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Liberty and Freedom

Liberty, in a broad sense, is the ability to do as one pleases. It may entail the responsible use of freedom under a rule of law without depriving anyone else of their freedom. Liberty is defined in a more specific way as "the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views.

Freedom is even more broad in that it represents "the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint." Freedom is also defined as the "absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government." and "the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved."

What is the Perfect law of liberty and what does it have to do with Pure Religion and not do with the wages of unrighteousness and the covetous practices of the world which makes men merchandise and will curse children?

Liberty in the Bible

  1. Leviticus 25:10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty[1] throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
  2. Psalms 119:45 And I will walk at liberty[2]: for I seek thy precepts.
  3. Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty[1] to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
  4. Jeremiah 34:8 This is the word that came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people which were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty[1] unto them;
  5. Jeremiah 34:15 And ye were now turned, and had done right in my sight, in proclaiming liberty[1] every man to his neighbour; and ye had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name:
  6. Jeremiah 34:16 But ye turned and polluted my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom ye had set at liberty[3] at their pleasure, to return, and brought them into subjection, to be unto you for servants and for handmaids.
  7. Jeremiah 34:17 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ye have not hearkened unto me, in proclaiming liberty[1], every one to his brother, and every man to his neighbour: behold, I proclaim a liberty[1] for you, saith the LORD, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
  8. Ezekiel 46:17 But if he give a gift of his inheritance to one of his servants, then it shall be his to the year of liberty[1]; after it shall return to the prince: but his inheritance shall be his sons’ for them.

  1. Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty[4] them that are bruised,
  2. Acts 24:23 And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty[5], and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
  3. Acts 26:32 Then said Agrippa unto Festus, This man might have been set at liberty[5], if he had not appealed unto Caesar.
  4. Acts 27:3 And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty[6] to go unto his friends to refresh himself.
  5. Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty[7] of the children of God.
  6. 1 Corinthians 7:39 The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty[8] to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
  7. 1 Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty[9] of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
  8. 1 Corinthians 10:29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty[7] judged of another man’s conscience?
  9. 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty[7].
  10. Galatians 2:4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty[7] which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
  11. Galatians 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty[7] wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
  12. Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty[7]; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
  13. Hebrews 13:23 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty[10]; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
  14. James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty[7], and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
  15. James 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty[7].
  16. 1 Peter 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty[7] for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
  17. 2 Peter 2:19 While they promise them liberty[7], they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

The word free, freewill or freedom appears over a hundred times in one form or another in the Biblical text.

Leviticus 19:20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom[11] given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Acts 22:28 And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom[12]. And Paul said, But I was free born.


Freedom is "its own will, its scope, its ability to act in its way: lack of restraint, bondage, slavery, subjugation to the will of others". ... Freedom is a state of mind; it is a philosophical concept reflecting an inalienable human right to realize one's human will.

Types of freedom

  • Freedom of association.
  • Freedom of belief.
  • Freedom of speech.
  • Freedom to express oneself.
  • Freedom of the press.
  • Freedom to choose one's state in life.
  • Freedom of religion.
  • Freedom of bondage and slavery.
  • Freedom to bear arms
  • However, the civil constitutions of each country have different definitions of the freedoms allowed to the citizens. It has been argued that any law limits freedom, since it sets limits on what people may do.

Liberty means the condition in which an individual has the ability to act following his or her own will and alternatively, achieve their potential, within the context of other words like political freedom. It is a term that has contested meanings.

Communism and socialism claim to have something defined as liberty for them because of their social equality ideals. Libertarians and classical liberals think communism is against Liberty because communism is most of the times against the individual basic rights (life, freedom and property).

