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Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Rule of Law

Updated on April 15, 2018
Ericdierker profile image

Holding degrees in philosophy and Law. Formal studies or certificates or degrees in business, theology, insurance and security. Ex-preacher.

A New Day Dawning

Love nature.
Love nature. | Source

The Best Rules Are The Ones We Agree On

“Some rules were made to be broken” or at least interpreted differently. A fundamental factor in a law is that it is legitimate only insofar as it is to serve mankind. Sure it must be supported by those it governs and in modern day that needs to be a democratic machination of some sort. Check out this quote, or nearly quote from Abraham Lincoln “Obedience of the law is the greatest freedom”. That is heavy. Let me suggest that the only true laws are the ones we accept and place upon ourselves.

Here in So. Cal. A 65 mile an hour speed limit means to drive at least 74 in the fast lane. This is true. In L.A. they give tickets for driving slower, as obstructing traffic. No joking. The fast lane is for going fast. My favorite legal story is Jesus getting all angry with folks who complained that healing a person on the Sabbath was breaking God’s law of rest on the Sabbath. He gave them a tarnishing by explaining to the effect that if your ass fell into a pit on Sunday do you let him die until Monday? But the basis was so cool. “The law was made for man, not man for the law”. Perhaps that is true today, but the man in such cases is really “The Man”.

For many an artist and especially a writer type artist, breaking the rules may be what sets the writer apart and makes the work interesting for the fact of how it is written. If you could keep your emotions and preconceived notions at bay the whole kneeling thing by professional athletes was a very interesting move. It broke our respect laws for nation and the flag, but in fact violated no laws or rules.

Oh my! Maybe the best of all time was the protestant Luther rebellion against rules and dogma of the Holy Roman See. Until we figured out knee and back pain, not kneeling in church was totally forbidden. So many kosher laws were in place. Perhaps out of reverence for God but just as important was the healthiness of the food consumed at a time without proper conditions to store and keep meat.

Not so long ago there were no prohibitions on garbage. Toss it here and toss it there or burn it out back in a fire pit or drum. Smart people dealt with that and outhouses in a manner as to prevent sickness. Now there are laws that govern it down to a gnats behind.

A Short Distance For Love

A Happy Place

Peace
Peace | Source

Our Own Rules

Do you remember when the term “think outside of the box” was all the rave? Actually it dove tailed and fit quite nicely into the dot com explosion. Break the rules of the old and bring in the fresh and new. How wonderfully it worked until the box that was being broken out of were rules for financial and business security, not to mention cyber security. And hence all that rule breaking literally resulted in an anarchy of sorts and the whole dang smoke and mirrors market crashed on them.

Oh do not forget our latest property value crash. For half a decade of economic growth we disobeyed the rules of credit worthiness and sustainability of value. I mean they just threw obviously good rules and laws out the window to turn a quick buck. And boom the walls of the Jericho property boom crashed down without a whimper of defense. Bail outs also broke the rules and held the economy down again. Rules were broken and the price for the intransigence was catastrophic.

My boy and I play a lot of sports type games in our made for it backyard. It is just amazing how an 8 year old can try to change the rules of the game in mid-stream to benefit him or restrict my winning ways.

Try the tried and true successful marriage deal. It requires strict adherence to a set of rules that create the bond of foreverness. Fidelity, respect, love, nurturing and responsibility in fulfilling promises are sacrosanct rules if the marriage is to last.

How about that Hammurabi code which fully encompasses the Christian and Jewish and to some extent the Muslim code as set forth in the Ten Commandments. (And note this is probably the law that Lincoln intentionally seemed to incorporate into the quote above about national cohesiveness. He very much out of character broke his rule of clarity). So do we get to expand or decrease the rules set forth in the commandments? Probably a bad way to go. Although I wonder in this new era if we apply it the same on a father who abuses his family. Should we honor such a man simply because he is a father?

So I think we now get to the two greatest commandments and the universal commandment.

I Don't Understand the Things I Do

A Real Water Windmill

Love of the old.
Love of the old. | Source

Obedience Is A Choice

Love. How do we get around this law? Well we can hate and we can engage in slothful ambivalence and apathy and resulting inaction. A bad way to go and breaking the commandment of love is a road leading straight to hell on earth. While it is nowhere stated as a rule of law my biggest sin is taking love for granted. Like planting a garden and neglecting to water it. For taking love for granted is a sure fire way to kill it. Even in this taking for granted thing there is a clear notion of bad stuff going on when good folk don’t act good. (yes that is breaking rules of speech and writing to emphasize a point)

Do you honor your personal relationship with your God if you do not love your God? Do you honor your family, friends and neighbors if you fail to love them? The story of the little drummer boy and the poor woman who gave little that was much to her, leaves us with a commandment to act in love. What you have to give is what is required of you, going up, down and all around. While loving is the rule it comes with no direction either as advice or a compass heading, save for perhaps “moving forward”.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A great idea unless you are a child lawyer. My brother read that and gave our mom a baseball glove for her birthday. Literally in obedience of the rule but with some connivance for a new glove. I reckon our love for each other requires lack of self-benefit, except for the feeling it rewards us with. That is what we refer to as a set of natural laws or rules.

