March 5, 2014
The great freedom loss
Many individuals see the commandments and morals of the Bible as a great enemy of freedom and personal choice. They believe to take the Bible as absolute truth negates their ability to think freely and restricts them to many regulations and rules. This argument requires that you define freedom as being able to think and to do whatever you want. It would say that freedom is to find and create your own meaning and purpose in life. In this view Christianity is an enemy of freedom.
One of the issues with the above argument is that freedom cannot be defined in completely negative terms, as in the absence of constraint and confinement. There are, in fact, many cases where constraint and confinement is actually a means to a greater freedom and liberation. Think of a time when you gave up something you enjoy for the purpose of spending more time and excelling in another area in order to gain a richer kind of freedom for a greater joy and satisfaction.
Every successful athlete, farmer, soldier, student, teacher, mechanic and leader has done just that at some point. They temporarily sacrificed freedoms by making difficult short-term choices in order to gain a greater long-term freedom and fulfillment. In many areas of life, freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, those restrictions that lead to the greatest liberation.
Love is the most liberating freedom loss of all. Whether love for a friend, love for a spouse or love for a child, there must be a loss of independence for that love to grow deeper and closer. There is great joy and freedom to be had by going into a loving relationship, but in order to experience that joy and freedom one must give up his or her personal autonomy. In such a love is the only place you will see one so free and so captivated at the same time.
Jesus Christ gave up his freedom to love us, save us and be with us. The Bible states that “the love of Christ controls (or constrains) us.” (2 Corinthians 5:14) Once you realize how much Jesus changed and gave of himself for you, you aren’t afraid of giving up your freedom and therefore finding your freedom in him. Christianity leads to the greatest freedom and fulfillment of all.
Church Notes - Week of 3-5-14
St. Stephen’s holding Ash Wednesday service
St. Stephen’s will hold an Ash Wednesday celebration today at 11 a.m. with the Rev. Stephen Haptonstahl presiding. It will conclude in time for worshipers to attend the Lenten lunch series at Romney First United Methodist Church.
World Day of Prayer service March 7
Augusta community churches will hold a World Day of Prayer service Friday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Augusta Assembly of God. The theme will be “Streams in the Desert.” There will be special music. An offering will be received for the Community Ministerial Emergency Fund. The women of Egypt have written the World Day of Prayer service recognizing the need to express love to all God’s people and live peacefully in an increasingly diverse society. All are welcome to attend.
A call to prayer for Hampshire County
The community is invited to gather with other Christians, pastors and intercessors to pray for revival in our county. Our churches, families and individuals are in need of a mighty move of God. This will only come by prevailing prayer, unified prayer, to be held Saturdays, March 8 and March 22, at Fox’s Hollow Baptist Church at 7 p.m. Traveling west of Romney 3 miles on Route 50, turn right onto Fox’s Hollow Road, bear right and go 1/ 10 mile. The church is located on the right.
Every Tuesday at 6 p.m., prayer is offered up for Hampshire County at Zoar Baptist Church, 4 miles south on Ford Hill Road, Augusta. All pastors, churches are invited to join this weekly time of interceding for our county, churches, families and lost souls.
Promised Land Quartet concert March 8
The Promised Land Quartet will be live in concert Sat., March 8 at 6 p.m. at Hayfield Assembly of God in Gore, Va. For more info., call 540-877-1443.
Baptism to be held March 9
The baptism of Philip Stoltzfus will be held Sunday, March 9 at 10 a.m. at the Ruritan Building in Three Churches. Everyone is welcome.