Freedom in Christ
1. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Here is something from the book The Ethics of Freedom. I am really enjoying this book and having my heart and mind exercised in all kinds of ways. Jacques Ellul is another one of those brothers that I would have loved to walk with for a time to learn from him the things he had learned from Jesus.
"We are wrong to speak only of the ambition and pride of popes and prelates, of their ardent self-interest in trying to control temporal matters. There was here a genuine concern for the world. There was a conviction that they had the key to wisdom and justice for the world. They thought that they could give the world just and good institutions in which men could live both as Christians and as true men. In this regard the medieval churches mounted a positive operation except for one thing: it demanded suppression of freedom.
Everything else was catered for. Everything was foreseen and calculated an advance for better truth and fuller justice. But the manifestation of freedom was out of the question. This is the one dimension that has been missing in the church from the very first. But this is the decisive dimension without which the Christian life is without significance for the world. In the absence of freedom the forms of the church's actions have all become legalistic. Here is the real betrayal."
I think this is something that needs to be grappled with. Putting together good organizations set on good works seems to miss this decisive deminsion Ellul speaks of. If people don't find real freedom and learn to remain in it, they have no freedom to give away. They are left with only principles and formulas and moral codes....etc.
Jesus seems to have been about setting us free......free indeed. Think about this for awhile....if Jacques is right about this being the missing dimension from the church....this would bring some clarity to why so many of our organized gatherings leave so many people unsatisfied and trapped in bondages that they struggle with for a life time and then so often live colluding with the culture that spreads such injustice and oppression and more bondages?
I think there is still this freedom out there for us find. It can only be found as we live in him.