Real Liberty: Freedom in Christ

Listening to the continued debate over health care reform, I came across an article on HotAir featuring Bishop Harry Jackson warning Christians that universal, government run health care is immoral. See Bishop Jackson’s interview below:

This interview reminds me of a note on a friends Facebook, “I am free in Christ. I don’t owe a single natural liberty to any military or politician.” I think this is the heart of what Bishop Jackson is referring to in his interview comments…our freedom in Christ.

Romans 8:1 explains we are set free because of Christ Jesus– He freed us from the law of sin and death. Because of Jesus, we do not live under the condemnation of the Old Testament law– instead we live with Christ as co-heirs (Romans 8:17-17).

But in this freedom, we are not to squander it away. Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”

What is the yoke of slavery that we are to avoid? Anything that works to separate us from our relationship with Jesus. Romans 8:38-39 explains that nothing, absolutely nothing, “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in ALL creation,” can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It is a form of bondage against our relationship with Jesus to be beholden to anyone other than Christ.

As Galatians 5:1 explains we are to use our freedom in Christ not to indulge our flesh, but “through love serve one another.” It is not men or a government that we are working for, but the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24).

John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. Life is lived to the full with Jesus Christ.


8 Responses to “Real Liberty: Freedom in Christ”

  1. 1 Anonymous
    August 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Good commentary by someone whose life would be directly impacted by a terrible system of care, government run health care.

  2. 2 Michael Griffith
    August 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    It used to be that Christians ran free/inexpensive, not-for-profit hospitals.

    1) Would Jesus let someone die because they can't afford coverage?
    2) Would Jesus be happy about people profiting to save the lives of others? To the point where people have to declare bankruptcy? Even those WITH insurance?
    3) Would Jesus rather a government provide health care or prefer people die?
    4) Would Jesus demand people worship Him, personally, in order to receive care?

    I'd love to see clarification on this one.

  3. 3 Anonymous
    August 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Michael you have clarification. Christians the world over do more, help more, and give more than any other single group of people period. That is the body of Christ acting as Christ intended. Christ would have it that no man should perish, not that no man should physically die, but that no man should perish. The difference being that He never intended for people to live forever, or for earth to be our home. We are humans with eternal souls. Jesus is concerned first and foremost with the condition of our souls. Where are we going when we die? Jesus said in John 16:33, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world." Christ has told us this world will bring trouble, pain, and suffering, but in Him there is peace, joy, hope, and rest. But to paraphrase an answer to your question, all government and creation is subject to Christ.

  4. 4 Michael Griffith
    August 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Actually, all Government ISN'T subject to Christ:

    "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's." – Matthew 22:21

    All that spiritual stuff is great, but Jesus was the guy that healed the lepers. Unless you're advocating Theocracy (please just come out and say it and forgo the pretense of being a liberal democrat [note small 'l' and 'd']), the person's religion should have no role in this.

    Furthermore, I'd love to hear someone so easily cast aside the whole "not live forever" in light of Teri Schaivo.

    I'm not saying Christians don't do a lot of charity- but clearly, it's insufficient to deal with the scale of this country's health care problems.

  5. 5 RedHorse
    August 20, 2009 at 11:51 am

    MG – What point are you trying to make? Is it an attempt to tear down someone's belief in Christ or to advocate for government run health care? What principles are you standing on? The ad hominem argument and misplaced use of scripture weaken your support of gov run health care; address the substance, counter the evidence, stand on a principle.

    The principle I stand on is one granted by God, secured by Jesus – Liberty. Gov run health care is anathema to Liberty.

    Response to your comments 1-4.
    1. Yes, but it has nothing to do with health care. As you correctly mentioned Jesus healed thousands during his time on Earth and continues to heal people every day. Your real concern should be with eternal life, and Jesus has already provided free health care for that.
    2. Jesus cares about any misery in your life health care related or not. "Come unto me, and rest". Profiting for labor is not a sin. Rather, the lives lost to sin is of great concern to Jesus; he provided care for that should anyone exercise their freedom to choose it.
    3. You are already dead if you don't know Jesus – reach out and life will be yours regardless of health insurance provider. Why do you think gov provided health care will prevent death? or prevent more deaths then the current system? Facts not in evidence.
    4. Obviously, care is provided for many people, followers of Jesus or not. His call is for your belief and in return you receive eternal life in the presence of God. The choice is yours…but eventually all will worship the Lord.

  6. 6 Michael Griffith
    August 23, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    I feel like I'm the only one not drinking crazy juice here. I was just able to watch this video and I think the following address a number of points brought up-

    1) (Sadly) Obama is not advocating single-payer, government run health care.

    2) Providing affordable health insurance for all does not mean people who presently have it won't get it. People who say this are idiots and aren't considering the counter- there are millions of Americans without coverage now. When they receive treatment, it raises costs for everyone and bankrupts them. This is not a tenable situation.

    3)While I wish there were MORE church run options, they are insufficient to provide health care for everyone. These are typically run as charities (to emulate Jesus). The only place Jesus has in this debate is to compell compassion to advocate all people receieve treatment for their ailments.

    4) This video really got to me- "Because I have more money, I'm worth LESS?" Jesus would say so. This Bishop is tacitly advocating that the poor should not receive treatment because he has access to health care and they don't. What enrages me is that is coverage is probably overwhelmingly paid for by donations from his congregation, especially those who are poor.

    How Christians can be against providing a compassionate universal health care system to cover the least among us is absolutely mind-boggling to me.

  7. 7 RedHorse
    August 24, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    BARAK OBAMA, 2003 – “I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program. I see no reason why the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent of its Gross National Product on health care cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody. And that’s what Jim is talking about when he says everybody in, nobody out. A single payer health care plan, a universal health care plan. And that’s what I’d like to see. But as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House, we have to take back the Senate, and we have to take back the House.”

  8. 8 Michael Griffith
    September 1, 2009 at 2:52 am

    If only that were in legislation…sigh.

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