How Do We Explain Freedom?

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The demand for absolute liberty brings men
to the depths of slavery.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, (1906 – 1945)

Some young men are so ill-informed as to suppose that absence of restraint is the same thing as freedom, whereas, by unchaining the passions, it makes them slaves to a set of masters more tyrannical than all the teachers and mentors of childhood.
– Plutarch, (c. 45 – 120 AD)

No man is free who is not master of himself.
– Epictetus, (c. 50 – 135 AD)

Freedom on a piano involves subjection to the laws of music. Freedom in flying requires applying the principles of aerodynamics. Freedom in driving necessitates respect for the rules of the road. Freedom flourishes inside of boundaries. It self destructs without them.
To live life with the notion of absolute freedom is absolute folly. One quickly becomes a slave of his own self-centeredness, winds up in jail, or ends up dead.
We need something higher than ourselves to steer our life by. We need boundaries to be free. We need guidelines from our Maker.
– Jurgen Schulz

Freedom is not the permission to do what you like.
It’s the power to do what you ought.
– Os Guinness

Jesus Christ was nailed fast to the cross so he could not move. How is that for giving up your freedom? Christianity is the only religion that claims God gave up his freedom so we could experience the ultimate freedom—from evil and death itself. Therefore, you can trust him. He sacrificed his independence for you, so you can sacrifice yours for him. And when you do, you will find that it is the ultimate, infinitely liberating constraint. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
– Timothy Keller

He is a free man, whom the truth makes free,
And all are slaves besides.
– William Cowper, (1731 – 1800)

We find freedom when we find God;
we lose it when we lose Him.
– Paul Scherer

In freeing ourselves from Christianity, we have only freed ourselves from freedom.
– G. K. Chesterton

Without a Point of Reference

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Friedrich Nietzsche predicted that secular people, losing touch with transcendence, would eventually lose a reference point from which to look down and judge themselves. In the end they would lose even the capacity to despise themselves. Thus, because of the ‘death of God’, they would confuse heaven with happiness, and happiness with health.

–Os Guinness

God is like Jesus

Os-Guinness-5-699x1024Sometimes when I listen to people who say they have lost their faith, I am far less surprised than they expect. If their view of God is what they say, then it is only surprising that they did not reject it much earlier. Other people have a concept of God so fundamentally false that it would be better for them to doubt than to remain devout. The more devout they are, the uglier their faith will become since it is based on a lie. Doubt in such a case is not only highly understandable, it is even a mark of spiritual and intellectual sensitivity to error, for their picture is not of God but an idol.

― Os Guinness