Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stopping for No One. . .

I believe everyone has at one time or another, been driving in the wee hours of the morning, and have been totally alone on the road. It’s as if the whole world is asleep, and you are the only one awake. . . and you happen to come to a stop light, which is red in your direction. As far as the eye can see ahead of you, and behind you. . . to your left, and to your right there are no car lights even in the far distance to be seen. How long do you wait? How long before the little voice in your head says to you, “Just go on through. . . It is senseless to stop for no one. . .no one will see. . . no one will know. . . it will make no difference”

Have you given in to this urge? I know that I have. . . knowing that I am breaking the law, but deciding that for that place and time, the law is senseless, and is not important to keep.

It takes a very disciplined person, never to have run a red light when there is no possibility of anyone else seeing it. It’s about as much of a victimless crime as there can be, but I’d like to argue, that even at that laws should be obeyed out of respect for the law and what it stands for.

As much as they chaff and bind, and seem to restrict our freedom and happiness, without law there is anarchy. . . total civil breakdown. . . confusion. . . violence, and abject subjection to whomever is the strongest at that moment. Certain aspects of the law, may be seen to be unfair in their basis, or possibly unfair in their enforcement, but taken as a whole we benefit from the law, and society as we know it is dependent on the structure of the law holding it together.

As respect for, and the adherence to the law breaks down, so does society itself. Surely only the most naive can imagine that the elimination of the structure of law would benefit anyone, but the meanest bully on the block.

My first exposure to law, was parental law. I was generally an obedient child, but I can still remember my questioning and resisting the rules. . . the laws of my parents because I did not see the purpose in them. . . The list is long. A few representative: a set bedtime. . . eating your vegetables. . . not riding my bike on busy roads. . . and on and on. My not understanding of them, was no indication that there wasn’t good purpose for them.

There are reasons for not touching hot stoves, or riding bicycles on heavily trafficked roads, or getting sufficient sleep, or eating foods with needed vitamins, I can now see that as an adult. I can also see that it is childlike to disregard laws as unimportant and unworthy of being followed merely because I don’t understand and/or agree with them.

I see taken as a whole, our society’s respect for the law, and for the officers of the law diminishing at an accelerating rate. . . a small example, anymore it is rare on my 6 mile trip to and from work, not to have someone pull out in front of me from a side street without even slowing down a little bit. People almost totally disregard stop signs any more. Stop lights have a little more respect, but stop signs if any mind is paid to them at all, are viewed at most as yield signs. Driving has become as a result, significantly more dangerous.

Law officers are now looked upon by many, as opponents, rather than as allies. . . abusers of our freedom’s rather than as protectors. Disrespect for and outright hatred of officers of the law has reached heights unimaginable only a very few years ago.

As Christians, we cannot follow the world, and fall into this trap. It is clear from Scripture that we are to be law abiding citizens:

Titus 3:1
Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work,

Romans 13:1-7
Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (2) Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. (3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: (4) For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (5) Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. (6) For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. (7) Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

1 Peter 2:13-15
Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; (14) Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. (15) For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:

Submit yourselves. . .note that if you agree with something, then it’s not submission. Submission is to follow even in disagreement. Submission is to do it against your will. Neither God’s Law, nor the law of men are of a cafeteria type choice. We cannot pass through life deciding what law suits us and will be obeyed, and which will be passed over for something more pleasing to us.

Submission is an anathema today. The world teaches that to curtail any desire, is to restrict the full development of person, and any guidelines or strictures upon a person deform their personality. This is utter nonsense. I was there. . .My children were not born perfect entities. . . They were born with inherent violence, and deceit within them. They needed guidance and rules and teaching and correction in order to become good citizens in the community of man.

These same needs follow us as adults. We are properly given civil and spiritual authorities over us to guide us, and develop us in the case of our Pastor’s into righteous God fearing people, with a hope of attaining everlasting life in heaven.

Exodus 19:9-13

And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD. (10) And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, (11) And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai. (12) And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death: (13) There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.

God gave Moses the authority to set boundaries beyond which the people were not to go. This boundary was an arbitrary decision by Moses. . . a boundary. . . a decision made by Moses, but enforced by God.

My Pastor has set boundaries, beyond which I may not go without peril. He has made decisions, as to what he allows as proper, and holy. . . allowed behavior and disallowed behavior. Do I agree with it all? Do I understand it all? The answer to both is, ‘no’. We can endlessly argue about apparel, and hair length, and allowed activities etc. etc. etc. etc., but that is not submission to the Man of God, who is given spiritual authority over, and responsibility for us.

At 4 a.m. there is no chance of anyone seeing whether I obey the traffic signal or not. . .but my heart knows. . .my flesh knows. . .and my flesh is strengthened, and my spirit is weakened by giving into that very minor breaking of the law. Likewise my pastor will never know if I have a glass of wine with dinner when on vacation. . . He will never know if I go to the beach or use the hotel swimming pool immodestly dressed when on a business trip. . . but that’s the whole point of true submission to authority, it’s the following of the law even when there is no chance of being caught. . .

I love and respect God. . .and I also love and respect my Pastor. My Pastor is God’s favorite tool used to shape and mold me.

Jeremiah 3:15
And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.

Obey God. . .
Obey your Pastor. . .
Obey the law. . .


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