Duty, authority and freedom

I was recently described as being lawful-good. If you’re unaware of alignment charts, it’s a way of summarising characters as the combination of two scales: lawful to chaotic, and good to evil. At first I felt offended by my new label, like I’d been called boring right to my face. I tried feebly to argue it, but quickly realised they were right (which just reaffirms my lawful-goodness).

And then, I discovered that I like it. I like authority and I like rules, and I find actual fun in establishing or amending both. I regularly come up with new rules and find new principles to live by. I like when things are well ordered and I dislike when they are disordered. I actually like seeing authority being exercised (when done well). I love the idea of duty, and of living by a strict code (like batman, or a samurai).

And yes, I’ll accept that I’m “good” as well. By which I mean, I largely believe that others’ good is generally my good. I believe that being good to others is the best path to happiness, and so I try to be good to others.

With this in mind, I have to ask myself, is duty and authority contrary to freedom? Am I less free than my chaotic friends? Does lawfulness and or goodness make me a slave?

No. In fact, the opposite is true: the fulfillment of duty and submission to authority is absolutely necessary to freedom – for the individual as well as for society.

Why? Because freedom is simply life according to truth. The truth of who and what I am, and the truth of my situation. And duty is the truth of who I am in relation to others, while authority is the truth of the relation of the whole to its parts.

While you can violently force people to live contrary to truth, deception is far and away the best way to enslave someone. You tell them you are their benefactor, or that their friends are their enemies, or that they are worthless, or that their suffering and work is actually for their own benefit etc. We are forced to live confined to an unreal world, denied the opportunity to be who we truly are, in the world as it truly is.

If we want liberation, for ourselves or for others, the first point must always be to expose the lie. Generally, it is some variation of that we are worthless, or powerless, or alone, and usually a combination of all three. When we realise that we are beloved children of God Himself, that all of Heaven is on our side, and all of creation is our brother and sister and mother, we are set free from these lies, and we enter into the freedom of the children of God.

To do our duty is to live the truth of not being alone. I serve you and you serve me, because we are united. We are something to each other; we mean something to each other. I am a son, a brother, a friend, an employee, a colleague, a citizen, a fellow human, a fellow creature, and much more. And to play these roles well, is no more than to be myself.

Similarly, to obey authority is to live the truth that we are part of something greater than ourselves, and that our own greatness lies in playing our part well. The part must submit itself to the whole in order to be realised. We humble ourselves for the unity and the good of the whole of which we are a part, like the individual instruments in an orchestra, each giving way to the others, such that the beauty of all together and of every one singly is magnified.

There will be times when those in authority must be opposed however, and on the same basis. When they oppose the unity and the good of the whole, they lose their real authority, and are left with an empty facade, ready to crumble. When they no longer serve harmony, those who seek harmony will no longer serve them.

God bless you!

Philosophy, Truth and Freedom

Everyone, no matter how much or little they are aware of it, lives within a worldview. For the most part, this is inherited from our families, media, and cultures, and accepted without a second thought. And this worldview determines your world, the world that you see and engage with.

But what if your worldview was wrong? You would be wrong about what can or cannot be done, or even worse, what ought or ought not be done. Our illusions enslave us, and we aren’t even aware of it.

And then, what if our worldview is wrong, and the world we’re actually in is enslaving us? We would be trapped in a prison which we can’t even see, because that prison is a part of us.

But if we had the true worldview, which is no longer a worldview, but transcends views to reach truth, then we would be free. Even in the darkest, coldest, smallest prison cell in the world, one who has Truth is utterly free, because they have reality. Their existence and their decisions are in their own hands, and no one can take these away.

‘The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.’

Philosophy is the search for the truth above and beyond all views, so that we can really live in the real world.

Perhaps the worldview we unquestioningly received just happens to be right. Maybe. But we can’t know until we loosen our grip on it, and seek the world that lies beyond the worldview. And we also can’t loosen our grip until we are aware of it.

Perhaps more than any other age in history, we are at risk of being enslaved by our illusions and ignorance, because we are the most distracted age in history. Our education levels are improving, but not for the most important questions. We run the extraordinary risk of becoming both the most educated and most closed minded people ever to exist.

And being closed minded, living in illusions, means being easily controlled, and liable to fall into hatred and evil.

We must all be philosophers. We must insist on truly living – living in truth – and accept nothing less. Everything but truth is nothing, and less than nothing.

