What do you choose?

On Sunday, our Pastor gave a truly fabulous sermon. You have to have a lot of respect for a man who can quote Dostoyevsky and Monty Python in the same sermon. Here’s a link to the pdf file and you can read it in it’s entirety if you are so inclined (click on February 10 sermon). I highly recommend it (the MP quote was an ad-lib it appears*). The basic theme of the sermon was Freedom vs. Security.

Wow. How timely.

We can either have the freedom to make choices, both good and bad, to struggle, and to try to make our lives good. Or we can have security in that someone will take care of us and all of our needs and to protect us from the bad guys. Freedom can be scary. Security is, well, secure. But at what cost?

What are you willing to give up in the name of security? Are you willing to give up your freedom? Jesus wasn’t. When he was tempted in the desert he was tempted with food, safety, and power. But he refused, knowing that if he chose security, he would be Satan’s slave for all eternity.

As I’ve watched the events of the past six and one-half years unfold, I am scared. Not because of some amorphous threat from across the sea. Not because of some rogue state which may or may not have weapons of mass destruction. I am scared that we are allowing our freedoms to slip away one by one because we are more interested in being secure. As we become more “secure”, we give the Powers That Be that much more control over our lives. Who decides when we are secure? Who decides when the threat is gone? How far does it go?

With freedom comes risk. But it’s a risk I am more than willing to take. Jesus agreed; what about you?

*And the ad-lib? Page 2, second paragraph, after the second sentence. He said “Nobody expected it”. See, if you didn’t go back and read it, this makes no sense whatsoever. So go back and read it. You’ll be much happier. 🙂


6 responses to “What do you choose?

  1. I can completely see your point of view on this post. I ask myself every time I go through airport security “Have the terrorists already won?” I definitely agree that we have gone too far in giving up personal freedom in this country in the name of security. But then, I think that is also true economically: we have given up too much of our personal choice with our own money for the sake of programs that make us feel secure. The FDIC insures banks even though there are economical methods to remove any reason to need that insurance (I’ll be happy to explain if you’re interested), social security is anything but secure and gives me nothing but heartache, various other government agencies have been given power to control the economy in given fields and made the costs related to product development astronomical in some cases… the list goes on. We do so much in the name of personal security over personal freedom (and personal responsibility), just as I’m sure your post shows your concern of how much we give up in national (and personal) freedom in the name of national security.

    I would love to continue this in the form of some dialogue. This post of yours is too interesting to relegate to a few posts back and forth. Read my blog today on social security, though. I hope you find it enlightening.

  2. Oooooh WOW!

    Awesome sermon…awesome points.

    I, for one, would gladly see an end to the culture of fear and anxiety the past nearly 8 years has perpetuated, and would welcome back all of the rights we’ve forfeited and had stolen in that time.

    But then, I’m a big advocate of treating adults like adults.

    Nothing will generate enmity in me faster than someone telling me I don’t know what’s good for me.

  3. I completely agree with Julie: we need to treat adults like adults. We need to expect more from people when it comes to their own fiscal responsibilities, and we need to quit expecting some system to save them.

    As for the security concerns, I’m largely in agreement. Our safety is not really protected by a lot of the measures that have been implemented, but our freedom certainly is infringed upon. Most of the security at the airport is for the benefit of people thinking they’re safe, but I think most people have gotten sick of how extreme it has gotten. Give me my water bottle, or give me… a rebate check for the stuff I have to throw away because of the ridiculous regulations.

  4. Dostoyevsky and Python?

    I’m in.

  5. I think though that there has to be a balance between safety and freedom though. I try to let my kids have the freedom that I can, and I think as we get older, we get more and more freedom. However, the street is a perfect example between freedom and safety. I can’t just let Jackie run into the street and feel the natural consequences of those actions. I feel like a good measure is in total agency.

    I work, in my parenting, to work hard to give my kids the highest possible amount of total agency. For instance, if she got hit by a car, she would lose so much more agency. But if she chooses not to eat her dinner, she can choose that. Christ doesn’t want us to run out in front of a car, and I think Christ would hold me accountable for letting my children run out into the street.

    In the world, it’s the same. With our laws, we need to try for greatest possible agency for the people. If the Islamic Jihadists take over the United States, we will have our agency limited severely. I am willing to give up some freedom (like making Jackie give up the freedom to run into the street) in order to keep other freedoms (such as the freedom of speech, right to bear arms, and the basic Bill of rights.) I’d rather have some of those freedoms stolen than give up all of them.

  6. Completely off-topic post:


    I was just at the book store tonight, and they were all out of Boomsday. No one is carrying the hardback right now because the paperback is coming out in May. They will only order single copies, which take a week to get here (same as online). While I was there, though, I came across another author that completely slipped my mind as a perfectly topical writer for politics: Jeffrey Archer. He has served in the British Parliament in both houses, has written many novels, and is an amazing short story writer as well. He is one of my favorite authors. For political intrigue, though, getting to know the nuts and bolts details of campaigning in America, Sons of Fortune is excellent. It details the story of two twin brothers separated at birth who both get into politics. It is a great read with lots of details about how people build a political career. IF you’re interested in British politics (which has some different wrinkles to it), The Fourth Estate chronicles the rise of four men all vying to be Prime Minister some day. It was a fascinating read, but a little confusing for an American perhaps. Other books by him: Kane and Abel, , The Prodigal Daughter, Shall We Tell the President (those three are all a series), As The Crow Flies (never read it), various short story collections that are all wonderful, and other novels I can’t think of at the moment. His most recent I just loved was False Impression, a thriller about the art world with murder, romance, and intrigue.

    Sorry for the very long off-topic post, but I wanted to be sure you read this and my laptop crashed this week so I lost your email address. Good luck with the book club thing.

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