Religion and Freedom
I love this passage from Bono in Conversation with Michka Assayas: the children of Israel are wandering through the desert. They ve just been delivered from captivity by Moses, but they re straight back to worshipping the Golden Calf. It s business as usual, they have forgotten the God who delivered them. They keep getting warnings, and finally God just has enough and says to Moses: Get out of the way, I m gonna destroy my people. Then I m gonna start again. This experiment has just run out of gas, and this freedom thing is really not working out. (laughs) So get away from the midst of these people, because I m gonna vaporize them. I can, I made them, after all. Of course, Michka, you ll realize I m paraphrasing there. And then the Scriptures record that Moses, knowing the heart of God this is an amazing line instead of running away, runs into the center of the people and says: If you take them, take me. God presumably smiles. It was the gospels in action, people laying down their life for their brother. You know, it s a great line from the Holy Book sorry to get all religious on your ass this morning: No greater love has a man than he lays his life down for his brother. (pp. 206f). When I read this passage yesterday, I knew this was what I was about, what Lisa (my wife) and I are about, and what my church is about! This freedom, in my opinion, is so much more important than anything else. I believe in it, fight for it, defend it, encourage it, and demonstrate it as best I can. I often fail, but I aim for this and always encourage others to do the same. It has come under plenty of criticism, but I still know this is right! God was right: this freedom thing is really not working out . I get that! I ve often raised that very comment myself when I look at the lives of people who ve been informed of their freedom. But there was something more important at work and at stake, and that is freedom and the love that creates and defends it.