Thursday, May 21, 2015

Rule Book or..Owner's Manual?

A surprising number of my Christian friends are buffaloed by the LAW found in the Foundational Testament (aka Old Testament).

They will argue with considerable passion that the LAW is passed away...
That the Law and Prophets were until John,  (Luke 16:16)

But overlook, "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail." (Luke 16:17).

I think part of the problem is our natural anarchist nature.  We don't want NO laws restricting us in any way.  We want to be free- absolutely, positively, undeniably- FREE.

My hypothesis is that we believe ALL law, even G^d's, to be arbitrary.  It has no inherent value, just a set of arbitrary restrictions on our freedom.

But maybe there is a better way to think of G^d's Law.  Maybe the Law is more like an "Owner's Manual" than a rule book.  Perhaps G^d's law are not arbitrary restrictions, so much as guidelines on how best to live.  Perhaps G^d knows how we really ought to live.

Let's think about it.  Who knows what we should eat better than the G^d who created us?  If he says to avoid port, and shellfish, and scale-less fish, who am I to argue.  If G^d has rules about cleanliness, and ways to do business, and keeping the Sabbath; what's surprising about that?  If he says we ought not lie or covet, where's the opposing argument.

Don't misunderstand.  On a couple of occasions when folks asked Jesus, G^d with us, how to enter heaven, he said, "Keep the LAW!"  Don't misunderstand.  He didn't mean that we "earn" salvation, or that it was even possible to KEEP the Law.  What he was DEMONSTRATING was that NO one could keep the LAW.  The LAW is the owner's manual, but the best of us steal, covet, lie.  We NEED salvation from our sin, our failing the LAW.  Without the LAW we have no knowledge of G^d's instructions, and no knowledge of our own sin.

But inside we know.  We know we fail G^d's Law, even if we are only vaguely familiar with it.  We need the grace and mercy of G^d.  We know we need the Blood of the Christ to wash away our sins-- our salvation is dependent upon the Mercy, and Grace of G^d.  Jesus indeed paid it ALL.

But don't throw away the owner's manual.  It may keep you from major damage.

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