An Entirely Different Paradigm

wineskinsThe argument against God and religion is often based in a “don’t cram it down my throat” rationale. In fact, it has to be as those that oppose are basing that opposition on the belief that there is no God or no god as the sole way of truth. That position requires individual autonomy without submission to a particular god, so they have to maintain their objection to God in line with “to each their own.” This is consistent with the thought that they don’t want anyone “forcing” or “cramming” opposing views on them.

That is the argument, in large measure, against any regulation of marriage, marijuana and other social issues of the day. They view moral opposition as Biblical forcefulness, and in fairness, it often is to some degree. That is, the champions of a conservative moral position are often times such champions stemming from legitimately held faith-based beliefs.

Now, I have legitimately held faith-based beliefs and from that “conservative” position raise the possibility that “they” are right. Not that I believe that they are right regarding their rejection of my God or the moral ramifications of choices outside of His design as outlined in Scripture. I think they might be right, however, about their “right” to not have anything crammed down their throats, including my beliefs.

One of the attributes of Jesus is that He invited people without mandate or threat. As He spoke the Truth and unleashed the Kingdom of God, He never once gave any ultimatum or proposed any legislation to enforce his platform. In fact, while He wasn’t eliminating the law, He was shifting its proximity to our behaviors. He moved the law from the outside to the inside, taking it from stone tablets and making it a matter of the heart. From the heart that says “yes” to His invitation, He promised to write the law upon their hearts so that then choices wouldn’t be made from a performance based legalistic mandate but instead from an entirely new identity.

If Jesus unfolded the Kingdom from the inside out, why do we so often attempt to call people into that Kingdom from the outside in? In case you haven’t noticed, it isn’t working. It wasn’t working from the stone tablets, either, so Jesus changed the paradigm. It’s hard, but let’s trust Him more than we trust the law and allow relationship to rule over our religion.

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