Freedom from self-imposed slavery

So often the little gods we are tempted to worship turn out to be cruel masters. Give this some thought, and perhaps you'll agree that idolatry is the father of slavery. Not just the literal idol worship in primitive societies, where superstition breeds imprisoning fears—but likewise the idolatrous practices in our supposedly sophisticated culture. Lots of people today struggle with the handcuffs of self-imposed slavery because of the myriad little gods they worship.

An example? The tobacco user. The drinker. The shoplifter. The gambler. The drug-taker. The television addict. The dedicated dieter or the habit-bound overeater. They all have one thing in common. Something they worship—bow down to as a power—controls their actions and turns them in some particular way into slaves. We need to consider well what we worship.

The greatest charter of human liberty on earth is the Bible. Liberation from bondage resonates throughout its inspired pages. Paul strongly admonished the early Christians: "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" Rom. 6:16. And, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Gal. 5:1. The Old Testament commandment quoted by Jesus—"Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve" Matt. 4:10. —captures the essence of the Bible's thunderous message of freedom.

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Signs of life
March 7, 1983

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