Thursday, July 1, 2010


     July is the month we celebrate perhaps our greatest attributes as American citizens, and as the human race - FREEDOM!
     The Bill of Rights grants us freedom of religion, freedom of speech, or the press, the right to gather peaceably, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. We have the right to keep and bear arms, freedom from unreasonable search and seizures. We have a right to a fair and speedy trial, and the right to have adequate counsel for our defense.
     We have the freedom to pursue our lives basically as we wish. The live and work where we choose. To follow our dreams and goals without undo hindrance. To develop friendships and relationships with whomever we wish. To marry who ever we feel a kindred spirit and loving relationship with.
     We have the freedom to move about the land whenever and to where ever we wish without undo restrictions. We have the freedom to speak our peace, to play our music, to write, and print and portray our thoughts in any number of creative manners, without unwarranted or arbitrary censorship.
     We have the right and freedom to print and publish virtually any material we desire in books or magazines, what we want to broadcast on television and radio, and what will be shown on the silver screen. We are free to watch, listen or read whatever we wish, at any time of the day or night. We, as American citizens, enjoy the greatest freedoms of any people on the planet today!
     We attribute these rights and freedoms we hold so dearly to our Founding Fathers who so carefully crafted the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. We hold fast to our freedom at the high cost of many a good and brave serviceperson who, for the honor of their country and neighbors, gave their life to protect our lives.
     Though we celebrate the 'Independence' of America and the freedoms we enjoy through the wisdom and efforts of those before us, let us not forget the very source and foundation by which these rights and freedoms are derived from.
     For 'In the beginning, God created.....'  From the very beginning, God granted freedom to heavenly beings and the human race. God gave Adam and Eve freedom to do, to go and to eat.....  except one tree. The freedom God gave the heavenly hosts and mankind is the 'freedom of choice', or free will.
     But, this God given freedom was abused. The Devil abused this divine freedom by rebelling against God and being cast from Heaven along with a host of angels. In Genesis 3 we read of how Eve and Adam were tempted and subsequently abused their freedom - resulting in the fall of man.
   In order to maintain the integrity of God's wholly state, He had no choice but to respond with appropriate consequences for the abuse of the freedom He gave those He created. In other words, along with the God given right of free will, there comes responsibility.
     Paul Harvey used to say "Self-government won’t work without self-discipline." I submit "Freedom without responsibility, or consequences for abuse, is a recipe for chaos and social disorder."
     Along with the right to free will, God has also given us the charge and responsibility to exercise our freedom for the sake of good and for the glory of God. We have been given the wisdom and the power to make choices in our lives which reflect and honor the glorious gift we have received - for the purpose of loving God and loving one another.
     Galatians 5:13-14 teaches - "For, dear brothers, you have been given freedom: not freedom to do wrong, but freedom to love and serve each other. For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command:  Love others as you love yourself."
     Let us exercise our freedom - freedom in the Spirit with acts of 'love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control'. These are acts of freedom which cannot be taken away and that last forever! Amen.