Held In Slavery by Christianity (Heb 2:14-16)

logoThere are many people held in slavery today by Christianity.  Christians who have a list of rules that they must follow to get into heaven are slaves to that list of rules.  Christians who have a list of good works that they must do to get into heaven are slaves to that list of good works.  Christians who have a list of theological beliefs that they must never doubt in order to get into heaven are slaves to dogma.  And the slaves of rules and works and dogma are all slaves to the fear of death – the worry that they might spend eternity in hell.

 The good news is that Jesus came to free us from just this kind of slavery!  We no longer have to be afraid of death.  No more striving to get enough points to get into heaven, because in his death, Jesus rendered the power of the devil – over eternal spiritual death – inoperable.  This frees us for eternal love – to be loved and to love.

 14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy (render inoperable or ineffective) the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. (Heb 2:14-16 NRS)

A note you might find interesting:  The devil, Diabolos, literally means “slanderer” or “accuser.”  Think diabolical!  He is an evil spirit that once had the power of eternal spiritual death over us.  He lies to us about God and to God about us.  We don’t want to believe he is real.  It sounds almost silly.  But the author of Hebrews did.  And I do too.  Every time I hear a lie about God or about one of God’s children, I know Diabolos is near by.

Refuse to be held in slavery.  Jesus died to set us free from fear and free to love and be loved.

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4 thoughts on “Held In Slavery by Christianity (Heb 2:14-16)

  1. Interesting! In a way, similar – neither the sick can be made well, nor the sinner a saint – it’s God who is our great Physician. This reminds me of Matthew 9:1-8 which I’ve pasted below.
    NB verse 6!!!

    “Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”

    At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!”

    Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? v6: But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” Then the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.

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  2. In Eastern Christianity sin is viewed more as an illness, rather than as disobedience. Instead of seeing sin as “breaking the Law” and becoming a spiritual criminal to be punished, the various “sins” we do are manifestations or symptoms of an illness — they are not something to be punished, but a condition to be treated.

    So what if God’s commandments are not a list of “Dos” and “Don’ts” but a prescription designed to treat our spiritual illness? What if “Thou shalt not commit adultery” is the spiritual equivalent of “Thou shalt not eat refined sugars”? What if the whole Torah (the Law) is just one big prescription for the spiritual illness of sin?

    We are not bad people trying to be good, but sick people trying to get well.
    http://www.writerscafe.org/writing/rjowles/1187153/

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