"To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32 NIV).
Truth and freedom. The connection between the two is very close and it never ceases to amaze me that people try to separate the two. I recently heard a quote of someone who will remain nameless that the beginning of human life is a matter of a very personal choice. That person is trapped by relativism. Everything is relative? I do not believe so.
Jesus also said, "I am the way-truth and life." My translation. In the original Greek, Jesus is saying that the way is made up of two things truth and life.You cannot have truth without life and life without truth. That is the way to heaven, through Jesus.
The same is true of freedom and truth. You cannot have one without the other. In our country our freedom is based on the truth of our constitution. The genius of our constitution also never ceases to amaze me.
As we see other countries try to establish democracy they will not copy our form of democracy but usually use some form of parliamentary government to maybe do something better than our form of government. I do not think that they ever succeed in coming up with something better.
As a matter of fact. Did you know that England does not have freedom of speech? Where would we be if we did not have freedom of speech. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of association and the list goes on. I will not try to list all of them.
Today, many are concerned with the loss of some of our freedoms as we try to make our country secure from attacks of terrorism. We want to be safe and secure. We expect someone else (the government) to make sure we are safe. We also want to be completely free. It is impossible to have both. What can we do?
The best choice is leave this world and go to someplace that we would could call paradise. Where all of our problems would be done away with and we could live freely and happily forever. Sounds like heaven, does it not?
In the passage quoted at the beginning of this article, Jesus says to "hold to my teaching." Note teaching is singular not plural. All of the teachings are to be followed. We cannot pick and choose the ones we want to accept and the ones we do not.
I know it is hard to follow all of the teachings of Jesus. The problem is we are human and that makes us fallible. But our desire is to follow him completely. That becomes our way of living.
One of the more difficult teachings for us to follow is the idea that we have to become the servant of all. If we want to be first, we have to serve everyone else. How is that possible?
The answer lies in our desire to serve Jesus. If he is our master, and Christians claim that he is, then we become his servants. If we are his servants, then we become the servants of everyone else.
If we follow him completely, then we have the truth and that truth will really set us free.
(The opinions of this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Inter-Mountain, the Randolph County Ministerial Association or the author's church affiliation.)