Being a pastor is certainly not an easy task. I encounter of hundreds and hundreds of people on a weekly basis, each from different backgrounds and each with their own ideologies or takes on the world. One of the ideas that I have heard and encountered on many occasions, particularly by those who do not follow Christ or attend church regularly, is that they are not Christians because they want to be independent and have their freedom. When people speak like this what they are really saying is that they want to live how they want to and make their own choices without someone telling them how to live.
This type of thinking is an illusion.
The person who lives under the "illusion" of freedom always seems to be doing the same thing others are doing. People who say that they want to make their own choices and live how they want to live always seem to be following the masses in their choices. Just think about it. The person who says they do not want other people telling them how to live seem to be the one's who are out getting drunk with regularity and living in sexual promiscuity, doing exactly what "the world" says freedom is. In their "independence," they tend to live like everyone else. In their "freedom," they tend to be following the masses, not thinking and living for themselves.
Here is the truth of the matter: the cry to live independently and without having someone tell them how to live is nothing more than a desire to fill the cravings of the flesh. There is no independence in the lives of those who stray from God, they are only choosing a different set of rules to live by. The rules that govern the "independent" are heavy loads to carry, loads that often end up breaking the backs of those who shoulder them. Those who sought their freedom from God and rules, often find themselves under a more deadly set of rules: the rules of lawlessness. It is in this condition that they find they are not free at all, they are only serving another master, one who is oppressive and unbearable.
Take time to think about this. The illusion of freedom for those living lawless lives is truly an illusion. I do not know of many who have engaged in this type of life that feel free. They live routine lives of party at night, suffer in the morning, and start again the next evening. They are drones to their "freedom."
Did you ever suffer under the illusion of freedom? If so, what was it like when you finally found real freedom in Christ? Have you encountered this type of thinking from people you know? If so, do their lives model the freedom they think they have?