Category Archives: Slavery

Conservative Christians Stumble at Their God-Given Freedom

The Coronavirus COVID-19  temporarily closed down the world.  As spring arrived, huge sectors of the population became restless and irascible.  Young and old longed for contact with people outside their household.  
Unfortunately,  many “not grown-ups” habitually came out all over the country in rebellion against measures proven to deter the spread of the virus.  Now, conservatives and even churches have jumped on the dangerous bandwagon by holding services in close contact with others and without facial protection.  
It is unequivocally unethical for these “not grown-up” conservatives (or any other actors) to promote their right to act when their actions infringe upon the rights of others.  Your right to act ends there.  You are abjectly wrong.  
The prime case in point is the facial mask deemed required by most governors and corporations to protect others.  I agree that the masks are a nuisance, bothersome, and obstructive to breathing.  They are however, proven effective to restrict the contagion of this dangerous virus.  

What does the Bible say?

Being insistent upon your right to freedom as a U.S. citizen is not justifiable.  Might I remind you that your U.S. citizenry is secondary to your Kingdom citizenry.  As a Christian, you are a citizen of an impenetrable, everlasting Kingdom.  Your first allegiance is there.  
Make no mistake, you are free: ” . . . where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” [II Cor. 3:17b].  But, as it has been said, freedom isn’t free.  The freedom we have was paid for by Christ Jesus.  He is the victor with keys to death and the grave.  We are not free to simply indulge our natural desires, there is caution from Galatians 5:13
  13-15 It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. [MSG]
We are to be submitted to those in authority:  Be a good citizen. All governments are under God. Insofar as there is peace and order, it’s God’s order. So live responsibly as a citizen. If you’re irresponsible to the state, then you’re irresponsible with God, and God will hold you responsible. Duly constituted authorities are only a threat if you’re trying to get by with something. Decent citizens should have nothing to fear.
Do you want to be on good terms with the government? Be a responsible citizen and you’ll get on just fine, the government working to your advantage. But if you’re breaking the rules right and left, watch out. The police aren’t there just to be admired in their uniforms. God also has an interest in keeping order, and he uses them to do it. That’s why you must live responsibly—not just to avoid punishment but also because it’s the right way to live.  [Romans 13:1-5]
Another valid word for all who call themselves “born again”:
And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ.  [I Cor. 7:22]

All quotes from [MSG.]

Complete Deliverance Part I

Israel was in Egypt. It seemed providential since Joseph was sold into slavery before the great famine. The sitting Pharoah had lost the history of Joseph and later generations were in bondage.  They cried to be free.  God sent an unlikely hero to be their deliverer.  He was Moses.
They needed deliverance from the tyranny of their bondage, the effects of 400 years of captivity, the toll of hard physical labor.
Salvation, much like their bondage is 3-fold. The plan of salvation as revealed in scripture is:  the spirit is saved, the soul is being saved and the body will be saved on the Day of the Lord. Salvation is the transformation from the “Kingdom of Darkness into His marvelous light” I Peter 2:9.  Jesus said one must be born again, that is, borne of water and of the Spirit.  In this process one’s spirit is is renewed and becomes open for being in contact with God. 
Man was created in God’s image and likeness or his form and similitude.  God is a tri-fold being manifest as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Man is a tri-fold being as he is a spirit, he has a soul and lives in a male or female body. While the born-again experience is immediate and complete, the soul salvation takes considerably longer.
The soul consists of the mind, the will (volition) and the emotions.  The Bible describes both Father God and the Holy Spirit as emotional stating they can be grieved, can be pleased and laugh.  [James 2 and Psalm 59]  Jesus openly shared emotion with his disciples and the world.  He wept, showed anger and frustration and most importantly compassion. As is most things, our goal is to imitate Christ in all ways especially his emotion. 
The writer of Hebrews says that Christ learned obedience through the things he suffered. Our soul salvation is limited or enhanced by how much we study and imitate his emotion, his conviction and how he subjugated his volition. 
I Corinthians 1 says we have the mind of Christ.  If we received this promised benefit, what would it look like?  A mind that wouldn’t forget, that wouldn’t be distracted by the fiery darts of the adversary [Ephesians 6:16].  A mind that keeps focused on the trail and that esteems others more highly than he does himself.
Will is defined as the mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action that is not prescribed but surrendered to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.   The beautiful grace of God is that once you set you affections upon Him,  his will, the Kingdom – He helps you turn your emotions and will toward Him.  
To be Continued!!
inset photo of an Egyptian deity figure part of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum collection photographed by the author.