Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wake up to the spiritual straight Jacket!

There is a common accusation to Christians that we are in a "Spiritual Straightjacket", meaning that we are bound by church tradition, the bible and what ever our God tells us to do. Where as the rest of society is liberated from religion and is free to think and act as they wish to do, no straight jackets on them but free as a bird.

I guess you have to start at the root and ponder what Freedom actually is and whether anyone is completely free?

Imagine your a Gold fish and your swimming happily in your bowl. From the outside that bowl is your prison, you are trapped in its glassy exterior. So in a bid of freedom and wanting to be free you jump out of that bowl and into the cool breeze of the day. You're free! You don't have the glass to restrict you and you can go where ever you want. Except of course you can't because that very bowl and its water was what was keeping you alive and in your restriction there was great freedom and life.

Society has it very wrong when they think that they are beyond influence of what is around them, that they make free choices and are free to do what ever they want. There are restrictions and their hearts are decieving.

What is interesting is that when God made man, He made them to worship Him. It's like He placed on our hearts a great yearning and desire for something more then ourselves, so therefore to yearn and worship the Almighty God... everybody worships and since the fall everything is turned upside down and instead of worshipping God we worship ourselves, each other or what we have made. Yet we still worship. We are all in that spiritual straight jacket.

Not convinced? Do you ever see something on TV that you would like? Or walk past a shop and see that new games console or new pair of shoes. There is a deep desire in you to have them, to want them and your positive it will make your life better - more popular, more staisfied, more beautiful and happy. There is your idol right there. You are worshipping what you want. When I walk around Exeter I see people running after idols and placing them in recycled bags. We have warehouses of mini idols and an advertising campaign on their behalf that infiltrate into our daily lives... extreme...but true! You are in a spiritual straight jacket.

The difference between the spiritual straight jacket that christians are in is that the christian God gives you a Lord and master who forgives and dies for you (Tim Keller remarks this in The Reason for God). The Lord and master in a non christians life does non of these and does not satisfy you. We are all in a spiritual straight jacket, but which one is more fulfilling and which one gives you salvation? We are all made to worship but which would you prefer to worship - wooden idols that sit on your shelf and don't do anything or a God that created the world, that gave His son to die in your place and who loves you more deeply then you know.

Wake up to the spiritual straight jacket....but which one are you in?

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