Freedom is what rings in my mind today. We. Are. Free. Aren’t we?
We like to believe we can move, be and breathe of own volition (since it’s no longer socially acceptable to actually own people, although people in this country, and abroad, are kidnapped right from their very beds and forced into different types of servitude). Children are in a unique position to lord over parents. We are free to, and sometimes encouraged to, disrespect our leadership (government, institutions, and otherwise).
But does that really mean free? I’m not speaking from the stand point of physical limitations. I’m speaking from the point of mindset. I’m asking when is too much too much? How much does one acquiesce before they realize they’ve been bamboozled out of their basic choice? Not just one or two groups of people. I am speaking about all groups of people.
Now, more than ever, the rights of many seem to be disrespected, and what makes us human, unique or creative is no longer valued. There is ‘lawlessness’ everywhere. As I write this, Manchester, England is reeling from the effects of yet another terrorist labeled attack – this time at a concert where a mixed populace was in attendance. #45 (one of many nicknames for our current president, and leader of the free world) shows behavior we would never accept from a regular Joe or Joanna. Music lyrics and videos, TV shows and even the blogosphere encourages us to cast off restraint…and with it, respect for others. Fear and abject horror are displayed before us, encouraging us to pick up their mantle as our own. The spirit of terrorism is inviting us to take on harsh servitude.
The more I live, the more I notice freedom isn’t what we think it is. It really only includes the responsibility to choose. The entire human race is enslaved, and always has been, some more than others. Who & what we choose to serve is our choice alone. We have options.
Romans 8:1-14 fascinates me because it shows me there really is no freedom as we know it. There is only dominion, and those who control said domain. Eminent domain (as defined by Merriam-Webster.com) is the right of the government to take property from a private owner for public use by virtue of the superior dominion of its sovereignty over all lands within its jurisdiction. According to this passage of scripture, we human beings (every man, woman, boy and girl) fall under eminent domain. Whose jurisdiction we’re under is solely dependent upon the choice of who we have agreed to serve. There can be no argument here – there is a ruler to choose. We can choose however we like. But make no mistake, there are rewards, consequences and repercussions that can last for generations based on the decision of servitude.
In this day and age, we are often judge, jury and executioner on people’s characters without benefit of knowing every detail or perspective of influence. We try people based on our limited experience(s), and what we feel (not know) to be right. We do it repeatedly and violate a form of the United States Fifth Amendment right to double jeopardy (not in a literal sense, and I’m sure you understand that). I am not speaking in cases of murder or something we humans deign as severely injurious or a very basic common sense threat to humanity. Think of the root – basic judgy and critical behavior and thought patterns: gossip, slander and assassination of character. I’m guilty of it too.
The Lord enforces our spiritual Fifth Amendment right, but only if we choose to serve Him. The law of sin and death should have held us captive and we should have been exposed to the full weight of the punishment. Quit indicting and persecuting yourself over things the Father forgave us for, threw into the sea of forgetfulness. And don’t do it to anyone else. It’s difficult to maintain this when we are often in situations in which this is often a seamless and effortless process. We reinforce it with what we ingest mentally and emotionally, eventually repressing others with our misplaced domain issues:
The snide remarks meant to demean a person behind their backs. Side-eyeing someone for inappropriate attire, but failure to pull them to the side to gently correct them. Calling our leaders idiots (or my personal favorite – cheeto’d bandicoot <<<<———– guilty as charged). Racial slurs. Hiding behind ‘truth’ to demoralize another human being made in God’s image. Shooting first and asking questions later. I could go on and on, and so could you.
Salvation activates God’s eminent domain over us, and affords a fifth amendment right so to speak. Only it’s better. It’s more expansive. Salvation means that you accept its terms. That means you must model Christ in thought (putting on the mind of Christ – it’s available to us via renewal), word, and in action. We aren’t who we once were, and while we are still free, we’re still slaves. We did not create ourselves. Nor did we redeem ourselves. How then, can we claim any freedom other than the gift to exercise free will choice, which was given to us??? That gift comes with the not so subtle price tag of ownership. The choice? To serve God or Satan. We often ignore it, or we try to negotiate the cost, when really, there’s no negotiation.
These are just my random thoughts (over a three week period mind you). I’ll be back with quality stuff later.