By Jesse Jost
The tricky thing about freedom is that the exercise of one man’s freedom almost always entails limiting another’s freedom. My freedom to play my music loud in the room limits everyone’s else’s freedom to have quiet or to enjoy their music.
This creates dilemmas for society: which freedoms should be protected by law and which freedoms should be limited? Should women be free to abort their babies? Should we be free to smoke pot?
The New Testament, while instilling love for liberty, does not call us to unlimited freedom. In fact, believers are often called slaves of God. We are to pursue liberty, but our freedom is to be limited by love. Gal 5:15-17
We are commanded to have the mind of Christ, who though He had the ultimate freedom as God, unhindered by any other power, voluntarily limited his freedom and took on the form of a slave, one who had no rights and freedoms. Jesus limited his freedoms instead of fighting for his rights, so that he could make us free. Phil 2:5-9
To the question of which freedoms should be honoured and which freedoms should be limited, the biblical answer is: We should be free to love and obey God in all He commands us, and we should be free to love our fellowman and be able to meet their needs.
However, the Bible does not give us full freedom of conscience. The Bible takes a dim view of our conscience in that it can become seared and be deceitful, and acknowledges that we have a tendency to justify and rationalize just about anything.Continue reading…