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In seminary one of my theology professors, trying to make sense out of personal freedom and obedience to God, said that we can be free like trains... trains that must follow a pair of rails in order to be their true selves. A free train is a train that stays on its assigned tracks. I immediately knew this was a way to keep me in line.
I don't want to be free like a train on rails. I want to be free like a bird in the sky!
Actually, I do thank the church. Without the church, I would never have achieved the spiritual freedom I enjoy today. It taught me about freedom. I wanted it. I strived for it. I achieved it. Thank you, church! The sad thing is, this freedom eventually compelled me to leave the church.
My freedom meant it was free of me.
There aren't many churches out there, in my experience and observation, that don't attempt to contain, constrain, restrain, or detain you. If you find one that doesn't, stick with it.