Thursday, 5 October 2017

Legislation removes love

It is clear that Christ offers us an understanding that 'not one jot or tittle of the law' (Matt. 5.18) will be denied its purpose and fulfilment.  However, the law being promoted here is the law of God which is the law of love as enunciated in the commandments to love God and love your neighbour as yourself.  Why is it then that the Body of Christ is insistent on leaning on and promoting its own laws, the laws of a man -uf(r)actured institution?  Irrespective of denomination the laws of man have been promoted over the laws of God as the more institutionalised the Body of Christ becomes.

We are happy to model the Church in a manner that is consistent with our spiritualised understanding.  If we look at the models that are promoted in literature on the Church we find the wonderfully, parableistic models of "family", "body of Christ", "communion", "servant", "disciples" or even "the perfect society" and the "bride of Christ".  These models engender a belief in and an actuality that is based in the sentiment of love.  Such models are superbly conceived and have much to commend them but hardly model the reality of today's world and the institutional demands of a society gone mad in legislative overload.  They are models of perfection that are difficult to uphold when faced with a society that looks to corporatize faith and do away with the concepts of hope, justice and love.  Concepts which elude formalisation within the bounds of legislation and law but are rather found within individual interpretations of calling and difference.  Modelling in this manner lead us into complacency about the modern Church and its role in society.  Fencing off the divine from the mundane and not allowing the two to interact or become one in Christ.  Rather it becomes a battlefield of broken souls that slowly sink into a quagmire of violence and spite; the complete opposite of the command of God.

How many broken souls can we afford in our faith institutions?
(Mirror Of A Broken Soul by loba-chan)

We resort to law when we feel our power and authority is being undermined or challenged.  This is the response of the ages and is seen as being opposed to the law of love in our scriptures.  The legalistic religious authorities of the Hebrew and New testament scriptures are challenged time and time again by the outrageous outpouring of love from God as such love is not controlled or controlling.  In becoming agents of Christ we become subversive of all and any structure that seeks to impose authority and control.  The majority of such control and authority manifests within civil / mundane society.  The followers of Christ are agitators for dialogue and community, justice and love, peace and friendship across divides that are created by humanity for the purpose of false comfort and ease.  Yet humanities love for control and authority lead us time and time again into a response that is governed by legislation and not love.  Legislation that is used to muffle the noise of debate and protest against injustice and violence.

When we are threatened in our faith community it is to this violence of legislation that we resort, whilst the way of a loving resolution of difference is shown in our own scriptures (Matt. 18.15-17), it is often ignored in practice.  Law is sometimes required but is not and should not be the first and only recourse even if society requires it.  The faith community's legislation is built out of the legalities of modern mundane life not in the realities of faith.  Such legislation is combative and confrontational designed not out of love for our enemies but to destroy them so that our position is upheld.  But God is the epitome of love and as such calls us into relationship, which needs to be nurtured over and above our own wants.  We are required to portray that love in action rather than the destruction implicit in legislative attempts to undermine God's presence, however difficult we find it for ourselves.   Our faith legislation should be built on God's law not on the adversarial law of society.

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