Sunday, October 17, 2004

Solzhenitsyn on freedom

After the Western ideal of unlimited freedom, after the Marxist concept of freedom as acceptance of the yoke of necessity - here is the true Christian definition of freedom. Freedom is self-restriction! Restriction of the self for the sake of others!

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Daily Dig - Freedom and Security by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

I post this because I am finding it in my life to be very true, when I do it. It is a vital thing to grasp the fact that you are free to do as you wish, but I am finding in so many areas of life, big to small, from eating right to living more simply to making friends in places I normally would not, that it is restricting my own freedom that makes things get brighter all around. Doing that hard stuff that there is no obligation to do in the first place - good things happen there. I guess maybe that's the point of the cross.


Anonymous said...

Here's the boiled down version from goog ol' Thomas J.
"Liberty is not the freedom to do as you please. It is the freedom to do as you ought."

Erich said...

Freedom is actually a very difficult issue in general. It's altogether understandable that a Christian understanding of it would be quite different from a secular understanding. However, even Christian understandings have confused the issue and paved the way to contemporary secularism. Rather than going into it, I'll just refer you to an essay -- "Freedom and the Church" (I think) by Alexander Schmemann, in his book For the Life of the World.