I know change is hard, and I know that watching traditions die in the name of progress makes us feel our foundation is being pulled from under us. I know! I’m an English teacher for crying out loud. I’m still trying to keep kiddos from splitting infinitives.
I poured grammar and documentation rules into my students’ brains for decades only to have Grammar Girl and new MLA handbooks rain on my parade constantly.
You know what else change is? Inevitable.
…and rarely in a direction we like. I saw this church marquis on Facebook, and it prompted me to start thinking about all the things that have been legalized or outlawed in my own lifetime and what I should think about those things.
I’m a lady of faith, and the assumption would be that I’m on God’s side, and that’s a good assumption. However, I wonder if I’ve put as much thought into what “God’s side” actually is.
I would think that the very fundamental principle would be that we love God, and if that’s so important, it should be illegal not to. Do you see where I’m going? When we were created in His image, He gave us a free will. We can choose to love Him or not to love Him, and the God of the universe could have changed that but didn’t.
He could have ordered our ways to prevent us from ever considering anything contrary to His own will, yet He made us fully capable of rejecting Him. Even God “legalized” not loving Him, the foundation to all the rest of our faith. Without the sin in the Garden, no redemption plan would have been needed. The acceptance or rejection of Christ’s redemption would have been a moot point. He would not need to sacrifice His Son to die for people who had no option to reject Him.
So why do we work so hard to remove free will and force people to honor God when He Himself never forced them to?
Could it be that living a life that draws others to Him is too hard?
Am I more comfortable with the illusion that all is well and everyone is acting like a Christian rather than facing the fact that most people will, in fact, reject God?
Do I find it simpler to change the world in a voting booth than in a soup kitchen or homeless shelter?
Would I rather rant on Facebook or hold up a poster in protest than sit down with someone I believe needs a Savior and have a genuine conversation about their eternity?
Remember Prohibition? For thirteen years in the United States, citizens could not produce, transport, or consume alcohol, by Constitutional law. Did it change people’s desire for alcohol? Clearly, not, and today we have NASCAR as a result. A national pastime, second only to the National Football League in popularity among Americans, came from a refusal to accept the boundaries that morality police set in place, and oh, the irony that most spectators enjoy it today with a beer in hand–did you ever wonder why so many early NASCAR drivers hailed from the rural South?
The well-meaning activists for legislation both for and against all sorts of things, more often than not, push the very people they wish to control further into whatever activity they first intended to eliminate, only equipped post-legislation with more passion.
My Christian friends, we are called to be a light in the world, a world that is supposed to be dark. How will anyone recognize the light of the Gospel in a world flooded with artificial light? When we stop whitewashing the world around us and dig into relationships with people in darkness, we are privileged to draw them into the true Light.
…and that’s the view from My Front Porch.
Disclaimer: For the record, I am not against laws, but I do think we need to think more critically before pushing for them. If the government can give us the right to do anything, it can also take away that right.