Head First: Sweet Freedom

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sweet Freedom

"Good news! Now that you've repeated the prayer after me, you're free!"

"Really?"

"Absolutely!"

"You mean I can do whatever I want?"

"Uh...well, you're now free to be obedient."

"You mean I wasn't free to obey before?"

"Er, no...well, sort of."

(fast forward 20 minutes)

"...so I'm free to come to church every time the doors are open..."

"Right."

"...and I'm free not to use bad language or drink alcohol..."

"Yep."

"...and I'm free to submit myself to the authority of the pastor and do whatever he tells me..."

"Now you're getting it. Doesn't it feel good to be free?."

19 comments:

Steve said...

Geesh... I sure am glad it's you and not me starting this "conversation". Good luck....oops... did I say luck. I meant "May God bless you my brother!"

gredaadt said...

And we're free to be cynical, and free to be judgmental, and free to find fault with all things christian, and free to abuse our freedom, and free to condemn the church for pushing us toward outward righteousness while we use that same freedom to justify our own outward rebellionactions that do not line up with traditional religion, and we're free to forget that 1 Corinthians 13 is all about preferring others and not finding fault and assuming the best in folks, even church folks.

dorsey said...

amazingface,

Clearly, you don't know me well. And, since you hide behind your anonymous name and hidden profile, I can't possibly know you. So, until you're ready to show yourself and discuss my post for real, you're free to kiss my ass (as long as you do it in love, of course).

Steve, I'm not sure what I was thinking.

Mrs Zeke said...

Dorsey there you are I was waiting.

Dang I can't even do all the things I know I should for God let alone a Pastor.... I think I have ADORD
Attention Deficit Of Rules Disorder
is there a pill??

btw your great

Zeke said...

"...condemn the church for pushing us toward outward righteousness..." "...justify our own outward rebellion actions that do not line up with traditional religion..."

Yeah, for the record I could care less about outward righteousness or for lining up with traditional religion. These are outside-the-bowl matters and are insignificant compared to what's inside. And what's inside Dorsey is pretty freaking awesome and loved by Jesus, so retract your claws, amazingface. Stick around for a while, you'll catch on.

And Dorse, while I'm sure what's inside you is lovely, rumor has it that sometimes it can get a little ripe up there, saynomore saynomore.

dorsey said...

Zeke, ripe is a vague memory. I'm way past that. ::chuckle::

My PMS notwithstanding, the fact is that I do have all those freedoms. To paraphrase Steve Brown in "A Scandalous Freedom," I have the freedom to get it right and the freedom to totally screw up. The point of my post (which was taken from a comment I made on another blog) is that the church is uncomfortable with freedom. My old pastor has actually said that freedom is just an excuse for people to do what they want (until it came time for him to do what he wanted, of course).

As such, I believe the church (small c) has made a paradigmatic error, the result of which is similar to trying to hold sand in a clenched fist. You can hold a lot more in an open palm.

Amazingface accuses me of "finding fault with all things Christian." I hope that's not the case. I just don't consider legalist bondage to be Christian at all. Jesus spoke of those who "pushed people toward outward righteousness" as being "whitewashed tombs," saying that the priority of cleaning the inside of the cup, would make the outside clean in the process.

It can be argued that this is a speck-in-your-eye/plank-in-my-eye issue. Having been part of the institution my whole life. I bear a measure of responsibility for the forest in it's eyes. No one here is claiming the high ground.

RF2R2 said...

This thread is reason number 478 that I love dorsey - I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read this.

nathaniel adam king said...

A friend of mine said that the beauty of the liberty that we have in Christ is not that we can do whatever we want to do (without it being sin), but rather we can freely choose not to do certain things.

He was saying that while we may be free to drink or cuss or whatever, the real freedom is when we freely abstain from those things for whatever reason (so a brother won't fall, to simply fast, whatever).

I liked that.

I didn't mean this in any way critical of your post. Truthfully, I don't get it. But it just reminded me of what he said and I thought I'd share it. Perhaps you have heard of it before. Freedom to abstain.

nathaniel adam king said...

And I am freely abstaining from commenting on the amazingface dribble. I have no respect for anonymous drive by insulters.

