In Dependence Day

Life Notes—July 5, 2012

“Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”  John 8:31-32 

Yesterday manyU.S.citizens celebrated Independence Day.  People gathered with the two F’s” (friends and family) for the four “F’s” (food, fun, fellowship and fireworks).  Obviously, the holiday recognizes the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, by which theUnited Statesdeclared itself free from the rule ofGreat Britain.  ‘Taxation without representation’ was a primary complaint. 

In the spirit of the day I looked up the definition of ‘independence.’  My dictionary said “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.”  And I thought, “Hmmm.”  I understand the desire to be free from the control of another, but do I really want to be free from the influence, support or aid of others?  Certainly, I appreciate the freedom to at least choose whose influence, support and aid I receive. The dictionary then directed me to look up ‘freedom.’  Freedom is “the state of being free or at liberty, rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.”  I appreciate that.  Further, freedom is “exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.” and “the power to determine action without restraint.”  Well, after this little research project I have to say I am fully, 100%, unequivocally in favor of independence and freedom—at least within limits.  When I think about freedom as the power to act without restraint I think of a handful of evil people throughout history who use and used their power to impose unspeakable evils on multitudes of innocent victims.  Hitler comes to mind.  Certainly, independence and freedom must be tempered with measures of personal responsibility, accountability and social consciousness.  No doubt, our Founding Fathers understood such would need to be the case.  Hence, our Constitution establishes the structure for the creation and enforcement of laws restricting certain freedoms, in the interest of the majority.  We have established freedom and independence, within limits. 

Jesus equates freedom with truth.  If we know the truth, the truth will set us free.  And we know the truth by following Jesus and living out his word.  It seems contradictory, doesn’t it, that in order to be truly free we must limit our ‘freedom’ by submitting to our Savior?  Personally, I cherish my independence.  There are times, however, I am thankful to be in dependence on others for influence, support, aid…oh, and salvation! 

Both Tom and Mitch continue their seven-week series on David this Sunday, Tom downtown and Mitch at the west campus.  Their sermon title will be “David and Goliath,” based on Psalm 151.  Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall, traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Worship at the west campus begins at 9:00 and 11:00. 

Come home to church this Sunday.  Are you living independence or in dependence?

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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