I am a Christian ‘free thinker’, though this might seem to be an oxymoron if you were to take a look at the definition of ‘free thinking’ found here:
free-think-er n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.
I get where the free thinkers are coming from when they react strenuously against any who ‘demand conformity’ since love is impossible without freedom. And to demand conformity is to eliminate the possibility for love.
I find it incredibly ironic, however, that the ‘free thinkers’ then demand conformity themselves by providing a list of ‘approved’ conclusions: atheism, agnosticism, or rationalism.
So, what is a Christian free-thinker?
A Christian free-thinker is one who has freely chosen to believe in Christ, on his/her own, and without any sort of coercion by the demands of others, threats of hell, or whatever fear in general.
A christian free-thinker allows that there is more to experience than what can be provided by the simple senses. That at least some spiritual experience is real and that rational conclusions based on this experience are valid.
A christian free-thinker also allows that there is some value in the experience and testimony of others, but maintains that that testimony can only ever be secondary, not primary, and that it is always necessarily ‘colored’ by the one who provides it (for good or ill).
In short, God himself requires freedom. Anything less, is not holy.