Enslaved to freedom?


Check out this quote (emphases mine). Will post the author of this tomorrow but I would love your reflections. Can the thirst for freedom become an overlord? A greed? Is it present in American culture today?

“We were a self-centered army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom, the second of man’s creeds, a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded in its glare.

As time went by our need to fight for the ideal increased to an unquestioning possession, riding with spur and rein over our doubts. Willy-nilly it became a faith. We had sold ourselves into its slavery, manacled ourselves together in its chain-gang, bowed ourselves to serve its holiness with all our good and ill content….we had surrendered, not body alone, but soul to the overmastering greed of victory. by our own act we were drained of morality, of volition, of responsibility, like dead leaves in the wind. “

9 Comments

Filed under Cultural Anthropology, Great Quotes, Psychology

9 responses to “Enslaved to freedom?

  1. Louie Buses

    Without giving it away, T.E.L. are the initials of the writer of the quote. The “self centered army” spoken of here is not the same army as our interpretation of the phrase would make it. We take the quote out of the author’s context. As it stands alone, we understand this quote to refer to our human rebellion against our Creator; expressing itself dramatically in our striving for the illusion of our ‘freedom’. The striving for freedom is not the second of man’s creeds, it is the first. Paul Tripp in Quest for More speaks of the “kingdom of me” against the “Kingdom of God”. Here is the root of the problem and the root of counseling. We still fall for the promise, Gen. 3:12 “…you will be like divine beings…”

    • Bingo on the author. Funny, I read it in the context it was intended so I had no idea one might interpret it as you did. I was thinking more about the context of the quest to be free from all human authorities.

  2. D Stevenson

    I read it in the context of a real army, yet probably came to a same, or similar spiritual application as Louie Buses.

    Then again, my mind jumped there as soon as I read the title “Enslaved to freedom” because it reminded me of one of my poems. The last two stanzas are..,

    — Abandoned all, Your own to be, in bonds that set me free,
    — What mystery this, and truly best, this life I live in death.

    Expressing that in bond-service to Christ Jesus is found freedom and in dying to self I find life.

  3. Louie Buses

    D Stevenson,

    I would like to read the rest of the poem.

  4. D Stevenson

    So Phil, what are your reflections?

  5. D Stevenson

    Oops Phil. I see why it says “awaiting moderation.” I mistyped my email address.

  6. My initial reflection was that selling one’s soul to a good thing (freedom) does not eliminate the problem of becoming a dictator to get it. Seems to me that the American lust for freedom engenders all sorts of bad behaviors and subverts love for God.

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