Liberty. Freedom. The ability to do something. The ability to refrain from doing something. As Americans we like this thought. Jefferson declared famously in 1776, “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” (Declaration of Independence) The idea being that no one should come up with a plan that prevents people from these basic pursuits.
Liberty. Freedom. The ability to do something. The ability to refrain from doing something. As Christians we like this thought. Paul famously said in 48, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) The idea being that no one should come up with a plan that adds to the Gospel other criteria by which someone is saved.
That said … we live out our American life in a country … a society where our liberties are sometimes curtailed for the sake of the common good. Think speed limits on highways or occupancy limits for fire safety.
Also, we live out our Christian life in community … a congregation where our liberties are sometimes curtailed for the sake of the common good. We only sing certain songs each weekend (which may not be your favorite song), we meet at certain times (which may not be your favorite time), etc.
For the most part in our country and in our churches, people are used to a little give and take to form these social contracts. However, for all of us there will come those moments where something happens that grabs our attention. Something happens that makes us want to stand and fight. Some liberty or preference is infringed on or forced on us, and we want to say “NO!” When is it ok to stand and fight, and when should we sit and compromise?
Well, if I were to take a poll right now, my guess is that the threshold for civil disobedience in our country and our church is different for all of us. I really don’t want to take that poll, as I think it would only lead to further disunity. Instead, I want to turn to God’s Word to see what IT SAYS about where we should draw the line. Specifically, where we should stand and fight and when we should sit and defer on matters INSIDE THE CHURCH. Don’t you want to know the answer to that also?
Well, this Sunday, we will look at this very question as we explore Galatians 2:1-10 together in part 4 of our “New Normal” series at Wildwood Community Church. I hope you plan to join us in our 9:00, 10:15, or 11:30 service as we see what we can learn from Paul (as he was directed by the Holy Spirit) about when we should stand and when we should sit on issues of truth and liberty.
Hope to see you this Sunday in person or on the stream (wildwoodchurch.org/live at 10:15)!