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The Destination! - Medicine For The Soul --

Medicine For The Soul 


abusing Freedom by James Robison 


If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.
(John 8:36)

Freedom is a wonderful gift, bought at a high price. It has been purchased, provided and protected by those whose character was developed on the anvil of hardship, conflict and conviction. Legitimate freedom is normally purchased by those who have experienced adversity and felt the sting of tyranny or religious persecution.

Freedom, however, can only be sustained if people have the capacity to govern themselves with principles and self-control. Without these inner characteristics, a healthy democracy cannot be sustained.

Many people falsely interpret freedom to be their right to do whatever they want, however they want. This self-centered attitude can only be fulfilled at the painful expense of others. The more proper definition of freedom is the ability to do what we should do, not the right to do what we want to do.

The founders of the United States understood that only self-governing men and women could maintain freedom. A friend of mine who owns Noah Webster's original 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language claims that "government" was originally defined as the ability to control one's own thoughts and actions. Lesser ancillary definitions included religious and community organizations designed to rule over people, but the primary definition began with the independent individual exercising control over his or her behavior in a constructive, civil manner.

The significance was that self-government alleviated the need for external enforcement. When that characteristic breaks down, external authorities must intervene to avoid chaos or mob rule. Because of the lack of self-governance today, we live in a chaotic world.

Today, we are witnessing firsthand the abuse of our freedom of speech, press and religion. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was invited and applauded by students of Columbia University under the banner of "free speech," yet the Minuteman organization that helps guard our borders was shouted off the same stage on which the killer of our soldiers freely spouted his propaganda. Katie Couric reported as hard news that President Bush intentionally misled the world into the Iraq war when, in fact, that is simply her own personal opinion. (Of course, this type of journalism has become the modus operandi for a news media that seeks to shape viewers' beliefs rather than report the facts.)

Various talk radio programs are under scrutiny with the threat of losing their freedom because they said something "inappropriate." The example of screaming "fire" in a crowded theatre illustrates a real abuse of freedom of speech, but freedom also suffers when the media continually airs loud screaming matches between opposing forces that demonize those who hold legitimate opinions.

The "free press" often makes people famous who shouldn't be famous. Some extreme views need to be ignored. They appear to have only one guiding principle: Stir enough controversy to get a bigger audience for increased ad revenue. Truth doesn't matter. Misleading the people is not a concern. The national news media fails to admit their bias as they manipulate and misrepresent. What could be more abusive of freedom?

We certainly see the abuse of "freedom of religion" in the Middle East by those who are determined to impose and establish their particular theological position at the expense or extermination of all dissenters. In our own country, the regularity of scandals involving priests and ministers attests to the damage that can be done because of a lack of self-control. Preachers must have the right to proclaim their beliefs, but not the right to abuse others through their position and platform. Across the spectrum of our most sacred freedoms, we see the inability to self-govern.

If we are really free, it becomes difficult to control this excessive activity. The danger lies in the perpetuation of unprincipled people who cannot control themselves, leading to the disintegration and dismantling of the very freedoms that allowed the situation.

If we are going to maintain and protect freedom, it will be preserved by those who understand how precious and meaningful it is, yet remain cognizant of how easily it can be abused. Those who do what is right in their own sight and fail to comprehend that there are irrefutable principles for life will destroy the possibilities freedom offers.

Freedom gives individuals the right to prove their foolishness. But when society allows abusers of freedom to lead the masses, we will soon suffer the consequences rightly predicted in the Bible, "professing themselves to be wise, they become fools." We live in a time when life as we know it could vanish before our eyes because of the foolish abuse of our precious freedoms.

Luke 4
(18) The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
(19) To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Romans 8
(2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
(3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
(4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 3
(14) But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same veil not taken away in the reading of the old covenant; which veil is done away in Christ.
(15) But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their hearts.
(16) Nevertheless when one shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.
(17) Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Galatians 5
(1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty with which Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Obtained by Whereyaheadin October 1, 2007 by permission

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