals. There is no one so bound as those whose rules for life are not God’s. However, individual liberty should not be seen as just a licence to be selfish.

Real freedom is not doing as we please, but having the power to do what is right.

The Bible teaches that all of us have a common problem, which the Bible calls sin. It’s not a welcome topic of conversation and sometimes gives the impression that Christians are all about doom, gloom and judging other people. This is hardly the case.

Another misconception is that Christianity is about rules and regulations. Again, this is not true. God sets out commands which He calls us to follow. Ultimately, He calls us to love Him, and to love others. He does this because, when we do, we not only honour Him, but we also find that we too experience real pleasure which is elusive to people who never turn to Jesus.

No man was or ever has been as free as Jesus. He could do all things. He was free from greed, sham, spin and hypocrisy; He had no fear of skeletons in His closet – He had none. He had a great sense of duty, but that did not thwart His personality. Obedience to His Father’s will didn’t stifle Him, or undermine His freedom.

True freedom is found in God. Jesus Himself claimed this when He said, ‘I have come that you might have life and life in all its fullness.’ (John 10 v. 10) He is the source of life, the life-giver. And when you know Jesus and His freedom you are free to the maximum. In Jesus you become the person He created you to be, and in that you can be free to be yourself.

 

Go to: Can I repent on my deathbed?

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