JR. Forasteros - January 14, 2018

Where's the Line?

Ask Better Questions

Our culture values personal freedom above all else. We’re not the first to do so – the Corinthians did too. But the Apostle Paul challenges personal freedom as the highest value, observing that when what matters most is my desires, I become a slave to those desires. Instead, Paul insists personal freedom must submit to the law of Love. We belong to each other.

From Series: "Ask Better Questions"

Does it seem these days that people don't ask good questions? Questions come with barbs all over them, or are asked in such a way that the answer is already obvious. God coming into the world raises some big questions about how we live in the wake of his coming. But we need to ask the right questions. This series will explore the questions asked of Paul by the Christians in Corinth. We'll get at the questions behind their questions, to the good news for all of us - even here at the dawn of the 21st century. Jesus has come into the world, and nothing has been the same since.

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I’m not sure there’s a higher American value than personal freedom. Nearly any conversation in civil discourse, from gun control to economic policies to public speech and religion often end up coming back to this “Don’t Tread on Me” mentality that fed the American Revolution.

“Don’t Tread On Me”… We want to be selves without limits. We want no boundaries, no borders, no limitations. We want to be free, unboxed, uncaged, unrestrained.

We recognize that purely unrestrained freedom isn’t realistic.

I remember learning in elementary school that ‘freedom of speech’ doesn’t mean we can, for instance, shout ‘Fire’ in a crowded movie theater. When our freedom of expression puts others in harm’s way, it becomes toxic to a society.

Similarly, in our relationships we recognize constraints. Our marriage vows bind us, reduce our freedoms (which is why the more cynical among us call marriage a ‘ball and chain’ – an image from prison). We identify friends who take and take and take and never contribute to the other person’s good a toxic friend. Having children involves a complete overhaul of priorities and involves the loss of many freedoms – including the freedom to sleep whenever you want.

And yet we recognize these relationships as good – good for us and good for the world.

Maybe freedom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Maybe it’s a good, but no the highest good. If that’s true, it could change how we engage in conversations over personal freedoms.

Let’s explore in a bit more depth our desire for freedom and what’s behind it. We’ll see that a quest for freedom can become a kind of idolatry (and we’re not the first people to fall for it).

Self-giving love, love that draws us into relationship with God and each other, is a greater good than personal freedom.

Join us Sunday as we learn how pursuing this love above even freedom makes us freer than we ever thought possible.

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