Deceptive Freedom

I was asked to present the Christian perspective in a marriage and family class at a secular community college. There were about 25 students in the class of which three were men. One man pulled his desk up in the corner of the room, just off to my right. Every time I said something he didn’t like, he made a vulgar noise, which I ignored. A lady asked, “What do Christians teach about masturbation?” Before I could answer the antagonist said, “Well, I do it every day!” I said, “Congratulations, can you stop?” He remained quiet after that, and was the last student to leave the class room. As he walked by me on his way out he asked, “Why would I want to quit?” I said, “That is not what I asked you. I asked you if you could quit. What you think is freedom is actually bondage.”

Deception is the major strategy of Satan and one means by which that is accomplished is to redefine terms that relate to legitimate needs. All temptations appeal to personal needs with the pretense that they can be met independently of God. We all long to be loved and to be free, but both come with a price of which Jesus paid. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you” (Gal. 5:1,2). In other words, don’t go back to the law. Laying down the law to stem the tide of sexual sins is counter-productive. It only produces guilt and shame. We failed when we only prohibit, and don’t provide an adequate answer for overcoming sin and finding true fulfillment.

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13). Longing for freedom the secular world seeks to throw off the tired old restrictions imposed by the Church by expanding individual rights that don’t trample on the rights of others. Individual rights trump personal responsibility. People want the freedom to choose, but freedom doesn’t just lie in the exercise of choice. Every choice we make has consequences. For instance, we don’t have an abortion problem. We have an irresponsible sex problem. Every person has a choice, but they don’t want to have to live with the consequences of their choices. If there is no law you are never guilty. Sin means to miss the mark, but if there is no mark, you never miss. Free sex may sound good, but what are the consequences for individuals and society? Freedom for the secular world is actually license, and the consequences are dire.

Dr. Neil

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