Rules are not what Christianity is about.
I know it’s easy to get that impression. Even when people stress the fact that we’re saved by faith alone, they quickly add on a long list of rules that Christians supposedly should follow. We have to read-our-Bibles-daily-and-pray-a-lot-and-go-to-church-and-give-money-and-do-evangelism-and… the list goes on. Not that these things aren’t good ideas, but for goodness’ sake, are they really the point? Does it do any good to weigh people down with lists of commandments to keep that will supposedly make them good Christians?
This idea that following rules would make you right with God – isn’t that what Jesus spoke against?
Look – Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment was to love God with every fiber of your being. The second was to love other people as much as you do yourself. He went on to say that these two commandments were the equivalent of all “the law and the prophets”.
So tell me, where in there do you find the concept that pleasing God requires adherence to a bunch of rules? The answer: Nowhere. Jesus clearly said that those ARE the rules. Where in there does it say that homosexuality is wrong or that women can’t preach or that you have to be baptized a certain way or that you have to have the gift of tongues or that church has to happen on Sunday mornings with deacons and a choir and a half-hour sermon? Nowhere. So where did we get all of those ideas? Are we turning into Pharisees? God forbid.
Can it get any clearer? This is not about religion, not about rules – it’s about relationship. It’s not about laws, but about LOVE. Is this so hard to understand?
If you love God, you don’t need rules to tell you to spend time with him. If you love people, you don’t need rules to tell you to be kind to them. That was Jesus’ point. So why is it not ours?
Think about it.