Are you enjoying the FREEDOM you were PROMISED?

"Freedom Promised" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Freedom Promised” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

In seminary one of my theology professors, trying to make sense out of personal freedom and obedience to God, said that we can be free like trains… trains that must follow a pair of rails in order to be their true selves. A free train is a train that stays on its assigned tracks. I immediately knew this was a way to keep me in line.

I don’t want to be free like a train on rails. I want to be free like a bird in the sky!

Actually, I do thank the church. Without the church, I would never have achieved the spiritual freedom I enjoy today. It taught me about freedom. I wanted it. I strived for it. I achieved it. Thank you, church! The sad thing is, this freedom eventually compelled me to leave the church.

My freedom meant it was free of me.

There aren’t many churches out there, in my experience and observation, that don’t attempt to contain, constrain, restrain, or detain you. If you find one that doesn’t, stick with it.


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5 Responses

  1. Jordan says:

    There is a critical difference between asking, as an institution, to set aside ego to allow for the full experience to happen, and asking that you sacrifice your humanity and freedom for the sake of salvation or to follow rules. Even submission to G-d still requires that one retain their humanity, embrace their free will.

    I’m sorry to say that your theology teacher, as you said, treats religion more like something that can ultimately control others or restrict where they can go. Let religion be a station rather than the rail system.

  2. I like that. Station. Temporary stop.

  3. Brigitte says:

    The church doors are open. You can go in, or you can go out.

    What really is a problem is that so many people in the world want to be in it and are hunted down for it.

  4. Dallas says:

    I think it really goes back to God’s choice to give us free will. If he had chosen to be could have plopped us on a train track from the very beginning. No sin, no death, but he chose not to. Churches more often than not choose that rigid track that God did not choose for us.

    The train analogy reminded me of the Bonhoeffer quote; “If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”

    It might hurt initially, but we need to jump off that train, and find the path that we have been invited to.

  5. Jordan says:

    I don’t think the “wanting to be in it” is the problem so much as wanting an out and few being willing to give that “out”