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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Road To Freedom

Updated on May 14, 2017

Sometimes the weather determines how free you are.

50 miles away
50 miles away | Source

Do you live in the domain of freedom?

So much is made of freedom. It just is made out to be so important. It is like a total goal for what amounts to most of the world’s human inhabitants. We even throw our desire of freedom on animals. I don’t just buy it, as though if I don’t I am a bad man. I know a whole lot of happy happy dogs that are not free. My fish would die if I set them free. The dolphins that are in the naval training program go on “maneuvers” and are free to take off but they have never had one leave.

My wife is free to walk out that door and never come back. I suppose my seven year old could, physically at least, leave home for a spell. I am totally free to not believe in God, but I do and I always come back to God. I guess a father/provider is free to leave his children and their mother. Who would argue that we are not free to cuss at every given moment. Free to eat like a glutten and free not to bathe.

And what of the freedom to be an addict of any given thing. Uh Oh! Most sentient beings would recognize that an addict of something is not free. So now we see where the rubber meets the road. As a full grown healthy man with means and opportunity I am free to chase after my desires. Until I am not.

The jailer man can imprison my body but not my mind and not my soul. Likewise the wily preacher man might be able to imprison my soul but not my sinning body. And the teacher man may entrap my mind but not my soul. And most assuredly I advise and do declare that your Delilah can snare your love and body but God still owns your soul.

And so we are most interested in seeing what part of us is already free and what part of us must we free from the imprisonment we impose upon ourselves. For almost without a doubt no other can truly take away our freedom. Loss of freedom, except for that tiny part which is the body, is 99.9% and inside psych job. We are the ones who lock the door and handcuff ourselves to a ball and chain.

Why are “freeDOM” and “kingDOM” so similar? -dom. 1. a suffix forming nouns which refer to domain. And do not leave out “officialdom” and wisdom. None of them are dom or is that dumb?

Is democracy and freedom synonymous?

Happy birthday grandma

Still in touch
Still in touch | Source

A Choice?

On bad days I do not feel free. Yes I feel jailed or trapped. That is me. I sat in a Tijuana jail for two days once. I reference this jailing because I was totally innocent. I had recovered a stolen car. It was all legit and went through the insurance and the California DMV but Tijuana was not up on a system yet. So while a few weeks earlier they got the stolen car info, they had yet to get the recovery info. Mexico operates under a Napoleonic code system – guilty until proven innocent. The jail cell was dirt floor and the concept of “a pot to piss in” really meant something. Rice, beans and tortillas were appreciated and supplied by nuns and not the cops. But you know what? My thoughts and conscience were free. I had hope and trust that I would soon be out, so my body was basically free, just inconvenienced. It is important to delineate between capture and an obstacle. Obstacles actually represent freedom.

But one time I had a job that stunk, no new prospects. A place I lived in alone. Not enough cash to even put on a good drunk. And I was not free. Do not think that my poverty entrapped me, for that would be wrong. My attitude entrapped me. My lack of gratitude was a stronger chain than man could make. My fear to move on, my cowardice in the face of risk and insecurity made me my own worst jailer. Not even a jail but rather a lake of fire where I would rather endure the pain than take one step in order to relieve it. Yes, one of those times in life where I had decided that I was so bad that I was compelled to punish myself.

Trapped with no notion of the possibilities outweighing the impossibilities. Self-pity and reliance on our ego will do that to you. Somehow we become so fancy judgmental that we can even pass judgment on ourselves. Oh the arrogance and the disrespect for God and God’s creations.

Now of course we speak of the darkest hours of our lives so that others can chime in and relate. We do not speak of them to glamourize them or to romanticize them. We share such things to reach out and make those who have once been there go easy on themselves and those who are there dare to have hope and even a roadmap out of our human condemnation of ourselves.

Perfect place to pause and say “I love you, God loves you and you know how to love so you are going to be just fine”.

Real Freedom?

A funny restriction on freedom

Independence is not ararchy.
Independence is not ararchy. | Source

Stay Free!

So where does freedom come from for you. If you are thinking about money to do what you want and not being attached to family, I urge you to reconsider. Not so sure that that is freedom. The man lived in a free country and had freedom of speech, but when the time came to speak out about a wrong and save a man’s life he remained silent. Perhaps he was not free to speak at all.

