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Bible excellent option to understanding rules of the game

By Pastor Mark

Did you ever play a game where the participants are allowed to change the rules to enhance their chances of winning?

At first the changes can be fun, but eventually the game becomes confusing, impossible to play.

This was a problem during Jesus’s day. Initially, a religious group called the Pharisees tried to improve God’s Laws by including a number of their own. What seemed like a morally responsible idea failed because the list of rules became too cumbersome to fulfill.

Jesus opposed these additional human regulations, pointing humanity back to what God had initially designed for our way of life. By doing so, mankind was set free to love God and humanity in a less confusing, more simplistic way.

Today’s trend seems to go in the opposite direction of the Pharisees. In place of narrowly defining God’s rules by exclusive interpretations, we broaden them to be more inclusive in their application.

Where the Pharisees succeeded in making everyone guilty, we are making no one guilty. Fewer behaviors and lifestyles are considered wrong. Obedience to God has been downplayed in favor of the exercise of individual rights. Morality has become obscure. Life’s rules seem more unclear with each passing day.

When changing the rules of a board game becomes too bewildering, one needs only to refer back to the initial rules that define the game. Is it time to do the same with our modern rules for living? I believe the Bible would be an excellent place to begin.

Pastor Mark Holmes is an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and has served the Darrow Road Wesleyan Church since 1997.