Okay, so I obviously didn’t come back after dinner. Hopefully, I’ve given you plenty of time to digest the first part of this thought, Dear Reader. Thus, I return with the promised factors of “Rules and their Influence” and “Actions vs. Reactions”.
RULES AND THEIR INFLUENCE:
Reading in the book of Romans of the Bible, Paul says:
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we became conscious of sin (Rom. 3:19-20, NIV).”
Previously in this book, Paul was both justifying God’s sovereignty and his right to punish. It strikes me as interesting, Dear Reader, that Paul doesn’t consider the “law” as a burden, necessarily, but as a measuring stick by which one discovers good vs. evil.
Okay, growing up in my family, there are lots of things that were just expected of us–doing the dishes, asking permission to stay at a girlfriend’s house for the night, calling when out later than expected–these were things I was used to. When I entered junior high and high school, suddenly these “expectations” became “rules”, so named by my peers who insisted that they were “free” to go to a friend’s house for the night without asking, or they didn’t have to call because their moms just “didn’t care”. My peers came to pity me for the vast amount of “rules” under which I was allegedly suffocating. The thing is, I didn’t see these as “rules” until I realized that very few of my peers shared the same upbringing. Thus, it was because of these boundaries that I became conscious of “Right” and “Wrong” in my house.
So, logically, “rules” have two effects: a positive effect and a negative effect. If, with our imaginary village (let’s call it ‘Stickville’), everyone grows up with the same rules, Right and Wrong in Stickville will be very clear. Anyone who disobeys rules like “Do not murder” will obviously be rejecting the law, and thus be guilty of a crime. This shows that the law was created to remind people of the potential ‘evil/Wrong’. If, in Stickville, everyone grows up under each individual family’s personal interpretation of the rules, Right and Wrong will be undefined. They will still be known, but they will be undefined. For the sake of argument, let us say that in order for our Stickville to retain its innocence, all residents must abide by the exact same law, and the exact same interpretation of said law.
Sorry, Dear Reader, but I’m tired. I didn’t think this thought would take me so long…I’ll have to finish it later.