Stop Adding Laws

The scripture tells us that, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, were the leading citizens among the Jews. They knew what God’s law said, and they could tell people how to apply it. But they were hypocrites. They added 615 of their laws on top of God’s laws, thinking that would “protect” the law of God from being disobeyed. But in doing so, they violated the spirit of the law, which is love.

Today’s Christians can do the same as the Pharisees if they add their social and religious standards to God’s law. “Surely a Christian would never listen to that, or wear those clothes, or dance, or eat that meat…”. We might think we are being especially zealous for the law of God by adding such restrictions when the bible doesn’t – but God desires love, not legalism.

Today, following human standards while ignoring God’s call to love, can lead to terrible results – “hypocrisy”. It has led to racism like apartheid. It has led to sexism with statements like “she should have known better than to wear that”. It has led to nationalism where we look down on immigrants and refugees. Such hypocrisy will condemn us on the day of judgment. Laws that do not aim at love for all people are not God’s laws. The Ruler of Heaven and Earth is not fooled by distorted rule-following and fake self-centred Christianity.

“Do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” (Matthew 23:3).

Let’s Pray

Yahweh, forgive us when we set up false standards. Father, forgive us if we have judged others unlovingly. Help us to follow your laws and not add our own trying to protect yours. Please show us how to love everyone as you do. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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