Yesterday I had the good fortune of receiving, on my front porch, a gift bag from Liberty Baptist Church in nearby Mooresville (“Race City U.S.A.”). At left is this fabulous surprise, which made my day (click the image for a larger photograph). How ironic that just moments before finding the bag, I had been pondering my near certain eternal stay in Hell, roasting like a puffy white marshmallow in the fiery depths of infernal damnation. I wasn’t sure which mortal sin would be the one to ultimately land me there, but I’m sure it had something to do with feeding tubes.
Liberty Baptist is, as the pamphlet inside the bag assured me, an “old fashioned, missionary” church, just like the ones I see on TV!!! None of that New Age feel-good stuff. We’re talking Baptist, pure and simple and God-fearing and Footloose free.
But what really draws me to the church is the name itself: Liberty.
Man, am I a sucker for liberty. It’s right up there with freedom. I mean, liberty, that rocks. And if liberty weren’t enough all by itself, the name is actually sanctioned by the Bible!
In this detail from the photograph of the bag, you can see that “Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” (II Corinthians 3:17). True, true.
But I wondered what else the Bible has to say about my favorite word, liberty. Well, in the King James Bible there’s a great book called Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach (i.e. Not That Jesus). In Sirach the good prophet tell us, “Give the water no passage; neither a wicked woman liberty to gad abroad” (Sir. 25:25). Cool, “gad” in the King James Bible! And yes, I agree–keep those wicked woman home to gad.
And in Sirach 26:10, “If thy daughter be shameless, keep her in straitly, lest she abuse herself through overmuch liberty.” Whoa, not just liberty but overmuch liberty? That’s heavy. Like, I’m thinking, and I’m probably wrong here, but “overmuch” kind of means “too”? As in too much liberty? Hell, yes, when you’re talking about women!! If there’s one thing the Bible teaches us again and again, it’s that shameless women and liberty don’t mix. Give a woman an inch and she’ll take a mile, or whatever distance it takes to get her abroad, where she can gad about all she wants.
Tomorrow: what else is inside my bag from Liberty Baptist Church?