The color of freedom has always been red. For his blood was the beginning of breaking free. Of loosening the shackles of sin. Of life conquering death. And the way to freedom was indeed war. The battle between good and evil. The victory that came with a price.
We wave our star spangled banner high, with pride. We parade around giving honor. And we celebrate the place and time we find ourselves. Our family, we do this. We participate in this tradition, this remembering. It’s important for a people to come together in celebration of victories.
But there’s a freedom richer and deeper, more genuine and satisfying than simply the soil we walk. It’s a person. His life displayed authentic liberty. His death broke the chains that hold us captive. It is only through his unique story that true freedom is discovered! And it is wise to understand the ways our American liberties exit in tension with our responsibility as Christians living within our godly freedom. It’s good to identify the ways our identity as patriots may conflict with our calling as missionaries. For freedom in Christ looks very different than freedom in America.
As Americans, we have the freedom to say what we want.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to speak the truth. And this freedom from dishonesty will bring about intimacy and trust.
As Americans, we have the freedom to pursue happiness.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to pursue righteousness. And this freedom from earthly treasures and dreams is the beginning of lasting joy.
As Americans, we have the freedom to take people to court.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to redeem injustice. And this freedom from impartiality, prejudice and inequality leads to unity and peace.
As Americans, we have the freedom to strive toward independence.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to submit to God and one another. And this freedom from individuality moves us toward deeper community.
As Americans, we have the freedom to seek knowledge.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to know the depths of God and his wisdom. And this freedom from educating in the ways of man will produce a longing for knowing the ways of God.
As Americans, we have the freedom to print information and events, opinions and criticisms – all that we consider newsworthy.
As followers of Jesus, we have the responsibility to take the written Word to the ends of this broken world. And this freedom from bias messages will allow the Good News to inform the hearts of mankind of all that is worthy to God.
The cross must come before the flag. And freedom from is more liberating than the freedom to.
Live like you believe you are free. Live like it matters that so many are not.
*edited from a previous post