Published 5:14 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2011

By Jake McCall

As Independence Day approaches, the word that most comes to my mind is “freedom.” As we are celebrating our freedom on the Fourth of July, the origin of our celebration is our 235 years of recognized independence from the British crown.

Now there is much debate, even among Christians, regarding whether or not our nation was founded as a Christian nation. And this debate is often dependent on how the word “Christian” is defined and/or what it really means when you put the words “Christian” and “nation” together. I will be the first to say that I have heard arguments from both ends of the spectrum that are misrepresentations of what true history tells us. Even so, one thing that is sure is that one of the primary reasons for fighting for and establishing a new “free” nation was so that people could freely worship God without interference from the State. This desire for religious freedom was due to a politically motivated church system throughout Great Britain that used religion as a form of oppression and control. This needed to be rebelled against and I am thankful that, at this time, my president cannot attempt to tell me how to worship or which denomination I must belong to and you should be thankful for that too.

However, we now live in a nation that is not simply seeking religious freedom but seems to strive for freedom from God and Christianity altogether. This, I am certain, was never the intention nor the desires of our nation’s founders. I believe they would be saddened to see the rebellion against God and His moral, life-giving law. You know, freedom can really be a tricky thing. We all long for it in one respect or another yet many times freedom from one thing can result in enslavement to another.

As a teenager I wanted and attempted freedom from my parents only to then be enslaved by my rebellion and poor decisions. Last year when my daughter was first walking, I knew it was best if she held my hand when going down the steps. One day she wanted freedom from my hand and as she took her first step down, she snatched her hand from mine and was free. That freedom led to her being enslaved to her own balance and perception and resulted in her tumbling down three steps. That was freedom that she thought she wanted but it was really a lot better for her to be free to hold daddy’s hand so she would not fall.

A pursuit to be free from God’s rule and authority has, can, and will only keep us from true freedom and keep us enslaved to sin and Satan. Seeing where we are as a country and a society should cause us to pause and consider the consequences of rejecting God, both corporately and individually. It should also make us see that though we can attempt to free ourselves from God and His Kingdom, that freedom from God is not really freedom at all but a curse of enslavement.

This curse has followed mankind and nations since the sin of Adam. Though we may think we are free in every since of the word, a rejection of God proves that we are enslaved to sin. Yet God, in His mercy, has made a way for us to be truly free from sin, death and the enemy and that is by His Son. Jesus who was fully free from death and pain and the sin of this world chose to give up all of those freedoms and chose to take on our curse and our death and our pain and our sin that we so “freely” run to.

So, while this statement is often rejected and despised, true and eternal freedom can only be accomplished by putting your faith in Christ, who has accomplished that freedom by giving up His freedom.

Jake McCall is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. He is pastor of Grace Fellowship in Clanton.