Boletim dos Obreiros

Liberty with Responsibility

"Rejoice … let thy heart cheer … and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.”

Ecclesiastes 11:9)

February has arrived! It is the month of carnival, the feast of the flesh! Everyone is excited at its approach. Far in advance the programmes are made to “take the best advantage” of this deplorable experience of consented sin.

Costs are irresponsibly absorbed much in excess of what is afforded, to the detriment of far more useful and essential areas! Carnival is awaited, with much anxiety, by an incalculable multitude of people, who see in these few days of February the great opportunity to satisfy what the flesh wishes to do throughout the year, but contained because it is prevented by social conventions and limitations of moral and religious order.

Total liberation! No limits! Cheers to the liberty which carnival offers, without restrictions of any kind! And in this uncontrollable wave of debauchery and moral corruption, many are carried away to the most ignoble and never conceivable practices. This even includes some who profess to be moralists and religious (not spiritual), those who throughout the year offer themselves, paradoxically, as paradigms and examples of healthy behaviour. What hypocrisy.

This kind of odd and contradictory behaviour involves prestigious people, societies of reputed respect and entities without number mentioned for reference of good behaviour and building of correct public opinion.

It saddens me to see that even in the midst of certain groups called Evangelical such degradation is already seen in the events organised for this celebrated wordly date. It is strange to perceive that many, perhaps motivated by contradictory impulses in their inner soul, arising from a mistaken adhesion to such a moral anomaly, try to justify themselves claiming that God created man to be “joyful”, to “enjoy himself” and to “walk in the ways of his heart, and in the sight of his eyes”. They seek support in this false application of the text heading this chronicle (Ecc.11:9). Jubilant mistake! Malicious interpretation, to satisfy the sinful impulses of the flesh.

Otherwise, let us see this in the light of the mentioned sacred text:

  1. God wishes His creature to live its normal life with LIBERTY - God really created man to live happily, to delight his heart, so that he may walk in the ways which satisfy his heart and please his eyes. For this purpose he gave His creature the capacity to discern things with criterion and chose correctly. God didn´t create us to live in “oppression” but in “liberty. “Liberty” is no more than the manner in which man exercises his capacity of choice. “Liberty” is a valuable inheritance conceded by God to man! In truth, what annuls this sublime and precious asset and oppresses us is sin. This is why Jesus Christ stated, in John 8:32 and 36: "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free ... If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” See Luke 4:18.
  2. God wants His creature to exert LIBERTY WITH RESPONSIBILITY – See the texts: “but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment” (Ecc.11:9b); "God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing” (Ecc.12:14). Liberty does not imply the exercise of libertinage! This is what characterizes the carnival behaviour: libertinage. The exercise of liberty presupposes RESPONSIBILITY. This connects us with God’s supreme purpose for our lives: HOLINESS because “He is Holy” (Lev.1:45). We should not forget that we shall give account to God of everything, and the criterion in the exercise of His JUSTICE will always be His HOLINESS. See Ephesians 5:15 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise”. See also 1 Corinthians 6:12.
  3. God offers resources for the exercise of LIBERTY WITH RESPONSIBILITY:
  4. * The Lord ought to be present in any of our attitudes – “Remember now thy Creator” (Ecc12:1); 

    *   We must act in the fear of God – “Fear God” (Ecc.12:13a). See Psalm 111:10; 

    *  We must act keeping His commandments, for these define the criterion of RESPONSIBILITY (v. 12:13b).

God wants our LIBERTY to be exercised with RESPONSIBILITY. This seriously ties us with the will of God.