Following the Rules

 

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Nobody plays by the rules anymore.

Why can’t we get it right?

This week I heard a Harvard graduate say, “It’s important to my father and I.”

I cringed recently when I heard Jane Pauley ask, “Are animals smarter than us?” After much cogitation, however, I’m beginning to believe they might be.

On February 23, 2014, CBS Sunday Morning, a show now hosted by Jane Pauley, ran an op-ed piece by Bill Flanagan. He agreed that people have lost sight of the rules.

According to Mr. Flanagan, “People who say ‘I’ when they should say ‘me’ sound like they are trying to be sophisticated, and they’re getting it wrong.”

Yes, THEY’RE GETTING IT WRONG!

We are getting so many things wrong!!

Grammar errors and media mistakes are simply a reflection of our society’s current state of disinterest in the truth. Alas, this state of apathy is nothing new.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who lived from 1809-1892, blamed many of society’s ailments on technology. Because he believed that scientific progress contributed to the degradation of society, Tennyson created a moral hero in King Arthur, a leader worthy of emulation.

British poet Matthew Arnold (1822-1888) was so frustrated with the culture of his day that he called for the healing of a “sick society.”

According to Arnold, “The pursuit of perfection is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness and light works to make reason and the will of God prevail. He who works for machinery, he who works for hatred, works only for confusion. Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light.”

Tim Allen suggested in his come-back “Last Man Standing” show that we should turn off the machinery. He reminded us that the world has repeatedly gotten things wrong. When his co-worker suggested that “maybe there’s something in America’s DNA that causes conflict,” discussion turned to the Vietnam War era, the McCarthy hearings, and the Civil Rights movement.

Yes, we have continually gotten things wrong!

A culture that looks beyond technology and relies on wisdom might actually find the Light!

In Exodus, Chapter 31, Moses received “the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God” (verse 18). However, not long afterwards, Moses witnessed the sinning of his people as they “got up to indulge in revelry” (32:6). Moses was so enraged by the actions of his “sick society” that he “threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain” (32:19).

When Moses discussed the actions of his people with his brother, Aaron said, “You know how prone these people are to evil” (32:22).

Then Moses reported to God, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold” (32:  31).

People who are prone to evil, people who worship gold: Does any of this sound familiar?

Later in Chapter 34, God gave Moses a second set of tablets, just like the first ones. God then proclaimed that He is a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin” (verses 6 and 7).

Imagine God’s disappointment in the Israelites then; imagine His disappointment in us today.

Whether we are using improper grammar (perhaps a trivial analogy) or committing the greatest of sins, we are getting it wrong. We need to follow the rules, respect the law, and live in a way pleasing to God.

“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4)

Hebrews 13:8

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