Matthew 15:1-9

Photo of a brick wall that says, loverules, by Cam Bradford on Unsplash

“Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God’s commands?”

I am sure that someone with religious authority would never, and I mean never, create rules to “play and fast loose with God's commands.”

Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is happens all the time.

If I'm really honest with myself I know that I have done this. I have used my authority as a religious leader to make rules so as to get people to do what I want them to do or to manipulate a situation for my benefit.

It's gross. I have elsewhere written about this. I have sought forgiveness from those people to whom I have done this and now I am hyper aware to ensure that I don't do this. It's one of the reasons that I don't post a lot about politics directly or specifically. When it comes to those things they are just my opinions and opinions are like arm pits, hairy, stinky, and you have two.

I think that those of us with religious authority are constantly at danger to do this very thing. We can create “interpretations” of Scripture to use it as we will. I see this in relation to morality and politics most often. What's really fascinating is when religious leaders do this to avoid many statements made by Jesus.

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” “Love your enemy.” “Pray for those who persecute.”

The list could go on.

We do a lot of work to explain those away or to make it so that “love” looks like us being in control or getting our way. Yet, this is not the way of love. The way of love calls for self-sacrifice. It is a determined effort to want the best for the other.

Today I'm wrestling with this, “Am I living in such a way where love rules or that I love rules?”


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