Freedom vs. Autonomy

JOHN 8 31

Some people think the Bible is anti-freedom because it has all these limitations and rules. When in fact, the Bible is VERY pro-freedom by promoting that freedom and truth go hand in hand (John 8:31-32). The Bible is actually anti-autonomy.

In a recent interview with Frank Turek, Abdu Murray explains the distinction between freedom and autonomy:

“One of our country’s greatest concepts is “freedom,” but in today’s society we have confused freedom (the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without restraint) with “autonomy” (freedom from external control or influence). When you are autonomous, you are (literally by definition) “a law unto yourself.” Well, what happens when you are a law unto yourself and I am a law unto myself and we disagree? Truth is no longer the arbiter between us. So when we clash in the public square, it won’t be truth that decides; it will be POWER. And that ultimately leads to authoritarianism which is enslaving. Isn’t it ironic that autonomy (which we think is freeing) leads to slavery?

Autonomy is without boundaries. Freedom has (and must have) boundaries! The example is given of children playing in the front yard. Beyond the yard is a busy street. The children have the freedom to play in the yard because there is a fence (boundary) between the yard and street. Otherwise, it would be dangerous. In fact, the purpose of the yard could not be fully experienced without a boundary. Because there is a boundary, the purpose (and the freedom to enjoy that purpose) can be realized. We want autonomy; no boundaries. And that leads to utter CHAOS.”


Full interview

“Saving Truth” by Abdu Murray

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