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Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Ordering Worship: Part 4. (the freedom of order)
Throughout human history, give people the choice between order and freedom and they invariably choose order. It most often eventually leads to tyranny. (think about this the next time you go through security at an airport).

But order is good, isn't it? The problem really isn't with order is it? The problem is the way we misunderstand the notion of order. To pit order against freedom creates a false dichotomy. The problem isn't order; it's control. Control counterfeits order. That's why we resist order. We've seen too much control in the name of order (think legalism). We hate control because it means a progressive loss of freedom. When control absolutizes itself we get slavery. This is the nature of idolatry. Human beings set up systems to control or manipulate God toward the end of their own security and they wind up becoming slaves to the system they created. 

I used to think the opposite of order was chaos. Now I think it's control. Chaos is the predictable outcome of control. Freedom is the surprising fruit of order.

However, there is one way to choose both order and freedom simultaneously: Worshipping the God who is revealed in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

thoughts?  comments? make sense?

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posted by John David Walt | at 3/31/2009 08:58:00 AM

 

5 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

yes...makes sense. in my life i feel the most freedom when i give up my control.

1:15 PM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

The best analogy that helps me get my mind around this is music and improvisation. Without the order of a song (chord structures, scales, etc.) there could be no music. However, when a good musician works within the structure of a song they can begin to improvise taking the song to places creatively orginal to the artist. But it must start with order.

7:55 PM EDT  
Blogger Kendra said...

I think I'd be a little bit more bold than saying we misunderstand the notion of order. At a basic level, we in our sin nature resist order as it comes from God. Like you said, we respond by controlling and ordering life apart from God's will. The predictable outcome is chaos, in the sense that God's order is not sought. But chaos still exists underneath the hand of God's rule. Chaos cannot trump justice, so the disorder exists only as long as God's order allows it to.

God, in His holiness and goodness, expresses Himself as a God of order throughout the Bible. I like your comment, "Freedom is the surprising fruit of order." Though we still resist order, we are not ruled by sin. The Holy Spirit regenerates us and increases our understanding of God's holy order. Through Christ, we relish in the freedom to live full lives.

To resist order doesn't necessarily have to be sinful, because it could be directing us away from our demand for control and toward the order of God. As the church gathers and orders itself, we should practice some level of scritiny toward our order - to refine our motivations and our goal results.

8:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Kendra said...

A pretend $50 for the first person who can define "scritiny"!

Sorry for the misspell. (scrutiny)

8:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Kendra said...

Psalmn 95 depicts the freedom of order and the joy in it. It also warns against hardening one's heart against God's NEW order of freedom from slavery in Egypt and NEW order of freedom to take the land. I guess it is offensive to be offered freedom when you know it means giving up your own notion of order.

I love that the Law was a communication of the character of God, as it applied to practical living. Words of truth to those who are not perfect. To the lawless, it is an offense. To the righteous, joy and freedom (like psalm 95.)

12:29 AM EDT  

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