Approaching Christ in Freedom

The world of divine beings has enormous respect for our freedom. After all, God said, ‘Let us make the human being in our image and after our likeness. ’ Genesis 1:26 Since God is obviously a creator, and we are made in His image, made like Him, it follows that we were made to be creators as well. But how could we create, how could we be creative, if we did not have freedom of choice?

True freedom of choice also includes the choice to be destructive instead of creative. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be true freedom of choice. It even includes the choice not to decide. But its real creativity rests in our ability to make choices that support the good, the true and the beautiful.

Where freedom of choice really shines is in our ability to make choices that disregard our own instinct for self-preservation. We have the freedom to decide to give freely and lovingly to another, even to our own detriment. This kind of choice isn’t ‘natural’. It isn’t dictated by necessity. It is the expression of a true freedom of choice. It is an expression of our true humanity.

Christ, God’s Son, is the God who became a human being; He is our divine human brother. He confirmed that we are to exercise our God-given creative freedom of choice, our creative freedom to decide. ‘You shall be as gods’, He said. John 10:34. He was quoting Psalm 82, which says ‘You are “gods”; you are all sons of the Most High.’

He said to those becoming His students, that in studying with Him, ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’ John 8:32.

He also said of Himself, “I am the way, the truth, the life.” John 14:6.

Therefore, to approach Christ is to approach the truth; and at the same time to approach Christ is to approach the truth of our humanity. For our true humanity resides in our ability to make creative choices, self-forgetting choices, good moral choices uninfluenced by outer necessity. To approach the truth that resides in Christ, is at the same time to approach the very freedom that lies at the core of our God-given humanity. ‘Then you will know the truth [Me], and the truth [I, Christ] will set you free.’ John 8:32.

In the Act of Consecration of Man, the Communion service of The Christian Community, we pray that the Son God be the creative force in us. We also pray for the gift of the creating fire of love. Real love, capable of setting oneself aside, operates out of a truly human depth of freedom. It is indeed Christ’s self-sacrificing love, working in us, that ignites a creative fire in us. He is the guide for our use of our freedom.

Nevertheless, Christ, the Divine Human, has enormous respect for our freedom to choose. ‘Here I am!’ He says. ‘I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me’. Rev. 3:20 He stands outside, and knocks, and waits.