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Freedom


“A common misunderstanding of liberty or freedom is to see it as standing apart from all moral restraints, to say there is no such thing as sin. But this results in slavery of the worst kind, bondage to egotistic and sensual passions. True Christian freedom begins with freedom from sin, freedom from immoral activity. A Christian is called to live in purity in an impure world.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Peter 2:19)

“In truth there is only one freedom—the holy freedom of Christ, whereby He freed us from sin, from evil, from the devil. It binds us to God. All other freedoms are illusory, false, that is to say, they are all, in fact, slavery.” (St. Justin Popovich)

“Only a slave can show mercy to fellow slaves, no matter how much they have come to resemble their oppressors. For our sake, Christ became a slave that He might free us all…Perhaps the greatest sea-change in the Christian mindset has been the shift from slave to management. The contemporary first-world views itself as management, despite the fact that it is as much slave as the world has ever been. It is possible to say that repentance begins by renouncing ourselves as managers and acknowledging ourselves as slaves. Only in that manner can Christ set us free. Managers, as such, cannot be saved.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Giving into the passions enslaves us to the world and actually keeps us from knowing our true selves, which is God’s desire for us. Knowing ourselves and growing into what we were meant to be as created persons of God with purpose are only possible when God illumines our thoughts and hearts. This can’t happen when we enslave ourselves to thoughts and behaviors that are not of God.” (Sacramental Living)

“Jesus does not give us freedom to do what we want, but freedom to follow God. As we seek to serve God, Jesus’ perfect truth frees us to be all that God meant us to be.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 8:32)

“Some people by the word freedom understand the ability to do whatever one wants…People who have the more allowed themselves to come into slavery to sins, passions, and defilements more often than others appear as zealots of external freedom, wanting to broaden the laws as much as possible. But such a man uses external freedom only to more severely burden himself with inner slavery. True freedom is the active ability of a man who is not enslaved to sin, who is not pricked by a condemning conscience, to choose the better in the light of God’s truth, and to bring it into actuality with the help of the gracious power of God. This is the freedom of which neither heaven nor earth are restrict.” (St. Philaret of Moscow)

“Regard as free not those whose status makes them outwardly free, but those who are free in their character and conduct. For we should not call men truly free when they are wicked and dissolute, since they are slaves to worldly passions. Freedom and happiness of soul consist in genuine purity and detachment from transitory things.” (St. Anthony the Great) “

Freedom is not, as we sometimes believe, the power to choose—it is the experience of accepting and embracing this God-given orientation and energy that already exists in our souls.” (Kevin Scherer)

“All change comes with a certain degree of pain, discomfort, and bitterness…Shame is healthy when it allow us to see that we have produced no fruit in this life, only emptiness and death….However, once we accept godly shame with equanimity…It reminds us that we are slaves of God…Slavery to God…is actually freedom.” (Dynamis 6/28/2015, Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 6:22)

“Freedom isn’t free, and it never has been—it’s always hard-won and must be diligently guarded…Freedom from the slavery of our own undisciplined desires requires us to war against the inevitable entropy that causes us to drift toward selfishness…freedom is the joy of becoming who you are in the light of who He is. All other pursuits toward false versions of freedom lead you to a dead end.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“Despite all of our efforts to control our own reality, the fact is, we are controlled by the thoughts that barrage our minds. Most of us are unconsciously fixated on either the past or the future…The only way to experience the freedom of real life, the divine life God created us to enjoy, is to reorient and realign our humanity as God intended it.” (Kevin Scherer)

"We all know the experience: we have felt pulled between what we think we ought to do, and what we’re tempted to do. If we give in to temptation habitually, we can eventually lose the freedom we first had. That’s the essence of addiction, which may begin with a free act of the will, but ends in bondage and the loss of freedom." (Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards)

“Modern people like to see freedom as the complete absence of any constraints. But think of a fish. Because a fish absorbs oxygen from water, not air, it is free only if it is restricted to water. If a fish is “freed” from the river and put out on the grass to explore, its freedom to move and soon even to live is destroyed. The fish is not more free, but less free, if it cannot honor the reality of its nature.... Freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, those that fit with the realities of our own nature and those of the world." (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"The Lord wants us to love each other; this is the essence of freedom — love for God and for your neighbor. This is both freedom and equality. But in earthly titles there can be no equality; this is of no concern to the soul, however. Not everyone can be a king or a prince; not everyone can be a patriarch or an abbot, or a leader, but no matter what your title you can love God and serve Him, and that is all that matters. And whoever loves God more on earth shall be in greater glory in the Kingdom." (St. Silouan of Mount Athos)

“God’s love for you is so profound and complete that He will not violate your free participation or lack of participation in His life.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“The God-given freedom of the human will can have both horrible and wonderful consequences…God honors human freedom even in those who disdain His mercy. It is our choice.” (Sr. Dr. Vassa Larin, Dynamis 9/4/2014)

"...evil cannot be ruled out for any world in which God chooses to make creatures who are genuinely free to reject him, the source of all being and goodness. Even God accepts a tradeoff. Indeed, without the contrast between good and evil choices, and between greater and lesser goods, our freedom would be insignificant." (Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards)

