17 February 2018
Café Comments ~ Pointed Pondering
Greetings Dear Reader,
Yesterday at the café one of the Crema Council was anxious to ask me some questions. The first topic of the morning was gun control in light of the recent shootings. I will not weigh in on that here. I do think that violence against anyone is not justified. I do not believe that the problem is limited to guns. We have much deeper worries to address.
His second question to me was concerning the purpose of the Ten Commandments and whether I thought they were what was the premier instruction from God. I wrote briefly about this in 2012. His question, however, allowed a different approach. As a teacher I immediately answered his question with a question.
What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments and the Law? I am not sure what your answer is Dear Reader, but I know what mine is. It is the same answer that Paul gives in his letter to the Galatians:
Galatians 3:19-25: Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
The purpose of the Ten Commandments is so that we realize that we all do things that are wrong. I do not need to go further than the first two commandments to understand this clearly. My friend on the Crema Council had yet another agenda. His hope, in jest, was to see if he could “raise my hackles.” He was having fun but I was reminded of something very valuable.
I was reminded that if my faith is real then I do not need to be agitated about questions that seem difficult or invasive. I have worked hard to be hard to offend. I have put forth a standard that those who see my faith as something to question present an opportunity for me to live it. Even in the current tensions in my life the mantra must be, “If my faith does not work now then it was never worth it.”
To be clear the Crema Council is never unkind or abrasive. The young man in question likes to ask difficult questions. That is what friends do for each other. Iron sharpens iron. I was presented with a beautiful opportunity to articulate what I believe and why. Thank you, sir, for good questions and for listening to my answer.
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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