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In HOPE - Faculty Publications

  In HOPE 7.32 

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David Timms  

Ministry Resource

Over the past 6 weeks, Eastside Christian Church (a congregation of about 3000 people) has been involved in a journey titled "Outside the Gates." The Church developed its own small group curriculum, Bible School curriculum, devotional book, and sermon materials to make this an integrated thrust in every area of the church. It has been a remarkable start to what we anticipate will be a long journey with a focus on serving the marginalized, the oppressed, the ignored, and the wounded in our own community. If you would like information or access to some of these resources, check www.eastside.com and contact Bruce White, Minister of Discipleship at bwhite@eastside.com .

Hope Happenings

Recently, the admissions features on Hope International University's website were recognized as among the most highly rated in the country by the National Research Center for College & University Admissions (NRCCUA) after an analysis of the admissions websites of more than 3,000 post-secondary institutions.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831


"To the extent that you are free to choose evil, you are not free. An evil choice destroys freedom .... Only the man who has rejected all evil so completely that he is unable to desire it at all, is truly free."
-- Thomas Merton,
New Seeds of Contemplation, 199-200.


We want freedom; freedom from our addictions and afflictions. We carry hurts and wounds, pain and grief, brokenness and guilt sufficient to suffocate our souls. We'd like to rise above the temptations to which we too often yield.

With this in mind, Thomas Merton (above) throws new light on the nature of genuine Freedom.

In the past, I've considered true freedom to be the unfettered ability to choose good or evil. I have freewill when I can accept or reject God. Take away that choice and you take away my freedom. But any time I choose a destructive path I show how little freedom I really have.

Think of it this way: Any intentional choice for self-harm comes from an already distorted or damaged life. That choice stems not from freedom but bondage and leads to death -- hardly the fruit of authentic liberation. Any evil pleasure which I think has some value or attraction depends upon deception. I would only choose it because I am duped by it, and to fall for such deception is not to live in true freedom but to be spiritually blind.

It's a paradox. I'm most free when I can see evil for what it really is and choose only for good. The "free"-will that we usually talk about, which allows us to choose impurity and ungodliness is actually "bound"-will.

Freewill is, ironically, the capacity to choose only what is good. Perhaps this helps us understand why God cannot be tempted to sin. He has perfect and pure freewill.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." (Galatians 5:1) That's the place we'd like to live and can live as He delivers us from the subterfuge of evil and creates in us a heart only for good. I don't want the "freedom" to choose evil. That's no freedom at all.

Battling this week? Burdened by yesterday's deceptions and decisions? Perhaps we might pray this prayer:

"Lord, please give me true freewill today, to choose only You ."

In HOPE --



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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2007) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.