Welcome to the “Lovers of Freedom” District Conventions!
FREEDOM! What a pleasant sound that word has! No one enjoys being in bondage or in captivity. Recent years saw more movement toward hoped-for political freedom than any others within memory.
However, as desirable as political freedom is, there is a freedom that is far more important and desirable. It is the freedom that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, spoke about when he said to his disciples: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) This is freedom from false religious beliefs, freedom from the fear of man, freedom from slavery to sinful addictions, and much more.
It is this freedom that is the theme of the “Lovers of Freedom” District Conventions to be held by Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the world beginning in the summer of 1991. Since the year 1919, which was marked by the releasing of government restrictions on those taking the lead among them, God’s people have been enjoying increasing freedom as regards their pure worship.
It is most fitting that the subject of freedom has been highlighted over the years at theocratic conventions, by such themes as the “‘Free Nation’s’ Theocratic Assembly” and the “‘God’s Sons of Liberty’ District Assemblies.” Freedom is also extensively discussed in such publications as “The Truth Shall Make You Free” and Life Everlasting—In Freedom of the Sons of God.
The God-given freedom that Jehovah’s servants have is not just for their own well-being and enjoyment. As we read at Galatians 5:13: “You were, of course, called for freedom, brothers; only do not use this freedom as an inducement for the flesh, but through love slave for one another.” The “Lovers of Freedom” District Convention will help us to appreciate the purpose of our freedom, enable us to hold on to our precious freedom, and show us how to make the best use of it.
The convention will begin on Friday morning at 10:20 with a musical program that will put us in the right frame of mind for the spiritual food to follow. The theme of the first day is “Knowing the Truth That Sets Us Free,” based on John 8:32. The forenoon will feature the chairman’s welcoming remarks and the keynote address, “The Purpose and Use of Our God-Given Freedom.” This talk will highlight the difference between Jehovah’s absolute freedom and the relative freedom that God grants to us. It will also encourage us to make the best possible use of the freedom we have. The afternoon’s program will deal with various aspects of our freedom and our ministry and will conclude with a drama, Set Free to Promote True Worship.
The theme of the second day is “Standing Fast in Our God-Given Freedom,” based on Galatians 5:1. The morning’s program will feature a symposium showing how the individual members of a family can enjoy God-given freedom within the family circle. Those ready to be baptized will especially appreciate the remarks regarding how freedom is achieved by dedication and baptism. Included in the afternoon’s program will be an intriguing discussion of whether marriage is the key to happiness or not. There will also be a symposium on the different aspects of freedom and then a concluding talk that focuses on God’s Chief Agent for providing freedom and everlasting life.
Sunday has the theme “Using Our Freedom in Harmony With God’s Spirit,” based on 2 Corinthians 3:17. The program will feature a most interesting symposium on Jesus’ parable recorded at Matthew 13:47-50, revealing how Jehovah’s Witnesses serve as fishers of men. The public talk in the afternoon is “Hailing God’s New World of Freedom!” It will be followed by a new feature for a district convention: a summary of the Watchtower lesson for that week. And the program will close with the Scriptural exhortation for all of us to keep advancing in making good use of our God-given freedom in our conduct and in our witnessing.
To all lovers of freedom, we say in the words of the psalmist David: “Taste and see that Jehovah is good.” (Psalm 34:8) Leave no stone unturned in your efforts to get to this convention. Make it your business to be present from the opening session on Friday morning until the closing talk on Sunday afternoon. If you come with a healthy spiritual appetite, fully conscious of your spiritual need, you will indeed be happy! (Matthew 5:3) And let us not overlook the principle, “He that sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” This also applies to how earnestly we prepare in advance to attend, how diligently we listen to the program as it is presented, and how enthusiastically we undertake whatever privileges of volunteer service are open to us in connection with our “Lovers of Freedom” District Convention.—2 Corinthians 9:6.