Posts Tagged ‘Guinness’

Freedom’s Grand Paradox

November 21st, 2012 1 comment

Americans, like no other people in the world, are defined by their collective love for freedom. Ours is a nation conceived in liberty, a liberty secured by the great sacrifices of our forebears who pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to ensure future generations would enjoy the fruits of their labors.

The challenge before us, and every future generation of Americans, remains the same – How do we sustain this freedom we have received? Herein lies the difficulty. According to Guinness, “freedom is far more difficult to sustain than most Americans realize.”


Because at the very heart of freedom there lies a grand paradox: the greatest enemy of freedom is freedom itself!

He goes on to highlight this paradox in the form several challenges:

A historical challenge: Throughout the landscape of history, free societies have been few and fleeting! What we enjoy today can be gone tomorrow. This is why we must attend to freedom with great care and vigilance.

A political challenge: Free societies must remain free on two levels at once. We must keep the formal structures of liberty in place (i.e. our Constitution) while, at the same time, fostering the informal spirit of liberty which are found in the habits of our hearts. We must have both internal character and external structures for liberty to flourish.

A moral challenge: According to Guinness, “Freedom requires order and therefore restraint, yet the only restraint that does not contradict freedom is self-restraint, which is the very thing that freedom undermines when it flourishes.”

These three challenges remind us of our need for God if we hope to remain free. The self-restraint necessary for freedom to flourish is only possible when we allow Christ to transform the human heart. Freedom requires virtue, and it takes a supernatural encounter with the sinless Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, to live a righteous life.

Even as a wineskin is necessary to contain the wine, likewise freedom also requires a standard or a structure if it is to be preserved. Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). Jesus is both the wine and the wineskin. He is the Source of our freedom and His Word is the structure which defines and preserves our freedom. Only Christ can solve the challenges we face with the grand paradox of freedom!

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