My favorite guy Lincoln said “Obedience of the law is the greatest freedom”. Pretty cool eh? So now we get to the question of whose law? And so we have walked to the really cool point of this sermon. So exciting!

Think of this for a moment if you would. I do not try to always act in accordance with a grand notion of right and wrong. I tried and it was too complicated, like asking “what is justice?” So then I took man’s laws and God’s laws and decided on what law would govern me. Yes indeed God’s law often contradicts man’s law. If that confuses you, step back from statutes and look at survival of the fittest which is man’s law. That contradicts God’s law.

So we set standards. Compassion, others before ourselves, Love our enemies, God with all our heart, turning the cheek 70 or so times, if he take your tunic give him your shirt. These violate man’s laws. And to be sure the violation of man’s laws carries a penalty. And you know what? I have stood convicted of violating man’s law by not caring about winning. The penalty is grave as far as society goes. But I have never ever lost my freedom through conviction of man’s laws. Because they are secondary to love.

I only lose my freedom when I violate my laws which were rightly established by following the ultimate of God’s law. Act in love. If you cannot be a citizen of love, then at least obey the rules of that citizenry if you really want to be free.

Freedom needs a declaration of rights and you must declare that love is right.

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    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Lawrence. Keep up your attitude of gratitude.

    • profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 3 months ago

      Eric

      "You may imprison my body, but you can't chain my soul!"

      I love that idea.

      I agree it starts with my attitude.

      Keep 'em comin' bro

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 months ago from San Diego California

      Wow, a citizen of love. You have done it again. You are more than an ivory tower, armchair philosopher. You have seen and done a lot of things, suffered your hard knocks, and I would pay good money to read your story. I wish you would publish it here on Hub Pages in installments.

      Just one thing, your sermon was missing a hymn. That little Kingston Trio song would have done nicely. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUZDBQ2zrU0

    • profile image

      Wild Bill 4 months ago

      Eric,

      Sorry to come here, but I wanted to let you know that Austinstar is completely wrong about the FBI being a part of the Judiciary Branch. She just goes around spouting stupidity and then turns around and calls people idiots when they don't agree with her.

      All she has to do is wiki it to see the FBI is under the Dept of Justice which is under the Executive Branch.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dana thank you so much for such a wonderful comment. You made me think of my wife and I. I am so well educated in religion, I have nearly 55 years of being a cognizant Christian. I have studied comparative religions and cultural variations of many. I have preached.

      My wife has been a church going, bible reading faithful follower of her minister and obedient to her religion.

      And yes she does seem more free than me in many ways. And more loving of God in many ways. I guess we cannot intellectualize freedom and faith.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 4 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Someday's I'll take a leisure walk on the beach or, enjoy a day at the park and think; "Thank God, I'm free!"

      Other times I'll wake up in the morning and think of all the things I have to do and think "God, I feel trapped!"

      My Aunt, is religious and I claim to be more spiritual. I feel that I am free because I don't bind myself to rules which I feel can actually hinder my way to worship.

      Then, I look at my religious Aunt, who seem to have such an organized life and I am all over the place and I think- " She seems mighty happy in her "bondage" while I am sometimes miserable in my "freedom.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Janis died on my birthday in 1970. My mom played a song on old 45 single player. And it was this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTHRg_iSWzM

      I sang it in a nightclub in 74

      Peace be to those who seek victory in love and love be for those who seek no victory at all.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 4 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, what a beautiful article. What is freedom? It doesn't mean no chains, commitments, obligations or responsibilities. And I don't think that it means no worries. Kris Kristofferson (remember him) wrote a song that Janis Joplin sang -- "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." So what does that mean? To me it means that the woes of this world don't bind you. We have freedom because we know that whatever comes our way, we will have eternal rest with our Heavenly Father, which is the love you speak of so eloquently again and again.

