Thoughts while at a July 4th parade

Freedom is a good thing.

The scriptures I honor and the Declaration of Independence we celebrate today both acknowledge that it is the created state of a human and we long for its perfection in us and our culture.

The very story of the fall shows us a God who delights in voluntary love and service rather than forced obedience. The Glorious Gospel of freedom requires a free God motivated by love to voluntary service to the point of death. “It is for Freedom,” says Paul, “that Jesus set us free.”

Freedom is a good thing

But it’s also troubling.
Sometimes, like everyone one else, I am annoyed by all the Facebook people who disagree with me in strident, angry, too often ignorant tones. I am perplexed that so many people don’t see the world as I do, don’t cherish what I cherish. I am amazed at how many wrong people there are. Oddly they seem to feel the same about me. (Irony is also a good thing )

Freedom is a good thing

Even now, as I sit at the Rio Rancho parade, waiting for it to start, (and no doubt causing a few head shakes and twitters for focusing on my phone instead of the celebrations, which to be fair have not yet begun) I am surrounded by festive people all here in seeming unity but with whom I likely passionately disagree on many things from religion to politics to how best to raise kids to “red or green” or “Picard vs Kirk”. And that’s when I realize…

Our disagreements do not weaken us. Our polarization does not destroy us. Infuriate, confuse, and even discourage, but they do not show our frailty as a country. They show our strength. We have learned to fight for freedom and when God grants us rest from external enemies we fight for it with ourselves. Sometimes, maybe even often, our freedoms collide and these are the tough ones. Those perceiving the fight as one for freedom of religion clash with those perceiving the fight as freedom for women over their own bodies. Sometimes we accuse the other of being disingenuous in their motivations. But i don’t think so. I think it’s just that freedoms actually do clash and working them out, contrary to current sentiments is something we actually do well in this country. I think the long view of history reveals this.

Because freedom is a good thing and this is one thing we all cherish and value.

Freedom is a good thing

If you serve the same Lord I do remember that He calls us to use our freedom to voluntary life-giving service and so also should we. So if our disagreements are less strident, angry and ignorant, so much the better.

So enjoy your freedom of speech, of religion, to gather, to disagree and to choose what you value. One thing we all value this 4th…

Freedom is a good thing

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