Dr. Thomas Lane Butts: Another Aspect of Freedom

Another Aspect of Freedom

Last week I told the story of one brave man, Alex Campbell, who died for freedom during World War II. Alex Campbell is ‘legion'. Because there are so many who have done so much, we tend to lose the power of the specifics in the overwhelming numbers. Because we have inherited a unique freedom, it is incumbent on each of us to live and act like free people.

We have in this country, even with all its failings, a species of freedom that is unique in the world. And when 50 per cent of the eligible voters stay away from the polls, it is obvious we do not appreciate what we have.

There is something we need to understand about this matter of freedom. Political freedom does not assure personal freedom. While personal freedom may be easier to achieve in a politically free society, it does not confer personal freedom. Personal freedom is a personal achievement.

There are many who live in our free society who are not free. They live in oppressive and/or abusive relationships--either by choice or by some species of force that constitutes the worst kind of tyranny.

There are many slaves in our free society. They have chosen or fallen into an addiction. They are slaves to drugs or alcohol or tobacco. There are many people walking around in what we think is a free world, but they wear chains that are very real. If you look closely, you can see it in their eyes, hear it in the timbre of their voices, and see it in their broken lives and relationships.

We all know people in our free society who are in a constant state of war against unseen enemies within which hold them prisoner. They flail out at spouses, brothers and sisters, parents, colleagues at work, and even strangers on the street in a desperate effort to free themselves, but they never win because they are not fighting the right enemy. They battle imagined external enemies when the real enemy is within. Until they look within and ask God to join them in the battle, there is no victory, no truce, no freedom and no peace.

Can you hear what I am saying? Just how free are you in our free society?