Building Cages out of Freedom


I saw in my dream, that the Interpreter took Christian by the hand again, and led him into a very dark room, where there sat a man in an iron cage. Now the man seemed very sad. He sat with his eyes looking down to the ground, and his hands folded together, and he sighed as if his heart would break.

Then said Christian, “Who is this?”

“Talk with him and see,” said the Interpreter.

“What used you to be?” asked Christian.

“I was once a flourishing professor, both in my own eyes, and also in the eyes of others,” answered the man. “I was on my way, as I thought, to the Celestial City and I was confident that I would get there.”

“But what did you do to bring yourself to this condition?” Christian asked.

“I failed to keep watch,” the man replied. “I followed the pleasures of this world, which promised me all manner of delights. But they proved to be an empty bubble. And now I am shut up in this iron cage—a man of despair who can’t get out.”

No further explanations were given. No one said who put him there. But the Interpreter whispered to Christian:

“Bear well in mind what you have seen.” [1]

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Another thought related to the ideas in Behind Closed Doors.

The whole aim of the construction process, whether in sex, foetal development, education, business, art, music, family or state government, is the ultimate revelation of a mature glory. We are given the opportunity to create, and that involves certain God-given freedoms. If the freedoms are abused, what we construct for ourselves is a cage. Lust is a cage. A dysfunctional family or state is a cage. Enforced egalitarian socio-economics is a cage. Undisciplined children are a cage.

Jesus laid down His life for this world, and the freedoms of western culture have been a direct outcome. In its final stages, we have rebelliously inverted each of these freedoms (including the economic ones) and turned both our Christian protection (including our God-given wealth) and Christian mandate into a cage. Ancient Israel did the same. Why does this inversion process seem such a logical path for fallen human nature?

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3 Responses to “Building Cages out of Freedom”

  • Bob Burcher Says:

    I’ve been turning to bunyan’s pilgrims progress a lot lately. It’s a wonderful book in so many ways. This man, this repbrobate in the cage is a frightening warning to us all. I like your summary title ‘Building cages out of freedom’. I think that is the danger.

  • Walter Robins Says:

    It is an interesting phenomenon how some people “know” and others appear that they are not going to ‘get it’ as long as their rear end point to the ground. Those who do ‘get it’ grieve for humanity but the words “What is that to you? follow thou me” come to mind – maybe there is an answer in that for those who grieve? And it’s obviously not a matter of intellect or opportunity that determines who will be ‘caged’. However it is Love that holds the key to the lock that remains open, unable to be closed. “Behold before you an open door that no one is able to close”.

  • Mike Bull Says:

    Well said, Walter. The Lord always makes a way of escape, and it is by blood. His blood.