True Freedom

We all want to be free, but only in growing in our understanding of what  “Freedom”  means can we be truly free.  Our American culture says freedom is being able to do whatever I want and whenever I want to do it, but that is a big lie.

God wants us all to be free.  Freedom is a gift

John 8:31-34   “Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him,   ‘If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’  
They answered him,   ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How can you say,   “You will become free”?’
Jesus answered them,   ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.’ ”

Imagine the following analogy.  A loving mother and father buy their teenage son a chemistry set so that he might grow in knowledge about that science. However, if he blows himself up with it he has abused the gift.

Similarly, we find freedom in God’s Word, however if we chose to sin we have abused the gift of freedom.  We don’t have the right to do that.  Our freedom was given to us for a different purpose.  Freedom is the ability to do that which is good and that which is what we ought to do.

Some will protest and claim,  “Don’t I have the moral right to form my own opinion and to believe whatever I wish to believe ?”  The answer is surprisingly  “NO.”  [1]   We never have the moral right to do that which is wrong.  We never have the moral right to believe that which is wrong.  Looking closely at the previous statements and we can see that it is a self-contradiction to say that a person has a right to believe that which is wrong.

We don’t have the moral right to do or to believe whatever we wish to because we do not belong to ourselves.  We did not make ourselves. God made us.  We belong to Him and He has the right to determine what we have the right to do or believe.  He is a God of Truth.  Even the embrace of the smallest error is a rejection of truth.  And the rejection of even a small truth is to some degree a rejection of God.

Our American culture promotes the big lie that a person has a right to his own opinion regardless of whether it is true or not.  This lie is attractive because it denies that we have any responsibility to search and find out what is true and conform ourselves to it.  This lie denies that there is any universal objective truth that we must all follow.   It falsely asserts that we have the right to make up our own standards of what is good or true.

God is a loving Father.  He has given us rules to live by not because he wants to control us, but rather because He loves us so much He wants to protect us from harm.  Why does a father tell his three year old son not to play in the street ? He does so because the father knows what is best and he wants to protect his son.   Similarly, God’s rules are for our own benefit.  He knows what we need.

It would be senseless to say that a person is free to lock themselves up in prison.  That would be a rejection of what it means to be free.  Similarly, we are not free to choose error or to choose to sin, because sin makes us a slave.

John 8:34   “Jesus answered them,   ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.’ ”

To choose to sin is to reject our freedom.  Freedom is a gift for the purpose of enabling us to do that which is right.  Freedom then is the ability to choose what is right and good.  We are being free when we choose to do that which is right which is for our own good.  We are not free to sin or to embrace error.

By learning that which is true we can grow in freedom.  By learning and applying God’s Word and Truth in our lives we can be truly free.

John 10:10-11   “… I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.”




While a person does have certain legal rights to think as he chooses the purpose of this article is to address what are man’s moral rights.

Do I want to force others to think and to act rightly ?  No, of course I do not as long as they are not harming society by violating Natural Law.  God has given us freedom.  When a person abuses that freedom God does not start forcing them to choose that which is right.  True religion is about helping others to choose to love.  If a person is forced to act rightly that is not love on their part. 


Some rights are so important that they transcend other rights.  

In 1776 when Thomas Jefferson penned The Declaration of Independence he listed some of our rights and the ordered them are as follows:  “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  Thomas Jefferson was influenced by John Locke who ordered man’s rights as Life, Liberty, and the right to own property.  There is good reason for placing them in this order because there is a hierarchical level of importance to these rights.

This hierarchical order can best be demonstrated by considering the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision in 1857.  Dred Scott, a black slave, sued for freedom on the basis that he had been brought into the State of Illinois, a free state.  The Supreme Court ruled against him in favor of his owner based on his owner’s right to property, his slave.  This ruling was flawed in that it considered a person’s right to own property as a higher right than the other person’s right to Liberty or freedom.

The first and most important principle is the right to life.  Second is the right to be free.  Third is the right to own property.  Respecting this hierarchy is most important.  For example, if one person owns some property, but he is a slave to another then who really owns the property ?   If a person has the right to be free and own property, but he is going to be murdered tonight then the second and third principles become meaningless.  The right to life is paramount.