About Daniel Shayesteh

Dr Daniel was born into a Muslim family in Northern Iran. He became a radical Muslim leader and teacher of Islam in the militant Free Islamic Revolutionary Movement, closely supporting Ayatollah Khomeini. However, after falling out of favor with Khomeini’s political group, he escaped to Turkey where there began an amazing journey to faith in Jesus Christ.

Daniel's mission is to help others understand and lovingly respond to those who do not know Christ. He is also deeply concerned for the future of Western societies, their loss of confidence in Judeo-Christian values, and their persistent naivete about the implications of the world-wide Islamic revival.

The Position of the Bible on Freedom

Using freedom of choice in the Bible for selfish motives ends up in spiritual death (Genesis 2:17 and 3:3) and the loss of unity and peace. God showed Adam, the first man on the earth, what was good and what was evil. He pleaded with Adam to take His advice and use his freedom of choice in a way so as to not fall into evil temptation and lose his freedom as a result. Adam ignored God’s advice and was deceived by an alternative thought. We know the rest of the story of how Adam and his wife Eve were tempted by a new idea without evaluating its consequences and subsequently they lost their intimate fellowship with God and with one another.  The new idea should have helped them to enjoy a continuing healthy unity if it was right, but it wasn’t. 

The new idea came from Satan, anti-God or anti-Christ, according to the Christian doctrine. This anti-God is the god of disunity who injects lies into the human mind by tempting people to think that they are each eligible to do everything they desire without thinking about the rights of others. He twists the doctrine of pure freedom by adding to it some selfish or unknown things in order to make people self-centered and to create disunity among them all for his domination. The central mission of God is also to wake people up to the schemes of Satan and provide the way of salvation for them. Since God Himself is free by nature and respects freedom of choice, He therefore has no other way than to plead with people to enter a dialogue with Him, allow Him to reveal the truth to them and free them from the atrocities of self-centeredness.

We see that both God and anti-God speak about freedom. But their definitions of and approaches to freedom are different. It takes an heroic effort to distinguish the difference between these two tactics. Let me give you a few contemporary examples to see where God and Satan have been trying to take us.

The establishment of political atheism in the 20th century shifted many people’s attention from Christianity to the formation of Communism, the arrangement of a social organization which was supposed to free people, mainly the working class, from any discrimination or exploitation so that they could have access to all things equally. Theoretically this looked convincing and attractive since it aimed to free people from bias and the misuse of power and to provide everything for everyone. However, soon after the institutionalization of Communism in some countries, everything, including freedom, took on a new definition and became subject to the power of the central government. As a result, people were only allowed to speak or act in accordance with whatever the dominant Communist government espoused. Therefore, the desire for equal social, political and economic justice ended up in another version of dictatorship which restricted freedom in numerous ways to house favoritism, mistreatment and misuse of power. Later on, millions of people were killed by Communist governments simply because they questioned the authenticity of Communism. 

Likewise, in the West, because of the influence of Post Modernism, many Western politicians have adopted a different kind of social construct which has fueled the growth of relativism and skepticism, especially towards Judeo-Christian beliefs and, in particular, the freedom that is central to the Gospel and the purpose of Jesus coming to earth. This trend has led Western societies to a place where they now put their hope in unsustainable notions like multiculturalism and/or pluralism. These ideas are full of fantasy. They are, in fact, an enemy to true unity that can only be found in the transformed life that Jesus opens up for us.

A third reason for the limitation on freedom is that the church in the West has not been discerning enough or courageously vocal enough in evaluating secular ideas about freedom and defending authentic, Biblical freedom. Negative views broadcast about Christianity have led many to reject the Bible without any personal knowledge about its true position of freedom. Now, there are many prominent leftist elites whose criticism about the Bible via YouTube are sadly indications of their illiteracy about the teachings of the Bible. Imagine the enormity of these scholars’ negative impact on people, especially on the young generation of our time who are not interested in personal investigation. The church is called to teach the manifold wisdom of God to the world (Ephesians 3:10), but most evangelical churches have fallen short in revealing the manifold wisdom of God to their own congregations. Churches mainly speak about a few parts of God’s wisdom such as prayer, unconditional love and salvation or spiritual freedom. Other significant parts of God’s wisdom are not taught so that people can learn to defend their true freedom in God with convincing reasons against the bogus freedom that has confused many in every way and created enemies of the church.

Biblical freedom does not only include the spiritual realm, but every aspect of life on earth. In its first pages, the Bible teaches us the significance of using our freedom of choice in a way to establish a unified society (the first family on earth).  Adam used his discerning power, named animals each according to their instinct and evaluated whether he would be able to establish a unified and free society with animals. He discovered that he wouldn’t be able to do so. Adam was convinced that none of the animals he named would become a suitable companion for him or have an intimate fellowship with him for a long-lasting unity. Animals have no creativity or organizational purpose. We can teach the cleverest among them to do only primitive things for entertainment, but they are unable to understand a plan, the ways for achieving it or the purposes behind it. They are therefore unable to enter a planned partnership with us. They are by nature subject to the law of wildlife and that law can in any moment escalate even among the most teachable of them to attack people. It is because that law of wildlife does not recognize any difference between good and bad. 

Isn’t it strange that we are asked by many of our contemporary, so-called intellectuals to pursue a kind of freedom or live a life that does not recognize any difference between good and evil and has no ethics? It is shocking that such irresponsible ideas stem from the minds of intellectuals who are employed using our tax-monies to teach discernment to our children. Instead they put pressure on students to leave their God-given freedom behind and follow this mindless alternative. Until our young are taught to correctly understand the teaching of the Bible on the issue of freedom, they will not be able to resist these silly ideas that aim to chain them with confusion. We are face-to-face with many silly ideas daily and we need to make our Biblical stand in God clearer and free people from misperception. 

The freedom in the Bible is a creative freedom which encourages people to use their minds, hearts and consciences to compare ideas and choose the one that establishes life with productivity, long-lasting unity and peace. The God of the Bible respects this creative freedom and calls upon people for reasoning and conscious decision making:

Come now, and let us reason together, says Jehovah; though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18, MKJV)

I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, so that both you and your seed may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19, MKJV)

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32, MKJV)

Because of our freedom of choice, everything is within our reach for a reason. We are capable of basing our lives on reason or rejecting reason. We have autonomy to evaluate and reject a false idea or blindly bow down to it. In a comparable way, we are also free to respect the rights of others and avoid ending up in jail or breach others’ rights and go to jail. We are free to accept life and live eternally or follow the path of death and end up in hell. It is all based on our own conscious decision-making. We are free to use our brains, become creative and be a blessing to many or to remain indifferent and fall into the miseries of a random life. The path that lacks a consistent position on freedom will lead progressively downwards to a place where people will be hurt immeasurably.

Not many people in the world are able to grasp that an unstable and man-made freedom is the gateway to a progressive failure. It is for this reason that the freedom of the Bible supersedes the unstable man-made freedom which is 1. not reciprocal, 2. limits people’s ability to speak their minds and hearts and 3. lacks sound principles. No one with such limitations or ambiguities will be able to face the reality of life, hear the truth and thereby act freely. We have every solid reason to stand for Biblical freedom.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (Galatians 5:1, MKJV)