“Hell is God’s tribute to the freedom he gave each of us to choose whom we would serve; it is a recognition that our decisions have a significance that extends far down the reaches of foreverness.” (James Sire)

“If you want to be like Jesus Christ and want to live with Him forever, then you love Him with all your heart and rearrange your whole life around Him, bit by bit. If you want to be transformed into a saint, you come to church as often as you can, because here the divine energy of God works on us in a way we just can’t get elsewhere. If you want to know true peace and true joy and true healing, then you enter into the house of God and engage yourself in the power of what is happening. And in doing all this, we discover true freedom. This is not the “freedom” of getting something for free, like the free gift you get when you open a new credit card. This is not the freedom of being given a license to do anything you want. Rather, this is the freedom of being filled with divine energy and power from on high: being made capable of perfect love, powerful enough to know perfect peace, and strong enough to know unending joy.” (Father Andrew Stephen Damick)

"The good news of the Gospel is that we are free. Out of love God created us to be free. He gave us free will even if it means we choose other than Him. Too much in today's world starts off well intended but digresses into thought systems and actions that intentionally or unintentionally seek to limit our freedom. God wills us to be free." (Sacramental Living Blog)

“…though God is Lord of history, He does not coerce or force obedience and conformity to His will. Coerced conformity is dehumanization, whereas fulfilled humanity - which is the divinization of human life - must be free, since God is free.” (Rev. Dr. Stanley S. Harakas)

“God loves you, so He has set you free. He could have forced you to obey Him, but He didn’t. He could have damned you or saved you whether you wanted it or not, but He didn’t. He could have created us to be like robots who automatically do what is right. But He didn’t. He could have forced us to come to church. But He didn’t. He set us free…Love always sets you free. Someone who loves you does not force himself on you. Someone who loves you does not make you do anything. Someone who loves you invites and inspires you, hoping that you will respond to the invitation.” (Father Andrew Stephen Damick)

“Making the right choices and living a virtuous life are not enough for human beings to attain the fullness of life. They need to be in communion with God. However, living with God presupposes that they live a virtuous life by exercising their freedom. Being with God implies that authentic human beings participate in, and communicate in their lives, the love of God for all human beings and the world at large.” (Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

"The fact that we enjoy freedom, then, is itself a sign of the existence of God…Freedom is a gift of God to humanity that defines and shapes human beings as being in God's image.” (Jonathan Witt and Jay W. Richards, Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Clapsis)

“No matter how independent we may consider ourselves, we truly are dependent creatures. From the moment of our conception, we are dependent on our mother for nourishment that flows from her body to ours. Then, once we are born, we have an additional list of dependencies that others must satisfy for us. We still need nourishment; we need safety; we need to be cleaned. And, though sometimes forgotten, we need to be loved. Only then can we begin to thrive.” (Marianne C. Sailus)

“Our freedom consists in embracing all that happens to us, negative and positive, pain and pleasure, disappointment and joy, as a blessing in divine disguise.” (Albert S. Rossi)

"...the only freedom we have is to say,"Thy will be done,” or"My will be done.” So our free choice is to want the Lord’s will...For at the moment we submit our freedom to God, we become truly free..." (Albert S. Rossi, Abbot Tryphon)

“We live in an individualistic, consumeristic society, a society in which we are taught not selfrenunciation but self-assertion—that your freedom, interests, and needs must always come first…God respects human freedom, even when it is used to exclude Him from one’s life.” (Donald B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zercher, Bishop John Michael Botean)

“It would seem to be a genetic trait of us humans to desire freedom. We want to live in a free society, to have freedom to make our own choices and freedom from the tyranny of others. Yet we fail to realize that the freedom we desire from the innermost part of our being is not really freedom in and of itself. The true desire for freedom is the desire for God. God yielded to us a piece of His divine authority, which instilled in us this sense that freedom is something good.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“The way we gain communion with and knowledge of God is from the heart to the mind, not the mind to the heart. This is why ritualistic worship, prayer, fasting, giving, Church services, and other disciplines are incredibly important. These practices may seem archaic, even silly, in the postmodern world but the postmodern world in many ways is a world created by our intellectualism in which we cater, even in religious circles, to our ego and to some extent worship ourselves, which is the wall that separates us from God.” (Sacramental Living)

“It is important to remember that our God did not create us as puppets, but rather as persons with the freedom to respond, or not, to His invitation to enter into communion with Him.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“Freedom is not just freedom from restraint; freedom is freedom to do what God has empowered you to do.” (Mel Lawrenz)

“A fish is free as long as it stays in the water. If it suddenly declares that it wants its freedom to fly in the air like a bird, disaster occurs. A train is free as long as it stays on the track. However, if it demands freedom to take off down a major highway, the result is destruction and devastation. We too can only experience true freedom in its fullest if we remain within the framework of freedom. Often this requires accepting responsibility and practicing discipline.”(Gigi Graham Tchividjian)

“The Christian life involves both freedom and discipline…Freedom is not the absence of constraints but finding the right ones, those that fit our nature and liberate us…Freedom in Christ...means taking every opportunity to serve and to become the best person you can be.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 9:19-27, Philippians 3:17-21, Pastor Timothy Keller)

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