Have you ever felt like church was just a big game of Jesus says? Be honest. So, what happens when we get sick of playing the game? When we decide that what weΓÇÖve been asked to do crosses a line into the unreasonable? The answer for most of us in the room, though we wouldnΓÇÖt openly confess it is, rebellion. Because somewhere in our finite minds we develop the logic that REBELLION = FREEDOM. If I disagree with rules, IΓÇÖll disregard them or ignore them. The Enlightenment was a movement that became very popular in the 18th century.
Enlightenment thinking, for the first time in human history, we had a steep rise in three things: the idea of self, the idea of individualism and the idea of freedom for that self and for that individual.
These are the ideas that have followed us through centuries and so fill the air we breathe. This self-centered thinking carries along with it the idea that my individual freedom should and cannot be trumped higher authority, because I am my OWN. I am my own authority. I am my own boss.
But some of us grow up and realize that if we are just constantly breaking rules, breaking laws, disobeying, etc. we end up in jail and rebellion didnΓÇÖt bring freedom it brought literal captivity in cell with some dude named Pete that wants to make you his afternoon snack.
So, we graduate to a different way of thinking. IΓÇÖll evaluate what I am being asked to do? If I THINK itΓÇÖs reasonable, IΓÇÖm down with it. If I THINK itΓÇÖs unreasonable, IΓÇÖm out. So, we evaluate rule by rule. Curfew? 10 PM? Noooooo, thatΓÇÖs unreasonable IΓÇÖll come home at 12. DonΓÇÖt date that person, or hang out with that group? Nooooooo thatΓÇÖs unreasonable, IΓÇÖll find a sneaky way around it. Speed limit, shouldnΓÇÖt it be faster here. It starts at what time? ShouldnΓÇÖt it start later, I guess IΓÇÖll be late. Alcohol? Who said itΓÇÖs actually wrong? I mean if I can eat spinach why canΓÇÖt I smoke weed? But if I really love him, I be should be able to…and the list goes on.
Notice Romans 13 says nothing about rules. It only speaks of authority. This is because rules are about WHAT someone is asking you to do, Authority about WHO is asking you to do it.
Christianity is not about aligning your life with the rules, itΓÇÖs about aligning your heart with Christ.
But hereΓÇÖs the truth: Your life canΓÇÖt be aligned with Christ if your life in not aligned with authority. The human authority God has positioned in your life.
Your attitudes and response to human authorities is a reflection of your attitude and response to God.
So, what does this have to do with faith? In Matthew 8 did you notice that the measure of this manΓÇÖs faith was defined by his level of submission to authority? And did you also notice that because he was under authority, he had authority? God will give you greater authority in your faith when you give authority a greater place in your life!