Islam preaches a god of submission, Buddha teaches enlightenment, but what about Christianity? Is it really as oppressive and strict as some say?

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.”

I’ve seen this quote attributed to Richard Bach the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I don’t know where or when though. Of course the redneck version also popped in my head also and I’m not 100% sure who to attribute it to either.

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t then hunt them down with gun.”

Back to choice. What we choose is what makes us who we are and makes life interesting and fun to live. But I hear so many who think that the Christian view portrays God as very strict and oppressive. How could this be interesting and fun. I would agree that what God wants from us can be tough to measure up to and in a lot of ways it is strict. But the way that God asks us to live is for our own sake not his.

My wife and I make and strictly enforce rules regarding our kids going down near the street. We are being strict and oppressive with them at this point for their own safety. We want to save them from suffering and death. Later when they have grown they will be equipped with what we taught them when they make their own choice in how they approach the street. That’s what parents do; educate our kids to make choices while they are young so they will be ready and able to make good choices when they are grown. I want our kids to have a fun and interesting life full of fun and interesting choices. I don’t want them at any point in their life to choose to walk in front of a speeding car.

God does the same for us and He started that tradition with with Adam & Eve. God didn’t need to put the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, but he did. He warned us against making bad decisions but still allowed us to choose. We are not doomed because of Adam and Eve’s choice. We are set free by it. We are set free to live whatever life we want to lead. He allows us to have what ever kind of fun and interesting life we want and we can make any choice we want. Yet at anytime in our life we are still offered the same choice and same reward as Adam & Eve: We can choose to step in front of the speeding car or we can choose Christ’s forgiveness and an eternal life walking with Him.

God loved us so he set us free. If we go back to him; we can be with him forever.

This doesn’t sound so oppressive and strict.