One of my distant cousins reprinted a booklet called “A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE ELLIS FAMILY.” This little booklet explained how my ancestors, the Ellis family, departed from Wales and crossed what was called “Great Ocean” for the sake of “soul Freedom.” The term, soul freedom, was then explained. “These brave folk wanted the freedom to worship God according to the dictates of conscience rather than according to the dictates of the state.”
The concept of free speech means we have the freedom to speak about grievances we have with our government without having to suffer for doing so, but the purpose has been warped. To some, the freedom of speech is understood to mean saying anything they want about anyone they want, and to do so without reprisal. Have we forgotten the Bible forbids slander? To some it means to exploit young women and to display them in any fashion they want, but have we forgotten what the Bible says about looking at the nakedness of others? We could go on, but the point has been made.
The Apostle Paul wants us to understand that even freedom should have boundaries, and it must be exercised with self-imposed limits. In
1 Corinthians 8:9 he writes, “Be careful that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. And in Galatians he states, “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.” Gal 5:13-14
The Apostle Peter also has something to say about freedom. “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.”(1 Peter 2:16). Over and over the Bible reminds us that our freedom is not only a gift to us, but to others also.
In short, many have redefined freedom to mean we can live any way we want, but the freedom that God gives is the strength to live the way we should. GET IT?
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
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