My Own Torah

1. You shall tithe 10% of your net income
2. You shall go to a church service every Sunday
3. There shall be preaching from ‘the word’ every Sunday
4. You shall dress up when you go to these services
5. You shall be water baptized
6. You shall only be water baptized once
7. You shall baptize babies
8. You shall not baptize babies
9. You shall not consume any sort of alcohol
10. You shall not do drugs
11. You shall not swear
12. You shall not have pre-marital sex
13. You shall not get drunk
14. You shall attend prayer meetings
15. You shall cook food for the luncheon
16. You will speak in tongues after baptism of the holy spirit
17. You shall lead people in the sinners prayer
18. You shall have altar calls
19. You shall not dance
20. You shall dance
21. You shall give to missions
22. You shall only sing hymns
23. You shall read the creeds before services
24. You shall rest on the Sabbath
25. You shall not listen to secular music
26. You shall not partake in Yoga
27. You shall not take part or listen to dirty jokes
28. Women shall not be pastors
29. Homosexuals shall not get married
30. Mothers shall not abort their children
31. You shall not divorce your spouse
32. You shall not watch rated R movies
33. You shall never cause anyone to stumble
34. You shall not ‘fool around’ before marriage
35. You shall attend all church functions
36. You should not ask hard questions around weak people
37. You shall take anything you don’t understand by faith
38. You shall not get married sooner than six months after you date
39. You shall follow liturgies
40. You shall be nice to people you don’t like
41. You shall not get tattoos
42. You shall not have regular friendships with unbelievers
43. You shall choose church over a secular event every time
44. You shall not question church authority
45. All pastors shall be paid by the church

Remember when Christ fulfilled the law? Remember when Paul said that we are no longer under the law but we are under grace? Remember when Paul accused the Galatians of trying to justify themselves by the law, and then he accuses them of falling from grace? Why did we find the need to go out and re-write our own laws? I’ll bet we all could write our own set of ‘laws’ that we try to keep up with ourselves and probably even try to make others keep.

Maybe its because we want to think that we have some part in making or keeping us ‘good.’ Maybe its because we know we can keep more laws than other people and it makes us feel good about ourselves. Maybe we just know no other way. Maybe we need to grow in grace more and more every day like Paul says at the end of almost every letter. Maybe we need to stop writing laws and starting loving God and people.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

2 thoughts on “My Own Torah”

  1. The summer is coming to a close, and you are going off to school and I didn’t even get to say goodbye!It’s been fun getting to know you this summer, and I’m excited for you and where you’ll go with God in the coming years.
    I just wanted to say thanks so much for all your encouragement this summer. You helped me challenge myself and ask questions and through that I learned a lot about myself and God and life and everything. It meant a lot to me. :)
    It was fun and hope you have an awsome year!

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