What are we all arguing about?

Really, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I even scratched out an epiphany on the back of a bulletin while at church in St. Joseph, Missouri, since the words just came to me all at once–stream of consciousness style. Soon after, I thought, “I’m glad I finally wrote this down. Now I can do something about it.” I planned to blog about it. But then just thinking about it made me weary. I realized, I am just very weary of this subject in general. When it comes to differences between denominations, especially denominations that have experience with ex-Adventists, this seems to be where we argue:

“Are we under law or under grace?”

“What commandments still stand today?”

“Are we still required to keep the literal, 7th-day Sabbath?”

Most of the time I just want to throw up my hands at both sides. Forgive me if my tone here is not incredibly tactful or smooth, but this is the state of mind I am in when I think about this, and I can’t wait any longer to write it down.

We’re not getting anywhere on this argument. Sometimes it even feels like the other side is winning because there are more of them than there are us. But we’re not coming to any common ground because we’re hovering over the deeper, SIMPLER issue. First I ask, “why NOT keep the Sabbath? Why wouldn’t we want to?” or “Why NOT keep the 10 commandments?”

If we start at the other end, I think we’ll get farther than just arguing the original question. Honestly I’m still surprised that there are people that are so against the Sabbath. To me, that seems like the most nonthreatening “law” there is! Obviously those that are in a spirit of rebellion over the Sabbath are reacting against the way our own culture has made it, not the Biblical guidelines (which I think are made intentionally vague!!!)

Anyway, we are told all throughout the Bible, especially in the New Testament, how to treat people. We find out what the fruits of the Spirit are. And we are told in many places Who the One True God is. If we live by those words and principles, we may find ourselves ENDING UP keeping the 10 commandments! Not because “it’s the law” but because it’s smart! Because it makes sense. The principles are there! And they are even recognized by most of society as the “right” things to do!

And on the other end of things, if we notice a person “breaking a commandment” and repeatedly falling into habits that are self-destructive or could make life difficult for them, we want to “restore them gently” because we CARE for this person’s WELL-BEING! And, foreseeing possible challenges in the future based on his or her behavior, we want to HELP them, not to police them or humiliate them. (If the latter is EVER the intention, than you are in much bigger trouble that wondering if you are under law or under grace. That is just plain the Wrong Spirit. Most anywhere in the Bible will tell you that.)

We don’t need to be debating this, really. Perhaps the devil is WANTING us to get caught up in the details. Yes, Paul does make a lot of references to “the law” and being “under the law or under grace.” I suppose that means that we are not to forget about the law and that we are to know its place in our lives. Because really, we only need a law when things are getting out of control and need regulation or clarification (and I’d say the world is a bit out of control!). If we daily live by the fruits of the Spirit, being guided by God Himself, we eventually won’t even NEED the words of the law to tell us to do what is right. It will be in us.

Test it. I dare you.

Good to read:

James 3:17

Galatians 5:22

Hebrews 4:9

Acts 18:1-4

Colossians 3

Deuteronomy 6

And so many more….

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7 Comments

Filed under Argument, Challenge, Daily Normalcy, Logic, Spiritual Application, State of the world

7 responses to “What are we all arguing about?

  1. cmcconnelldesign

    Great post, Amy!

  2. janeloutlook

    Amy,
    Well put. Great angle. I have been viewing this debate for sometime now and it makes me a little ill as well. I appreciate your different, well-balanced perspective on this subject.

    There is such a joy and freedom in what God has for us that seems to get missed. Here are some texts that came to mind as I read your post:

    “O, how I love Your law!…Your commandments are not grievous…commandment isn’t far from me…in my heart…” (From Ps 119:97, 1 John 5:3, and Deut. 30:11, 13)

    “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know Me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” Jere. 31:34

    Looking forward to the day when we won’t have to be cajoled into experiencing abundant life in Jesus! Maybe He is too! 😉

  3. martinoutlook

    I think your bottom line is something like this: the law doesn’t define us or motivate us, but it witnesses or testifies to the sincerity of our relationship with Jesus and also the people around us. To that, I would just say a big Amen!
    Martin

  4. Kate

    Very nice! I do think we should know why we keep the law other than common sence though, because there are those out there really questioning and on the fence of not knowing what they believe and if they were to ask me a Sabbath keeper, why I keep Sabbath and why the texts non Sabbath keepers use are misunderstood or taken out of context, I should know how to respond. Thats where praying for the infilling of the Holy Spirit showing us what to study and say is so important. Frustrating issue to those of us that love the Sabbath though, I have a hard time understanding why someone wouldn’t want to have Sabbath, it’s such a blessing.

    • Chris Smith

      I agree that we should know WHY we keep the 10 commandments outside of common sense, and I think Amy has provided the answer in that, as Christians, we want to know Christ and follow His example and thus, will follow the 10 commandments because He did. So, WHY do I want to keep the Sabbath? Not because it is a law–like all of us, I have urges to rebel against laws. My reason for keeping the Sabbath is my desire to follow Him in every way. Because I choose to follow Christ’s example, I worship on the Sabbath. It is not something I must do, but one that I can do, because God gave both the perfect example to follow and my power to choose.

  5. karlee

    Wow! I just caught myself heaving a huge sigh of relief after reading your blog, Amy. It’s wonderful to hear such a common sense approach. I think you’re right about the devil being in the details. There’s nothing he loves more that to get us sidetracked on issues–which I have observed can lead to a critical spirit. He must be hardly able to contain himself with the “great controversy” raging between “formers” and “currents.” He is certainly living up to the “raging lion” reputation and loving every minute of it. Is it possible we might spend more time trying to defending our position than studying the word and asking the Holy Spirit to show us truth and give us a right spirit?

  6. Congratulations on your prolific work here. I must admit I have popped in a read a good number of your blogs but I have no idea how to post a response over there, so I’ll tell you now how good you are at describing the stuff your at – I must admit I find it insightful to read your blogging. Keep up the good work. 🙂

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