Freedom Isn't Free
By Eric Weinberger
Freedom can be a tricky thing. Ask what freedom means to two different people, you may get two completely different answers. In our individualized American culture, freedom is important. It is essential to the way we view ourselves, our society and culture, and how we interact with individuals. You will often hear language about rights, choices, opportunities, and personal goals when you ask someone about freedom.
Freedom is a good thing. As Americans, we are free to speak our mind as we wish, to gather in peaceful protest and petition our leaders to hear our voices. We are free to make a bountiful number of personal choices in our lives. As Christians, we have the privilege to pray to and worship our Lord without fear of repression. Even in a pandemic, we are free to gather with friends to eat good food and watch football (thanks to Jenny and Sam’s host families for letting us occupy their basements for the Super Bowl)!
Freedom is wonderful. Yet, it becomes a problem when we choose to worship it instead of God. When we worship freedom, we value our rights, our autonomy, our comfort, our choices, and our convenience over all things. We become selfish. Even as someone who is a service-oriented person, I still strongly feel the tension between serving the needs of those around me and my own comfort and convenience. Does this mean freedom is a bad thing? As the apostle Paul would say, by no means! To understand the true role freedom has in our world, we need to understand the one who provides it.
True freedom comes from one source: the blood of Jesus Christ. Through his death and resurrection, he provides freedom from sin for all who have faith in Him and dwell in his grace. This liberty is not so we can do as we please, it is given to us that me may serve others love them well, and in doing so fulfill the Great Commission through making disciples. Freedom in Christ equips us to serve others before ourselves. After all, we have been set free from sin through Christ, and since we have been set free, why would we choose to our newfound liberties to head back into the vicious cycles of sin and shame? The freedom Christ rings in us is beautiful and transformative: such freedom from sin encourages us to meditate on the price Jesus paid for our salvation, and when we understand that cost, we use our new liberties to love others as Christ first loved us. Such power is greater than any political theory or campaign promise.
In our most recent Roundtable (the weekly gathering of fellows for worship, discussion, and prayer), we discussed how to use our freedom to serve one another in love. We meditated on Galatians 5: 13-14, which says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” As Christians, we have a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the power and grace of Christ by using our freedom from sin not to do what the flesh desires, but to love others, whether that be our friends, family, coworkers, students, or whomever we are in contact with. Let's meditate on the cost of our freedom, the sacrifice of Jesus, and care for our neighbors like He cares for us.
Pictures from the Week
Super Bowl at Sam's House — thanks Islers!
Super Bowl at Jenny's House — thanks Gilchrists!
Become A Capital Fellow in 2021-22
We are now receiving applications for Season 15 of the Capital Fellows program!
The next program year runs from late August 2021 through mid-May 2022. If you are a college senior or recent college graduate - or know someone that is - we would love to hear from you! The Winter Application Deadline is January 15!
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Thank you for praying for the Capital Fellows each week!
The Capital Fellows program involves much more than talking and reading books. It is a chance to intentionally engage head+heart+hands in deep discipleship and habit formation. Fellows make a significant commitment to growth during their fellows year. Meaningful growth often involves wrestling with deep questions and inner doubts, confronting fears, and overcoming the tendency toward comfort - all of which can be hard. As the Capital Fellows do this challenging work (and, by the way, they are doing it very well!), please pray that God would meet and encourage them. Please pray that their hard work will bear fruit in obvious and subtle ways.
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Benefits of The Fellows Initiative
You probably already know that Capital Fellows is one of 30 fellows programs in The Fellows Initiative network. But, did you know that the sponsors of TFI offer great benefits to Capital Fellows alumni? For example, Reformed Theological Seminary offers a 33% tuition discount for 5 years. You can learn more about TFI's sponsors by clicking here. TFI is also sponsored by The Budd Group, the Gordon College Master of Financial Analysis Program, and Regent College in Vancouver.
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