Freedom, Love, Desire & Power is a Judeo-Christian Concept
© 2015 Hadassah Shabnam Lal
I have always been fascinated by the concept of freedom and liberty. I believe that the root concept of Freedom and Liberty is rooted in the Judeo-Christian Bible. In fact, the words Freedom and Liberty are mentioned a total of 27 times. (18 times in the OT and 9 times in the NT)
Freedom: Defined by the American Heritage College Dictionary.
The condition of being free of restraints, Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression. Political independence, Possession of civil rights; immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority, The capacity to exercise choice; free will. The right to unrestricted use; full access.
Liberty: To think, feel, do just as one pleases, The condition of being free from restriction or control, The right and power to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing. The condition of being physically and legally free from confinement, servitude, or forced labor, freedom from unjust or undue governmental control.
Bible verses on Freedom in Galatians.
The most interesting concept in Christianity is that of Freedom. In fact, if one thinks about it, Love for humanity is what led Christ Jesus to die for the cause of humanity. Through His selfless act of ultimate love of dying on the cross we are set free. However, God does not force mankind to embrace the message of Christ, rather God gives us the freedom to choose to be His followers and His disciples. There is an interesting dynamic between mankind and God.
Many other religions are exclusive religions having many rituals and requirements.
The Judeo-Christian faith (yes Christianity was and is an offshoot of Judaism) and it is an inclusive religion regardless of who you are.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His one and Only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
There is no power play in this religion of the Judeo-Christian faith. It is a religion that helps us to affirm in our hearts that there is some wonderful heroic purpose to our lives. In fact, we are born with that desire in our hearts. God designed us in such a way, that we need something worth dying for that keeps us living. Many realize that our need for such is the very root of Heroism. And then, there are those who will do everything to kill that hero in you (and try to kill your dreams) and bind you and intimidate you. Why? Because somehow they have desires of their hearts vs. the desires of your heart and the call on your life, mixed up with Power to control you, which effectively kills love and desire to be under subjugation to such animals.
Desire vs. Power
Desire however, is not the same as Power. Desire stems from freedom to do what you were created for by God.
Power stems from need to control another human being. When an individual is under a dictatorship or abuse of power, his captor/abuser can make him disavow his relationship to God in the open (secretly in his heart he can still declare it), forget his dreams, and live in subjugation. However, power over another human being or a people does not equate to goodness. One thing that a power hungry individual (in an abusive relationship or a government) cannot do to another human being or society is to make him/her love him/her or them. Love arises out of the heart and desires of the heart to love, and serve another.
You see, true love only comes from freedom. It is a desired emotion. It is one that only a God could give man. God wants us to desire Him, but He does not force us even though He has all powers of the universe at His command. He is God. It is his love for humanity and His desire to be close to us that caused Him to send His Son down to earth to die willingly for us. His Son Christ Jesus could have called legions of angels at any given moment but His desire to do the will of the Father and His love for humanity kept Him on that cross and he died a criminals’ death and became Ultimate Hero for mankind in rescuing us from an eternal death. His message of freedom and love still resonates as the basis of any civilized society. It alone is a message of true love, freedom and power gained by his atoning sacrifice. Once you recognize it, then you will love him and his children. We were made to serve Him, worship Him, and He does not “force” his desires, nor “power” over us.
II Cor 3:17. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.
Gal 5:1. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
Matt 10:8. Freely you have received, freely give.
Luke 4:18. To set at liberty those who are oppressed.
John 8:32. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Rom 3:24. Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
Jas 1:25. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Now there is the whole concept of laid out between freedom, power, and love.