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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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God's household of freedom

Christ liberates us for lives of generous, loving service

Freedom! We go to court to protect it and to the halls of government to legislate it. We go to war to defend it. We go to therapy to experience it. We go to worship to receive it. But what in the world is this freedom?

On our way to the 2011 Churchwide Assembly, with the theme "Freed in Christ to Serve," we participate in a national celebration of freedom on July 4. This annual celebration is an appropriate time to reflect upon freedom and how we live in it as Christians.

We have some ambivalence about freedom. We cherish it deeply but worry when it seems there is too much freedom or license. Some see traditional codes of conduct eroding, thereby weakening a shared inheritance of moral values that weave together the diverse strands of American society. Others are concerned that freedom seems to be slipping away through the erosion of civil and human rights and the encroachment on privacy by big government and big business.

Beneath the impassioned rhetoric about freedom, observers across the political spectrum advocate for a combination of liberties and restrictions. All sides claim to be the rightful heirs of America's legacy of freedom that we celebrate on Independence Day. Some voices call for sacrifice in order to defend the freedom we have, but others call for continued work so all people in this society will experience the freedom enjoyed by many.


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