That’s probably a terrible way to start a blog on the weekend that we celebrate our independence as a nation. But. It’s. True. Freedom is only without problems when the hearts of the free are willingly bound to Another in love. If we have proved anything as humans over the past several thousand years, it is that when we are free to do whatever we want, we make a mess of things. We are like toddlers in a kitchen stocked with eggs, flour and syrup…without supervision. It makes for a funny Facebook photo but it’s really difficult to clean up. The messes we have made outside the kitchen are even worse. Just think of what has been done in the name of freedom. Much of it should make us ashamed. Adam and Eve had real freedom and their self-will put the rest of us under the law of sin and death. Would we have done any better? Because God is gracious, we still have freedom. We are free to choose Him, free to accept forgiveness, free to receive a Kingdom of love and free to walk in the ways He designed from before time began. Living in that kind of freedom is more liberating than we can imagine. It’s the freedom of a bird to fly, and fish to swim, and a kangaroo to jump. The freedom to become what we were designed to be is the freedom we are really after. Every other response to freedom ends up messy. Join us this weekend as we learn how to pray for one another with true freedom in mind.
The Buddha and the Greek philosophers like Socrates were famous for their teaching 300 years before the public ministry of Jesus Christ. Since the first century, there have been many teachers who have impacted humanity. Mohammed, Joseph Smith and Gandhi to name a few. Why don’t we simply synthesize all their teachings and make one big religion? Is Jesus more important than those other men? Who says? There is a pluralism that is healthy and there is a pluralism that is very unhealthy. Appropriate consideration of the historical and cultural contributions made by some the world’s great people, men and women, is a worthwhile pursuit. However, one will find conflicting statements and presuppositions that lead to confusion and very different behaviors. We sometimes hear, “All roads lead to Heaven.” The problem is, some of the aforementioned are not even sure there is a road. To be blunt, to simply put Jesus among the great teachers of the world and not recognize His unique place is heresy. C.S. Lewis made it very simple for us, he wrote that “Jesus Christ is either a lunatic, a liar or the Lord.” To deny His claims of deity and preeminence implies that He either knew He was lying, making Him a liar, or He didn’t know He was lying, making Him a lunatic. Following a liar or a lunatic is not a good strategy for this life or the one to come. Admittedly, there have been some great teachers in human history but there has only been one God-Man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s gather to worship Him in spirit and in truth and scatter to proclaim His gospel.