by David Asscherick  |  May 15, 2012

My family and I recently had the privilege of spending some time touring around Boston following a speaking appointment. Not being a city person, I had but mild anticipation. The primary goals were to expose my boys to some American history, and to have a couple relaxing days with friends. Both of those missions were accomplished.

But God, as He so often does, surprised me with an unexpected blessing and message.

That blessing and message? Freedom! 

As we drove and walked from place to place, I was repeatedly confronted with this most basic longing of the soul––American, or otherwise. The famous Boston walk is called The Freedom Trail. From Lexington and Battle Road, to North Bridge and the site of Paul Revere’s capture, the whole land is steeped in the grand quest for freedom.

God made us free to be free.

The human soul longs to be free, and in this sense American history is everyone’s history. That freedom is a universal and fundamental longing is easily demonstrated. One need only grab another human being suddenly and firmly by the arm and begin to pull them somewhere, anywhere. What will happen? The person will reflexively resist, and likely will try to break free from your coercive dragging.

Why? The answer is as simple as it is human: they want to be free. In this case, free of your discourteous yanking.

Given a choice, people always prefer freedom. And when no choice is given, and the human spirit is pushed too far into the corner of coercive submission, freedom will be fought for. The colonists grew weary of England’s king and of his taxes. They felt constrained and coerced. Naturally, they resisted. Their resistance became an ideal, and that ideal became a country.

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 [Freedom!] and the pursuit of Happiness.

As I walked with my family and friends along the Freedom Trail, a single Bible verse kept echoing and reechoing in my mind: “For freedom Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1 ESV).

Think that through for a moment. For freedom Christ has set us free. That is, the purpose of freedom is freedom. God made us to be free, first and foremost because freedom is virtuous and beautiful in and of itself. Yes, I know that God desires us to love Him supremely and our fellow man sincerely, and that this requires genuine freedom, but freedom is not merely the means to another thing––in this case, love––it is also the point itself!

God made us free to be free.

The founding fathers of the United States understood freedom could not come from a human document, be it The Declaration of Independence, The United States’ Constitution, or, later, The Emancipation Proclamation. They understood that these documents were simply articulating a deeper, more fundamental reality: that freedom is a gift (and a responsibility!) that comes from God.

Jesus came to announce and secure this freedom, which had been lost to sin, death, and Satan himself. “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Thank you Jesus for freedom, true freedom.

And for Boston.

David Asscherick Speaker
Light Bearers
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  • Shawn Brace

    Wow! I almost fell over when I read this. Glad you have joined the scores of others who have fallen in love with the greatest city on earth!

  • Bill Brace

    Thanks for the eloquent reminder that our city gave you some heavenly and eternal insights. That’s part of the reason we love it!

  • Angelo Grasso

    “God made us free to be free”

    What a dangerously wonderful concept.

    While my experience with such freedom is limited (I think I’m a latch-key Christian who has only occasionally ventured out into the wilds), I wonder if this says something about the experiences I’ve had with certain of my Atheist and Agnostic friends.
    While I reject their world view, there is something about their sense freedom I find familiar: almost a kind of camaraderie. Perhaps they are enjoying a gift that many the half hearted Christian was also meant to enjoy…but afraid to receive. The freedom to think and do.


  • J Doe

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed my corner of the world, New England! I wonder if you share my concern over the eventual fate of the (formerly) oldest Adventist College, Atlantic Union College? It has been officially closed since last year, and no word yet of its possible return. Maybe Lightbearers (or a similar ministry) might purchase it for a School of Evangelism? It would be sad to see New England lose this historic site, and one that played so prominently in SDA history.

  • Adrian Turturica

    Thank you!

  • Emilie Bouthillette

    Amen! Please especially remember New England in your prayers!

    J Doe: There are continued plans for A.U.C. What will come of it, GOD knows.

  • J Doe

    Thanks for the update, Emilie… good to see that something is in the works at AUC! I agree completely… We must continue to pray for New England.