While we are demonstrating for nonviolence we often hear people shout, "You could not hold up your signs had it not been for the brave soldiers who died protecting your freedom!" Our response is that this is not true. Our freedom comes from God, not man. God gave us a free will, and no one can take this away from us.
Our freedom, however, is lessened each time violence is used to defend the same. Christ told us that true freedom is found in love, and if you love you will not use violence to another. Christ frees us from fear of others. Christ teaches that to bind ourselves to the world, the state, government limits our freedom. Christ used His freedom and refused to be part of the Roman Empire. He told us that His Kingdom is not external, but internal. A soldier has less freedom for joining the military than anyone else. He or she must do only what he or she is told. He or she must not talk politics in public, not oppose any war, not refuse to kill another.
We who have chosen to follow Christ are free to love all people since we are not beholden to any state or government. We serve all people by doing good to all whether they are Americans, Iranians, Iraqis or members of any other state. As a result we are free.
We have the freedom to do what we want no matter where we live. However, there are consequences to be suffered if we use our freedom. We may end up in jail for doing something that the state forbids. For example, the US has more prisoners behind bars than any other country in the world. The number hovers around 2.2 million.
As a result of our choice to live below the poverty line in order to avoid paying for war, we suffer the consequence of being deep in debt. God alone gives us that free will to choose. No man gives us free will to choose. One who kills "to defend us" does not increase our freedom but rather diminishes it.
Rev. Don Timmerman