      Thank you for another wonderful gift at this place. I hope many read and take in your words.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Dora, I hope people do not consider me flippant or dismissive when I go to some lengths to explore complexities of matters only to fall back and find them less important that our Lord's order to love.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      A very nice comment brother Elijah. "if I do define a state of being then I have put a possessory right around it and freedom cannot be such a box" Perhaps other states of being can be defined but freedom may not be.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 months ago from The Caribbean

      "I only lose my freedom when I violate my laws which were rightly established by following the ultimate of God’s law." Sounds right.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 4 months ago from Washington DC

      Eric, from 1991 to 1994 I spent 33 months in a Louisiana "pen" because a court wanted to break me and force me back into the world's conventional life which I chose not to. 95% of those years was in a one man cell because I refused to wear shores so I studied the Constitution, wrote much of my online poetry and contemplated life's meaning through scripture study. My body was confined but "I" the liberated mind wasn't so I discovered the answer. I am a slave to freedom. Paradox? Yes! But I am. Look at my poem "The Question Of Free" that your subject immediately brought to mind and written during my NYC stay from '81 to '84.

      Ask any man how to define the term free

      and observe the multitude of answers given thee;

      yet most all of their meanings are about the same

      doing what I want to without guilt or shame.

      Then question them about the hurting of another

      and if all other lifes do they consider a brother.

      Such questions make them stammer, stutter, and spew

      because the ecology of earth is considered by so few.

      Someone said free is having nothing left to loose,

      but the following definition is the one I choose:

      Limited by the limitations that's believed by one;

      imposing on others only for existence's needs, barring none;

      only on things that reproduce themselves will one depend,

      one's own species and themselves does one defend,

      plus the self-producing environment their housing be.

      Only a few will know that truth since only that few ever gets free.

      That, I believe, is the only definition one can give to the the concept of free. After going through. Inherited in that definition is the knowledge of when and how to and not to surrender to the control of man's concept of free. Knowing we are spiritual [the life-force] and material [body] we must know different laws for each of the two always exists, therefore, one must first become conscious of being both makes them subject to both. The way to find out how and when, few people know, is engraved in the U.S. Constitution's Amendment 1 I interpret as the following.

      Amendment I: Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [has 360 degrees, the first 180 prohibit congress from making laws preventing religious people from living established {written or only practiced} practices that do not cause injury to others or violate other man, example, priests and nuns molesting adolescents though they practice Celibacy is punishable by law. The other 180 deny religions to dictate how to govern the nation using their prejudices, such as homosexuality, since government promotes equality.]; Or abridging [shorting] the freedom of speech, or of the press [expressing or publishing truth makes war strategy the only “national security” requiring secrecy and only when engaged], or the right of the people to peaceably assemble [with reason to believe the assembly is an attempt to unconstitutionally overthrow the government are spies allowed but do not interfere unless it exists], and petition the Government for redress of grievances [all grievances must show unconstitutionality for readdressing, not yelling opposition to things disagreed with].

      For Bible followers calling themselves Christians, meaning "living the likeness of the one called Christ," we are instructed to forsake everything the world have to offer (Mat. 19:29 if family isn't willing to go) and live like the wind (John 3:8) while sharing what we understand about what we have observed (Mat. 28:19-20). So, the U.S. Constitution has provided within its the right to live ,for the most parts, independent of man's laws with the freedom to live with one foot in the world and the other in the environment. That is how I defend freedom.

      Peace brother.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I hear ya Bill. Being controlled by thinking we are in control is a loser.

      Carpe Diem

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John it is really cool when you at least get a grasp of freedom through obedience to God. I have got these good buddies that spend time on the spiritual. But they do not really have the time to spend on anything less than love.

      Thank you much for choosing to spend some time here with me and furthering my inquiry.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Threekeys thank you very much for that comment. I just "love" the idea of a new word for "love". You would really like reading, at least some of or a summary of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein. It puts words into perspective and contextual significance.

      I go with definitions being determined as much by the context in which they are used as by wrote definition. It makes questions like "what is love" what is justice" fade away into insignificance as they truly have no meaning out of context.

      Sorry I rant.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I've been free for the past ten years, my friend, and I ain't about to give it up.

      Pax Vobiscum!

