Friday, July 17, 2015
'for freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery' (Galatians 5.1)
Remember the old question, 'Do you live to eat, or do you eat to live'? As a metaphor for other aspects of life, beyond food, this is a very profound question. Food is but one of a range of basic, primal needs humans beings have, none of which should be regarded as ends in themselves. Everyone agrees that a person who lives to eat would have a warped sense of what it means to live. Those who eat to live are free to focus on other things, beyond food.
Yet, today, as our society becomes more decadent, focusing on the most primal, lower brain appetites, more and more people cut themselves of from the enriched experience of life and service that they could have, were they to follow the higher impulses previous generations pursued. A symptom of this loss of awareness is the trend to define people by their sexual preference, or even sexuality preference.
Ironically, what is celebrated as 'liberation' brings a greater bondage with it, than before the 'sexual revolution', dragging many a Christian back into a 'yoke of slavery', often ending in a loss, not only of their faith, but even of their spiritual awareness, or ability to process anything requiring higher brain thinking. Consider the question, 'Do you “live to love” or ”love to live”?' This are not a false antithesis. People who 'live to love' may claim the romantic high ground, but they are thinking more like the most base animals, than human beings. Lovers who love, in order to live, have the correct perspective on both love and life.
Like those who 'live (in order to) eat', those who 'live (in order to) love' have lost both 'love' and 'life'. The need for intimacy is a basic primal need, but is should never be an end in itself. Intimacy between people should serve to fuel them for a higher purpose – living for Christ. 'For me to live is Christ', St. Paul famously wrote (Philippians 1.21).
'for freedom, Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore', writes St. Paul. (Galatians 5.1) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2009), '...thousands of fatal drownings each year are deaths associated with natural hazards known as rip currents'. Rip currents carry people out to sea because they are unable to resist the pull of the surf. Decadence is like a riptide. This is why the Christian must find his/her feet on the solid foundation of faith in Christ and proactively maintain their spirituality, lest they be carried away by the currents of our decadent culture. Only with God, helping us to get our lives 'under control', can we say that we are truly free.
Jesus said, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed' (John 8.34-36). Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ, set us free from eternal condemnation when He bore the burden of our sin, guilt, and death in His own body, out of love for us; 'canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross' (Col 2.14). Trusting in Christ means being free, not only from the consequences of sin, but from 'belonging to sin and death'. Sin is the dead spouse – drowned in Baptism - from whom we are set free to 'marry' another – the source of eternal life, our Lord Jesus Christ.