These words do not apply to you...


I happened to listen to a popular radio talkshow the other day that has a Paul McCartney song as it's theme song. Here are the lyrics:

This is my right - A right given by God
To live a free life - To live in freedom

Talkin' about freedom - I'm talkin' 'bout freedom
I will fight - For the right
To live in freedom

Anyone tries to take it away
They'll have to answer
'Cause this is my right

I'm talkin' about freedom - Talkin' 'bout freedom
I will fight - For the right
To live in freedom

I was really disturbed by this, precisely because this show is overtly 'Christian.' These lyrics stand in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus. For someone to claim to follow Him and then to endorse the agenda that this song proposes as being in line with His teachings is simply irresponsible.

My pastor relayed a story to me about one of his college professors. The man read aloud to his class the famous lines from the Declaration of Independence; "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." He then instructed his class:

"If you are a follower of Jesus, then you cannot claim that you have any rights whatsoever; this Declaration does not apply to you."


Sean said...

Funny. You should read my latest post on Dr. G's blog!

www.maxgrace.com said...

Okay, Steve... I agree on a strictly spiritual level. In fact I preached a couple of weeks ago that "the beginning of entitlement is the end of grace", and that while we have no "rights" before God, we do have privileges.

However, in a political level, because we are created in the image of God, might it be possible that the Creator has indeed endowed us with life, liberty, and the ability to pursue happiness, and that these rights set us above the animals, and that no earthly government should interfere with the rights. The brilliance of the declaration of Independence is that it makes our rights (political rights, I'm not say that we have any rightful claim against God)... it makes our rights "inalienable" because they come from God. The gov't doesn't give us our rights, God does. As such, no gov't can take them away.

And, as a Christian, I will stand up for these basic human rights for all people.

Steve S. said...

I will stand up for these basic human rights for all people.

I am with you all the way!

The problem I have with all of the 'fight for your right' rhetoric is twofold.

One it is nauseatingly ethnocentric and nationalistic. I actually have a 'How to get saved' tract with the KJV of the 10 Commandments printed over an American flag. As American Christians we fail to define 'neighbor' the way Jesus did. The neighbor we choose to 'fight for' is usually the other conservative businessmen who have great personal hygene and the biggest problem facing their day is which driver to use from the tee... (know that I am not pointing this your way, but generalizing about the American blend of conservative politics and a blond-haired-blue-eyed Jesus.)

The other problem is that we need to employ the same methods in 'fighting' opression as Jesus did. Self-sacrifice, embracing God in the midst of embracing the worlds problems. To use the language of Republi-Christianism is to embrace the name of Jesus while denying the way, truth, and life of Jesus. Jesus didn't fight opression from the comforts of his air-conditioned SUV, but rather joined in with the company of the opressed, sharing Himself with them, embracing them while embracing God.