MONDAY MANNA—Christians: the Ultimate Old-School Libertines
Joanne Sher over at An Open Book, assigned 1 Peter 2:16 for today's MONDAY MANNA. Here are my thoughts. Check out the links on Joanne's blog for more.
Did that title get your attention?
The original meaning of "libertine" is derived from the Latin libertinus, or freedman specifically, a freed slave or the son of a freed slave.
Christians are the embodiment of this original definition—we are slaves liberated by Christ Jesus from our bondage to sin, from servitude to the sin master, and from the ultimate consequences of that bondage.
I guess the early Christians (and we later ones) don't understand the Latin too well. Somehow "libertinus" quickly degraded into today's definition of freedom: "the power or right to act, speak, or to think as one wants without hindrance or restraint."
Someone should have added: "without regard to the consequences" because there are ALWAYS consequences to the exercise of our freedom, which makes the "free" in freedom as bit of an oxymoron.
Even exercising our freedom from bondage to sin has consequences. Peter writes: "Live as free men" (1 Peter 2:16) and we love to stop right there. Yippee, forget right or wrong, let's do whatever makes us happy. Peter, knowing a bit about human nature, keeps going. He adds: "but do not use your freedom as a cover up for evil." His message: Don't return to your bonds once you've been set free.
The example he gives is Christ. No one was freer than Jesus was. But even His use of His freedom had consequences. If He had used His freedom to walk away from the cross, we'd be in serious trouble. Rather He used His freedom to honour His Father's great redemption plan. He freely chose to put everyone else ahead of Himself.
I'm a libertine of the old school—a freed slave. I'm free now to serve a greater good, and a great God.