The song ” You Don’t Own Me!” goes so far back (1964) that Toyota is again introducing it, via commercials for their new Corolla, to a new generation as a new (but very old) anthem for the young. Yeah, they did tweak the original meaning and context a little… to help them sell cars. But here’s what they really did, they passed along the same old American independance meme* (*see below) that we sang so loudly way back when (we were young and free), the same meme*, but now with a new audience. Come on everybody, sing along, LOUDLY:
“You don’t own me. Don’t try to change me in any way. You don’t own me. Don’t tie me down ’cause I’ll never stay. Oo ooh, don’t tell me what to do, don’t tell me what to say. Just let me be myself, that’s all I ask of you. I’m young and I love to be young. I’m free and I love to be free, to live my life the way I want, to say and do what ever I please. You don’t own me.”
It’s funny–it’s ironic really, them singing it once again… Is it really their declaration of freedom, or is it a cry for freedom? Is it singing out and giving a voice to that deep longing for real freedom that has been planted by our creator within our souls? We say we’re free, but we’re not really; in the commercial, after we sing”…don’t tell me what to do”, the Corolla’s lane departure warning tells us what to do… And we do it!
We sing we’re free but we’re not. We pretend we are, but the truth is, we’re not. The Son, the one who created us, says only knowing the truth will set us free (and He ought to know!). And then he tells us if and when we know him then, we are free indeed. Because he is the Truth.
Until we know the Truth we are slaves to the meme** we inherited way back in the Garden. There is where we said to God, “You don’t own me. Don’t tie me down… Don’t tell me what to do…” Right after the serpant said, “Did God say… Don’t?!” “Don’t let Him tell you what not to do…”. So Adam said, “I’ll eat that proverbial Apple from that tree of the knowlege of good and evil, if I want to. And I do want to, ‘cause I’ll get freedom, freedom for Me, freedom to decide for Myself, what is good and what is evil.”
And because Adam ate of that apple, I too have taken a bite out of the Apple.
There’s a bite out of your apple too.
So… We are not free, unless and until the Son has set us free indeed.
But here’s the twist. Many Christians after having been born of the Spirit, proclaim, “Now, finally, I’m free. ‘Cause I’ve been redeemed. You know, the Blood, and the Lamb who died for me, set me free… I’m free now, I was caught up in the darkness but now I have seen the light. I’m free now, ’cause I am a new creation in Christ.” They are saying they are living “free”, but unwittingly, their freedom has fallen prey to the line from that old[est] Meme**, they are living out the new Corolla anthem, “I’m free and I love to be free, to live my life the way that I want, to say and do whatever I please. (You don’t own me.)“…
…unaware that the new Meme*** as a new creation in Christ is this:
Do you not know… you are not your own? You have been bought with a price.
(What do you mean, “I’m not my own? I don’t own me?…
I’m free! I’m turning up the radio in my new 2017 Corolla and I’m singin’ it out loud, “I’m free to be me and do what I please…”!)
Do you not know you have a New Meme…
…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; You have been bought with a price. So glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, because they belong to God…
When we do that, then we are free. Truly free. And then truly we love to be free, free to walk as Jesus walked, free to accept the cross just as he did, laying down our “godness” our own self determining lives, so that in exchange, we can live by his Life. We have been freed to live right now in and by His Life, ’cause Jesus now, truly, is setting us free.
*Meme: *1 : an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture… horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by… [commercial!] entertainment media.
**Meme: **2: A condition and pattern of rebellion against our creator that has spread throughout every culture vertically, an inherited fallen spiritual nature that has been passed on from parent to child since the time of Adam and Eve…
***Our New Meme is our Father’s counter cultural truth: (1 Cor. 6 19,20) Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; so glorify God in your body and in your spirit, because they belong to God.