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lori, I cannot explain it. My wife was all over getting me out, thank God. And here is the rub. I was preaching. The audience was "captive". And I saw God in a better light. Remind me to relate my beating by the Gendarmes in Paris, my faith waned. Of course at that time I was guilty as charged.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Coffee Queen. I reckon I can only show right by doing right. That is a nice chore.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Ann, we are so duty bound as writers to create a thought that we have no choice in the matter. I would sometimes prefer not to have such a burden. But we are not obliged to hide, but rather to share. Even if my work is disdained than at least I evoked that and shall be grateful. Today I was so blessed with nature I almost lost my breath. Peace is not hoped for but upon us.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bravo Demas, what a marvelous comment. These verses you cite lead us straight into obligation. An obligation that we are not bound to but have a right to. I find my glory in Christ. I find my duty in Christ. And I find my freedom in Christ. It is so easy for me to keep my eye on the prize. I can see it is true for you also.

    • Ericdierker profile image
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      Eric Dierker 4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, We are not called to be free. We are those that show what freedom is. Our character in the spiritual is not a gift but an obligation.

    • profile image

      John Ward 4 months ago

      A well written and thought out article. Freedom is not a state of being. It is a state of MIND. The prisoner can be totally free, and a person who is seen as being free can be a definite Prisoner. A being with no semblance of any real freedom. Feeling completely "Chained". Keep your confidence in the freedom that God offers to us and we are "Free Indeed". Enjoyed it. john W

    • threekeys profile image

      ThreeKeys 4 months ago from Australia

      This subject is close to my heart, that is freedom and love. I, panlly, would like a new word for love.

      Yes, I agree with you there are Universal Laws and there are man made laws to subscribe to or unsubscribe to. When we follow Universal Laws we become free on a soul level but sometimes that does not cut it because man made laws can be all too encompassing.

      For me right now, I would like to find or create a new defintion for the word love because I am seeing (and am feeing overwhelmed) by all the disarming and derisive meanings of that word "love" around me. However, I understand what you mean by saying we need to come from a place of love or follow laws based on love.

      All the best to you and your loved ones, eric.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 4 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Love certainly is right, Eric. There are important messages for us all in your words. Too often, we are our own jailers and cause of our own imprisonment. We can often be tied down by bills, lack of finances, commitments, stress etc. But, it is usually our decisions and actions that put us in those positions. You are right that soul and body are two different things, as are God's and man's law. This sometimes cause quite a juggling act and you have to make a choice to do what you feel is right.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 4 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great food for thought here. The comment "We are the ones who lock the door and handcuff ourselves to a ball and chain " is painfully true. Even in your unfortunate jailing in Tijuana, your body was not free but your mind could be free. That must have been very disheartening. I often wonder how I would react to such a situation through persecution.

      Thanks for a thought provoking article.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 4 months ago from Norfolk, England

      That's a lovely sermon. I enjoy reading them. Yes, we must declare that love is right for sure!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 months ago from SW England

      You offer us all these intriguing thoughts so adeptly, Eric. You make us weigh the pros and cons, think for ourselves, consider alternatives.

      I have a huge sense of freedom when I stand outside my house, in the sunshine, feeling the breeze and hearing the birds and the wind in the trees. It's because I feel part of nature, part of a bigger scenario which lets me explore the possibilities.

      I'm truly free when I can see the innocence in my youngest grandchild and watch her learn, watch her delight in all things new to her.

      You're right, to be 'free' encompasses so many things and often is not what we expect.

      Superb discussion here, Eric.

      May you have a serene Sunday.

      Ann

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 4 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      According to "Young's Analytical Concordance to the Bible" freedom has only two scriptural references (while free...in all that word's varied meanings...has many.)

      Here they are, as listed: Leviticus 19:20 and Acts 22:28.

      If those take you into your Scriptures, I have done at least one good deed today; just as Eric has done in this sermon.

      When you read the Acts reference, you will note that (as Eric has written) using your intelligence is an aspect of your freedom in this life (and the life to come.)

      And, if you can invest some more Sabbath time in the Scriptures, search out Old Testament and New Testament references to Liberty.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 4 months ago from london

      Beautifully done! Is that your second today? You're on a roll, bro.

      This ever interesting call to freedom ... sometimes like a banshee wail, not always a lamb. Excellent piece!!