What freedom is and is not

Published 6:38 pm Saturday, July 1, 2023

By Dean Kellly

Minister, Highland Home Church of Christ

Happy Independence Day. Between growing up as a child of a member of the military and having the blessing of churches sending me to do mission work over the years, I have had the chance to be on five of the seven continents in my lifetime. I have not been to Australia but would love to go. I have never been to Antarctica, but I don’t care to go. In those travels I have been to many wonderful places, and many not so wonderful places. I am thankful to God for those travel opportunities. 

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In the process of traveling, I gained a much greater respect for what we have here in our country. This country is made up of humans, we are not and never have been perfect, but we have a freedom in this country that is so superior to what most of the world experiences.

I celebrate America this July 4, not as a perfect nation, but for being the true home of freedom.

There are some things that freedom is not:

It is not freedom from rules. A lack of rules and laws only causes despair and chaos (Judges 17:6). Imagine driving down the road if there are no rules.

It is not freedom from conflicting opinions. Freedom does not offer a “safe place” where everyone thinks just like us. It offers the free exchange of ideas (Isaiah 1:18).

It is not freedom from absolutes. There are moral absolutes that come from something above ourselves – they come from God. There is a truth that is always true (John 8:32; John 17:17)

Ultimately, the true freedom is the freedom we find in Jesus, freedom from sin and its consequences (Romans 6:1-18). To truly be free, we must meet Jesus at the cross, and submit to the freedom we have in Him.

I wish for all a safe and happy Fourth of July!