Now that I've recovered from the embarrassment of having been called "a fine upstanding Christian" by one of my readers, I'm ready to say a bit more about "God-blessed freedom" (as I termed it yesterday).
I assume [what I think we simply must assume for discussion of faith to proceed]: that humans are free—at least to some degree, which might even be extensible through self-knowledge and discipline.
It follows, if we are in some sense created by God, that God created our freedom. That's part of what I meant by the phrase "God-blessed freedom." The other part of my understanding of this God-granted freedom is that with it comes the implicit invitation to use it. In fact, it may be a logical necessity. For does it make sense to say, "You are free, but don't act freely"?
Religions of course provide various instructions or directions about how to use it. A good friend of mine thinks that the message of most religions (that is, God's message as promoted by these religions) is to "do good one to another." Nevertheless many religious people study their holy book to get explicit, specific instructions about how to be good, as though they didn't particularly want to exercise their intelligence to figure it out. (Indeed, freedom can be a burden, for it entails responsibility.)
What delighted me yesterday was to realize that to exercise my freedom on my own, honestly and from love, is sufficient to "be okay with God." It is not necessary to do anything else—like pray, attend church, read the holy book, even worship as ordinarily understood. It appeared to me that using my freedom could itself be an act of worship, an act of obedience and praise.
But in practice I don't dwell on that, for I don't get warm, fuzzy feelings from the concept of being obedient to God. "Obedience to God" seems on its face to require that a person follow explicit instructions. How can that be free?
The feeling I felt upon gaining this insight I compared yesterday to the feeling I had upon "being saved" fifty-six years ago: The significance of God's blessing of freedom came to me as a stroke of forgiveness and liberation.