The red Toyota Corolla passed me doing around 50 in a 35 mph zone. It is a very busy road. There are two schools within a half mile of each other. You hardly go out of one school zone when you enter the other. Pedestrians often cross illegally. Often drivers get impatient with the traffic and wiz through. The police patrol the area but not regularly enough to make people comply with the law. So, the speed zone is largely ignored.
The speeding Corolla stopped at a red light so that I was able to catch up. I noticed the fish symbol with a cross in it on the back of the car. I wondered if the driver really knew what that meant. I wondered if she knew that it meant your life would be different from others'. She didn't seem to be in a hurry. She had just disregarded the speed limit. I wondered why she stopped at the red light.
I was in Beijing, China in 1996 riding with a group of Christians on a mission trip. The road was incredibly crowded with cars, trucks and bicycles. We came to a major intersection with traffic lights in all directions. Eight to ten policemen directed traffic even though the lights appeared to work correctly. I asked, "Why the policemen?"
"If they were not there, no one would stop," our guide said matter-of-factly.
I wondered, "Do people tend to rebel against authority when they disregard the presence of God? Does the lack of a godly world view support rebellion against those who have authority over us?"
Now, let's weigh the two stories I have recounted. The first one has a young lady with a Christian symbol on the back of her car breaking the law. Let's assume that means she is a Christian. The second story is an observation in a Communist country which has said that God does not exist. Their rebellious actions seem to be similar traits. Each rebels against authority. This appears to indicate that rebellion against authority prevails whether or not a faith system exists.
I am not convinced. I wonder if being a Christian means that Christians have a godly world view. Do Christians view the world as ordered by the presence of God or do they have a selfish world view in which God is their servant. I wonder if obedience to God is deemed optional for many Christians. Do Christians sing songs, raise their hands and weep crocodile tears to Him who can help them win the lotteries, get new jobs, heal their sicknesses, find new mates and whistle "Do-Dah" all day long? Has the godliness of righteousness drained from our society? Do we understand Him as God whom we must obey or as just someone we can call on to help when He is needed?
Are Christians speeding, cheating on their taxes, cheating on their spouses, and looking at pornography at any less rate than those who are non-Christian? Unfortunately, the answer is "no." How can there be a godly world view demonstrated by a people who will do these things with impunity?
A godly world view affects our respect for all authorities because it admits that God is over all of these authorities. It draws a distinct boundary when considering rebellion. Authority is to be obeyed unless is disregards God's higher authority. Thus, Paul would go to prison for preaching the gospel and also write that we should obey those who are in authority over us.
So, I drive the speed limit, stop at red lights, take my shopping cart to the places the stores designate, throw my trash in the rubbish bin, reluctantly, but as correctly as I know how, do my taxes and am absolutely faithful to my wife. (There will be no more blogs anyway if the last one wasn't kept. Dead men write no blogs!) Yet, all of this is not because I have a compliant nature for I don't. I understand God as my life. He has ordered the universe. I follow Him.
Have you ever heard someone say, "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission?" Maybe that was the thought that sent Jesus to the Cross. That's not where I want to be.
Isaiah 65:2 (NIV)
2 All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations--