Monday, August 01, 2005

Our Best Interest



"God had reasons for the rules he made, for OUR best interest. "

Teresa said this in part of her comment on my last post. It got me thinking. We often treat Sin as something God made up. We regard Sin like it's floating off in space separate from the world and it's ways. It's like when we sin it's wrong because God says so and everything bad that happens is God punnishing us. No, I don't think it's like that. I believe that sin is wrong because it's infectious and it screws everything up for us. It's against God because God's way of living is the best way, the Best possible way. When we sin don't just feel sorry to God but realize the wrong in it, the stupidity of it.

The Rabbis saw the Torah, the Law, God's commands, as the "Way the Truth and the Life," the best possible way of living. They believed that God made sin "sin" so that they might enjoy life. So God, to them, didn't just make rules for "OUR best interest" but as a gift, to make our lives better.

"These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observein the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all the decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may ENJOY long LIFE." -Deuteronomy 6:1-2

Does that fit your image of God?

7 comments:

Dave said...

God gives use choices in life and there our choices some of these choices are sinful but it is use who makes these choices and thats how God wants it to be

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Ashley said...

Great post Wes. I think that it is so true that God did things the way he did for our own best interest. Good post and great thoughts.

Teresa said...

Amen brother! I got a question on my blog today that I was praying about--I answered her, but you might want to go to my post "What do I need Jesus for", read it and look at the comment. I LOVE getting comments like this! Thanks!

Maryellen said...

I was skimming a theological debate and an article written by Charles Finney which also included a quote from Augustine. Those kind of things give me a headache, especially before the sun even rises. But the question was brought up, Did God ever command something of us that it is impossible for us to do? My initial response would be no, why would He?

Apostle John said...

I believe sin is more than a choice of this action or that action. It is a nature that infects our whole soul and being. A cancer if you will. It's always there staining every action-- even the best of our actions.

Jennifer said...

I so agree with you! I think that is especially true with the dietary laws God gave. I read recently that doctors have discovered the best day to perform circumcision on babies is the 8th day, because that's the 1st day our blood is able to clot. Amazing, huh?

Ryan McGivern said...

If one has an image of a loving personal God it makes sense to think: "that God would want what's best and direct me towards a super happy life." That sounds good. But, I wonder what the next step would be. How would that God communicate that to us? Personal revelation? A scripture? Other people (your Muslim neighbor), looking at a flower?
One way that's been the cause of lotsa problems is the Scripture approach. If you have a 'dictation theory' of Biblical inspiration, that might get easier. But not really. You'd probably have to have a reductionist/literalism idea of Bible too. Even then you'd have to do some dancing as to what sin is in general and specifically.
Some categories of rules in general might be:
Rules of common sense (don't eat dog poop, or things that have a higher chance of getting you sick).
Rules for the common good (don't be wasteful, don't run in the hall).
Arbitrary Rules (all papers must be in MLA format in 12 point font-don't ask me why. Ever go to a DMV?).
Rules of status quo (let's face it: power is enchanting. How many 'rules' historically have a tendency to favor whiteness, maleness, hetero-normativity...These 'rules' make absolute sense when you participate in the status quo power structures).
Anywho, I'm of the mind that ideas of sin, rules, mitzveh, etc can really be informed by keeping in dialogue with others of different mindsets, those who live by different 'rules' and whose 'sins' are not sins to them. Remember, everytime you eat pork, or kill a spider, you're commiting a sin in somebody's eyes.
In closing, I think that we can learn a lot about 'God's best interest' by really staying in non-judgemental dialogue with those whose 'best interest' departs from ours. Kindly, Ryan McGivern