free indeed

The things that hold us are so often assumed and subtle.

Are we aware of that which binds us?

That is where we all must start in order to be free.

It’s up to you to liberate yourself.

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PLEASE NOTE: THE COMMENTS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT OR EXPRESS THE OPINION OF THIS BLOG, NAKEDPASTOR, OR THE WRITER, DAVID HAYWARD, BUT ARE SOLELY THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED BY THE WRITER OF THE COMMENT.

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17 Responses

  1. Steve Martin says:

    We are bound in sin.

    There is no liberating ourselves. Christ alone saves. Christ alone frees. "When the Son of man makes you free, you are free indeed."

    Christ alone. There is great freedom there. When you find a church that believes that, as I have, then you will be free.

    There aren't too many churches and pastors out there that believe in Christ ALONE...with zero add-on's. But they do exist.

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  2. Gary says:

    I am free...both from the burden of sin AND from the shackles of the church...and it is AWESOME!!!

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  3. Sabio Lantz says:

    Excellent! I think this is a great image and drives home important principles that transcend our superficial notions. But I think I would group three of yours into one group and make room from two more basic essential groups 3 & 4.

    I would make the 4 more basic:

    1. My Beliefsmy hermeneutics, theology, religion & philosophy

    2. My Groups

    3. My Temperament & History

    4. My Identity: my view of self, what makes "My"

    Very tough shackles -- I am glad Jesus frees up the previous two commentors. The rest of us poor folks just clang about wherever we go. Sorry to be so noisy.

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  4. Brigitte says:

    What is "freedom"? Someone want to define it? Sabio, you must have various categories at hand. (Sorry). And how is it ever achieved?

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  5. Gary says:

    What is freedom? I love the question Brigitte.

    Indeed freedom has been applied to a great variety of purposes and even meanings...not all of which are compatible by any means. I would dare say you could pick any two people at random and ask them to define it and there would be parts of their understanding that would be in conflict with each other.

    But the real question is would either of the definitions, though at least partially incompatible, be wrong? I believe the very nature of freedom allows it to be defined on a personal level. (I know...some will disagree...grin) I am not suggesting that all beliefs are correct...just that the right for each individual to pursue what is right and/or correct on their own terms lies at the core of understanding freedom.

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  6. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Brigitte & Gary & (perhaps, Steve)
    This question of freedom from sin is very important. Of course I would rephrase it. But I think there is something very valuable to understand at a deep level that you do not have to be a slave to your habits and that you don't have to have guilt over what you have been act as shackles -- such an insight is a definite kind of "freedom". I think that very different traditions, both religious and secular, have wrestled with this and come up with various approaches. A Christian believes the solution is ontological ("the person of Christ living in a person through his Holy Spirit" -- or some variant). But even being aware of "freedom" does not mean that the chains don't rattle and freedom has to be reclaimed again and again -- using whatever method your worldview allows you.

    I felt like David was being honest in his cartoon and that your comments were dismissing him unnecessarily. I felt David was pointing to a different side of the picture and one that is critical to understand if we are to try to again and again return to freedom that can be ours.

    I know this must be hard to hear from an atheist who does not have Jesus --- well, unless you are a redemptive pluralist (a person who believes transformation, redemption, forgiveness and much more is available even to those outside your religion).

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  7. Gary says:

    No Sabio it is not "hard to hear", it is simply your opinion. I don't get at all that you felt either of us were dismissing him though. I think that perspective comes from assuming you know what we are thinking...or telling us what we believe as Christians. (Part of that whole irony thing you seemed to struggle with on your own blog...lol)

    I won't speak for Brigitte, but I thought his cartoon was spot on. In fact I believe many times it is the church that fosters and even promotes the shackles he illustrated so well. In fact his illustration rang exceptionally true for me. My initial comment reflected this and the joy that I found in recognizing that those shackles were man made and I could actually let go of them.

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  8. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Gary
    Of course it is simply my opinion. If I misunderstood what Steve Martin or Brigitte or you were saying, then my apologies. I put it out there for you to refute or correct if I was either wrong or misunderstood.

    You said,

    "I think that perspective comes from assuming you know what we are thinking…or telling us what we believe as Christians."

    Tell me, do you feel you know what either Steve Martin or Brigette knows as Christians? Do you know what they meant by their comments? Do you feel you are all in agreement?

    Brigette asked me, "What is 'freedom'?". I answered.

    But since it is just my opinion, take your name off my @ list, reread it and tell me if you agree or disagree and how would you correct it?

