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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Radical Freedom

I attend Mayflower Congregational Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Mayflower is rather unique among churches in our little "buckle on the Bible Belt." Our motto is that we are "unapologetically Christian and unapologetically liberal." We have no creed or dogma. Instead we covenant with one another to aid each of us in our walk with God.

Last Sunday, Rev. Robin Meyers' message concerned what we gain through our faith walk together in a church like Mayflower. He termed it "Radical Freedom" and defined it as "the end of striving."

Rev. Meyers explained it thusly:

Most of us spend our lives wanting to get somewhere and be somebody. Radical Freedom is the end of striving. This does not mean the end of obligation since we are obligated by the example of Jesus to a life of service. Instead, we realize that we do not need to strive because we have already obtained grace. Rev. Meyers noted that the theologian Paul Tillich stated that in the end one must accept the fact that you are accepted.

Those who accept Radical Freedom realize we no longer need worry about place and identity. God has saved us from ourselves, from our striving, from our separation from each other and from God, which is what sin is all about. When I realize that I need not worry about being different or superior to those of my community, I realize that I am free from the fear that I have missed out on the fullness of God's blessing. I am free to in St. Paul's words, "to become all things to all." And I am free to celebrate the life of faith with all faiths. I can enjoy fellowship with the Catholic, Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, Protestant (both evangelical and liberal), Jewish, Unitarian/Universalist, Bahai, even agnostic brother and sister.

"We fear most those who fear not They indict us because they strive not."--Robin Meyers.

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