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Are You Really Free? Some Thoughts Before the Election.

Are You Really Free? Some Thoughts Before the Election.

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Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The land of the free and the home of the brave.

Ah, the American Dream.

This idea of “freedom” is written into the very fibers of the American Nation. Heck, it’s written into the very fibers of the American currency, mingled right in there with the phrase, “In God we Trust.”

Most of us who subscribe to the American Dream or the freedom of the Cross believe we are “already free.” After all, we don’t live under the rule of an oppressive leader. We have a certain number of inalienable rights. And if we are of the Christian persuasion, we have the shed blood of Jesus Christ that liberates us as well.

We are Americans. We are Christians. We are the freest people on God’s green earth.

But are we?

What if I told you that the American Dream, and worse, the idea of a Christian Nation is the result of a carefully constructed web of lies to blind us from the truth. What truth? That we are slaves. And like the characters in the movie The Matrix, we have been born into a prison that we cannot smell or taste or touch. It is a prison for our minds.

You see, most of us, myself included, have been deceived into believing that freedom is a part of the American story. It’s what this country was founded on. But true freedom as it is defined in the Bible is not the same as the freedom that the American Constitution describes.

We, in America, have confused the story of God with the American story.

There is a tendency to place a lot of trust in our nationality. We believe that because we are American and because we go to church, we are free. We are a part of the “right group.”

But let us not be like the Pharisees of Jesus’ day who learned the hard way that placing one’s faith in their nationality is a really bad idea. And let me just say, I’m not just talking about pledging allegiance to the flag. How many of us, myself included, pledge allegiance to the American church?

We need to remember, the movement Jesus came to start does not have a flag. It has a cross.

The Pharisees were leaders of the Jewish faith. Jewish blood flowed through their veins. They were a part of the “chosen nation,” yet Jesus said the tax collectors and the prostitutes were entering the Kingdom of God ahead of them (Matthew 21:31).

We need to remember, just because we have been chosen by God doesn’t mean that we have chosen God.

We must pledge allegiance to the Cross of Christ and to the Kingdom for which it stands. One people group, the body of Christ, who are indivisible from our King who redeemed us. A King who loves us enough to die for us. A King who asks us to do the same for our fellow man. Not to slaughter for the sake of “God and country” or kill our enemies but to love our enemies. A King who says, “the only shed blood in this Kingdom will be my own.”

We must commit ourselves to a Kingdom that is not of this world, to a Kingdom that is utterly antithetical to this world. Upside down. Inside out. Bottom up. A place where the first are last and the last are first. A Kingdom where we don’t fight to protect our rights but, rather, give them away. Because when love is the banner under which we live that is when we are truly able to see the captives set free. That’s when we find liberty and justice for all.

Eternal life, unending liberty, and the pursuit of radical, self-sacrificial love. That’s the Kingdom of God, the land of the free.

ESCAPE_prison 3d with spineIf you want to know more about the true freedom that only comes when we choose God over country and His story over our own, check out my soon-to-be-released book, ESCAPE: Break Free from Mediocre Christianity and Embrace the Radical, Set-Apart Life You were Made for.

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Coming Soon!