The Freedom Christ Offers

(SeanO) #1

I was reading C. S. Lewis’ book of quotes from MacDonald and came across one to the effect that people only seek freedom apart from God (which is really slavery) because they are not close enough to God to experience the glory of His freedom from sin and self.

Thought the following quote was powerful. Share any thoughts :slight_smile:

Quote from George MacDonald:

Here is the answer, drawn from this parable of our Lord; for the saying is much like a parable, teaching more than it utters, appealing to the conscience and heart, not to the understanding: You are a slave; the slave has no hold on the house; only the sons and daughters have an abiding rest in the home of their father. God cannot have slaves about him always. You must give up your slavery, and be set free from it. That is what I am here for. If I make you free, you shall be free indeed; for I can make you free only by making you what you were meant to be, sons like myself. That is how alone the Son can work. But it is you who must become sons; you must will it, and I am here to help you.’ It is as if he said, 'You shall have the freedom of my father’s universe; for, free from yourselves, you will be free of his heart. Yourselves are your slavery. That is the darkness which you have loved rather than the light. You have given honour to yourselves, and not to the Father; you have sought honour from men, and not from the Father! Therefore, even in the house of your father, you have been but sojourning slaves. We in his family are all one; we have no party-spirit; we have no self-seeking: fall in with us, and you shall be free as we are free.

(angelina Edmonston) #2

Thanks this is an awesome statement.

(Melvin Greene) #3

I like how George MacDonald captures a profound truth in his quote, "…teaching more than it utters, appealing to the conscience and heart, not to the understanding." It has continued to amaze me how God’s truth seems to turn our understanding on it’s head. I used to think that if I became a Christian, I would be enslaving myself to a bunch of rules and laws and not have any “fun” in my life. The fact is, the exact opposite is true.

(Jimmy Sellers) #4

I am a little confused by this statement. I am misunderstand what is being said? I do understand the idea of son ship but not something I can will. Do I need to clean my glasses?

(angelina Edmonston) #5

Thanks @Jimmy_Sellers I saw that and wondered about that line too. Perhaps he meant declare or agree with it… But willing it does sound like control

(SeanO) #6

As a disclaimer, I do not like MacDonald chiefly because of his Biblical theology. I think that we have to be discerning in what we can learn from different people. I think MacDonald wandered into some platonic mysticism and maybe should have spent a little more time meditating on ideas the bothered him - like penal substitution - and the Bible passages related to them - rather than being so quick to dismiss them. I do not think he wrestled with some Biblical ideas enough.

That said, I think he had a very beautiful view of God’s redeeming love and of walking in constant communion with the living Christ. I think that is what so moved C. S. Lewis, Chesterton and Tolkien - MacDonald’s stories had such a strong sense of God sovereignly loving us to Himself and a beautiful depiction of how God leads us Home through such messy and terrifying circumstances.

@Jimmy_Sellers @angelina_Edmonston George MacDonald is an interesting character when it comes to his theology of sovereignty.

My understanding is that he believed very strongly in God’s sovereignty in the events of our lives (to the point where if a ship was wrecked at sea and everyone died or someone suffered a terrible illness, he believed God was using to ultimately work good).

At the same time, he believed (if I understand correctly) very strongly in the idea of the free will of man - that God is constantly working to help us choose Him but that it may take suffering to get us there.

George MacDonald was a Christian universalist (there may be a hell, but it will eventually be empty because God will use it like purgatory to refine people until they choose Him) and he disliked very strongly the idea of penal substitution.

The following articles may be informative if you are curious.

(SeanO) #7

So, I was listening to a song I really like by Jeremy Riddle and I realized it sounds a lot like what I imagine MacDonald really getting up out of his seat and saying ‘Amen!’ to - and something I think we can all agree with him on at least in terms of big picture (setting thorny details aside) - God’s desire to see the prodigal return Home.