Freedom and Slavery
These were phony Christians who had wormed their way into the Jerusalem church to spy on it, hoping to despoil the freedom we have found in Christ and divert us back towards slavery.
~ Galatians 2:4 (DP Bible)
One of the greatest gaps between an atheist or agnostic, and a practicing, believing Christian, is their definition of freedom — or from the other side of their coin, their definition of slavery. Any atheist looks on Christians as slaves. The lost soul rankles at the idea of the obedience of morality, and tenfold at the idea of obedience to a morality that they themselves have not decided is right. They are free. They can choose for themselves what they want to do.
Have you ever noticed the degree to which non-conformists and/or “rebels” tend to non-conform in exactly the same way as other non-conformists? They get tattoos. They get their bodies pierced and wear rings in certain parts of their body. They dress like small children who have gotten into the costume bin.
Whereas, every Christian (or at least those who believe in the Bible) pretty much follows the same code of morals, imposed by a third party. Some of us may think birth control is wrong while others do not, but the differences are surprisingly few.
And it is absolutely true, that we conform. Or we try to: we admit that we have an obligation and commit to doing our best to meet it. But Mr. and Ms. Atheist, you have it backwards. You are a slave to the gods of your birth, your weak and faulty brain, your rationalizations of your conduct. You are a slave to the body you were born in. You are a slave to sin. You are Satan’s puppet.
It is impossible to make an atheist understand that we feel freer and freer the more closely we come to full obedience to Christ, to God. Unless one understands that to be born is to be enslaved, one cannot even imagine what freedom is. Truth cannot be seen unless one’s eyes are open. By our own hand, we have destined ourselves for death; but by God’s grace, our eyes were opened to the possibility of life.
The freedom one finds in obedience to God, the joy at being liberated from sin, is a contradiction to the world. It is foolishness to the Greek and a stumbling block to the Jew, as Paul put it. (1 Cor. 1:18-25) If we are all rats in a maze so vast that no human can solve it, the Bible is a map. The atheist has “freedom” to run whichever direction he wants, but his slavery is proven by his death, his ultimate defeat. He could have found freedom — if he had only bothered to open the book that showed him the way out.
Lord, let me know the true freedom that I find in obedience to your Word. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer