Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Morally Superior, Spiritually Dead

Is it evil to be a moral person? No. Is it bad to have a set of standards to adhere to? Absolutely not. Is it wrong to make others follow your set of moral standards? Depends.

The Pharisees were good people. They had following rules down to a science (Lawology). In fact, when God was not specific enough, they so clarified the rules so one could know which side of the Law they were standing on. For example, if you were not to cook a baby goat in its mother's milk, they interpreted this to mean that you should have two kitchens, one for dairy and one for meat. That way, the two ingredients would not find themselves hanging out together, thus avoiding EVER cooking them together.

Even though they were morally stringent, Jesus found them spiritually dead. They kept the rules to a "T" but never "got it" that God wanted a relationship with them. God wanted love and all He got was fear. God wanted closeness but the Pharisees wanted adherence to Laws.

Rules without relationship lead to rebellion. It is relationship that attaches us to God and the rules set the limits...the outer limits. Inside that relationship, God wants us to have the freedom of expression, freedom to give and receive, freedom to act upon the impulses that He places there. Rules can't do that.

Muslims want to impose their set of rules on everyone. Christians, Communists, Mormons, Socialists, and politicians do the same thing. One denomination condemns another even though they both are acting within the freedom God has given them. We want to major in the minors and be quick to see others faults (while ignoring the proverbial log in our own eye). We think we have to elevate our own ideologies and prove others wrong as a way of winning their hearts..???...that doesn't make sense to me.

I must work on my relationship with God and get that right first. I can not live a moral life without Him. If I try, I end up frustrated because I don't have the strength of will to do that. Only God can help me and I must have (or really want) a relationship with Him to ask Him for help. I want to stay within the limits God has set out (Don't murder, covet, steal, lust, or lie) but then I want to dance freely in the wide open spaces where freedom allows me. Don't impose traditions like they were handed down from God or make me have to believe in God the way you do.

I want relationship with God, family, friends and community. I want the openness, vulnerability and honesty (and fear it brings) so I can be close...real I can know love. How about you?

1 comment:

  1. Dead-on, Chris! Well-written! As the Apostle Paul wrote, we can have differences in our beliefs, as long as we agree on the essentials. Trouble comes when we make one of these secondary "rules" as important as the essential ones and then impose it on others. We need to always go back to the Bible and Jesus Himself, for guidance.