Is such a claim credible for a Christian to make? Are we in fact being more faithful when we take such a viewpoint? Let’s consider some verses on freedom:
John 8:31-32 “to the Jews who had believed him Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” After some objected that they have never been slaves to anyone, Jesus adds “Everyone who sins is a slave to sin. . . if the Son sets you free you are free indeed.” What does Jesus free us from? He frees us from our sin. He frees us from ourselves. The person outside of Christ is focused on their own needs and wants. The person set free by Christ is now free from worrying about their own needs and can focus on Christ and serving others.
I Peter 2:16-17 “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” Peter addresses the problem of selfishness. Too often our claim of freedom is just so we can find an excuse for sinful behavior. I am free, but l am free to choose to live as a servant, to put others first. Can we really say that much of our selfish use of freedom brings honor to God?
Galatians 5:13-14 “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” The goal of being free is to serve and put others first. That doesn’t sound free does it, but it shouldn’t surprise us that God takes our wisdom and turns it on its head. The person who thinks only of himself is actually a prisoner in a very small prison. In faith we trust that God really is going to take care of us. He has freed us from the consequences of sin, not so we can sin more, but so we are free to look beyond ourselves.
When we use our “freedom” to ignore the needs of others that does not reflect a Christian viewpoint. When we invoke the name of Jesus to justify our sinful attitudes and actions that does not bring honor and glory to him. Yes, we are free. In America we are even more free than most other countries. Jesus, Peter and Paul would ask us, “How are you using all of this freedom for Christ?”