Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010 – Galatians 5:13 - 6:18

The word freedom is thrown around a lot in order to justify many things.  Free to do, say, or act in whatever way I want.  Here we see a warning to not use our freedom as an opportunity of the flesh, to use the freedoms we have as an avenue to do what is wrong.  The freedom we have received from God is not a license to do whatever we want.   It is the ability to be free from the slavery of sin and to choose Christ.  No one is allowed to choose evil, that is not what freedom is.  Our freedom is limited to those things that God intends for us.  Those who want to live outside the rules and guidelines set up by God because they do not feel free inside those walls are not free, but slaves to sin.  Inside those walls are protection and assurance that if you stay inside of them, you will receive an eternal reward. 

Paul specifically talks about the desire of the flesh and its opposition to the Spirit.  The list is pretty extensive about what he means by desires of the flesh.  Look at that list and think about what the world is telling us about what they mean. 

Immorality – The world says there are not strict moral but morality is relative to each individual and their beliefs.

Impurity – Nothing is impure.  Sex before marriage, co-habitation, contraception, and adultery are taken as expected.  Homosexual actions are seen as human rights

Licentiousness – means to disregarding sexual restraints and goes along with impurity. 

Idolatry – We are called to spend all our time on a career, all our money on material things.

Sorcery – I think the world tells us we have to be wizards, but it definitely romanticizes vampires, wizards and other sorcery type characters

Hatreds – In a place where everything is accepted the only thing we are told to hate are those that don’t accept that everything should be accepted. 

Rivalry – the world loves competition and our entire economy is based on the idea that completion. 

Jealousy – Through ads and commercials we are told we should want everything our neighbor has and not rest until our house is bigger and better

Outbursts of fury – What gets ratings on TMZ and other shows are the outburst of celebrities when they lose control almost begging those in the spotlight to push their emotional limits until they snap

Acts of selfishness/Occasions of envy – Think only for yourself. 

Dissensions/Factions – How can this not exist in a world where everybody can have their own opinion about what is right and wrong

Drinking bouts/Orgies – The popularity of movies like the “Hangover” seem to paint a clear picture of what the world expects of us.

Instead of a do not list as Paul wants it to be, the world makes this a to do list of things all people should do and come to expect from others.  We are not called to that.  We are called to crucify these things, put them on the cross with Christ so that they can die with Him so that we can rise renewed.

If you fall into the trap of the world and become what they want you to, then they will boast of your flesh.  Paul tells us that they want us to live this life of acceptance of everything and anything is right, yet they do not live it.  This is most obviously reflected in the idea of tolerance.  IF they feel everything is acceptable, why is there anything wrong with what I believe in.  If the Catholic faith is just one of many beliefs, why should they bother to criticize it.  The problem is that they do not actually practice what they preach.  They do not believe that everyone can choose what to believe.  They want everyone to choose what they believe.  You can choose to believe whatever you want, as long as you do not disagree with them.  Think about the issue of homosexual marriage.  Do they really want just the freedom to be able to get married, is that really all that they are asking for?  No, they want to change the entire idea of what marriage is.  You cannot make homosexual marriage legal without changing the definition of what marriage is.  It is not a neutral thing, regardless of what some may say.  It is an aggression against the beliefs and tradition of what marriage has been from its beginnings.  You cannot change the definition of what marriage is without effecting everyone who has ever been married.  I no longer am a husband and father to my child.  I am a spouse and parent.  Those may just be words to some, but they have real and substantial value to me and to take them away from me and still say that something is neutral is a pure lie. 

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