The true philosopher is always a revolutionary. If they aren’t turning the world upside down, they are not seeking the truth, but are just shoring up views, and are not a philosopher at all.

But at the end of the philosopher’s journey, philosophy is finished. There is no worldview left to be turned upside down. There is only Truth, that is always upside down, and always right way up.

God bless you 🙂

Why do I sin when I don’t want to?

Have you ever found yourself committing a sin, even when you know it’s not even nearly worth it? That the repercussions, guilt, and separation from God far outweigh any fleeting and empty pleasure it might give you, but you do it anyway? How can we do something so contrary to all reason?

It’s not a mere short term mentality that’s the problem, because when we observe how we actually feel mid-sin, we’ll find there’s no joy, no happiness, and whatever pleasure it has is just water off a duck’s back.

It’s because we give in to the lie that we are evil, and incapable of being saved, being good, being loved. We push God away because we believe we’re going to lose Him, because we don’t trust Him to really love us.

“He [satan] was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Jn 8:44

Satan is called the deceiver, the father of lies, the tempter, and the accuser in scripture, and these are referring to the same thing. Satan tempts us by deceiving us, by making accusations against us, our neighbours, and God, telling us that we are each others’ enemies by nature, and cannot trust each other. We are only ever enemies because of satan’s lies.


Satan’s lies are everywhere. We’re told over and over that this, this and this is what you truly need, and then you’ll be a rich, fulfilled George Clooney lookalike with a beautiful girlfriend, or, I don’t know, J-Lo. “If you don’t have these things, you’re a nobody.” We’re told that no one can be trusted, and for that reason, we shouldn’t be trustworthy ourselves. We’re presented with a judgmental God, who begrudges us salvation.

So next time I face temptation, I plan to remind myself of the gospel I stand in. The gospel of God who delights in mercy; God loves and strengthens us; He is Our Father, and we are all brothers and sisters, and this is all that matters. Whatever lies I’m told, even if the whole world repeats them to me, I’ll listen instead to God’s truth.

In a world founded on so many lies, whose prince (Jn 16:11) is himself the father of lies (Jn 8:44), to stand in truth is an act of total rebellion. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Mt 12:30), and we must all choose a side. Christians have an obligation to reject every lie the world tells us, for our salvation and the salvation of the world.

‘In this day and age unless Christians are revolutionaries they are not Christians.’
-Pope Francis


God bless you!

The truth will set you free

Freedom is a bit of an obsession of mine, largely because of its relationship to truth.
If I believe a lie, I am a slave to the deceiver, because I don’t live according to the world I live in. I’m not in accordance with the nature of my existence.
If I tell lies or live a lie, I make a slave of myself, as I deny my own nature in favour of one that does not exist. A lie always concerns the liars nature, at the least by the idea that they know what they talk of.
What is freedom but being true to yourself? But who is yourself? We are such twisted creatures that we seem to be contradictory things at different times, and often at once. And not only are we divided, but we are profound. We contain depths beyond our own knowledge.
That ‘Who am I?’ is a valid question, is enough to show its significance. It is one of the greatest question of all. Whether we study maths, chemistry, animals, people, religion, God, or anything else, we’re looking for where we fit in, and what that makes us.

“If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth: and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:31-32

What truth does Jesus mean? The truth about who we are.
According to Jesus and his disciples, we are the objects of God’s love, we are His children, we are called to His family. We are here to love. This is freedom.
But this is not just the answer for humanity. We are not loved just as a part of humanity, but as an individual child of God, made in His image. Our place isn’t as specks in a faceless mass.
We exist for perfect love. What is love?

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
1 John 3:16

Love is a giving, and especially a giving up. And love is also receiving, and sharing.
Love is giving what is good, and especially giving up what is good, for another’s sake. Love is sharing in another’s sorrows, weaknesses and struggles. And love is receiving another’s gifts of love, with joy, thanksgiving, and the plan of giving back whatever you can. And so, love is the complete sharing of life.
God gave us life and His Son, Jesus Christ gave up his life for us. By his incarnation, Jesus, the eternal Word made flesh, shared in the sorrows, weaknesses and struggles of all humanity. We ought to receive his gifts, including his very self, with joy, thanksgiving, and the plan of offering him ourselves, as we follow him, carrying our crosses. And he will be faithful, and receive our offering with joy, and continue to give himself to us. And we will share in his life, as he abides in us, and we abide in him.
This is what we truly are, this is what we are made for, and this is our freedom.

