Friday, September 2, 2011

Free To Be You and Me

Me and my big mouth
pursuing the happiness

of a funnel cake
My brother pointed out that this blog is aptly named because 1. It is the title of a Smiths song, and 2. People in our family tend to actually have mouths that are physically big.

Another reason is that, well, I tend to express out loud thoughts that I am having before they are fully formed. Instead of working out a theory in my mind and then expressing to others, I like to muse on it in plain sight in this here blog.

So here is what I was thinking about... And feel free to scoff or correct me because I am just working it out – it’s just thoughts, not fully formed theories.

I’m thinking about how some of the guys who formed the United States of America were “Deists” like Thomas Jefferson... people who believed in God, but didn’t believe that He involved Himself in human affairs. So... their concept of God was more of a “being” that was just watching stuff. 

YET, Tom J. also had a thing for the individual. Individuals all had rights that should not be trampled on by other individuals or by their government. So, if he was so into the value of the individual, why was his God so impersonal?

That's right, we know
Thomas Jefferson personally.
I’m sure there is some sort of point of unity to his thinking – I mean, he was a brilliant guy... politician, philosopher, inventor, foodie... So... maybe, since in his view, God wasn’t particularly interested helping or defending individuals, each person would need to claim their own rights... their life, liberty and happiness, that is.

But I do believe in a God who is into me... that He loved the world so much He sent His Son to save each individual person... But if we believe in a God who is involved in our every day lives, does that mean that we don’t need to pursue life, liberty and happiness? 

Or maybe , if we cling to this God, those things are ours anyway? After all, Jesus said He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. So... with Him we have life, and He also said, the truth would set us free... so there’s our freedom. As for happiness, I am not sure He is about our happiness as we think of it... But as the Christmas carol said, His coming did bring JOY to the word, right?

You can buy a bobble head of
anyone – am I right?
So it would seem that Thomas Jefferson and God have similar goals... but they differed regarding the source. Jesus claimed to be the source of our individual “rights,” while Thomas Jefferson said we should pursue them ourselves. Maybe Jefferson’s concern that we live in a country where each person could pursue his own idea of God.

And I do understand that Christ’s kind of freedom is an inner thing, and am grateful for it... But I can’t say I’m not glad that, due to the efforts of guys like Thomas Jefferson, we live in a free country... if no other reason than I can say “It’s a free country,” when someone questions what I’m doing.

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