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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Loving Law



Breaking God’s law in one particular breaks the whole thing, says the Bible. I believe that’s because it isn’t just a set of rules; the law is God’s character. We are made in His image, and we ought to be like Him, but we are so screwed up since the fall of Adam, He’s had to spell out the rules like parents telling squabbling children, “You sit here, and you sit there, and don’t even look at each other.” (Or Bill Cosby saying “I don’t want anybody in this house to touch anyone else in this house ever again!”)
“Worship Me, not false gods.”
“Don’t murder each other.”
All ten of the Commandments are really pretty basic, but misbehaving children need them. Perhaps to help us grow up and become more self-controlled, Jesus distilled the law as “Love God and love one another.” We ought to function always as God’s creatures, who appreciate being created and loved and who love Him back. We ought always to show love for other human beings, because they are also His creatures, and He loves them. These are the simple criteria.
Faced, then, with, say, the prospect of a human infant coming along at what we deem an inconvenient time, how should we decide what to do? We can go God’s way, love in its essence, or we can do “other.” That is the only division, the only one that counts. And “other” covers a lot of territory. Once you’ve stepped out of the circle of God’s loving character, you have no more boundaries. Thus abortion in the first trimester in the direst of circumstances soon becomes second and third trimester killing, just because you’re unhappy or inconvenienced. And then babies who have been born can be starved to death, or, more efficiently, have their spines snipped with scissors by someone like Kermit Gosnell, and their feet chopped off as trophies.
There is little merit in trying to say which sin is worse, even though some are more spectacular than others. Is murder worse than adultery? Is homosexual practice worse than gossip? Is it worse to covet, or to bear false witness? No sinner need feel superior to others, because the law is one piece. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Every one of us is outside the circle, and the only way back is through Jesus, Who made Himself the gate, the way, the truth and the life. The law points us in His direction.

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