Christian Freedom and Liberation
Liberation theology is an attempt by the western church to revert the gospel to the original teachings and lifestyles practiced by the early church. Christianity in this context is politically and culturally decentralized. The document identifies that freedom and liberty are unalienable rights to the human race that can never be revoked. There is also the fact that reasonable liberty has to come with conditions in order for it to be viable. The document has five chapters; these are Chapter 1: The State of Freedom in the World Today, Chapter 2: Man’s Vocation to Freedom and the Tragedy of Sin, Chapter 3: Liberation and Christian Freedom, Chapter 4: Liberating Mission of the Church and finally Chapter 5: The Social Doctrine of the Church for a Christian Practice of Liberation.
The first chapter is identified as The State of Freedom in the World Today. This chapter identifies that the heritage of Christianity is rooted to the idea that the gospel of Jesus Christ preaches of the liberation of humankind and the exercise of this freedom in communion with God. There has been the existence of a general thought that if man would attain liberation and freedom through the acquisition of profound knowledge and the masterly of the laws of nature, he would be no longer at the mercies of nature. There have been achievements in the social and political realms. The monarchies and dictatorial forms of governance have given way to democracies; slavery and bondage have been abolished in many parts of the world.
The second chapter is identified as Vocation to Freedom and the Tragedy of Sin. This chapter identifies sin as the main barrier to man achieving liberty and freedom. The obstacle to man’s liberation does not emanate from outside but resides within the limits of his very being. With this regard, freedom is the ability to master one’s own acts and determination. Freedom entails the power to exercise moral good and the permanent emancipation from moral evil. This is achieved when man reconciles with God and reverts to the image and likeness of his creator who is free in every sense.
The third chapter is on Liberation and Christian Freedom. This chapter identifies that the strength to pursue moral goodness is drawn from the hope of salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection. The history of the liberating action of God is the mighty exodus of the Hebrew slaves from the land of Egypt to the Promised Land. True freedom is to be governed by the law in order for it to be viable. The law that the Israelites were to follow was handed down to Moses by God. Other references to the laws and rules governing human conduct can be derived from the teachings of the prophets, apostles and God’s servants like the psalms and proverbs. All these teachings emphasize on God’s care for the poor and under privileged in the society.
The fourth chapter is identified as Liberating Mission of the Church. The contemporary man has a deep hunger for liberty and freedom. The chapter identifies the church as the avenue for man’s deliverance from the pangs of oppression. This gives the church the mission of delivering man from the anxieties of oppression. This is through the preaching and the practice of the teachings of Jesus Christ. The church is endowed with the task of preaching the word of Truth, which has the ability to enlighten consciences and bear the fruits of justice peace and freedom.
The fifth and final chapter is identified as The Social Doctrine of the Church for a Christian Practice of Liberation. Christian liberation is founded in the practice of the great commandment of love. The supreme commandment identifies the dignity endowed on each individual. It highlights on the sense of equality among all persons, as none is greater than the other thus none is to be loved more than the other is.