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Soul Liberty Again!

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by tyndale1946, Feb 12, 2003.

  1. tyndale1946

    tyndale1946 Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2001
    Brother Robert I believe you brought this up when you were outlining I believe it was Shurdens Four Freedoms if I am not mistaken. Since we have new brethren on here I wanted to look at it again... What actually is meant by Soul Liberty or freedom?... And can we examine those four freedoms in relation to the separation of church and state?... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ February 12, 2003, 11:24 PM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
  2. Jeff Weaver

    Jeff Weaver New Member

    Oct 10, 2001
    Bro. Glen

    Good topic. I confess that the notion of soul liberty is problematic in my brain. Maybe just in my brain.

    Once upon a time I had a conversation with Michael Wrenn on this, and made the comment that we really don't have soul liberty -- what we have is an obligation to seek the truth what ever that truth maybe. I think there is a radical difference.

    Many of our Baptist kindred and others as well, have the notion that you have soul liberty so long as you agree with their position. In other words, many of our Baptist kindred give lip service to the idea, but don't really like it, and don't in fact practice it. As I have stated many many times no one individual, no one church has an exclusive lock on truth or being right or wrong. There are good and bad things about any religious scheme you can conceive. The mix of right and wrong may vary greatly, but that is another topic.

    Soul liberty has been used to ignore learned men of days of old; soul liberty has been used to come up with some really daft ideas about God and His word.

    So, I will stand firm that we have an obligation to study, to learn, to grow in Christ.

    Another point on soul liberty viz a viz church and state. It seems to me that many of our siblings in Christ take the position of "right or biblical thinking" to berate those who don't agree with them. This can be dangerous when advocated by those in "authority" over the church -- e.g., pastors, deacons, etc. This translates very well into political positions. "If you don't vote the way I do, then you are not a real Christian." There is a lot of that in the Politics forum.

    Apologies for rambling around, diabetes is acting up today, and I am not making complete sense even to myself.

  3. rsr

    rsr <b> 7,000 posts club</b>

    Dec 11, 2001
    Bro. Glen, I think soul liberty, priesthood of the believer and religious liberty are all bound up in the same ball of wax.

    It has not traditionally meant "I can believe whatever I want to believe," but that each person has a responsibility to study and make decisions that no one else can make for him. And we will all answer individually for the choices we've made.

    I agree it's problematic. That's why there are so many flavors of Baptists.

    I think Bill Leonard manages to get it mostly right in his pamphlet:


    [ February 13, 2003, 09:36 AM: Message edited by: rsr ]
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Bro. Glen, I think a lot of people mistake soul liberty with "every man doing what is right in his own eyes" and "you can't tell me what to do." Man has no right to do that which is wrong. But where soul liberty comes in, as I see it, is that God has made no men kings and priests over other men, and that every man must give an account of himself to God. So one man, or any group of men, should not set up laws and decrees that rule over the consciences of other men.