Freedom is Not Free! Bob Dees Director, LU Institute for Military Resilience

Freedom is Not Free!
Bob Dees
Director, LU Institute for Military Resilience
©2015 Resilience Consulting LLC
“For you were called to freedom, brethren;
only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh,
but through love serve one another.”
(Galatians 5:13, NASB)
“Act as free men,
and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil,
but use it as bond-slaves of God.
(I Peter 2:16, NASB)
You have certainly heard the expression “Freedom is Not Free” used in context of
sacrificial service by our nation’s military, particularly when referring to those who have given
the ultimate sacrifice (their very lives) for each of us. Yes, freedom carries certain
responsibilities with it, in war and in peace. The verses above certainly highlight that the
responsibility of freedom in Christ is to be a servant, a bondslave, for others and for God.
In Resilient Nations, one of the sub elements of Spiritual Infrastructure is “Unity,
Diversity, and Civility” which stands in contrast to “racial divisiveness, lack of appreciation
and respect for different backgrounds, and a coarseness in discourse and manners which lacks
consideration of fellow citizens, fomenting even greater polarization and divisiveness” (Resilient
Nations, 45). To enter one more stream of thought, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution
states “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”
Connecting these three streams from the Bible, Resilient Nations, and the U.S.
Constitution, I must now ask “Do Christians have Freedom of Speech?” If so, are there any
limits to this speech? Is there a “higher calling” for which Christians relinquish some of their
rights as Americans? What does this look like on the highways and byways of American life?
How do Christians “lead by example” in this critical area?
This question is more than theoretical in a day which emphasizes rights over
responsibilities. How does this apply to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri? Does the “right” to
free speech trump the “responsibility” to speak to others respectfully (with civility)? What about
the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in France which suffered a tragic massacre by radical Islamic
terrorists? Does their right to say or print anything totally override a responsibility to avoid
inflaming certain individuals or collective segments of the populace? There are many other
examples you can think of, many illustrations in the daily news.
You get the point: clearly there is a tension, a balance, between rights and
responsibilities. While there are laws which try to bound free speech (such as libel, slander, hate
speech (although some use this “red herring” to impose their worldview), and classified
information), are Christians even more constrained? While these laws establish a civil norm
(which is becoming less civil), what is the real norm for Christians?
“Do Christians have Freedom of Speech?” The answer is YES. Christians do have the
“right” to exercise their freedom of speech, BUT Christians also have the “responsibility” to use
Freedom is Not Free!
Bob Dees
Director, LU Institute for Military Resilience
©2015 Resilience Consulting LLC
this freedom of speech to serve God and others. Analogous to finding the right balance between
grace and truth in interpersonal discussions, this balance regarding “free speech” requires great
WISDOM. Such wisdom not only leads to harmony in personal interactions, but also in the
affairs of the nation. From the Book of Galatians, “Let your speech always be with grace, as
though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person”
(Galatians 4:6, NASB.
May this be the standard we model for our fellow citizens -- we desperately need it!
Put on your thinking cap.
Tell us what you think about this latest Resilience Blog!
Respectfully in Christ,
Bob Dees
LU Institute for Military Resilience
------------------------------------------------0---------------------------------------------------------The next Institute for Military Resilience (IMR) Webinar entitled
What You Should Know and How to Get Services”
will be presented by Dr. Linda Mintle from the Liberty University College of Medicine at 8 PM
on Thursday, February 12, 2015. From the webinar promotional content:
Dr Linda Mintle – widely published author, popular speaker, experienced military
counselor and social worker, and academic chair at Liberty University –
is also a military child, an advocate for her WWII father, one with a true heart for our
nation’s military and their families, one who understands “the system.”
See you there for a powerful time of equipping
to take care of the important veteran in your life!
Register at