Classical liberalism conceptions of liberty conceive mainly of the freedom of the individual from outside compulsion in terms of freedom from restraint and social liberalist perspective, on the other hand, highlights the need for social and economic equality, as in the power and resources to fulfill one's potential. As such, a social liberalist connects liberty (i.e. freedom) to the equal distribution of political power (i.e. democracy) in the sense of positive liberty. They argue that liberty without equality means the domination of the most powerful. Thus, freedom and democracy are seen as connected and ultimately, antagonistic.[1][2][3][13]

John Stuart Mill, in his work, On Liberty[14], was the first to recognize the difference between liberty as the freedom to act and liberty as the absence of coercion (being forced to do something). Mill also sought to define the "nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual” and as such, he describes an inherent and continuous antagonism between liberty and authority and thus, the prevailing question becomes "how to make the fitting adjustment between individual independence and social control".[15]

The welfare programs of government is what Alexis calls "legal charity". It is what the Bible calls the wages of unrighteousness. Desiring benefits at the expense of your neighbor and using force to obtain them even if by government authority is not loving your neighbor as yourself, but it is the covetous practices Peter spoke of that makes you merchandise and curse children.

“The time of decision is around the end of the Twentieth Century when we will either stand at the grave of civilization in a 'War Of All Against All' or turn toward a spiritualized culture.” Rudolf Steiner

"We regard the perfection of the whole as depending on the unique perfection of each single individual." The Philosophy Of Freedom

“If the source of social compatibility was not a basic part of human nature, no external laws could instill it into human nature! Only because individuals are of one mind can they live out their lives side by side. The free individual lives in full confidence that all other free human beings belong to a spiritual/intellectual (geistigen) world with himself, and that their intentions will harmonize with his. The free individual does not demand agreement from his fellow human beings, but he expects it, because it is inherent in human nature.” The Philosophy Of Freedom (9.10}

“But how is a social life possible if each one is only striving to assert their own individuality? This question is characteristic of misguided Moralism. The Moralist believes that a social community is possible only if all are united by a common moral order. This shows that the Moralist does not understand the unity of the world of Ideas. He fails to see that the world of Ideas that inspires me is none other than the one inspiring my neighbor.” TPOF 9.10

“I differ from my neighbor not because we are living in two entirely different mental worlds, but because he receives different intuitions than I do out of our common world of Ideas. He wants to live out his intuitions I mine. If our source truly is the world of Ideas and we do not obey any external impulses (physical or spiritual) then we can only meet in the same striving, in the same intentions. A moral misunderstanding, a clash of aims, is impossible between morally free people.” TPOF 9.10

"Whoever judges people according to their typical characteristics stops short at the boundary line beyond which people begin to be individuals whose activity is based on free self-determination. What lies below this boundary line can naturally become the subject of academic study. The characteristics of race, ethnicity, nation and sex are the subjects of specific branches of study. Only people who wish to live as nothing more than an example of a type could possibly fit the general picture that emerges from this kind of academic study. None of these branches of study are able to reach the unique character of the single individual. Determining the individual according to the laws of his type ends where the region of freedom (in thinking and acting) begins." TPOF 14.5

Tocqueville prophetically perceived that the social suffocating weight of a cradle to grave welfare systems. His Memoir on Pauperism warned the industrialized world is threatened by legal charity that is not true charity and as the counter effect are detrimental to the social virtues required in a free and healthy society:

