The Law of Liberty

I sat through many sermons about the Law of Liberty (James 2:12). Guess what the definition of the Law of Liberty was?
1. Take the Lord’s Supper every Sunday
2. Don’t be a denomination
3. Be baptized for the remission of sins
4. Don’t use instrumental music in worship to God
5. Don’t celebrate Christmas
6. Don’t call the preacher “pastor”.
7. Attend church every time the doors are open (at least 3 times per week).
Imagine my surprise when I read James 2:12 in its original context: giving to the poor, and treating the poor with equal dignity. Wow! So that is the Law of Liberty? It is all about mercy. The next verse (13) says judgment without mercy will be meted out to those who show no mercy.
I remember sitting down with my parents and a mediator, and we hammered out a few things. The one item I brought up was this passage. I wanted my father to admit that this passage was about mercy, not about a new law. The mediator agreed that it was not about a new law. So my father agreed that the Law of Liberty was not a new law, but a principle of mercy. And he said, “I’ve always believed that.”
So I dreamed about my father last night. I have been considering going to hear him preach–that seems to be the only time we are at peace together, when I sit silently and listen to him preach. And he said in his sermon, in my dream, “The Law of Liberty is the new law now that the Old Testament has been done away with. Now we have to follow the new law of Christ, his church. I confronted him on it, and became angrier. He tried to calm me down, I tried to speak louder. He tried to hug me. I woke up. Whew! What a lot of energy to spend just because I’m considering going to hear my father preach this summer.

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About Mark

I was raised in the conservative non-institutional churches of Christ and attended Florida College in Tampa, Florida. I served as a minister for 8 years in the non-institutional churches of Christ, and 4 years at a mainline church of Christ in Vermont.
This entry was posted in Faith and Works, Grace and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Law of Liberty

  1. Catfish76 says:

    “The things we fear the most have already happened to us” -Deepak Chopra

    It does take a lot of energy to confront what we find uncomfortable. It is especially hard if there is conflict within us… Comfort with the situation and discomfort with the message.
    Having your beliefs/feelings discounted by anyone is difficult, but to have them affirmed at a later time by a third party can be downright confusing.

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