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Belonging & Freedom
Transcript of Belonging & Freedom
“…though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ….”
2 Corinthians 10:3-5
"The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to attain it."
John Stuart Mill
“God alone knows what is good for human beings and God alone knows what is not good for them. To enjoy the ‘good’ we must trust God and obey Him. If we disobey, we will have to decide for ourselves what is good and what is not good. While to modern men and women such a prospect may seem desirable, to the author of Genesis it is the worst fate that could have befallen humanity.”
"If freedom is defined simply as freedom to choose, no matter what choice is made, then promoting the common good is just one possible way of exercising freedom. Those who care about the common good may regard it as a better use of freedom than a wholly selfish way of life, but it is not, on this view, greater freedom. The good person is no freer than the bad."
"Liberal democracies, in other words, are not self-sufficient: the community life on which they depend must ultimately come from a source different from liberalism itself. The men and women who made up American society at the time of the founding of the United States were not isolated, rational individuals calculating their self-interest. Rather, they were for the most part members of religious communities held together by a common moral code and belief in God. The rational liberalism that they eventually came to embrace was not a projection of that pre-existing culture. It existed in some tension with it. ‘Self-interest rightly understood’ came to be a broadly understandable principle that laid a low but solid ground for public virtue in the United States, in many cases a firmer ground than was possible through appeal to religious or pre-modern values alone. But in the long run those liberal principles had a corrosive effect on the values predating liberalism necessary to sustain strong communities, and therefore on a liberal society’s ability to be self-sustaining."
The End of History and the Last Man
"And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives…. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’"
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom."
2 Corinthians 3:17
Freedom is the ability to embody the purpose for which we were created; namely, gladly loving God and loving others.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
"The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
"For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome."
1 John 5:3
Freedom of choice is valuable...
"A person who has developed sensitivity and kindness, for instance, does not have to make a choice about whether to help a wailing child in a department store, or whether instead to box its ears when nobody is looking. Kindness is (or has become) natural; there is no decision, no weighing up of pros and cons. But if there is no decision, is kindness to the child not free? On the contrary, it is the self-expression of an autonomous person."
"Christianity teaches that you should choose the one thing needful, but in such a way that there must be no question of choice. That is, if you fool around a long time, then you are not really choosing the one thing needful. Consequently, the very fact that there is no choice expresses the tremendous passion or intensity with which one chooses. Can there be a more accurate expression for the fact that freedom of choice is only a formal condition of freedom and that emphasizing freedom of choice as such means the sure loss of freedom? The very truth of freedom of choice is that there must be no choice, even though there is a choice."
"The free man is the one who belongs to himself; the slave, however belongs to his master. Whoever acts spontaneously therefore acts freely, but whoever receives his impulse from another does not act freely. The man who avoids evil, not because it is evil, but because of a law of the Lord’s, is therefore not free. On the other hand, the man who avoids evil because it is an evil is free. It is here that the Holy Spirit works, inwardly perfecting our spirit by communicating to it a new dynamism, and this functions so well that man refrains from evil through love, as though divine law were ordering him to do this. He is therefore free not because he is not subject to divine law, but because his inner dynamism leads him to do what divine law prescribes."
Transcending limits is valuable…
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery."
"Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."
"Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God."
1 Peter 2:16
"True freedom is not the liberty to do anything we please, but the liberty to do what we ought; and it is genuine liberty because doing what we ought now pleases us."
Self-expression is valuable...