What are the laws of God? Take your pick.


The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-Charge - Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville



Reference is frequently made to the laws of God. The Bible for Christians is the primary source. But what are the laws of God that you choose to observe? If a bride comes to the marriage bed and is found not to be a virgin, should we do as biblical law requires and “stone her to death?” (Deut. 22:21) Do you ever wear clothes made of wool and linen together, which is prohibited? (Deut. 22:11) Do you honor the Sabbath Day which is Saturday not Sunday? (Deut. 5:12-15). These are but a few of the many laws presented in the Bible. Others we are more likely to observe, such as the summary of the law: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matt. 22:34-40)

Jesus himself reversed many of the biblical laws. Read the Sermon on the Mount and the following chapters in Matthew: Matthew chapters 5 through 7. Jesus begins with “You have heard…” and then reverses what they were taught. As an example, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-45). Jesus came to fulfill the law with a deeper understanding of what it means to love. Riding the high horse of judgment is a dangerous stance if you intend to follow the all inclusive love of God found in the person of Jesus. Jesus even recommended that we beware of judging others: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” (Matt. 7:1) If you do decide to judge others by picking laws in the Bible that support your argument, beware that other admonitions may trump what you are saying. You certainly have a right to your opinion, but call it your opinion, not a law of God.

The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-Charge

Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville

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