Gray Areas

August 7, 2013

I posted a question to Facebook recently that asked “What “gray area” of morality do you cross to save money?” (inspiration The answers that I got were interesting, from what meat you bought to charitable giving.

On a slightly different note, it seems like the way many folks practice Christianity would indicate that there are no gray areas. When you read large chunks of the Old Testament you see that the laws get very specific. There’s even some repetition to drive the point home. When you get to the New Testament, Jesus takes some of the laws and “expands” them,

MT 5:21“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

He also said:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you

The Pharisees put Jesus to the test more than once, challenging him on tithing, working on the Sabbath, and other thorny issues. Each time he would talk about the law and how it’s more important to look at the law’s intent and into your own heart/motivation. So when it comes to morality it seems that it’s more about the motivation, than it is about what you do.

When we hit areas that there are disagreements on (drinking alcohol, watching “inappropriate” television, whether it’s “alright” to be gay), I think it’s important to take a step back and look at the hearts of the people involved. We need to engage one another with love. That’s not an attempt on my part to give people an excuse to sin. If there’s harm being done, either to one’s own body/mind/spirit or to another person, then some frank talk is in order. Jumping immediately to condemnation isn’t the way to go, though. That’s as clear to me as black and white.

One Response to “Gray Areas”

  1. Jesus does seem to invalidate at least one law when he tells folks to cast the first stone only if they are sinless. I suspect that He probably invalidated more than just that one.

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