By Whose Standard?

I was recently involved in a conversation where it was argued that I should be less concerned with applying God’s law to my life so that I could more fully appreciate Jesus and His work of redemption. They argued that the Christian life is about love, not law.

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. ~Mt. 22:36-40

So what exactly is love?

When I begin a post with this:

As Christians our family’s goal is to base all of our decisions and opinions on God’s word. We are not always consistent and are thankful that God still loves us and is able to use us for His glory. We realize that we don’t know everything and are  not always right. We are learning and growing constantly. My purpose here is to try to convey what we believe and a little about why we believe it.

it puzzles me when I get this (and much more privately) in return,

You are not god and cannot speak for him. I find it scary that you might be creating a sort of cult that insists on taking gray areas and claiming them, telling people what god would want for us in terms of schooling! Scary!

I am amazed that as believers we think that we have the authority to know what the Lord’s plan is for every parent, for every child and for every family.

Judge less … get the plank out of your eye!

 

So the question remains, “What is love?”

Is it loving to remain silent about what God is teaching/has taught us because others may not agree?

Is it loving to encourage others to love God without pointing them to His standard?

Is it loving to remain silent while the American family** is decimated because the solutions might make people realize they may be on the wrong path?

**Unmarried, live-in couples now outnumber married couples in our home state.

Is love what I say it is? what you say it is?

Do we really have to,

“Be holy as I am holy” ?

That’s just so “Old Testament”.

When we begin to sit in judgement over God’s Word and to say that we don’t need to obey or even know or understand everything that He commands but rather we must just love, then we have become the ultimate authority and usurped the authority that belongs to God.

If we reject God’s standard of conduct and simply shout love, we have missed the whole point of the Scriptures for they teach that to love is to obey!

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God andkeep his commandments.

For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome.

And this is love that we walk according to his commandments.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me;

If the standard is “love” and we reject God’s definition of love then it is no longer God’s standard, but our own.

The Christian life is about both love and law, not law keeping for salvation but law keeping because of  love. Obedience is the outworking, the visible manifestation of our love for God.  The two are inseparable.

Part 2: One More Thought About Law

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60 Responses to By Whose Standard?
  1. Stephanie
    May 19, 2011 | 10:53 am

    I think you do speak the Truth in love :)

    [Reply]

  2. Marisa I.
    May 19, 2011 | 1:15 pm

    I’m grateful and happy that you’ve taken the time to help other families who desire to live an unconventional lifestyle. As a young married woman 2 months pregnant with #1, you’ve helped me to envision how this lifestyle would work for us! Thank you!

    Your tone has never been pharasaical. You’ve never bad-mouthed people who choose “the norm”, to have just 2 kids and send them to public school. Instead you’ve explained why you’ve chosen something different than the norm. This of course requires comparing the lifestyles and making judgments, but not the pharasaical kind. People are messing up normal, necessary judging (to which Jesus calls us all to do) with pharasaical judging (which He condemned).

    This is the kind of thing that can take root in your heart and cause bitterness against those who say such crazy things. I have to be careful of that too. I think the best weapon we have is prayer! For them and for our own hearts.

    [Reply]

  3. maha
    May 20, 2011 | 8:41 am

    I am a muslim (I hope you dont freak out)what we are tought is that We love God by obeying His Commands
    but we are constantly being ridiculed and labelled as retarded terrorists who hate every non-muslim on earth and want to kill them
    So thank you for showing a nicer face of christianity to me

    [Reply]

  4. Lisa
    May 20, 2011 | 11:56 am

    Thank you for speaking the Truth in love. I am always blessed, encouraged and challenged by your posts.

    [Reply]

  5. Tami Lewis
    May 20, 2011 | 3:22 pm

    excellent post and i agree with all you have written. now and before. i get it too so i know the feelings you are having. i’m sorry you are going thru this.

    [Reply]

  6. Taryn
    May 30, 2011 | 12:03 pm

    In response to some comments 1) I put 3 of our 6 children in the government high school and from our experience,even though they never had drug problems(our high schools have heroin,etc. problems),etc. I regret doing it. I have home educated our youngest son through high school. I didn’t want our children to get GEDs but if that is what our son(he took the Seton test every year) decides to do then I have a peace about it. Our oldest son went to a Christian high school. 2)Matthew 7 KJ is telling us not to judge-hypocritically. Our country has a judicial system. 3)We have unleavened bread(crackers) and unfermented wine(grape juice) when our Baptist church has “communion”(the Lord’s Supper). I give people the Christian Light tract called, “Sipping Saints” and explain that the Pilgrims gave their children beer(low/no alcohol)-it was a water purification system. 4) Please let us not use the word “retarded”. I have a daughter with autism/mental retardation-high functioning. PTL.

    [Reply]

  7. Kristen
    May 30, 2011 | 7:29 pm

    Very well said Kimberly. Without the law, we have no knowledge of sin and therefore cannot even appreciate God’s grace.

    [Reply]

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