Many people believe that God and Scripture are both oppressive, enslaving people who follow the ways of God, holding people down and back. God, or “religion,” is trying to run our lives, and therefore ruin our lives. One example that people give is in the 10 Commandments. The commands are seen as tyrannical rules by an unbearable God. Who is God to tell us how to live?
First, let me say that if you don’t believe that God should dictate your life, most likely you have set yourself up as god. Without a base foundation of ethical standards, man makes those ethical standards for himself.
Many would be alright with the notion of being the ruler of their lives. For them it feels freeing. The problem we run into within this philosophy is there are millions, or billions of gods on this earth. Every god is different, because every god (or person) thinks differently, has a different life experience, so they live by different rules.
This creates at best a frustrated society. Why? First, because it is fluid – not fixed. By that I mean as thought “evolves” rules change. Once you think that you have discovered the nonsense of what today’s modernists call “your truth,” the whims of society change again. After getting your life in line with your rules, you must change within society again; what was once a new philosophy is old. You then become the oppressor.
Instead of thinking, “I don’t want to follow God’s rules,” can we look at how living under the 10 Commandments is actually freedom for us, not oppression? Rather than looking at what we don’t want to follow in these standards, think about how we would appreciate if others followed these standards in accordance to how they interact with us.
We are not going to look at the first set of commandments in this article, but the second half which talks about how we interact with each other. Think about how you would feel if someone were to break – or not break – these rules against you.
Looking at Exodus 20:12-17, parents can imagine if your children honored you. Everyone can imagine that no one would murder you or a loved one; or that your spouse would never commit adultery against you; no one ever stole anything that was yours, lied about you, or coveted what you had. How would you feel? If no one ever sinned against you in these areas does that sound oppressive, or freeing?
After we flip the table on “not being told how to live,” but the blessings of how others are not supposed to “do onto” us, we see the commands of God not as oppressive, but liberating. We would love to live in such a society where everyone followed these rules. In order for people to treat us this way, we need to be following these rules as well.
Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” God doesn’t come with His rules to oppress us, but to free us. To bless us. This is exactly what He does in the 10 Commandments and throughout the rest of Scripture.
Instead of looking at Scripture’s restrictions in what we cannot do, let’s see the blessings. What are areas of Scripture that God has seemed oppressive to you in the past? How do God’s rules actually free you, or help you live free of the consequences of breaking those rules?
Thanks for taking time to read this Maddening Theology post. If you enjoyed this content you can find Pastor Tim’s sermons at www.cornerstoneforestcity.org. You can also join us at 520 Marion St. Browndale, PA 18421 on Sundays at 10:45 AM. To make following the blog easier you can also register. You can also join us on Facebook at Cornerstone Forest City. Also, don’t forget to download our APP on iTunes or Googleplay.