“There is freedom in Christ” does not mean just freedom from sin, but freedom to simply be as you are, without fear of rules and regulations.
Without having to look over your shoulder every moment of the day, wondering who is watching.
Without having to constantly explain your actions to a group of people who know next to nothing about you.
Without having to consider every possible outcome to every little thing you do.
Without having to worry about expulsion for a mistake you have already repented from.
For all the things freedom means you have the ability to do without, it has just as many things you have the ability to do.
To express your opinions.
To ask difficult questions that might not have definitive answers.
To explore the possibilities of God’s personhood outside of what we currently know Him as.
To question authority that oversteps its boundaries.
To invest deeply and passionately in your relationships and community.
To consider that you don’t have the absolute hold on all truth.
We as a Church have this need to definitively explain things the way we see them, with very little room for interpretation or compromise. Throwing it under the guise of “being steadfast in our beliefs”, we fundamentally discard the vital component of our belief system, which is faith. The very idea of faith is that we can’t be certain of all things, which is something all of us would consider to be obvious; yet our actions speak of something far different.
“The Bible is clear that gays shouldn’t be married!”
“Women are to submit to men as the head of the household!”
“There is a Scriptural mandate for slaves to obey their masters!”
I’m sure reading that last statement makes all of us cringe at least a little bit more than the rest, but all three come from views of what the Bible has to say; and to be honest, the Bible has a few passages that very clearly state sentiments of each idea. Yet, that last statement is universally lauded against and explained away, without any consideration of the first two possibly needing to have the same treatment. These are the fallacies of thought and action we give ourselves over to without fully allowing the freedom of Christ to permeate our entire lives, not just one specific subset of them.
Taking the issue of gay marriage into account, I posit that it is absolutely possible for someone who is opposed to the idea of homosexuality to be completely for homosexual marriage. In fact, I even know a few of those whack jobs. They are incredibly loving people who hold a very special place in their hearts for those on the fringes of the Church, and only want to do everything within their grasp to bring them into the fold. The reasoning is that though they may disagree on something like human sexuality, that doesn’t require vehemently seeking legislation from a secular government to regulate their ability to receive the benefits a heterosexual couple would receive. Almost every Christian believes and shouts for joy that the “law is dead” and there is only Christ, yet law-making is the way to go for a number of our brothers and sisters. It’s an odd juxtaposition to see that spiritual laws are no longer necessary due to the atoning sacrifice of Christ, yet secular laws are imperative.
In a cultural context of a Christian stuck in a foreign land, we are very quick to turn that land into our home through legislation and regulation. If Earth is not our home, then why are we so eager to make it look that way?
It’s unfortunate that we don’t allow the idea of “freedom in Christ” to shine for the glory that it is, as opposed to actually making it look less appealing.