Now the insulters who insult freely on their blogs...cough...dorsey/zeke...cough, those I LOVE!!!

Herobill said...

Yeah. They say, "God loves you just as you are."

UNTIL you get saved...

gredaadt said...

"Amazingface accuses me of "finding fault with all things Christian." "

I didn't accuse you of anything Dorsey. I said "we". You may include yourself if you would like, but my comments were not directed at you. They were indicative of the struggle between both ends of the message of freedom. While the church is pushing its agenda, many times, we the "free" are the polar opposite, doing the very thing we hate, only in reverse.

You are right. I don't know you and I wouldn't attempt to judge you. I've just walked this road too many times.

Regarding my anonymity, your inflamed response is the very reason I desire to protect my identity. Being a single woman on the internet has its drawbacks. I prefer to avoid the "sticks and stones" and defer to your words instead.

Sorry you took my comments as a personal attack. Clearly, you don't know me well. And I prefer to leave your "ass" just where it is. You're not my type, or gender for that matter. :)

dorsey said...

In the infamous words of the Captain of Road Prison 36 (played to a tee by the great Strother Martin, in "Cool Hand Luke" in...what? 1967? Crap, I'm old), "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

I reread your original comment a dozen times before I responded to it. I've reread it two dozen times since. Maybe I'm just jaded, but even if I scrunch up my eyes and turn my head sideways, I can't get it to mean anything other than what I first thought it to mean. Judging from the emails I've received, begging me to verbally annihilate you, it would appear that I'm not alone in my analysis.

If, as Zeke hinted, I was too harsh in my response, then accept my apology. But note that it was the anonymity of your comment that inflamed my response, not the comment itself.

Having said that, you did make a decent point in your followup comment. Freedom can, indeed, be abused. I said just recently on another blog that those of us who preach grace so hard are sometimes reluctant to extend it to those who would bind us with the law. I guess "Love your enemies" means "Love all your enemies."

Stick around, face. Perhaps we can learn from each other...


...and I'll keep my ass to myself. 8-)

BruceD said...

I'm sure you'll be great at whatever you do, Dorse! You're just that kind of guy. Great AND smart!
;-)

dorsey said...

My mother paid you to say that, didn't she?

Zeke said...

Now the insulters who insult freely on their blogs...cough...dorsey/zeke...cough, those I LOVE!!!

You might call us "open source insulters"... free as in speech, free as in beer.

bob said...

What makes this post interesting is the matter of perspective. For many, obedience, church attendance, not cussing/drinking, and submission to authority actually ARE freedoms, because they have been so wrapped up in the selfish bondages of the flesh. I can see how these things would be considered freedoms.

Still, for those of us who have been in the bondages of church life, OUR freedoms are markedly different.

I guess it depends on our vantagepoint.

Regarding amazingface, anytime an anonymous poster shows up, drops a bomb, then says she's a female and alludes to preferring other females... she's probably a dude (with an overactive imagination, and a long-standing subscription to Penthouse letters)

BruceD said...

I don't think any of us know anything about freedom. But, we will...

Chad said...

D said,
"[I was accused] of "finding fault with all things Christian." I hope that's not the case. I just don't consider legalist bondage to be Christian at all.""

Wow. Good stuff.

Caro said...

Wow, what a conflagration a spark kindles.
Remember, we were slaves to sin, now we are slaves to God. There is NO such thing as freedom; it is an illusion created and perpetuated to confuse and delude us into continuing to be slaves to sin. From that slavery, Christ Jesus has set us free, if we choose to accept the bonds of love with which He enslaves us!
Also, as a result of this new slavery, I am free from the law (legalism) of sin and death, because I no longer live to answer the flesh, but the spirit.
Personally, I've found that "Holiness" people usually fail to bear the fruit of the Spirit. In their zeal to live a perfect life, they judge themselves by a standard to which humans may aspire, but NOT reach while they are still in human bodies. Amazingface must recognize the negative impact of our body's chemistry on behavior, and even thoughts.
Let's allow the Master in this relationship to make us fruitful so that our lives may feed others as surely as do our hands.
Most of you guys are delightful most of the time. What more could I ask?