As a pastor, one of the questions I get the most is, “Don’t you wish the laws of or country were based on the Bible.” That horse is way out of the barn and it is a reminder that I can only put my faith in God who never changes. Otherwise, our faith would easily drift to people and we would forget. We do that too easily as it is.
See, I Love Jesus but If I passed a law that said everyone should love Jesus, people would be pissed and rightfully so. If I passed a law that said you should hate Jesus, people would be pissed and rightfully so.
The human race has tried both of these tactics throughout history, at least a couple of times by the way, and neither worked particularly well. It is the heart that needs to change, not the law.
The truth is, no matter how much you might want to, you can’t legislate how someone feels. Never Could and Never Will. We are finding this out again.
Over the last week, we have seen countless stories and opinions around the laws and amended laws passed in Indiana, Arkansas and people’s outrage on both sides of this issue. We have groups of people who are worried about Federal overreach and want to make sure their freedoms’ are protected. We have other groups that worry that this protection will be used an excuse to discriminate. It is a hot-mess.
Law can be used both ways because they are man-made structures. When we put our faith in law or government, we are placing our faith in the wrong hands. If you don’t believe me, wait 4 years until you are the other side of the majority and see if you still put your faith there. It is because they are man made that laws can be so easily manipulated and used. The law that once protected you can also be the one that now stands against you.
I think the law and governments should try and protect people to the absolute best of their ability. I also recognize the limit when you are trying to protect two people who have differing views.
If you are truly frustrated with the law, remember, it is God who establishes authority and maybe He is trying to tell you to set your eyes higher where the real help comes is.
Religion can many times feel the same as the law. It can feel like a set of rules set to exclude or as a justification to treat someone differently. Sometimes, what comes out of the mouths of believers can be the word of God but not carry the heart and love of God. That was not God’s plan. He sent His Son to die for us so we can know true love. That way, we can show true love to one another. The Bible says, “God’s kindness will lead us to repentance.”
It is God’ s job to change the heart, it is our job to love God and love each other. Trying to do God’s job is arrogant, wrong and many times leads to actions that feel anything but loving or kind. We have to have faith that He is big enough to change their hearts while He is also changing ours.
Jesus said ““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” That sounds like almost everyone these days. Jesus wants everyone. Every sinner, every saint and everyone in-between is invited. You don’t have to cleanup first. He wants you when you are a mess so we always remember how much of a wreck we are without Him.
Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” This simple statement should mean that Christians are the first to reach out. It changes everything on how we treat others, removes the excuses, quiets the hostility brings peace instead of rage. This love casts out fear so we no longer have to operate from a place of being fearful. That’s the heart of Grace. That this message of love is for everyone and no one should be trying to keep people out. Heck, it is hard enough to get them in.
As we enter in this Easter season, there is no better time to be reminded that there our job is to love each other and let God do his part through that simple act of faith. This is what will change the world. It already has.