Author: Andrew Smith
There is no doubt that Christ offers freedom from the bondage of this world. There is bondage of all like and manner we can fall into, none of which has the potential to be more dangerous than religion and the doctrines of men bent on control and condemnation. This is a snare that can have devastating effects on the hearts of people. Control stunts spiritual growth. Where there is no freedom there will be no spiritual maturity. In doctrines where rules, regulations, practices, and traditions trump a relationship with Christ the spirit suffers from severe atrophy and even death. Personal liberty and the freedom to make mistakes without the harsh and cold judgments of the fellowship of believers is essential in spiritual growth guided by Christ.
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 NLT)
So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. (John 8:36 NLT)
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. (Galatians 5:13 NLT)
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Wherever Christ is there will be freedom. Wherever Christ is not their will be no freedom. That’s why religion is devoid of freedom. Man made religion doesn’t produce mature sons and daughters of God. It produces a codependent immaturity where people think the Pastor can hear God for them better than they can for themselves. A pastor’s job is to teach people how to have our OWN relationship with God, not a relationship with his relationship with God. True shepherds don’t beat, drive and control the flock; they lead the sheep into green pastures to spend time with the great shepherd… Christ. The convictions that come with an earnest relationship with Christ through Holy Spirit is perfectly sufficient to guide, teach, and grow the spirits of believers. It is when the condemnation that ensues from the graceless doctrines of men replaces the loving conviction of Christ that the snare of religious bondage tightens its grip and suffocates the spirit within. There are those that mercilessly point their finger of condemnation and judgment in an attempt to uproot all the less than perfect members (in their eyes) of their congregation or circle of influence. This creates an atmosphere of premature rejection and punishment that can be counterintuitive to the work Christ might be involved in during the redemption process of a soul and if not careful can spoil the spiritual fruits therein. We must nurture all people with the same love and respect Christ shows us to avoid derailing the works that are ongoing in the realms of the unseen as Holy Spirit deals with each individual’s heart with a perfect wisdom that is outside of our scope of responsibilities.
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’ “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed. “‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’” Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. (Matthew 13:24-31 NLT)
So many times, I see the quick to judge and self-righteous carelessly trampling the fields of God shouting judgments and rebukes extracted from the graceless bowels of religion and unsound doctrines. Mindlessly stumbling around like the giants of old aimlessly swinging their war hammers of condemnation at both the wheat and tare creating a spirit of chaos and disconnection that isn’t healthy for believer, unbeliever, or agnostic alike. During this useless plunder, they violently damaging the entire crop. Without couth they point and shout their misconceptions at the top of their lungs and side with one called the accuser: “FEE..FI..FO..FUM….I smell the blood of a free man.” In response, I stand up to the giants of dogmatic control and condemnation to proclaim the freedom I am endowed with through Christ and with a boldness fueled by passion I scream at the top of my lungs with the intent to shake the earth “Give Me Freedom…NOT Religion”.