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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Today in Sunday School

We had several interesting readings today but the devotional that most caught my attention was one entitled “Whose Rules?” (Upper Room, 2/8/12).  It began with a scripture from Judges 21:25 (NRSV).  In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes.  The lesson concerned rules and their creation and the conflict that they can cause.  It is an awesome and overwhelmingly important fact that people can make their own rules “right in their own eyes” with great determination, bravado, and a resoluteness directly leading to action.  This fact has immense impact on human society.  The greatest difficultly is that the rules we may choose to make can have no relation at all to reality or to important principles such as love and justice.  Obviously, rule creation can be an act that gives an emotional high like other creativity.  This practice gives a tremendous sense of effectiveness.  Who can say that we are an inferior nation or a powerless person?  Just look at the rules made.  We are assertive; we self-confidently know what we’re about; we’ve got it all together.  Such a sense of confidence and rectitude leads directly to all sorts of tragedies.  We can defiantly make our own rules regarding drugs only to find later that reality does not exempt us from obdurate chemical changes in the brain resulting in additive slavery.  Making rules in a social institution such as a legislative body, we can give the illusion of decisive action when in fact we have not addressed reality at all.  The insidious pride generated from rule making is antithetical to the humility actually required to determine “what is so regardless of what we may say about it.”  Truth, it turns out, has a power unimpressed by our delusions no matter how passionately held, how pompously propagated, or with what accompanying grandeur in signification and display.

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