January 25: What Freedom Isn’t (part 2)

God created us for life, for love, and for liberty. Without freedom we cannot truly love and therefore we cannot truly live. But, as we said yesterday, we must understand what our liberty really is (and isn’t). It isn’t the predominant cultural narrative of the freedom of the self and, as we will see today, it is not the freedom of the American Dream.

America is all about freedom. Freedom is how we define ourselves. We have a Declaration of Independence. We have a statue of liberty. And we even have a big bell.


But the freedom America offers is actually another form of bondage. Just like most things in life, it offers us a new list of pressures and politics that bind our wills. The freedom of the American Dream enslaves us to this dream. Have you achieved it yet? Why not? The Dream in itself becomes a law that all Americans must live up to.

American freedom is also more directly connected to law keeping. Like Moses who led the Israelites to freedom, and then gave them the law, we too were led to freedom by George Washington and then given a law to follow. The idea of America tells us that we can only be free through the law. The American law is what we believe will produce peace and prosperity. But again, even these things become a law to themselves and produce death in us.

Image result for peace and prosperity

Now this is not to say that there should be no law, and yes, a civilized society benefits from a just system of laws, and these are a gift from God just like the Mosaic Law was. But no law can bring ultimate freedom. In fact the law always gives way to sin and death.

2 Corinthians 3:6. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

True freedom comes from love, and no law can produce that. But Christ can. And he did. The freedom he offers is not the freedom of the American Dream, nor is it the freedom of the authentic self. It is the true freedom that comes from the death of self and the death to sin. It is the freedom only pure grace can give through a substituted life.

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