If Everyone’s Right–Who is Wrong?
By Bill Byrnes– (Reprinted & modified from Cativating News.com)
Illustrated by Rich Gowran
“There’ s somethin’ happenin’ here…
What it is ain’’t exactly clear…” “…some people speakin’ their mind–gettin so much resistance from behind…“ Buffalo Springfield & Stephen Stills, “For What It’s Worth” –1966
There is definitely something happening…and I think it is clear enough to give some thoughts about it. The best way to describe it is an extreme type of psycho-social myopia that causes us to deny even basic human dignity to anyone who opposes our viewpoints. Now, I’m as guilty as anyone else (especially if you follow my Twitter account).
A politically charged & heated exchange
This extreme emotional response is nothing new. It’s existed since Cain and Abel, but I think that before we start killing each other we must find ways of expressing disagreement–even strong disagreement– without denying our opponents’ humanity.
This type of reaction is certainly true when religion enters the political arena. The religious Right-wing – quoting the Bible – screams at Liberals. And the Liberals scream right back, also quoting the Bible (again, myself included). What perplexes me is that, on the surface, both sides are right! So, who’s wrong? Simple truth–both sides are WRONG! Politics does NOT belong in the Bible, and the Bible certainly doe NOT belong in politics! And, that also goes for yours truly: I’ve come to realize that the Bible MUST remain apolitical!!
Ezra Levant – Canadian Conservative
In Mark: Chapt.10 — the Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus by asking him about divorce. The critical observation is NOT what the answer IS–but WHAT Jesus does with his answer: st“What did Moses command you to do? They said, ‘Moses allowed a man to write out divorce papers and send her away.’ Jesus said, ‘Moses wrote that command for you because you were stubborn…God has joined the two together, so no one should separate them.’ ”. With this exchange, Jesus CHANGED the law! He negated an old institutional precept and modernized it! He took an issue away from a voluminous institutional code and placed it directly into the hands of the individual! Let’s not forget Matthew:5:17: “…I have not come to destroy the law, or the prophets, but to fulfill the law!”. So, what Jesus is really saying is that fulfilling the law means changing it. The laws were correct, but, ONLY correct for their time!
Pharisees question Jesus about divorce.
My assertion is clearer if we go back and look at the epoch in which the laws were given to Moses. After the people of Israel followed Moses out of Egypt, they had a massive breakdown of their faith. God knew that this was a stubborn group-but his promises to Abraham were all-important (Genesis: chapt.22). So God instituted the Mosaic laws. Renowned Biblical scholar, Rev. C.I Schofield, D.D., described these codes in his discussion of the Book of Numbers, “Nothing was left to self-will. Every servant (person) was numbered, knew his place in the family, and had his own definitely assigned service.”
The Israelites who made the Exodus from Egypt were condemned to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. They would never enter the land of Canaan (the promised land). But their children would occupy the new land. God enumerated codes of conduct for every aspect of daily life. Morality was a major part of these laws. Enforcement against transgressors was very strict–in many cases–death! God wanted to make sure that the Israelites would remain loyal to him AND remain racially pure. He knew that his son must be born out of the House of Judah–the same house as King David!
Moving ahead approximately 1,500 years, when Jesus claimed that he was there to fulfill the law, what he was saying was that the old laws were no longer necessary. His very presence meant that the reason for the establishment of the laws had been met, or fulfilled! Through his teachings, he stripped away the old Mosaic laws and replaced them with two beautiful and simple rules: Matthew 22:36-40: “Master which is the greatest commandment…?” Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul and with all thy mind. This is the first & great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang ALL the law and the prophets.”
Next question: what about the Ten Commandments–do they still exist? Of course they do, but they were incorporated into those two simple rules. When you think about it aren’t each of the ten covered by the greatest two? Answer: YES…THEY…ARE! Therefore my contention is that Jesus took enforcement of the laws away from the GROUP and moved it into the hands of the INDIVIDUAL!
Romans:3:21-24: “But God has a way to make people right with him WITHOUT THE LAW, and he has now shown us that way which the law and the prophets told us about. God makes people right with himself through their faith in Jesus Christ. This is true for all who believe in Christ, because all people are the same; Everyone of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and all need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ”
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Now I’ve taken the “long way around the block” with my argument, but I didn’t want to leave any doubt that doing the “right thing” whatever and whenever that is, is the responsibility of the individual–and NOT the responsibility of any church or any group that claims to have the ”right” or “proper” answer !
NEXT: How does this apply to today’s issues? Or “Today’s News-Yesterday”