CELEBRATE THE EXCEPTIONS, LIVE BY THE RULES

BY STEPHEN  DUNN

One of my great challenges as a pastor is to teach people how to make wise decisions. Andy Stanley says the best question ever in terms of decision-making is the question, “Is it wise?” Wisdom comes from God’s Word and Stanley is telling us to ask, “Is my decision consist with what the Word of God tells on how to live?”

I find that people who even know what God says still have trouble embracing wisdom because it is not what they want to do. When I point out that there are moral laws that cannot be violated without consequences, they begin looking for a loophole. Quite often they point to the laws of nature and what we have learned about human nature. There they can sometimes point out to something that does not always work out the way you think. So then they use that as an excuse to go ahead and do what they want.

“See, Pastor, there are exceptions.”

My response, there appear to be exceptions (or variations) to the laws of nature and our knowledge of human nature; but the vast majority of the time it works the way those laws say they will. Jump from a precipice and the law of gravity tells us we will plummet like a rock. And if the fall is far enough, you’ll break something or get killed. The application, “Don’t leap from a precipice. You will injure yourself.’

But because there have been a few people who survived falls without breaking anything, people say there is an exception which will then be their justification for leaping off a cliff.

My response, “Celebrate the exceptions, but live by the rules.”

But God’s moral law gives us no loopholes. No exceptions. For every transgression there is a consequence and unless God intervenes or picks up the pieces, we will suffer the consequences.

The wages of sin is death. And death always collects its due.

(C) 2012 by Stephen L Dunn

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