It would appear that we should adhere to this law of love. No preconceived concepts. No reward. No sacrifice too large. A requirement that we lead our own selves into a state of being where everything is covered by the haze of love. Not a place to visit but a place to reside.

Because of some health issues I have been assigned a health coach by my provider. Salt and sugar went out of my diet like a banished outlaw. I follow this regimen to a T and then some. Guess what, when I do real well, better than required, I get to break the rules a bit. But we do not get to do that in love.

So bend those rules and laws in the direction of love. To this there is no penalty. There is only a great life.

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Obedience of law is a freedom not matched. How nice for us.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      3 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Eric

      Obedience to rules may be a choice, but some of them we disobey at our peril!

      For me, traffic rules are are like that, just think, if we all obeyed traffic laws there would be no road accidents!!

      Good food for thought

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Me too Lori. I know that "awesome" God is now a bit too cliche'. But Jesus's commandment always makes me see that. Loving to me is like "God did not make the Sabbath for God but for man". So fantastic to have a day set aside for the good stuff of life. God certainly gave us the Loving commandments for us.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      3 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      I love how Jesus boiled down the 10 commandments to love God and love your neighbor. He Himself fulfilled the law. Jesus said if you love me obey my commands, to love God and love people.

      Great topic Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Nikki. I am dieting very hard right now. I love evenings when my daily salt, sugar and calories are down for the day. I get to break all the rules for dinner.

      My son and I have a version of chess where we get to break the rules three times. Totally ridiculous and fun.

      That freely given gift of love makes it all happen wonderfully.

    • nikkikhan10 profile image

      Nikki Khan 

      3 months ago from London

      A thought provoking sermon Eric, rules can be bent sometimes to gain some happiness and joy, you’re absolutely right on it.Love is the most beautiful emotion ever made by God, whole world circulates around it.

      I love God for filling our hearts with this amazing sentiment.

      Many Blessings to you and your family!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Brian your comment is so spot on. The notion of circumstances being part of our equation is to often missed. I love the question of "What is Justice" placed in a vacuum it won't even tolerate the incompleteness of a definition. But put it into a circumstance or context and it becomes something of import.

      Because of your comment I pondered if I ever acted in love and was unjustified?

      It is cool that so much of our rules and statutes require "intent" to be shown.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Devika. Funny how so often we are taught that the easy way is not the right way. Well in love it is.

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 

      3 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Good sermon, Eric. Thought-provoking.

      Love to be love has to be done and given freely and gladly. It can't be coerced. So when Jesus gave his apostles the "commandment" to love one another, he was using the term poetically, in quotes. He was saying my advice to you is love one another if you want to be at peace with yourself, to grow spiritually, to fulfill your purpose as a co-creator with God, .... So the question each person faces continually is, what is the appropriate expression of love here at this moment? What shall I do that is love made visible? Write a comment on Eric's hub. Pet the cat. Take a drink of water to hydrate myself. But the act alone isn't a manifestation of love. Intent is an essential factor. Is the action a gift to oneself and/or another given freely and gladly to meet a need, done unconditionally and not for an ulterior motive? In the Bible that's called being motivated to act by agape.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      3 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Sometimes love makes you understand everything easier and hard decisions don't seem so hard. Interesting and always with a good lesson.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marlene I "worked" on that for some time. It is a cool natural fact. But I reckon that should be no surprise as it applies to all of life. You should try writing one of these "sermons" without love in your heart, impossible.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 

      3 months ago from USA

      Excellent sermon, as always, Eric. One day I was thinking about the concept of love and how the rules of the 10 Commandments are made easy to follow if in fact we choose to love.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      As boring as it is, I served for a bit as a Canonical lawyer of Episcopal (USA). Comparative stuff with the Catholic Canons was needed. Like I say, boring except to us word hounds.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      That's an interesting reflection on Catholics and Episcopals.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Frank, I write and publish these all in the morning of Sunday. It is just a weird deal about some left over vestige of Sunday. I think maybe better read on Monday or Tuesday. I need a good check in on Wednesday as the week pulls me in.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Chitrangada. The love factor seems to make the hard decisions easier. When in doubt lean toward love. I am blessed that my friends here treat me with so much love, as you always do.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      3 months ago from Shelton

      I like the rule.. made to be interrupted differently.. rather than broken.. your Sunday sermons even reads well on Tuesday.. thank you for continuing this must read and enjoy sermon my friend :)

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Liz I liken this to Episcopals and Catholics. Basically the same dogma and rules it is just that Episcopals take it easy. We call them Catholic light. Oh my but those Italians are a lax group. I just love em.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      3 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great additions here Manatita. I do love that Buddha story. I see too often nowadays where folks apply rules for man to the Supreme. How arrogant we creatures can be.

