Monthly Archives: July 2022

Freedom Vs Freewill in America

Do Americans truly live in freedom?

Before you answer, I want you to consider the following: In the book of Genesis, the first use of the word ‘free‘ occurs when God tells man: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

What does this tell us? It tells us that freedom has boundary conditions and that some things are out of bounds. In the biblical text, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was out of the bounds. So, what is freedom? If we deconstruct the word, we find that is comes from two words: free and domain. This means that to live in freedom is to live within a domain where we are free. Naturally, this means that there must be domains where we are no longer free but live in bondage. In other words, freedom has bounds.

Therefore, living in freedom does not mean that we get to do whatever we want to do! When whatever we are doing leads to bondage in our lives, we are no longer living in freedom but living outside of it.

Freewill on the other hand is different. Freewill simply means we are free to choose based on our own will. In the biblical story in Genesis, God gave man freewill but then set the bounds of freedom. He gave man the right to exercise his freewill to choose whatever he wanted, including the choice to live outside of freedom. When the man Adam exercised his freewill to live outside of freedom, he lost the ability to do whatever he pleased. In fact, he was booted out of the domain where he previously lived.

This tells us that when we exercise our freewill to live outside of the free domain that God has set, we lose our freedom and drive ourselves into bondage. In other words, when we fail to respect the bounds of freedom, we lose it.

So, back to my question: Do Americans truly live in freedom? The answer is maybe! In reality, Americans have freewill (free to choose), but the choices Americans make decides whether they live in freedom or whether they live in bondage.

Given the increasing levels of gun violence, mental illness, obesity, racism, and political extremism we see in America, it could be argued that Americans have mistaken freewill for freedom. As such, they are allowing their freewill to steal away their freedom, leaving them in bondage to these aforementioned societal woes.

Remember how Adam exercised his freewill against the free domain God had set and so he put himself into bondage? Likewise, we cannot exercise our freewill against God’s boundary conditions and possibly expect to continue to live a life of freedom.

You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free

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Schooling Does Not Always Guarantee Upward Mobility

There is strange thing happening in different parts of the world right now…in places as far as Nigeria and Japan. Students are disenfranchised. They are graduating from college only to find out that they can’t find a job. It isn’t that these student haven’t attained the right grades or are less qualified. It is simply that there are much fewer positions available than there are prospective candidates.

When this happens, the students, who have sacrificed so much; who bear the dreams of financial and societal progress for their families, start to feel a mix of betrayal and hopelessness! Here is how young people are responding in different parts of the world:

In Nigeria, many students, after trying as hard as they can to find a job but cannot, simply resort to using their smarts to steal from others (both home and abroad).

In Japan, the graduates do whatever they can to position themselves as the best candidate and end up working for “black companies” (companies that exploit and severely overwork their employees so much that it has led to instances of people dying on the job due to work exhaustion).

In South Korea, the graduates live “Hell Joseon”, a term used to describe the anxieties and discontentment the youth feel concerning the lack of upward mobility in society regardless of ability or work ethic.

In India, there are ever increasing episodes of suicides amongst students who cannot cope with the failure to attain perfect exam grades.

To turn the tide and change what is happening across the globe requires the following:

First, we have to give equal weighting to education and enterprise (the weighting has shifted crazily towards education). The reality is this: Everyone who has an education needs an enterprise (business) to find employment opportunity. Without enough enterprises, it puts undue pressure on students to be perfect to be chosen for fewer and fewer job opportunities, and it gives companies the upper hand to set employment conditions.

Second, we must stop teaching our children that businesses are evil and that the people that run them are evil. Why would anyone want to start a business and become successful only to be deemed as an evil or terrible human being in the end? When the end of owning a business is opprobrium, it is no wonder that people shy away from starting them. Perhaps this is part of the real reason why so many businesses fail…it could be that the owners are sabotaging their own efforts due to this societal conditioning!

Third, we must incentivize people to start businesses AND let people know of the incentives. This is something that is prevalent in places like the U.S but few people know about. For example, many people in the U.S do not know that companies generally pay a lower tax rate than individuals.

Consider what the bible says: The great God who formed everything gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages (Proverbs 26:10). In other words, God just doesn’t want us to pull in a wage or a salary, He desires for us to be owners. This way, we are not so foolish and so sin against ourselves and society at large.

Do you agree?

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