Buffet restaurants are my favorites and I also dislike them. Ha! They are my favorites because I don’t have to decide and order and there are tons of options but I don’t like them because I usually only eat one plate of food so I don’t really feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of the whole deal. But still, tell me you are going to Golden Corral and I’ll be all in.
As I was doing my devotions this morning, it hit me that sometimes we treat God’s Word like a buffet line. Like there are tons of options and we get to pick what we want. There is a particular reason that this thought came to me today. Right now I am memorizing 1 Peter 2 and I’m also studying 1 Peter which is pretty handy. As I was working on memorizing this morning, it occurred to me that there is one very popular verse (actually partial verse) in the section I was working on, but all the verses around it are often left out. Look:
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:13-17
So if you just read over that, maybe you found the verse I’m talking about: “Live as people who are free..” Everyone loves that verse. You see it on t-shirts and mugs, and you often hear sermons preached on it. People love freedom. But do they enjoy the part that says not to use your freedom as a cover-up for evil? Do they like the verses above it and below it that tell them to honor the emperor or in our case, president? Ouch. Threw that one in there, didn’t I?
Let me travel a little further along the lines of verse 13. It says to be subject or rather, be obedient to the government, right? Now this is assuming that the government is not telling you to do something against God’s Word. Can I bring up a touchy issue? Oh good. I was going to anyway. When I purchased a gun a while back, I had numerous of my believing friends tell me that I needed to get two of them. Very confused, I would ask why I needed to have two and the response was always the same. So that when guns are outlawed and the government comes to take them, you can give one and keep the other but it looks like you have given yours.
Besides the obvious deceit in this action (which would go against the first verse in 1 Peter 2), can someone point me to a verse in the Bible where God grants us the right to own a gun? I can’t think of any verses but I can think of several that tell us to obey those in authority over us because God has placed them there. I can point to a verse that tell us to be subject for the Lord’s sake to our government.
Perhaps you are one of those people that I talked to and maybe you are upset with me right now. I would love to have a good conversation with you and hear your side of things. I’m not trying to be better than anyone here but I am trying to honestly evaluate what God has told us in his Word. And I am trying to live by it.
Because as much as I love buffets, his Word isn’t optional.