Love doesn’t seem to be perfect freedom. What if we were slaves? Would we not then be free by resistance and disobedience, rather than love?
No, because if we consistently disobeyed, for example, the masters could just tell us what not to do. My point is, we can even become slaves to resistance itself.
Undoubtedly, there are times and ways to resist all injustices, and it is an imperative of love to take such opportunities, but resistance is not freedom itself. Even in such conditions, love is the greatest freedom, because by love, we are our true selves no matter who or what may oppose us.
To love our enemies is not only righteous and relaxing, but genuinely liberating, as we live by the truth of us, of them, and of God, that no one’s actions can ever change.

I’d like to finish with a prayer:

Heavenly Father,
Help us to know, remember, and live by the truth;
Help us to live in freedom, and to liberate others;
Help us to live by your love, always.
Give us to love and seek the truth with all humility, and with great joy and zeal.
Teach us to be grateful to you at all times, for our existence and for our redemption, and so for our entire lives.
Teach us, by your Holy Spirit, to pay without ceasing, so that we may thank you always, serve you always, listen to you always, and accept you always.

May God bless you, and your family.


I’ve been thinking a good deal on what freedom is, and have come to the conclusion that freedom is living by love. Our love is our defining quality. We are defined as the image of God, and children of God, and this God is love.

Love is our truest self. It is our original form. Sin is a horrible add-on, and nothing sinful defines us any more than cancer defines the human body. Being true to yourself is living by and nurturing the love in you. As the cancer and the healthy body are enemies, where the service of one hurts the other; so too is the sinful self and the image of God. The image of God, our true selves, will be tortured when sin is served, but when God is being served, sin is being put to death.

You cannot be lost and free. If you do not know the way, the availability of many ways is useless. Jesus is the way. Live in him, and as he did.

Some say being free is about not living for others. I disagree, because my love, makes me live for others.

However, I agree that we are not free until we are true to ourselves. That means not lying about yourself, what you like, how you feel and what you believe, no matter what you‘ll miss out on. To pretend to be something you’re not for some gain, is to sell yourself, and so be a slave. Even if you are totally honest with some, you will be a slave around the others. If what you are is controlled by the wants of others, they own you.

The strange thing is that disowning yourself, dying to self, and being a slave to God are major new testament themes, as well as being made free in Christ. And they aren’t in contention! We are free from sin, to live as slaves to God, as we truly desire!

Disowning self and dying to self means sacrificing all we have to God who lives within us. You aren’t free until you’re willing to give up all but the aim of your freedom. The aim of our freedom is God. If anyone demands your everything, you are their slave. So freedom in God, is slavery to God and vice-versa! We are slaves to God BECAUSE we are FREE IN GOD!

Can I hear a hallelujah! (Roughly translated that is “lets party with God!“)

‘according to my earnest expectation and hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, and in all freedom, as always, also now Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether through life or through death.’
1Corinthians 1:20 (while in chains for the gospel)

God bless you. I began this post with a small idea of freedom, and finished with a big idea of freedom and slavery to God! Thank you.
God bless you again.

The meaning of a life

I’ve recently been grabbed by the question of the meaning of my life. I know the meaning of life as a whole (it’s love in its purest, most self-sacrificial form [Jesus-like love] [God is love]) but now I am faced with the unexpected question of what to do with my life.
I’ve been looking for grand things to do, and new ways to reveal and manifest love to the whole world.
But it striked me, just minutes ago, that we are unaware what the most significant thing we ever do is. Tomorrow I may begin to revolutionize the world, through a tiny gesture of love, or through sharing some tiny portion of truth, and perhaps never know my effect on the world.
I wouldn’t underestimate the impact a tiny but pure amount of love and truth could have.

The point I’m making here, is that because of the nature of human inspiration, its a life that is pure that will save the world, rather than a life that is grand.
This doesn’t give me the final answer of what I’m doing with my life, but it has made me more at peace, as God can use me whatever I do, so long as I live in Him and listen to him. I’m sure I‘ll be used greatly, but I don’t know that I will know at the time.

God is love, and he who is remaining in the love, in God he doth remain, and God in him.

1John 4:16

God bless you.