Re: The Tower of Babel - Christian Freedom

From: Dr. Blake Nelson (bnelson301@yahoo.com)
Date: Fri May 23 2003 - 09:20:07 EDT

  • Next message: John W Burgeson: "On Tillich"

    JimE,

    It is statements like "it is obvious that atheists
    enjoy freedoms that Christians don't" that continue to
    boggle my mind.

    I don't mean to be disrespectful, but you appear to
    have no understanding of Christian theology when you
    make a statement like this. I suppose if you mean
    that atheists are able to worship Baal, covet things
    that belong to other people, bear false witness, etc.
    you are on a superficial level _partially_ correct.
    (Of course, Christians still do many of those things
    -- although I doubt whether any Baal worship occurs
    these days.) However, if you mean that atheists are
    in any sense existentially more "free" than
    Christians, you are simply wrong.

    Part of the problem is that I think you don't have a
    clear understanding of what freedom means. And in
    fact the Gospel produces a profound freedom -- when
    properly understood -- that atheists do NOT have.

    May I suggest that a good place to start (although
    others on the list may have better references) is with
    Luther's "Concerning Christian Liberty".
    http://www.bartleby.com/36/6/2.html

    Perhaps, it will begin to banish some of your
    misunderstandings of what freedom means and why
    Christians have more meaningful freedom than an
    atheist.

    As Luther writes:

     A Christian man is the most free lord of all, and
    subject to none; a Christian man is the most dutiful
    servant of all, and subject to every one.
      Although these statements appear contradictory, yet,
    when they are found to agree together, they will make
    excellently for my purpose. They are both the
    statements of Paul himself, who says, “Though I be
    free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto
    all” (1 Cor. ix. 19), and “Owe no man anything, but to
    love one another” (Rom. xiii. 8). Now love is by its
    own nature dutiful and obedient to the beloved object.
    Thus even Christ, though Lord of all things, was yet
    made of a woman; made under the law; at once free and
    a servant; at once in the form of God and in the form
    of a servant.
    -----------

    Don't worry, JimE, it is a relatively short read and
    well worth it.

    --- RFaussette@aol.com wrote:
    > In a message dated 5/22/03 8:32:55 PM Eastern
    > Daylight Time,
    > jeisele@starpower.net writes:
    >
    >
    > > it ought to be obvious that atheists enjoy
    > > freedom that Christians don't.
    > >
    > >
    >
    > Yes, but do you know any group of atheists that has
    > survived 4,000 years as a
    > distinct and gifted people? I don't. You don't
    > mention the advantages of
    > religion, only freedom? To do what? Sacrifice to
    > moloch, lie with another man as
    > with a woman? Which freedom is most important to
    > have?
    > rich
    >
    >

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