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  9. Connie says:

    Knowing the truth sets me free. I'm finding that my lies to myself are the greatest hindrance. Doesn't matter if they originated somewhere else. If I choose to believe lies about myself, then for me they are true until they start killing me.

    The process of identifying lies and getting to the truth is my being honest with myself. And that can only come because of his spirit in me, pointing me to address the lies when they don't work for me any longer.

    Thank you Lord. The truth is setting me free...from lies.

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  10. Gary says:

    @Sabio...

    Seriously? I did not in any way claim to know what they were thinking. In fact I specifically said I WON'T speak for Brigitte. Your question brings even more irony considering your first post included a suggested correction to David's cartoon, and your second included a generic definition of what "A Christian believes". LOL

    As you said...you put it out there for us to either "refute or correct". I am pretty sure what I did was "refute" your statement about being dismissive and then sought to "correct" it with regards to my previous post and my intent therein.

    Brigitte asked for a definition and opened it to anybody ("someone want to define it?" was her words), and I gave an opinion, which BTW did NOT include a criticism of your previous post or a definition of what an atheist believes.

    Your final sentence is a real mystery since I have already done that.

    One thing I have noticed about you Sabio...is you seem to enjoy correcting others but have a very low tolerance for others correcting you. Still I like you...you are very different than any atheist I have known in the past. grin

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  11. Brigitte says:

    This is where I'm coming from. Once I took a Philosophy of Education course, and the way it looks in retrospect, many years later now, the entire course was largely about the concepts of "freedom" and "equality". These concepts are very complex and need to be looked at carefully. Personally, I have a definition of "freedom" in mind, which works for me and which for me is the essence. Still it is multifaceted. I don't even feel like giving up my definition, since this conversation already feels jumpy.

    When someone is in bondage to a group, what does this mean? I live in a family. I need to make adjustments for its members all day long. Am I free? Am I even free to leave, if I think I am unhappy? Will I be happier later? Is it about my happiness? What is it about?

    In terms of the Christian faith and Christ being our freedom, it means to me that freedom of the conscience which need not be guilt-ridden, but walks in the light and where it stumbles it knows where to go with that.

    My conscience may demand that I stay with a group and make the relationships work the best I can. My conscience may demand something else. Being able to freely do what I think I ought, is the essential definition for me.

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  12. Sabio Lantz says:

    @ Brigitte:

    (1) Freedom of the Conscience
    You said Jesus allows your conscience to "not to be guilt-ridden, but walks in the light and where it stumbles it knows where to go with it."
    Do you feel other non-Christian religions or philosophies can allow people to walk without being guilt-ridden and return to doing what is right when they stumble?

    (2)Groups
    I have friends that needed to learn to explore happiness outside their family so that when they spent time with their family it was higher quality. Do you feel that some people can actually view their membership to a group in a neurotic way?
    I understand the idea of commitment and growing together with a group, I am talking about another aspect of the relationship.

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  13. Ken says:

    Adding Jesus undoing his chains would make this cartoon even better!

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  14. Brigitte says:

    1. I think to some degree that is possible. But exactly this part to which others object, that God himself was put to death for our sins by such sinners as we--the scandal of it, and all--shows us that we need to see both our sin and our forgiveness rightly, which is very seriously, and therefore, true. It is actually very difficult for many people to accept forgiveness when their lives have become very messed up, or extend it when severely injured. It is not so simple. And I for one like to pray Compline with my husband at times to clean up the day.

    2. I think, my points implied that sometimes these decisions are made based on your best judgement. However, if it is all based on a certain type of search for "happiness", without considering types of realities and boundaries, then it may not in the end be for anyone's "happiness."

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  15. Steve Martin says:

    Only real sinners can be freed from their sin and freed from the yoke of religion that attemps to 'justify the self'.

    "Repent and believe".

    "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

    Realizing that we are sinners and being remorseful over it, is repentance. Then we hear that gospel Word and we are freed. Yet once again. This dying and rising happens over and over and over again in the life of the believer. All through life. Faith is dynamic...not static.

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  16. Gary says:

    Brigitte said...

    "My conscience may demand that I stay with a group and make the relationships work the best I can. My conscience may demand something else. Being able to freely do what I think I ought, is the essential definition for me."

    I like this Brigitte. It is akin to what I was trying to say I referred to it as "just that the right for each individual to pursue what is right and/or correct on their own terms..."

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  17. @Brigitte,

    “My conscience may demand that I stay with a group and make the relationships work the best I can. My conscience may demand something else. Being able to freely do what I think I ought, is the essential definition for me.”

    Great definition...I agree.

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