Defining Freedom

This is the back page for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost, July 2nd, 2017, bulletin of Fishkill United Methodist Church.  It was written by one of the youth of the church, Miles Cobb.


There are some misconceptions about freedom today, such as nobody can tell you what to do or that everyone has equal rights. A third definition, perhaps the closest to the truth, is that freedom give us the right to speak as we want and declare our opinions

For most people, to be free means that no one is commanding them or that they are not being held against our will. The right to do whatever we want is not a realistic possibility.  You could argue that if you want to steal from a store or trespass onto private property, then you should be able to do that. Doing whatever you want is a possibility, but there are consequences. The second way of defining freedom that I mentioned above is that everyone has equal rights, but this is not a reality. In America one of our mottos is equality, but groups such as African Americans, women and LGBTQs are continuously discriminated against. In the ideal American nation discrimination would not exist, yet it does.

Finally, there is a fourth way of defining freedom.  In the Bible freedom is described as a blessing by God that grants self-control and the ability to love. By this definition, through God and Jesus we are all free. When God created humans, He blessed us with consciousness and the freedom to love. This is what being “human” means. The quote that I always associate with freedom is 2 Timothy 1:7- “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” Today, as the idea of freedom is becoming more and more convoluted, there is always this single verse to remind us how to be free in the heart of God.


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