  • "I am deeply convinced that any permanent, regular administrative system whose aim will be to provide for the needs of the poor will breed more miseries than it can cure, will deprave the population that it wants to help and comfort, will in time reduce the rich to being no more than the tenant-farmers of the poor, will dry up the sources of savings, will stop the accumulation of capital, will retard the development of trade, will benumb human industry and activity, and will culminate by bringing about a violent revolution in the State..."
  • “I want to imagine with what new features of despotism could be produced in the world: I see an innumerable crowd of like and equal men who revolve on themselves without repose, procuring the small and vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls. Each of them, withdrawn and apart, is like a stranger to the destiny of all the others: his children and his particular friends from the whole human species for him; as for dwelling with his fellow citizens, he is beside them, but he does not see them, he exists only in himself and for himself alone, and if a family still remains for him, one can at least say that he no longer has a native country.”
“Above these an immense tutelary power is elevated, which alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watch over their fate. It is absolute, detailed, regular, far-seeing, and mild. It would resemble paternal power if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed irrevocably in childhood; it likes citizens to enjoy themselves provided that they think only of enjoying themselves. It willingly works for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of that; it provides for their security, foresees and secures their needs, facilitates their pleasure, conducts their principal affairs, direct industry, regulates their estates, divides their inheritances; can ir not take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking and the pain of living?”
“So it is that every day it renders the employment of free will less useful and more rare; it confines the action of the will in a smaller space and little by little steals the very use of free will from each citizen. Equality has prepared men for all these things: it has disposed them to tolerate them ard often even regard them as a benefit.”
“Thus, after taking each individual by turns in its powerful hands and neading him as it likes, the sovereign extends its arms over society as a whole; it covers its surface with a network of small, complicated, painstaking, uniform rules through which the most original minds and the most vigourous souls cannot clear a way to surpass the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them, and directs them; it rarely forces one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one's acting; it does not destroy, it prevents things from being born; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.” ” Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville, Chapter 6 What kind of Despotism Democratic Nations have to Fear, p667

  • "[It will be] an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure [the people's] gratifications, and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent, if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry,regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?" ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA 302 (Richard D. Heffner ed., The New American Library 1956) (1838). page 303.
  • "After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp, and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting: such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, 'til each nation is reduced to be nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd." ALEXIS DE TOCQUEVILLE, DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA 302 (Richard D. Heffner ed., The New American Library 1956) (1838). page 304.
  • "They devise a sole, tutelary, and all-powerful form of government, but elected by the people. They combine the principles of centralization and that of popular sovereignty; this gives them a respite: they console themselves for being in tutelage by the reflection that they have chosen their own guardians. Every man allows himself to be put in leading-strings, because he sees that it is not a person or a class of persons but the people at large, who hold the end of his chain. By this system, the people shake off their state of dependence just long enough to select their master,and then relapse into it again."
  • "A great many persons at the present day are quite contented with this sort of com-promise between administrative despotism and the sovereignty of the people; and they think they have done enough for the protection of individual freedom when they have surrendered it to the power of the nation at large. This does not satisfy me: the nature of him I am to obey signifies less to me than the fact of extorted obedience.'"