      One of my favorite (in that it is bizzare) is requiring God to be in one image. That is crazy. If God can be a burning bush certainly He can be anyone.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      3 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Great Sermon and an insightful article!

      Rules are made to be broken, is one of my favourite quotes. I liked your valuable thoughts that followed your opening line. And bending rules in the direction of love seems right to me.

      Interesting read and well written. Thanks for sharing!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      Travelling around Europe we've noticed that whilst the Brits tend to stick to the rules, there are other countries that take a much more relaxed approach.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      4 months ago from london

      To continue, we cannot bend the rules of Love. It's a bit like speaking of a 'small sin' or 'negligent disobedience.' Those don't work.

      This is another inspired Hub. It is narrowness that prevents some from leaving many windows in the Heart.

      They are usually planners. Plan ... plan ...plan. God is not bound by plans and rules. It is wisdom that made you see this Bro. Very happy.

      Finally I like the story of the Buddha and the bird. He won the case because the Judge found Buddha's question difficult to answer. " Tell me" He said. " Who is greater. He who takes life, or he who gives life?" Have a great day, Bro.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      4 months ago from london

      I'm chuckling so far and you are elucidating some brilliant pieces! Reminds me of the great soul Vivekanda. His piece is similar to yours. " Remember" He says. "Not the soul for nature, but nature for the soul." Now I will continue.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cool Elijah. I am with you, Silent personal reflection seems better than parties.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      4 months ago from Washington DC

      Yes, the cherry blossoms are almost gone now, they peaked around Wednesday but I don't go to the events since there are so man trees all over the city and especially NorthWest where live.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are so astute Dora. It is stored in my word as "Rule of Love"

      Thank you for your always support. It means a lot to me.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Although you started talking about law, and said more about love, your arguments are easy to follow. You understand how to underscore everything with love, and you show us how to do it.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Hi Elijah, it is great to hear from you on this blessed Spring day. I forgot to ask my DC daughter about the cherry blossoms yesterday on the phone. Are they out?

      I might just like yours more than mine. Very cool, thank you.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      You are a gem Bill I just found an awesome produce market. Their stuff is so just right. What I like the most is the lack of "perfection" and tastelessness of supermarket produce.

      Rock on bro with that market, combining love of natures harvest with like minded good souls.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Liz your suggestion/question is spot on. My wife was raised in very strict communist Vietnam. She just loves rules and "experts" like doctors to tell her how to act. And unless one has a position of authority she ignores the advice, at least at first.

      Funny as she banters with her Godfather priest. For some reason he is not authority but red letter Christ is. Maybe I should review that from my travels.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lori I do believe that is an idea that keeps us well in the heart.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda thank you. My little mind has legislative congressional meetings. We write new laws and rescind old laws. While we must adapt to laws, surely man's laws must adapt to us.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Clive. And thanks for that notion of ceremony.

    • The0NatureBoy profile image

      Elijah A Alexander Jr 

      4 months ago from Washington DC

      I readily agree with your message but your saying "So bend those rules and laws in the direction of love" I would rather have its ending being "So bend those rules and laws in the direction of your love for the most."

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am ridiculously behind on my commenting...first week of the farmers market....rotten excuse but there you go. This will have to be a quick one....have a great week, my friend.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      An interesting article, as ever. I wonder if there's some mileage in a comparison between the attitudes of different countries to rules and laws? Some are much laxer than others.

    • lambservant profile image

      Lori Colbo 

      4 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      This was a great message, Eric. I particularly like your last line, "So bend those rules and laws in the direction of love." That about says it all.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, the artists, poets, writers, visionaries -- all were or are rule-breakers. Some did it out of self aggrandizement and their names fade in time. Those who strive to do more, improve and reach out to and for others, do so out of love. Those are the ones who we still know and remember and their actions/choices/love last.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 

      4 months ago from Jamaica

      Great Ceremony Eric. Keep up enlightening.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      4 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Ann. I think I like my goof friends here in large part due to the love they so freely share, as you do. Let us keep carrying on.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 months ago from SW England

      Well said, as always, Eric! I love your arguments and your 'logic'.

      I also love that song by the Proclaimers - one of my favourites.

      Ann

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