Mere Christianity: Bondage and Freedom

Early this week, a friend posted a status update on Facebook that left me momentarily stymied:

Freedom Worship Center – Isn’t that oxymoronic?

(Quick note for those who have forgotten what it means, an oxymoron is a phrase that contradicts itself. Examples would be “pretty ugly” or “jumbo shrimp.”)

Honestly, when I first saw that status update, I didn’t get it at all. So, I asked and slowly came to understand. And then, I became very sad.

There are people who believe that “freedom” and “worship” are opposites. That the two cannot coexist. They believe that to worship something is to be in bondage, especially if it occurs within the walls of a church.

The problem is that only people who have experienced freedom in worship will understand that when you’re talking about the Kingdom of God, “bondage” to Him is the same thing as freedom. And if you haven’t experienced it, that probably sounds completely ridiculous and bogus to you.

I’ll try to explain…

When we really experience God, we begin to understand that He is the only thing that can fill our empty places. Once we get a little of Him, He’s so good and so loving and so healing and so fulfilling that like a drug, we want more and more. We seek more and more. And the more we have, the more we want. Until we don’t have any choice. We have to have more of Him. And that’s when we’re free because that’s when the empty places are full and that’s when we overflow.

And as I was thinking about all of this, I read this chapter. And this is what CS Lewis said:

If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them…They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very centre of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die? (Lewis, 153)

This post is part of the regular Wednesday book discussion on CS Lewis’ “Mere Christianity” that Jason Stasyszen, I, and some of our friends are having on our blogs. Everyone is welcome to read and comment whether you’ve ever cracked the book open or not! At Jason’s site, you can read his take on the chapter and you’ll also find a link widget where you can find our friends’ posts on the matter. Also, if you’ve written a post, you can link it up there!

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Comments

  1. He is the only thing that can fill our empty places.

    I have had some similar thoughts regarding our relationship with God this week. I even used the same paragraph for a quote in my reflections today. The thing that has struck me, is that every moment, every aspect of my life is empty without Him. He wants to be there in the entirety of our existence.

  2. Sarah Salter says:

    I love that, Dusty! Thanks!

  3. It’s an upside-down Kingdom. You die to live, give to gain, and you become a slave to be made free. It doesn’t make sense, but I have experienced this truth and it’s changing me! Thanks Sarah.

  4. Sarah Salter says:

    Jason, that’s so true! I’ve never quite looked at it that way… an upside-down Kingdom… Yeah, that’s it. :)

  5. Well said, sista Sarah.. Thanks.

  6. it is hard to understand the freedom thing, when we are in a world that is the opposite view. good post.

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