1/13/2007

DON'T DO THIS, DON'T DO THAT

Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not harm nor otherwise maim any human being. And, a whole list of other "thou shalt nots" can go along with these.

Did you know that in this country, in this world, there is no law that says, "thou shalt not leave a homeless person without a home"? Did you know that in this world, there is no law that states, "Thou shalt make certain that no person goes hungry for even a single day"?

What would this world be like if instead of dwelling on harm, we dwelt on good? What would it look like if our "laws" were founded upon love and good will to each neighbor, rather than upon the darker nature of the law?

Have you ever wondered what kind of law God wrote on our hearts? He said he would, you know. So what, exactly, is that law? Is it "don't kill, steal, maim, rape, eat unhealthy foods, drink liquor, smoke pot, and sell crack"? Is this the law that is written on our hearts? You may have to search deep within yourself to find the answer to that question. For me, the answer is no.

The "law", if you can call it such a name, for me, is love. In that love, things come naturally, like wanting to feed a hungry person, or wanting to visit a lonely person, wanting to invite a homeless person inside of my home, so that he will be homeless no more. Love encourages one to reach out to a person, regardless of societal standards, and welcome that person as not only an equal, but as someone worthy of honor. Is that the law of the land?

In my educated opinion, I would say, the law of the land deals with crime, it invites the darker nature of man (if that nature is even a part of us) to come out and evade the "law". The law we live under, the law of the land, is only good for three things; assigning blame, judgment, and finally, punishment. The law of the land we all live under is not to the benefit of man, but to degredation of society. So long as we focus on this law, mankind will be bound to a prison of believing mostly in what we cannot do, rather than what we can do.

Already in our advanced culture, most do not believe that everyone can be fed, daily. Most believe that the homeless are homeless by choice, but even if they aren't, then still, we can't house everyone. Most believe that not all sick people can or should be healed. Most people ignore the lonely altogether; surely there can't be enough time in one day to make sure no one is lonely. Even in this so-called "Greatest Nation on Earth", most believe that the idea of national health care for each and every citizen is impossible. Most believe that the starving in this nation either can't be fed, or can't be found, no one seems to know who they are, yet people starve to death in this country everyday.

"More and better Laws!" we shout. "We need to address the problems of this nation by legislating everything! Only then will we be complete."

Here's a novel idea: We are already complete. With each new law we pass, we lose the knowledge of that completeness a little more.

I won't even go into the laws of the church, because the truth is, mankind no longer needs God or the church to screw himself up. In societies where the church is no longer the law, where man has chosen an "enlightened" stance, the Law still rules over man. Don't cheat on your taxes. Don't steal my property. Don't speed. Don't cut me off on the road. Don't try to get a job without an education...we won't let you!. If you start at the bottom rung of the ladder, near there you will stay for the rest of your life, because only college graduates have the right to start in the middle, and work their way up to be president of a corporation. If you don't have any money, and I do, I don't have to give you any; and should you starve because I didn't, I am still not a criminal.

Does that seem "Enlightened" to you? It sure doesn't to me.

I get tired of the arguments between believers and atheists, between the churched and the unchurched, between the schooled and the unschooled. There's no difference between any of them, as far as I have seen. Most just want to build upon the same old system that never worked to begin with. Maybe that's what Jesus meant when he talked about building upon a foundation of sand. Maybe it wasn't just about religion, but about the nasty way we legislate everything but we ignore PEOPLE.

But can you imagine a world where instead of a law stating "Thou shalt not kill", the law was instead, "thou shalt not allow any person to hungry for even a day"? How would that change the way we view people?

What if it wasn't a law, but instead, just something we knew deep inside of us, like it was inherent within our nature to take care of each other; not just to think about doing it, not just to say, "wouldn't that be nice?", but to actually DO IT?.

What if within our nature, God wrote these things:

1. We can't let anyone go hungry.
2. We can't let anyone be without a home.
3. We can't let anyone suffer loneliness.
4. We can't let anyone go without healing when healing is possible, no matter what it takes or how much it costs.

What if these things aren't laws, but are living principals within us? Do you think they aren't?

I guess it would be hard to find the answer to that question, because we have lived in this nation for so long as capitalists, that we have forgotten most of what it was like to actually share with one another; to make sure each has enough, and no one has too little. The system of Capitalism will never allow for us to regain that. Either we will stay imprisoned underneath it, or it must die.

