A couple weeks ago I wrote a post called, “Church Rules”. In it I talked about the tendency for “church people” (you can define that however makes sense to you) to create rules out of fear of culture and its potential [negative] influence over them.
But “church” people are not the only ones who like to create rules.
I believe there is a something inside every one of us that makes us want to impose what we believe on those around us…and make rules to protect those beliefs.
The area we live in (the SF Bay area) is a great example of this. Case in point.
Yesterday in our local paper (the San Jose Mercury News), there was an articles from the L.A. Times about two groups of people trying to ban boy circumcisions (one in Santa Monica, another in San Francisco). Apparently it will be on the Nov. 2011 ballot in San Francisco. The advocates for this have replaced the word circumcision with the term “MGM”- male genital mutilation, and therefore have easily created an army of followers.
I’m not going to get into either side’s debate right here. It’s not the point of this post.
But I will say, for personal reasons we chose not to have our son circumcised. The simplest one being that we don’t believe it’s necessary. However, just because we personally believe this, does that mean I need to go out and make sure everyone else follows suit? I hope not.
The American society is so quick to create laws or “rules” out of a personal belief and enforce them on the whole society. It’s so hard for us to sit by and watch someone else live contrary to our beliefs (good or bad) so we gather an army, put new propositions on election ballots, and create a society that follows our personal beliefs and rules.
I think it’s kinda of funny in a way. Liberals often accuse Christians of the very things they themselves do, its just not done out of religious beliefs so it looks different.
It seems we’re all guilty of doing this to some degree, Christian or not, but if we can identify it in ourselves we can at least have a little grace when we see others doing it instead of barraging them for it.
More importantly, if we want to influence those around us, setting up rules are not the way to get there. We have to be invited into their life, and have a relationship with them first.
This is what is so beautiful about Jesus. He doesn’t force himself onto anyone. He invites us into a relationship with Him, but unless we welcome him, He waits. Patiently. For us.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20