What made America great was the people took care of themselves through a Network of faith, hope, and charity rather than governments of fear, force, and fealty.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 01865 ^רורד^ dᵉrowr \@der-ore’\@ from an unused root (meaning to move rapidly); n m; {See TWOT on 454 @@ "454b"} AV-liberty 7, pure 1; 8
    1) a flowing, free run, liberty
    1a) flowing (of myrrh)
    1b) liberty
  2. 07342 ^בחר^ rachab \@raw-khawb’\@ from 07337; adj; {See TWOT on 2143 @@ "2143c"} AV-large 8, broad 5, proud 3, wide 3, broader 1, liberty 1; 21
    1) broad, wide
  3. 02670 ^ישׁפח^ chophshiy \@khof-shee’\@ from 02666; adj; {See TWOT on 717 @@ "717c"} AV-free 16, liberty 1; 17
    1) free
    1a) free (from slavery)
    1b) free (from taxes or obligations)
  4. 859 ~ἄφεσις~ aphesis \@af’-es-is\@ from 863; TDNT-1:509,88; {See TDNT 115} n f AV-remission 9, forgiveness 6, deliverance 1, liberty 1; 17
    1) release from bondage or imprisonment
    2) forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they had never been committed), remission of the penalty
  5. 5.0 5.1 425 ~ἄνεσις~ anesis \@an’-es-is\@ from 447; TDNT-1:367,60; {See TDNT 73} n f AV-rest 3, liberty 1, be eased 1; 5
    1) a loosening, relaxing
    1a) spoken of a more tolerable condition in captivity, to be held in less vigorous confinement
    1b) relief, rest, from persecutions
    For Synonyms see entry 5810 & 5922
  6. 2010 ~ἐπιτρέπω~ epitrepo \@ep-ee-trep’-o\@ from 1909 and the base of 5157; ; v AV-suffer 10, permit 4, give leave 2, give liberty 1, give license 1, let 1; 19
    1) to turn to, transfer, commit, instruct
    2) to permit, allow, give leave
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 7.8 7.9 1657 ~ἐλευθερία~ eleutheria \@el-yoo-ther-ee’-ah\@ from 1658; n f AV-liberty 11; 11
    1) liberty to do or to omit things having no relationship to salvation
    2) fancied liberty
    2a) licence, the liberty to do as one pleases
    3) true liberty is living as we should not as we please
  8. 1658 ~ἐλεύθερος~ eleutheros \@el-yoo’-ther-os\@ probably from the alternate of 2064 establish ; TDNT-2:487,224; {See TDNT 233} adj AV-free 18, free woman 3, at liberty 1, free man 1; 23
    1) freeborn
    1a) in a civil sense, one who is not a slave
    1b) of one who ceases to be a slave, freed, manumitted
    2) free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation
    3) in an ethical sense: free from the yoke of the Mosaic Law
  9. 1849 ~ἐξουσία~ exousia \@ex-oo-see’-ah\@ from 1832 (in the sense of ability); n f AV-power 69, authority 29, right 2, liberty 1, jurisdiction 1, strength 1; 103 See Romans 13
    1) power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases
    1a) leave or permission
    2) physical and mental power
    2a) the ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises
    3) the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
    4) the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed)
    4a) universally
    4a1) authority over mankind
    4b) specifically
    4b1) the power of judicial decisions
    4b2) of authority to manage domestic affairs
    4c) metonymically
    4c1) a thing subject to authority or rule
    4c1a) jurisdiction
    4c2) one who possesses authority
    4c2a) a ruler, a human magistrate
    4c2b) the leading and more powerful among created beings superior to man, spiritual potentates
    4d) a sign of the husband’s authority over his wife
    4d1) the veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself
    4e) the sign of regal authority, a crown
    For Synonyms see entry 5820
  10. 630 ~ἀπολύω~ apoluo \@ap-ol-oo’-o\@ from 575 From and 3089 loose; ; v AV-release 17, put away 14, send away 13, let go 13, set at liberty 2, let depart 2, dismiss 2, misc 6; 69
    1) to set free
    2) to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer)
    2a) a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer
    2b) to bid depart, send away
    3) to let go free, release
    3a) a captive i.e. to loose his bonds and bid him depart, to give him liberty to depart
    3b) to acquit one accused of a crime and set him at liberty
    3c) indulgently to grant a prisoner leave to depart
    3d) to release a debtor, i.e. not to press one’s claim against him, to remit his debt
    4) used of divorce, to dismiss from the house, to repudiate. The wife of a Greek or Roman may divorce her husband.
    5) to send one’s self away, to depart
  11. {{02668
  12. 4174 ~πολιτεία~ politeia \@pol-ee-ti’-ah\@ from 4177 ("polity"); TDNT-6:516,906; {See TDNT 649} n f AV-freedom 1, commonwealth 1; 2
    1) the administration of civil affairs
    2) a state or commonwealth
    3) citizenship, the rights of a citizen
  13. Rawls, John 1996. Political liberalism. New York: Columbia University Press. Rawls, John 1999. Law of peoples. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rawls, John 1999. A theory of justice, revised edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rawls, John 2001. Justice as fairness: a restatement. Erin Kelly (ed). New York: Columbia University Press.
  14. "THE SUBJECT of this Essay is not the so-called Liberty of the Will, so unfortunately opposed to the misnamed doctrine of Philosophical Necessity; but Civil, or Social Liberty: the nature and limits of the power which can be legitimately exercised by society over the individual. "
  15. Mill J.S. 1869. "Chapter I: Introductory". On Liberty.