I consider following Jesus Christ (whom serious Christians believe is the son of God) to be freedom.
Freedom to wonder. I can wonder how God does stuff like creating planets, creating babies and creating the mysterious relationship between my free will and His will. I can wonder how Jesus was God AND human at the same time (this is a core belief for serious Christians). I can wonder how He can (and does) love people who are simply beyond my pathetic ability to even tolerate.
Freedom to explore. I can explore science, just like atheists and just like Christian scientists such as Francis S. Collins (who helped map the human genome). I can explore different faiths and understand how they’re different from Christianity. I can explore who and what God is, even as I know I’ll never get all the answers (and that’s OK).
Freedom to doubt. I can read parts of the Bible where people who feel abandoned by God cry out to Him. In one section, called Psalms, the writer states “Has our Lord rejected us forever? Will he never again speak to us? Has God forgotten what mercy is?” I can feel amazement that this is in the Bible — amazement and relief, because it means I’m NOT condemned if (well, when is more accurate) I ask the same questions.
Freedom to be me. A key part of the Christian faith is that human beings are not only accepted, they are LOVED by God for exactly who they are. Right now. With all our faults, jealousies, doubts, fears, misplaced anger, pettiness, greed, self-centredness and ludicrous sense of entitlement.
How do I know this? Because one of the four Bible accounts of Jesus’ life, simply called ‘John’, says “God loved the world so much [and that includes you and me, with all our quirks and faults] that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him would not be lost but have eternal life.”
No one has “damned you into sin from birth”. It simply happened, whether you and I like it or not. We enter this world thinking only of ourselves; everything revolves around us. And to a certain extent, we carry at least some of that thinking right through to adulthood and old age.
Everything DOESN’T revolve around us. You and I are NOT God. And to the extent that we (encouraged by our culture) believe that we are, that is sin. Like it or not.
So I say, embrace reason. Embrace the God who wants to embrace YOU. Accept the gift He offers you — the Son who:
- brought extraordinary ideas to the world (like loving your enemies);
- died to make up for the wrong things you and I have done and the right things we’ve failed to do, and;
- came back to life to prove He’s God and the Bible’s predictions about Him are true.
What do you think? Post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.