Earlier this week my son told me he learned that Mao Tse-tung decreed that his people would not watch movies.
Suddenly I recalled that when I was a student at my private Christian high school the administration there put in writing that we were not to watch movies.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that what these leaders wanted was control. They wanted to regulate what you did wherever you were. They had a template for what an ideal denizen would look like, act like, and think like.
If anyone should dare to transgress these sacred rules, there would consequences. If a violator was particularly daring, that person would be held up as an example of abject wickedness. Should the transgressor be totally unrepentant after being exposed to public disgrace, then his peers would be ordered to shun him.
If the one shunned thumbed his nose at the seriousness of the charges, he would be kicked to the curb outside the pristine walls of the moral fortress.
Perhaps that sounds dramatic. But if you’ve ever been in an environment that resembles the one I’ve described, you know it rings true. Rock the boat by breaking the man-made, morally irrelevant rules and those in power feel threatened. “How dare you make a mockery of the utopia we’ve designed? Don’t you see we have your best interests at heart?”
Since it’s a complicated world we live in and because this is a short post, I won’t focus on every possibility. I will say that not all the rules that even the most cruel dictators hand down are bad. Who knows? Even Hitler probably loved his dog. What I will zero in on here is this one point. If there’s just one thing I want you to take away from this post, it’s that freedom scares those in authority.
When an authority figure wants to dictate how you look, think, and act, it’s oppression whether they are Christian or Communist. In both cases, they think they know better how you should live your life than you do. But the truth is that no one but you and God deserve to have that kind of power.
So, in essence, people who want to out you into a mold of their own making are playing God. The problem is that they do a horrible job. To protect themselves from the threat of free thinking subordinates, they shame, punish, and injure them to get them back in line.
It’s the reason millions died under the implementation of Chairman Mao’s utopia. It’s why the Roman Catholic Church used excommunication to promote their religious, political, and moral agenda. And it’s why many private schools are sanctuaries to shield those inside from the evils running rampant outside.
Go ahead and be free. If you know Jesus, don’t let take anyone away your God-given liberty. It’s your choice. Will you choose to be oppressed or will you stand for your right to live as you please?
Think about that and have a gloriously liberating week!