The Importance of Individual Freedom

God continued to reveal his Kingdom to the Children of Israel in Genesis and it separated them from the pagans around them. There is one God…not many gods. Man is created in the image of God; with dignity and identity. Work and be fruitful. Initiative is rewarded. All of these revelations are basic building blocks of the Biblical Worldview.

Next God taught them the importance of individual freedom, a concept foreign to the ancient pagan world. The pagan world was enslaved by superstitiously believing that spirits controlled everything in the universe. Tribalism and slavery made the lack of personal freedom worse. In the ancient tribes, the chiefs ruled and owned everything. Tribes that were conquered by other tribes were commonly enslaved by their new masters. People saw themselves as helpless with no way to improve their personal place in the world. Slaves were thought to be slaves by fate and people were very fatalistic.

In the midst of this came the biblical revelation that people were created in the image of God. People have a free will. God created people with the ability to make decisions, and subsequently improve their lives. They have certain rights given to them by their creator. God took the descendants of Abraham out of slavery in Egypt. He did not allow the Hebrews to remain slaves. He would soon teach them to think like free people. Only when people are free do they advance.

Individual freedom is central to the Biblical worldview…for the ancient Hebrews and the Christian today.

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