Working Within the Law to Hope for the Heart

pennyWhat if the key to success is failure? What if the only hope for people to believe the things that you want to share with them is in a culture of laws which are contrary to those beliefs? What if the spread of good news is best suited to a culture of contrary laws?

The fight for preservation of conservative values has raged in the legal system and political landscape for decades. Those values are largely based in Biblical foundations. Those that champion the Biblical foundations being influential in our system of laws have been losing significant ground in recent years. The moral majority is no longer a majority at all. What if that’s actually OK?

Jesus was not a part of any majority. He didn’t enjoy the protection of laws or the agreement of society. He was as contrary to the religious structure as you could be and was apparently disinterested in the political system. He taught on submission, honor and giving taxes where they are due. He didn’t urge a move towards candidacy or petition or any other form of systemic influence as a delivery mechanism for His Kingdom as it was unveiled. In fact, He said that true belief would cause rejection and disenfranchisement from the status quo.

As Paul carried this message following the death and resurrection of Jesus, he was beaten and imprisoned. He worked within the confines of the system, appealing to appropriate authority according to the laws of the day. He was wise in his adherence to the law, not apparently focused on changing the law.

In both cases, the good news of the Kingdom spread like never before. It spread as there could be no reliance on the mandate of behavior. The delivery mechanism for the viral move of the Gospel was and is the heart. Mandated behaviors via the law were the Old Testament. Jesus ushered in the New.

The irony is that the consequences of choices which are allowed by a system of laws contrary to the Gospel might be instrumental in validating the Gospel. That is, when people are free to reject the Truth of God’s love and try a different path, the consequence of that rebellion can cause them to re-examine their position. Then, from this busted up place of immoral spiraling, the kindness of God is such a contrast that it draws them into changing their mind. From their freedom, they can experience the ramifications of a godless life and their hearts can be reached as their choices take them to the end of themselves. At least that’s how it worked for me.

 

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