(An Illustration to Share with Freedom-Seekers)
Countless people today are pursuing freedom apart from a belief in God. Desiring personal autonomy, they embrace the mood of the culture in our post-truth age—deeming preferences and opinions more important than objective truth.
But will this post-truth mindset yield them a high-quality and comfortable life? Or, to use a Shakespearean phrase in Hamlet, will it lead them down the “primrose path” to disaster?
True Freedom and Boundaries
Referring to our Western culture, Christian apologist Abu Murray states, “If we are autonomous beings that elevate preferences over truth, we will be in a state of chaos.” For we could do, say, or think whatever we wanted. Yet when we had clashing preferences, how could we handle those differences? Our struggle would be about power, not truth. Murray concludes that “true freedom requires boundaries.”1
As a case in point, consider the theme in the book of Judges: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 21:25 NKJV). As a result of ignoring God’s objective truth, the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, which in turn led to their own corruption and oppression.
A Kite Illustration by Dr. Evans
Dr. Tony Evans, Pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship Church in Dallas, is known for his insightful illustrations of Bible teachings. His kite analogy below can help freedom-seekers of all ages consider the result of life without restrictions, when people have their own way.2
There was a kite that thought to itself one day, “It sure would be nice if I wasn’t hooked up to this string. This string is holding me back. There’s this man down there holding onto this string. If I was just free from the string, I could fly so much higher. I could get so much farther. I wish that man down there would let the string go so I could be free to be me and fly to the sky.
The man let the string go, and the kite thought to itself, “Whee! I’m free.” So the kite was just flying up there and flopping all over in its newfound freedom—no longer subordinate to someone holding the string. Until a fierce wind came by. It began to take control of the kite. It slammed the kite to the ground, tearing it to shreds, breaking the wooden pieces that held it together.
Now the kite was destroyed because it didn’t understand one thing. It was being held by the string so it could fly and soar. But the moment it detached itself from the person holding it, there was no freedom. The kite became subject to an enemy ready to slam the kite, at the right time and in the right place.
Likewise, we can choose to be free from God. But we will then be free for the Devil to come slam us unless we give God permission to hold onto that string. We’d be wise to declare, “God, I don’t want to be free of You!”
Finding True Freedom in Christ, Now and Later
Professor-apologist Dr. John Warwick Montgomery explains the freedom and fulfillment Christians can enjoy in this lifetime. “In a fearfully changing world, [the Christian] is solidly grounded in an unchanging Christ, and therefore is free to develop his capacities to the fullest, under God.”3
Our gracious God has a customized plan for every person He created. Although He doesn’t promise believers an easy-breezy life, He will guide us as we run our Christian race (Heb. 12:1–2) and stay the course (holding fast to His lifeline). And when we “go with the flow” according to the Holy Spirit’s leading, our lives will have mega meaning.
When considering eternal life, freedom-seekers have infinitely more to gain if they hear the Gospel of grace and consider the abundance of objective evidence for the truth of Christianity. And if they ask the Savior of the world to redeem them from their fallen (sinful) condition common to all mankind (Rom. 10:9–10), they will not only be spared from living an eternity apart from God….
They will personally get to know the glorious One who created the wind and triumphed at the cross out of divine love for them. And eventually, they will soar on up to heaven and enjoy its glories forever—with the ultimate freedom Christ secured for us.
1Abu Murray, Saving Truth (Zondervan, 2018), interviewed by Dr. Sean McDowell in his blog “How Do We Save Truth?,” 5/22/18. 2An adaptation of an illustration by Dr. Tony Evans in a Genesis 3 message “True Freedom!,” aired on KWVE radio 4/11/16. 3Dr. John Warwick Montgomery, Where is History Going? (Zondervan, 1972), 74.