The modern idea of freedom is a Woodstock style freedom. Remember Woodstock? In 1969 several hundred thousand young people descended on a farm for a few days of Rock and Roll and freedom.
The anthem of that event was the song by Rickie Havens. Havens went to the stage and played an acoustical jazz piece and then started singing, “Freedom!!! Freedom!!! Freedom! One word. That song lasted five minutes.
Rickie Havens later admitted that he made the song up on the spot. The promoters of Woodstock were so afraid of a riot that they insisted that the singers keep singing round the clock. But the act to follow Havens was late. He’d done about two hours and was out of music. So when they insisted that he go back out he just strummed and sang the only word he could think of.
The crowd of half a million hippies roared approval. That was the motto of the movement. Freedom. No chains. As they wallowed in the mud and acid and raw lust that was the moment of Woodstock.
Freedom for them meant freedom from responsibility. That’s the brand of freedom this world is always pushing. But there is a paradox here.
When you try to find freedom by ignoring responsibility you actually find bondage. You become a slave of your own passions. Don’t we see this in our world. You become a slave of circumstances. A slave of despair.
Abraham Lincoln visited a slave auction. He was appalled by it all. He found himself especially drawn to a young woman . She looked with hatred and contempt on everyone around her. She had been used and abused all of her life. When the bidding started, Lincoln stepped in. He countered every bid until he purchased that slave girl. She asked him what he was going to do with her.
He said, “I’m going to set you free.”
“Free?” Free for what?”
“Just free,” Lincoln answered
“Completely free.” “Free to do whatever I want to do?”
“Yes, free to do whatever you want to do.”
“Free to say whatever I want to say? ”
“Yes, free to say whatever you want to say.”
“Free to go wherever I want to go?” She added with skepticism.
Lincoln replied, “You are free to go anywhere you want to go.”
“Then I’m going with you!” She said with a smile.
Jesus made an interesting statement in John 8:32. He said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” And who is the truth? Jesus. Its an odd paradox. Real freedom comes when you make Jesus LORD.