Yesterday was elevated by a Louisiana State Trooper who pulled me over for “no seat belt.” Really? This highly trained professional was spending his day on seat belts. There aren’t enough speeding or reckless or drunk driving violations going on? I hope he slept well last night knowing how he had spent his day. I wonder if he’s spending as much time on his motorcycle on this rainy day as he was in yesterday’s nice weather. I realize that I should wear my seat belt. It’s safer. I just don’t think it’s the job of the law to make sure I do.
You would think that as a lawyer I would be a big admirer of “the law.” I’m not. The problem with the law is that it involves itself in areas where it has no business. It reminds me of “Christians” who keep wanting to revert to the law. I guess Jesus isn’t enough. They don’t want to re-establish the entire Levitical law; just some of their favorite parts. The don’t want to re-establish the temple or do blood sacrifices or give up some of their favorite foods. They just want to stone a few folks or get to be a Pharisee every once in a while.
My lovely wife shared with me yesterday a teaching which points out that this reversion to the law is the great apostacy. It rejects all that Jesus did and replaces it with what some of us are more comfortable with: rules. It says things like: Salvation is free, but keeping it requires keeping rules. Jesus paid it all, but inflation is eating it up. It worships the tithe which supported the priestly tribe. There are no Levites to support any more. Under Jesus we are supposed to all be priests. It just feels more comfortable to write checks than to make disciples. It’s easier to have full-time disciple makers than doing it ourselves. We love to pull out old testament rules that condemn things we aren’t comfortable with like homosexuals or women who speak in church or rebellious kids or pork.
We can’t live with a renewed mind that sees God doesn’t make arbitrary rules to test us, but sets forth boundaries to protect us and others. A better life includes faithfulness to one spouse, loving others more than ourselves, acting responsibly and lovingly toward others and, yes, even wearing our seat belts. We do these things out of our relationship with Jesus and not because it’s the law.
We are followers not because we follow rules, but because we follow Jesus.