The question we should ask ourselves is, are we unselfish enough to kill it? Or do we want what's coming to us? Do we want as much as we can grab, and to hell with everyone else, unless we happen to have a bunch of extra, and then maybe we can give something? That is capitalism, in its naked glory. That is the system you live under, and most of our laws are built upon a foundation of money, and nothing else.

Do you think that is the law God wrote on our hearts?

Currently, if a person freezes to death because he has no home, it isn't wrong, at least not according to our laws. But should you happen to steal when you are hungry, if you are caught, you're going to jail, baby!

This is what we call "Enlightenment".

No more wars, no hunger, no more lonely people. No more laws, no more money, no religion, too. Just people living for today, WITH one another, in love.

Can you picture it?

12 comments:

volterwd said...

Yeah... welfare works real well... really gets those homeless people to want to feed themselves. I'll tell you why the laws aren't written that way. It's because it completely would take away anyones responsibility to themselves.

Tom Reindl said...

Volterwd,

I'm not talking about welfare. What's inside of us to care for one another is so much deeper than welfare. Welfare is a bandaid to fix a gaping wound caused by Capitalism, and legalism, amongst other things. I didn't say fixing these things would be easy, and unfortunately, for capitalists, that's all they usually, want, a quick, easy fix. Legislating new laws will take years to fix all of the problems of mankind. But taking care of one another only takes a few minutes, every day. It can change the world right now, without a bunch of politicians arguing about "Who is going to pay for all of this, and who gets credit for writing the law?"

SteveW said...

"I get tired of the arguments between believers and atheists, between the churched and the unchurched, between the schooled and the unschooled."

Me too Tom and I get tired of the arguments within many of those groups. Arguments based on someones mental perception of right & wrong but then that is law isn't it.

Seems like our legalistic societies keeps straining at knats and swallowing camels....and yet this is a much better Way. Christ in us, a New law simply based on the positive....love and not the negative of transgressions.

Good post.

SteveW said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BruceD said...

Too bad they can't create a law that says we must love one another. Now that would be something!

Tom Reindl said...

Steve,

You hit it right on the head. When we focus on the negative, the negative will be our focus, all our focus. And if the negative is how we are focused, then we will live negatively, do negative things, and judge negatively, perpetuating the prison we were in. I am glad you are no longer living in that prison.

Tom Reindl said...

Bruce,

A law that says we must love one another? That would be too simple, wouldn't it? People might actually feel free enough to be themselves, without needing a legalist to interpret just what "love" is for them. I wonder if it would work? ;)

Higher said...

a group of people tried to put Jesus on the spot by asking Him which was the most important of the commandments...His response...to Love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, mind and strength...and the second most important was to love our neighbors just as we love ourselves...He went on to say that all other commands or laws are contained within those two laws...

You are on to something here...when we get to the point where we Love God...then we will also love His people and would do all we can to help those in need...when we come to love ourselves then we will likewise see to the safety and well being of our neighbors...

Tom Reindl said...

Thanks Higher, and welcome here

steves said...

Tom,

The problem is something called historically “original sin”. We all sin everyday. I can name several today that I caught myself doing, gluttony, anger, to name just 2. I bet if you were honest you’d see some also. Just like Paul says in Romans 7 “the thing I wish I would do I don’t do… I find that I have sin within me”. We are stuck until Jesus comes and gives us new bodies.

Also, when Jesus talks to the man about the 2 great commandments He is doing it in a context to prove to this man that he is unable to obey the commandments and should be desperate for a Savior to come and die for him. So in contrast to what “higher” said we are incapable of loving God and our neighbor as fully as we ought. They are Laws to make us see our need. That’s why we need the Gospel, isn’t it?

So I am careful about making the Bible a Law book for us to live by. That is not its intent.

Cliff said...

Very Good post Tom. I would love to see congress debating how to enact a law that says "Everyone will be required to Love each other". They would be the first ones to violate it.

Tom Reindl said...

Phil,

Or, they'd throw everyone in jail for violating it. I think I'd rather congress stay out of this one. You can't legislate love, it has to come from inside, and until people are freed from the prison of law, they might not even realize how great their natural capacity for love is.