Hosea 10-14; 1 John 5

1 John 5:3 “For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments.  And his commandments are not burdensome.”  That God’s commandments are not burdensome is a striking statement, one that would draw howls from the “the problem is the Church and all its rules” crowd, that God’s commandments are indeed onerous and pointless.  I recall that line from a Billy Joel hit “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints.”  It is widely accepted that holiness is joyless and miserable.  And despite the overwhelming evidence that sin is the road to sorrow and misery, the world is never going to accept that.  Case in point (cue Rod Serling), one Charlie Sheen.  The man has everything the world deems good: looks, talent, charisma, and wealth – the epitome of worldly success.  Now he is HIV positive, looking at lawsuits – possibly prison – the object of finger-wagging scorn.  Is he laughing now?  Is Bill Cosby laughing now?  What are the desirable fruits of scorning Christ?  The flowering of happiness and human flourishing?  Or could it be STDs, abortion, abuse, divorce, fatherless children, shattered families?  Where did this so-called “rape culture” on college campuses come from?  I know I sound like Wilford Brimley on a bad day (Go on, eat your damn oatmeal!) but I ask sincerely for someone to counter with a well-reasoned argument on all the positive results of embracing a culture of relativism.

GOD’s ANSWER: My commandments are exactly what any loving earthly father would wish for his children, wishing only their flourishing and ultimate happiness.  License is not the same thing as freedom.  Sin has consequences not enforced by Me, but a natural result of those bad choices.  Nonetheless, Love cannot abound without the freedom to make those choices.

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