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Jesus said his teaching would set us free; that he would show us "truth" and "the truth will

set us free." what is freedom? are you free? what is this "truth" that sets us free? ====================== My response: BIG Question. Not sure I have the definitive answer. Maybe to satisfy myself, and even that is questioning. Truth and Freedom seem to be relative to the context of the particular culture. Freedom is tied to our perception of what is truth. And even when those from relatively common cultural roots, with common objective sources, apply our subjective analysis to these presumed elements of objectivity, the perception of truth changes. You can see this in the divisions, or sectarianism of the Islamic faith, and the denominations of the Christian faith. With each sect or denomination, a method to interpretation is applied to the particular objective materials. Each renders a quite different outcome or assumed absolute application of the processed data. All this reasoning and analysis takes place in the human mind. Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Cannibal - the mind of ALL - is essentially the same. What makes the difference is (1) the data that is input (Bible, Koran, Book of the Dead, Ouija board, chicken bones, whatever) and (2) the methods we are taught to apply to the input data in order to render a satisfactory outcome, or Truth upon which we order our life, lives, society. Being able to exist and function within this perception of truth is our particular freedom. Truth and Freedom throughout the world may be interpreted quite differently. In some places, freedom is interpreted as release from captivity or slavery - A movement from something - poverty, inequality, oppressive situations. Other cultures stress ability to act freely - A movement towards something, financial independence, the exercise of entrepreneurial initiative. Still others a countrys right to self-rule, and others, the right to act or speak freely, and absence of something unpleasant and ease of movement and the list goes on. All these are freedom as defined by perceptions of what is truth garnered from the input of what has been accepted as objective materials, life experiences and the methods we are taught to analyze and process that information. This all takes place in the human

mind, Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Cannibal. But what if the data input is faulty? What if the method of processing is insufficient or broken? Either or both of these being a problem will render essentially the same outcome. A mangled mess of fictitious lies. Sure the particulars will all manifest in different appearances, but essentially - one lie is the same as another. And freedom derived from a perceived truth, which is in actuality a lie - is no freedom at all. You could call me a Bible thumper. I do believe the basics of what are contained in many, if not most, orthodox historic Christian creeds. But what I have realized, and this would qualify me as Un-Orthodox in many Christian environments, is that the truth contained in the creeds and the truth as expressed in the scriptures, the Bible, as exemplified in the life of the Church - are not the same. Now it is true, that the Church has been desirous of regaining that Spiritual dynamic that seems to have been misplaced in the course of two thousand years. So we put our minds to work, dissecting the book, constructing our models, and every so often someone will proclaim - Here it is, I think weve got it, and everyone gets excited, a few miracles manifest, for a time everyone is getting high on God. Meetings and conventions occupy our time, Bible studies pop up all over the place, and all is as it should be, God is on His throne and revival has come. And eventually the miracles are less regular, the enthusiasm begins to wane. And we settle into our religious maintenance mode. A modified theology and less repressive doctrine of the Kingdom. Freedom is wonderful - we can now do it our way. And our way becomes ever so now respectable. We are even welcomed into the local ministerial associations. And everyone begins to realize - Hey, theyre just like the rest of us. Maybe a few crazy doctrines, but basically nice people. I think we can handle that. We are comfortable in our freedom. Those whom we were once so derogatory of, for their lack of Spirituality are now our kindred brothers in Christ. Unity can be a wonderful thing. But if all that unity is the product of the human mind the religious mind, the mind focused on the externals of being, the things that can be declared as objective, and dissected and processed and spewed as oh so many contortions of truth, then unity is just another perception, a temporal lie. Satisfying for a time, but eventually challenged, dismantled and reconstructed in the image of the next collective Spiritual bowel movement or mental hic-up. Truth and freedom derived from externals (the jot and tittles, little red books, Mein Kampf, KJV, NASB, NIV, the Message, Koran, ad infinitum) and processed by broken machines can only be caricatures of the real. What is real - Is in me. Processing and expressing - what is in me - that is freedom. What is in me - is Christ - truth.