Everything is permissible—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible—but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. (1 Corinthians 10:23–24, NIV 1984).
My Musings – “Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.” (Victor E. Frankl).
I’m afraid that the Statue of Responsibility will never be built. At least not in this millennium. And the Statue of Liberty? A noble sentiment, but I am afraid it has feet partly of baked clay. “Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.” (Daniel 2:40–43, NIV 1984).
Not that these verses have anything to do with my (United States) or any other “kingdom” today, it certainly is becoming more and more descriptive (“partly strong and partly brittle” and “will not remain united“) of mine. While this is certainly disconcerting, what concerns me more is the state of the Church. Are we abusing our freedom (liberty), and abandoning our responsibility (commission)? Are we erring on the side of permissibility and dabbling in that which is neither beneficial nor constructive? Have we divided into ultra-progressive and ultra-conservative leaving the “truth in love” an orphan in the middle? “Part of the story and half of the truth?” “[Seeking our] own good, but [neglecting] the good of others?”
My Advice – “My brothers, [we] were called to be free. But [let’s] not use [our] freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If [we] keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or [we] will be destroyed by each other.” (Galatians 5:13–15, NIV 1984). Couldn’t say it any better.